Blaine team dethrones Pustovar to win 7th Annual Open Bonspiel

Going into last weekend’s 7th Annual Open Bonspiel, many curlers assumed Hibbing’s Team Pustovar would walk away with the A Event championship, just as they have done nearly year. But a team from the Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, led by Skip Craig Nicko, had other ideas.  In a slugfest for the A Event championship, Nicko’s team unseated the defending champ, proving that Pustovar is, after all, human. And beatable.  The bonspiel attracted 32 teams from throughout Minnesota and included teams from Denver and Omaha. Brainerd was represented by nine teams, three of which won their events: Skip Dusty Nelson’s team won the B Event, Skip Ron Everson’s team won the C Event and Skip Michael Williams’ team won the D Event.  The weekend was highlighted by a ceremony for Brainerd’s Mary Jo Hamilton, who was honored as the U.S. Curling Association’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year. The club unveiled a sign overlooking the rink announcing the award, and the membership presented her with a framed copy of the article in USCA’s Curling News, which the members signed.  A special thanks to the Bonspiel Chairs, Pat and Ron Shelito, and Jill and Don Anderson. Thanks, too, to the club’s Ice Makers and all the volunteers.  Team Nicko’s Jason Perreira told us this after the bonspiel: “Thanks so much for a fantastic weekend! The hospitality shown by the Brainerd club was some of the best we’ve experienced in any spiel. Regardless of the outcome of our final game, we knew we would be coming back next year. Winning the final was the icing on the cake!” Thanks Jason and ALL the curlers who came....

Free Youth Curling starts in January

What a great way to introduce kids to the fun sport of curling! Bring the kids (ages 6-18) to the Brainerd Curling Club, where we’ll take them on the ice for a fun introduction to curling. They’ll learn some of the rules and etiquette while working on skill development. Each session will be led by our experienced instructors.  Participants should wear clean, rubber-soled athletic shoes, and warm, loose-fitting clothes. The temperature on the ice is 45 degrees.  Parents are invited to watch from the comfort of the social area. They must sign a waiver form the first night. Forms are available at the club, or can be downloaded by clicking here. You can then send them with your child or email it to us.  The sessions are from 2-4 pm. Here are the dates: Sunday, Jan. 13 Sunday, Jan. 20 Sunday, Feb. 3 Sunday, Feb. 10 Sunday, Feb. 17 Sunday, Feb....

Give curling a try during Open Curling

The Brainerd Curling Club welcomes the public on Saturdays for Open Curling. This is a great time to try your hand at curling without committing to a membership or league play. Newcomers can take the ice and get help with skill development and etiquette from our experienced curlers who are on hand for instruction. And there’s always other curlers around to play a pick-up game as well.  The cost is only $10 for non-members and free to members. Check the Calendar for the schedule on specific Saturdays, but the times generally are: Noon-2 pm – Open Curling for the general public2-4 pm – Open Curling for members and their guests 6-9 pm – Open Curling for the general public There’s no Open Curling Dec. 1. No equipment is necessary. Just wear athletic shoes with clean, rubber soles and warm, comfortable clothes. The temperature is about 45 degrees on the ice.   For those who would like even more instruction, the club will start up its Learn To Curl program again after Jan. 1. This is an affordable program for beginners. It combines instruction and introduces participants to competition. Watch the Calendar for dates.  See you on the...

Celebration planned for Volunteer of the Year Mary Jo Hamilton

The U.S. Curling Association’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Brainerd’s very own Mary Jo Hamilton!  The USCA recently announced the award, choosing Mary Jo over nominees from throughout the country. The Brainerd Lakes Curling Club will honor Mary Jo during its 7th Annual Open Bonspiel. A celebration is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 1. It’s free and open to the public.  Mary Jo, former chair of the club’s Board of Directors, has a long list of accomplishments that date back to the club’s infancy. She encouraged her aunt, Fran Holden, to donate $1 million to build the club’s arena. She also used her fundraising skills to lead the club’s “Let’s Rock” campaign, to purchase new curling rocks at $400 apiece. It took only 10 months to replace the entire 64-rock set.  Mary Jo’s vision led to Brainerd being selected to host last year’s USCA Club National Championships, an annual tournament for club teams throughout the country. She chaired the event, led officiating classes, organized the ceremonies, food and volunteers, and was at the club at 6 a.m. daily to cook breakfast for the ice crew.  She also played a key role in developing a youth program and Doubles League, serves as a club instructor for newcomers and led the First Timer’s League.  “I’ve never met anyone like her – she gets things done, leads by example, fosters an inclusive environment and makes everyone feel comfortable, all while putting the club’s interests first,” said former board member Doug Wolf, who wrote a letter of support for Mary Jo’s nomination. The USCA established the award in 2012 to recognize volunteers because they’re the...

Look who’s bonspieling out of town!

Members of the Brainerd Curling Club aren’t shy about traveling to other clubs for bonspiels. We love our bonspiels! Read about who’s curling where and how they did. We want to celebrate those who are representing Brainerd at other curling clubs, so send us your photos, names and results!  No worms at the Early Bird Bonspiel in Fargo-MoorheadBrainerd was well-represented by two teams at the Early Bird Bonspiel at the Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club Oct. 26-28. The men’s team, behind Skip Michael Williams, won the C Bracket Championship. They lost to a team from North Dakota State University 9-2 in the first game but got revenge in the championship against them with a 5-4 win in an extra end without the hammer! The other Brainerd team was the Sweeping Beauties, which won one and lost two, including a loss to a junior team from Bismarck, or as Ginny called them, “the kids team.” They’re in the photo below. A boatload of fun at the 1,000 Lakes Bonspiel The Brainerd Curling Chicks went up to Grand Rapids for the 1,000 Lakes Bonspiel last September and brought home hardware by winning the D Event. Congratulations! Kelly Sharkey played as well, joining with friends from other...

Give curling a try Oct. 20 during the Community Open House

If you’re curious about what curling is all about, here’s your chance to check it out first-hand. A Community Open House is set for 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Brainerd Lakes Curling Club. This is free event and open to the public, and a great chance for those who attend to learn more about the sport and our curling leagues.  We’ll have instructors on hand to teach the basics to whoever wants to give curling a try that night. If you do, please wear athletic shoes with clean rubber soles and warm, comfortable clothes. It’s 45 degrees in the area and you’ll be doing a lot of bending, so keep that in mind when you’re picking out your attire. You must be at least fourth grade to go on the ice.  Cashwise Liquor will be on hand for beer and wine tasting. The Curling Club is located on the southwest corner of the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, right off 13th Street....