Games Equipment for a Not-For-Profit Group

We have our own little games group, Blue Ridge Games, which is part of MGAA – Mounted Games Across America.  MGAA is a non-profit 501c3 national organization, with the sole intent of promoting, educating and providing mounted games opportunities.  BRG is also an all volunteer group, that tries to offer mounted games opportunities in an area where games is a bit new.

We need to have our own set of games equipment to really operate.  So far BRG has been able to barrow equipment for our competitions and we use my own personal equipment for practices and we have been able to make that work.  But it really adds an obstacle to hosting a competition and it’s a lot to ask of other people.

Creating your own personal set of equipment is not an inexpensive task, but some things can be skimped on and fabricated, although often to a not-quite-standard degree.  Which does not always work for a competition set of equipment.  For a competition set, you need to have 4 -6 sets of each item, and they all need to match and be to specifications.

There are also a lot of heavy metal, specially made pieces that are expensive to purchase and are a bit difficult to find.  There are two current games people that create and sell these metal items.  One, The Steel Pony, is the original artist for metal games equipment in the USA.  Operated by Mark, he originates in PA but recently moved to FL.  The other seller is a family in Kentucky.  They both make excellent equipment that lasts a life time.  We are talking about items you can gift to your kids who will then in turn gift to their kids.  Once you purchase these items you are set for life.  Although because of location, handing over equipment is a task that can take a year or more to arrange.

When it comes to expense, these items add up.  With the rise in metal prices the cost of a single bending pole has shot up some, being close to $60 each, and metal costs continue to rise.  Each set requires 5 poles.  So at last year’s $60 price, one set costs $300.  Our little BRG group needs 4 sets of everything to make the cut, which would run us $1200.  Wow right!

Because our little group can hardly afford to purchase one or two poles in a good year, we decided to check with the local vo-tech center that operates as part of the public school system.  They agreed to make the bases for us at cost!  Score!  We could still only afford two sets, 10 bases total, but it’s a start.  I have a set of matching poles as do two others in our group, so between us and the new bases we actually have five lanes!  Crazy!

Of course we still need to save up for the wooden poles, which will cost about $70 for both sets.  But shoot, we are just happy to have the bases for now.

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  1. 2 Lanes of Bending Poles | Blue Ridge Pony

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