Moorefield Optimist tin can bonspiel just a start for club

The wind was howling and the cold might have made a Spartan sob, but participants in the second annual Moorefield Optimist Tin Can Bonspiel donned heavy hats and coats, shrugged off vicious winds and had themselves a ball on Feb. 12.

The 2010 event attracted eight teams, and this year’s had 14, for a full day of tin can curling that saw 56 people taking part and others enjoying hot food in the community centre.

Optimist Club President Dan McIntyre said teams came from as far away as Fergus, Cambridge, and Kitchener this year.

The club contacted local businesses for donations, and every competitor took home something from the prize table, with the winners choosing first.

McIntyre said of the donors, “Everyone I talked to was excited to take part.” And the nice thing is, “We’ll raise a little bit of money to support the youth in the community. It’s all about the kids.”

Food and bar sales would also help with the bottom line, which was not immediately available.

But McIntyre has another plan for the community. A few years ago, there was a winter festival in Moorefield that was allowed to lapse and he sees the bonspiel as a vehicle for bringing back, gradually, a full-blown winter community event.

“Next year, we’ll add a few small events,” McIntyre said, before braving the cold to take part in his next game. He kept warm with a beautiful tartan tam while tossing tin cans down the ice.

Entry was $10 per person and each team was guaranteed three games during the day, with the event starting mid morning and finishing with the final game at 4pm.

Joan Zettel, of Fergus, was part of a team called Rock of Ages, and claimed the title of the oldest team in attendance. With that age came experience, as the team dressed in long, warm coats and Zettel managed to play with the wind at her back. She loved the event.

“This is a lot of fun,” she said.

The winning team was skipped by Moorefield firefighter John Klassen, with teammates Tim Bates, Ryan Campbell, and Dave Benning.

McIntyre thanked the local firefighters for creating the ice pad and the curling circles, and he noted with a chuckle Klassen’s team might have had an advantage because they knew the ice.