The Outward Bound Ball Dodgers squared off against a rival team during a past Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament game. [Courtesy photo]

The BEACON Afterschool Program is reaching out to throw down its fifth annual Moab Gear Trader Dodgeball Tournament, and this year, participants are turning up the heat – in more family-friendly ways than one.

It invites businesses, families, nonprofits, public service groups and community members to support or compete in the all-ages festivities, to be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m. in the Grand County Middle School gym, 439 S. 100 East.

Moab Gear Trader sponsors the tournament, which is presented in partnership with Moab City Recreation to raise funds for the afterschool program.

BEACON Program Manager Kaitlin Thomas says she is looking forward to the costumes and camaraderie of both new and returning teams, such as last year’s winning team, “Smokin’ Bacon,” and the newly formed team, “Fiery Furnace Flame-Throwers.”

Last year, dodgeball team “Smokin’ Bacon” was comprised of Moab City Police Department members.

“They just re-registered,” Thomas says. “Looks like they’re coming back to defend their title as champions.”

Whether the “Fiery Furnace Flame-Throwers” may be after the title, or just a good time, remains to be seen. Either way, their team members from the Fiery Furnace Marching Band will be performing at halftime, and are sure to bring some noise to the festivities.

Registration is open for team enrollment through Thursday, Jan. 26.

Thomas says BEACON is expecting about 18 teams – the same as last year.

In the past, teams have represented Outward Bound, Grand County Emergency Medical Services, Moab Charter School, Moab Roller Derby, Synergy and Zax Restaurant, among many others.

Moab City Recreation Assistant Patrick Trim has been involved with the tournament the past several years.

“This event is a great way to get the community involved in a more nontraditional sport that brings out the inner child in all of us,” he says.

Teams will compete this year for prizes in the categories of “Best Costumes,” “Overall Winner” and “Sportsmanship.”

“Dodgeball is so fun! I mean, people either love it or they’re somewhat skeptical because they had a trauma at an early age in school,” Thomas laughs. “But this is family fun – fun for all ages, and for every type of person in the community, whether you’re a sports fanatic or not.”

Thomas says that costumes are encouraged for participants and spectators alike, and several costume prizes will be given.

Refreshments will also be served, and there will be a raffle for a family river trip with Sheri Griffith River Expeditions, as well as an interactive relay at halftime.

Moab Gear Trader is in its third year of sponsoring the fundraiser. Owner Marshall Dvorscak is a personal advocate for the BEACON Afterschool Program.

“Moab Gear Trader supports BEACON and its mission because nurturing, educating and inspiring our children will create a community for everyone,” he says. “After school, BEACON provides youth with many positive experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Besides, throwing balls at each other is normally frowned upon – so make a team, (put on) a costume and let’s dodge ball!”

All of the proceeds from the event directly support BEACON’s programs for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. BEACON serves over 665 students each year, and aims to offer diversified enrichment and academic learning opportunities to Moab’s youth.

BEACON is actively recruiting teams for the tournament. Registration is $80 for adult teams, and $40 for public service groups, nonprofits and youth teams. All teams must include at least one youth member in any grade from third through eighth.

General admission is $3 for adults and $1 for youth; ages 3 and under will be admitted for free.

5th annual dodgeball event returns to GCMS gym on Jan. 28

“After school, BEACON provides youth with many positive experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Besides, throwing balls at each other is normally frowned upon – so make a team, (put on) a costume and let’s dodgeball!”

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m.

Where: Grand County Middle School gym, 439 S. 100 East

Cost: $3 for adults, $1 for youth and free for ages 3 and under

Information:; 435-719-4717

For more information, or to register a team, visit,or contact Kaitlin Thomas at or 435-719-4717.