Curlers in Tillsonburg were ‘Going for Gold’ Saturday at the Tillsonburg Curling Club, a fundraising bonspiel for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford.
Formerly known as Curl for Kids’ Sake, the organization’s new Play for Kids’ Sake is a combination of previous Bowl for Kids’ Sake and Curl for Kids’ Sake. When Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ingersoll, Tillsonburg and Area joined forces with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Woodstock and District, they wanted to ensure their two main sporting activities – bowling and curling – continued where they were most popular. That meant bowling in Ingersoll and Woodstock, from Feb. 5-8, and curling in Tillsonburg on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The curling event featured eight teams of 4-6 players – one full draw – with emphasis on fun rather than winning.
“I think that’s what a lot of people like about it, it’s fun,” said Nicole Killaire, Resource Development Coordinator, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford County. “No one’s here for score. It’s a nice family event.”
Although, she noted, there was a fun prize available for top team score, as well as incentive prizes for different levels of fundraising.
“We like to see a full draw because it brings lots of energy out on the ice.”
Teams were encouraged to wear clothing inspired by the ‘Go for Gold’ theme. Some wore team jerseys.
“Last night at bowling there were lots of people decked out and wearing medals, trophies, things like that.”
Some new teams joined this year’s bonspiel, presented by main sponsor Scotiabank, but many were returning.
“We have a lot of teams that are quite loyal to this event, which is great, like Bossy Nagy Group, Eichenberg Motors, Scotiabank, BMO Nesbitt Burns. Carmeuse joined us this year, and Wellmaster, they come out quite often as well.
“It’s great to have local businesses supporting the event in terms of sponsorship, and then they also come out and participate in the event, which is great to see too.”
The goal for the 2020 Play for Kids’ Sake, county-wide, was $65,000.
“At the end of last night (Friday) we were at $52,000. And today we’ve got bowling in Ingersoll, bowling in Woodstock, and curling in Tillsonburg, so between those three events we’re hoping we can get bumped up to our $65,000 goal.”
In years past, the bowling and curling events were distributed across the calendar. The recent changes streamlined the fundraisers.
“Within the last year, the Woodstock agency and the Ingersll-Tillsonburg agency of Big Brothers Big Sisters have joined forces, so that we now service the entire community as one agency.
The new slogan is ‘We’re bigger and we’re better together,’ she noted.
“To keep all the events happening, and to make sure we were servicing the communities, we joined bowling and curling into Play for Kids’ Sake. Woodstock just had bowling. In Ingersoll we had Bowl for Kids’ Sake and Curl for Kids’ Sake, but we found there was more curling participation in Tillsonburg, and more bowling participation in Ingersoll.”
With Play for Kids’ Sake, participants could bowl or curl at either venue – or choose to do both, depending on their schedules.
The next event planned for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford is a Trivia Night in Woodstock in March, followed the Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres and Bid for Kids’ Sake in May (in Tillsonburg).
“As soon as this one’s done, we’re right into the next,” Killaire smiled.