Bonspiels are a time of coming together with curling friends, sharing games, broomstacking and making memories. The December 7th weekend event at Coyotes Curling Club was such a bonspiel, but it was also an opportunity to fundraise for San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club’s dedicated ice project. The event brought in 16 teams from Coyotes and Bay Area but also from Las Vegas CC, Hollywood CC, Orange County CC, Denver CC, Silicon Valley CC and Wine Country CC. The funds raised made an inroad into the project funding and helped make it possible for construction to continue into the planned Oakland, California facility. “We are all so appreciative,” says Kimberly Chapin, event coordinator for SFBACC. “We would not have done anything differently.”
Calizona Dreamin’ came about due to the suggestion and enthusiasm of Coyotes member Wesley (Wes) Seeger. Wes, formerly of SFBACC, asked Coyotes CC Board to consider providing the ice time, and they immediately agreed. Not only did the Club provide the ice for the two-day event but they also provided Coyotes CC volunteers, bartenders, and an ice crew for the weekend. The Saturday banquet was also catered by Coyotes CC member and Club Nationals 2019 winning skip, Mike Siggins, whose restaurant Pasta Brioni got praises for the dinner. Such a generous contribution to SFBACC’s cause is a noteworthy example of a club helping another sister club. While the event was a fundraiser, it also renewed the spirits of those who have worked so long to make Bay Area dedicated ice a reality. “Our members have really missed being on the ice together, and this was just what was needed,” commented Chapin. “It was also beneficial to see what it takes to operate a facility.”
The SFBACC bonspiel committee wanted to offer a unique format and decided on a skins spiel. Four pools of four teams played three 6-end skins games on Saturday. The two teams with the most skins from each pool then advanced to the playoffs on Sunday. In all games, teams were awarded with cash for each skin won. And due to the number of teams most players only had one draw off the ice before going back on. The alternate draws gave teams a chance to stay at the rink and catch up with friends or try an ‘international’ tequila tasting event, with special guest pourer Adriana Camarena, skip of Team Mexico’s women’s team. On Sunday the Hot Shots event gave curlers a chance to keep curling on Sunday and try their skills. Players consistently remarked about how fun it was to play a different format, so SFBACC is definitely planning to offer a skins spiel!
Thanks to generous donations from SFBACC and CCC members, the bonspiel also hosted a silent auction and raffle. Using the online auction app Bidr also helped elevate the number of silent auction bids. Available were two brooms signed by the 2014 Olympic teams, a hat autographed by the Jennifer Jones 2018 Scotties rink, fit bits, a bottle of Don Pilar Tequila, a Matt Hamilton Bobblehead, green fees at an exclusive golf course and several pieces of original artwork. SFBACC happily met its fundraising goals after a successful weekend. “Our spirits were lifted by everyone’s generosity and spirit of curling,” observed Chapin. Their dedicated ice project is back on track, thanks in part to the CCC, as well as so many others in the curling community. Look for exciting news in February 2020. In thee meantime, the Club continues to fundraise and will accept additional donations through the website at http://www.dedicatedice.com/donate/ Once their facility is opened, SFBACC leadership plan to pay it forward. “We know what it takes now. We can help others in the future.” The spirit of curling lives on!