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Friday, June 26, 2015

Fourth Annual Michael Bradford Memorial Cornhole Tournament

Michael Bradford and Sasha Cantrall
Seven years ago, Dan Gorman and the guys on Tower Place started playing cornhole on Thursday nights (rain or shine). While the group is primarily comprised of Tower Place folks, they have regulars that don't live on the street.

"The way this game has brought the men of our neighborhood together over the last few years has been a really neat thing to be a part of." Gorman said. "Personally, I really started to love cornhole because of the way it united our group of guys, and I also like trying to figure out how to do cool things in the city.  I worked with Debbie Buckley (Renaissance Manager/Economic Development Director) to create an event at the Independence Day Celebration, and I contacted the American Cornhole Organization for help.  

This is the organization that travels around the country hosting tournaments, including the World Championships of Cornhole (  They help us advertise our tournament, they run the event, and the winner of our tournament gets a pass into the World Championships - this creates a draw for some of the better players in the region."

After the first tournament in 2012, Gorman heard of the tragic passing of Michael Bradford. A civilian contractor from Fort Thomas, Bradford was one of 15 people killed in an explosion that occurred in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2013. Bradford graduated from Highlands High School in 2005.

"I was so touched by how well liked and respected that young man was, and I have kids that have gone through, and are still in, the Ft. Thomas school system so I felt personally affected.  I noticed that most of the stories included something about Michael's love of cornhole. It was an activity he enjoyed a great deal with his family and friends." Gorman said.

Michael's brothers both participated in the 2012 tournament, and Gorman reached out to them to see if they were planning on being there again in 2013.  When they said yes, Gorman asked them if they'd be interested in making it a memorial tournament to honor their brother. They agreed.

"As much as I love being involved in this tournament, my family has started a new tradition of traveling to our cabin the week that includes all of the Independence Day festivities.  So, I've officially turned it over to Chris Bradford to run going forward.  He is working with the city and with representatives of the ACO to put on another really great event.  My company (United Property Group) is sponsoring the tournament and donating the $500 for the cash prizes."

The fourth annual Michael Bradford Memorial Cornhole Tournament is taking place during the Fort Thomas Independence Day Celebration on July 4, starting at 3pm. 

Sign up online at or to show up the day of the tournament to register.  Everyone will have the opportunity to play multiple games. The tournament will take place outside the Mess Hall, and will be moved inside the Armory if it rains.

The tournament is a great way to honor a true American hero!

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