MILTON — Pool players from all over Escambia and Santa Rosa counties joined forces in June to compete in a world tournament and help raise food for FoodRaising Friends, Inc.

West Florida American Pool Association is an amateur billiards league in Escambia and Santa Rosa County. Every year the APA hosts a series of world qualifier tournaments where teams qualify for events by playing in the league each week. Each league format competes for a chance to win a trip and play in Las Vegas for the APA World Pool Championships.

Becca McKeithen, co-owner of the FoodRaising Friends, said more than 100 West Florida APA members were in attendance during the three-week tournament, playing around 80 hours of pool.

"The final four winning teams are advancing to the APA World Pool Championships at the Westgate Hotel and Casino Las Vegas," she said.  

According to McKeithen, the West Florida APA has a history of giving back through their events and chose to make a donation to local non-profit FoodRaising Friends during the tournament. The League raffled off a custom Lucasi Custom Pool Cue, donated by Robert and Tara Maltby, to members who made a contribution to FoodRaising Friends.

"The final donation to FoodRaising Friends, Inc., was $740 and around another $300 in food donations, that will feed more than 20 families through FoodRaising Friends food programs this coming school year," she said. 

McKeithen said even though raffle winner Daniel Clark was the lucky winner of the cue, their organization really won with so many generous players making a significant impact toward feeding local children who suffer from hunger.

The West Florida APA will host an Angel Tree Tournament in December with Santa Rosa Kids House.

"Congrats to all the winners of the tournament," McKeithen said.

According to McKeithen the APA will be hosting a "Las Vegas Send Off Party" as the winning teams head to the "World’s Largest Pool Tournament" in Las Vegas in August. The send off is happening Aug. 3 at Oops Alley in Pace, and McKeithen said spectators and guests are welcome to join in the celebration and see what the West Florida APA is all about.