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Couple lets you take an axe to pandemic troubles

Morning Journal/Kevin Howell Traci Finnegin of Homeworth is shown inside the mobile axe throwing cage she and her husband Scott are making available for rentals in their new business Bad Axe Throwing.

HOMEWORTH — The COVID-19 pandemic may have brought the majority of public social gatherings to halt this summer, but it hasn’t stopped one local couple from hurtling onto the entertainment scene.

Scott and Traci Finnegin of Homeworth this spring introduced Bad Axe Throwing, a mobile axe throwing cage for adults 18 years and older. And despite the pandemic, they have seen their business grow on the grassroots level, capitalizing on the sport’s growing popularity through social media locally and becoming a big hit particularly at backyard parties. They are also available for fundraisers and corporate events such as team building exercises.

Believed to be the only mobile axe throwing cage in the area, Scott said they had been scheduled to attend fairs and festivals across the area, but cancellations due to the pandemic has made them available locally.

“Everybody is tired of being at home. Now you can be home and have fun,” Traci said. “It’s fun to hang out with people and provide a fun time in these trying times.”

Bad Axe creation

Scott and Traci said they witnessed the popularity of axe throwing first hand while visiting Geneva-on-the-Lake this past winter.

“The crowd loved it,” they noted.

So the couple decided to bring the sport back home. They stripped down a 30-foot camper and built the cage from scratch.

“We didn’t have any plan on paper, it was all up here,” Scott said, tapping his head.

Despite not being able to build the cage himself due to a shoulder disability, Scott said the project took about three to four months to complete with the help of family and friends.

“It truly was a team effort with our friends,” Traci added. “And it was a great time, having an idea in mind then working with friends to bring it to fruition.”

The couple embraced the challenge, viewing it as a fun project for all involved despite the difficulties in making real what was in Scott’s mind and navigating the obstacles in creating a business plan. “You really don’t know how hard it is getting others to understand what you have in mind until you start working at it, but we got there,” Scott said.

Scott and Traci had handled all the hurdles of creating their business and were ready to share their project with the community when the pandemic hit.

“Our insurance took effect April 1, then COVID happened,” Traci said. “It was like a bad April Fool’s joke.”

Throwing the axe

The Finnegins pushed forward, however, with Traci working closely with the Alliance Health Department to ensure the throwing cage meets the needs for protection against COVID.

Traci said they provide multiple safety measures for people participating in the activity, such as safety goggles and other gear. They also provide instruction on how to safely throw the axe, she said.

Although Scott and Traci said anyone of really any age can participate in axe throwing, they are currently restricted to 18 and over due to insurance. Scott said he is working on a throwing cage for minors using Styrofoam axes and arrows as well as handicap accessible targets outside the cage.

“We don’t want anyone to be left out of the fun,” he said.

They are also looking to add light bars for night and blacklight for glow in the dark as added attractions to the activity, plus opportunities to partner with organizations to create a league.

Ultimately, community response will determine their path moving forward, they said.

“If there’s a demand for something [such as teens who want to throw the axes], we can pursue it,” Traci said.

More than a business

Born of a desire to bring people together for a fun time, Bad Axe Throwing is clearly a community based proposition developed by a couple who love their neighbors.

Both West Branch graduates, Scott and Traci have essentially spent their entire lives in the Homeworth area. Traci said she has lived on Center Road for all but four years of her life while Scott has always lived within 15 miles of their current home, which is one of the one-room schoolhouses within the district.

Traci works at Mount Union and Scott is retired. They are very active in the Homeworth Community Group and participate in special events such as Homeworth Homecoming, Homeworth Christmas or chili cook offs as well as helping meet the needs of struggling community members. They also host backyard gatherings with outdoor movie screenings at their home.

Contact

Bad Axe Throwing can be found on Facebook. For pricing, contact BAxeThrowing@gmail.com or 330-581-8450.

khowell@salemnews.net

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