Poised on one knee, a wary curler grasped the stone’s handle, shut her eyes, and released it.
The rock wobbled back and forth on its edge before grinding to a halt miles before the hog line. She opened her eyes just as it was cast aside.
While this definitely wasn’t a scene from last weekend’s Scott Tournament of Hearts in Brandon, novice and veteran curlers alike who participated in Saturday’s second-annual “Curl for Cancer” here showed they certainly had heart.
Some 28 rinks—divided into three groups—hit the ice for the popular day-long event while raising almost $13,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Last year’s inaugural event raised about $9,000.
“Everyone seemed very excited and were enjoying themselves,” organizer Nadine Johnson said Monday.
Johnson, who organized the ’spiel with Cheryl Behan and Wendy Derendorf, also was impressed with the number of spectators who turned out.
She noted more than 200 people spent much of the day watching their friends and family curl from the lounge upstairs.
The number of teams involved in the event jumped 28 from 20 in its first year last March—and Johnson expected next year will be even bigger.
“Next year we’re hoping to get 36 teams and fill the rink the whole day,” she enthused.
“It was great. Everyone had fun and there was a good mix of people,” said Cheryl Behan, who highlighted the fact many of the rinks were comprised of both first-time curlers and those devoted to the sport.
Tom Pearson’s team captured the trophy for garnering the most points after the three, four-end games, with Dede McCool’s rink taking second place.
But winning certainly wasn’t everything Saturday. In fact, some rinks took even more pride in losing.
“We were the team that last year finished last,” said Rod Cupp, who curled with Wendy and Doug Derendorf, and Kevin Busch. “This year there’s a lot of competition for our title.”
Teammates explained it was especially difficult for Busch, an avid curler and team skip, to remember that winning was to be avoided at all cost.
They groaned when he stole two points in the last end of their second game to bring the final score from 5-1 to 5-3.
While curling was the focus of the event, raising money was the main goal.
Paul Morrison won the trophy for collecting the most pledges, raising $1,030, while Becky Robinson was second (for the second year in a row) with $800.
Two 50/50 draws and one for a “mystery” prize also added to the total. Numerous businesses also donated items for draw prizes given away after the banquet that evening.
A dance followed, with Adrian Chapman donating his time as d.j. again.