Highland Games raises money for charity

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ)- The Highland Games had its 11th annual event Saturday at Green Hill Park in Salem.

The day is focused on Scottish and Irish cultures, music, food and sports. The sports involve a lot of heavy lifting and throwing, such as Heavy Hammer. The man or woman competing in this sport is required to take the heavy object, gain momentum by winding it around the athlete's body, and releasing to see how far it will land.

Chad Clark, the event director of the Green Hill Highland Games, says he likes to put a lot of focus on the sport aspect of the Celtic culture, something other Highland Games don't focus on as much, elsewhere.

"Well, the athletics are definitely a huge part of the Scottish tradition and culture. Basically, we are trying to keep all of that alive in Southwest Virginia" said Clark.

The event was free to the public, but donations were accepted. Every cent of the donations was given to the Warrior 360 charity.

Six years ago, Clark added the charity aspect to the games, as his father was battling cancer. His dad believed in giving back to the community and Clark wanted the money raised to serve our country's military.

"I always tell people that our veterans are our nations greatest treasure and this is kind of my way of basically paying tribute to him. He was very involved in a lot of different charities and I kind of wanted to follow his footsteps so I took it up" the director said.

This event takes a full year to plan, so he has already been thinking about next year's Highland Games. Although he wouldn't share anything specific that may change, he is confident that next year's event will be even better.

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