Sports & Recreation

Amber Manuelito was able to knock down five free-throws in the Round House Café free-throw contest.

Round House Cafe Hosts Free-Throw Contest

By Jennifer Jimenez
Au-Authm Action News

The Round House Café hosted an NBA Finals Free-Throw Contest at Friendship Park Basketball Court on June 9. The competition was open for two hours during lunch. Participants were given one minute to shoot as many free throws as possible for a chance to win prizes.

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Food Service Manager Paul Johnston said the events presented by the Round House Café are driven by the 20-member Café Focus Group, representing a variety of SRPMIC departments.
“All departments are invited to provide a representative to the focus group; if they are interested, they should contact me,” Johnston said.

He said one of the main goals of the focus group is to gather feedback from Café customers, usually from the departments they represent, and share it at meetings or forwarding feedback via email.

“One of the goals of the focus group is to try to please everybody, knowing full well we will never be able to accomplish that. However, if there is any way we can economically accommodate an idea or request, we are always happy to do that,” Johnston said.

He said the group has been working to turn the Café into a “destination,” making it a place people want to go for lunch, rather than just a convenient alternative to driving elsewhere for lunch.

“One of the ways we do that is with fun events and contests. We have been giving away some great prizes at a variety of activities this year. All of these events help drive sales, and when Café sales go up, the subsidy (the amount of money SRPMIC pays to operate the Café) goes down, which saves the Community money,” Johnston said. “So it’s a win-win for everybody. Employees have some fun and perhaps receive some perks (gas cards, gift cards, dinner, movies, free Café food), and the Community saves money on Café operations.

The free-throw contest was a direct result of Café Focus Group feedback. Johnston said the contest was a great way for employees to have some fun, possibly win some prizes, and enjoy each other’s company.

Chris Lopez from Health and Human Services Case Management made 16 free throws in one minute to win the grand prize, a $150 QT gift card. Mark Soden rebounded Lopez during the competition. The two second-place winners were Franco Jesus, with 14 free throws, and Oscar Merritt with 12; they won $75 Dick's Sporting Good gift card. Five third-place winners were selected and received $20 Harkins Theaters gift cards: Peter Salcido, Jelani Huma and Jacob Shaw with 12 free throws, and Keith Young and Tom Sanfillippo with 11. Seven fourth-place winners received a $6 coupon to the Round House Café: Jaime Huma, who made 11 shots, and Jason Nanonka, Kim Whitelock, Kevin Riding-In, David Willis, Patrick Shaw and Sam King, who all made 10 shots.

“All of the activities and events we offer our guests at the Café also benefit our employees because they increase morale, attitude and job satisfaction,” Johnston said. “The focus group and the Café continue to strive to make the Café a gathering place for all to come and break bread, relax, refresh and renew. And hopefully have a little fun in the process.”

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