HELENA — Donning costumes and armed with curling stones and brooms, 15 teams competed in the Last Chance Curling Club's 'Creepy Sweepy Bone-Spiel' which came to its conclusion on Halloween.
The event is, as far as members of the LCCC know, the first-ever multi-day bonspiel held in Helena, and to be able to snag that bit of history is a great accomplishment for the club.
“It's pretty neat," said club president Jordan Tollefson."It's really cool to know that we were a part of planning this and having this event be such a success."
Tollefson noted a lot of planning went into the event and they reached out to other established clubs in Montana for a bit of help to make sure they were doing everything right. One of the clubs that the Last Chance Curling Club reached out to for help was the Missoula Curling Club.
Barry Bollenbacher is a board member for the Missoula Curling Club and competed in the 'Bone-Spiel' over the weekend and noted some of the things they reached out about were things like pricing, how to maintain the ice, and things of that nature.
"They asked for a little bit of equipment help. If we had some extra equipment for them, which is helpful for them. No problem for us, loaning them some stuff," said Bollenbacher. "Butte did the same thing. So, it's kind of a big family here in Montana with curling clubs."
Though it is a, "big family here in Montana with curling clubs," there's an auspicious phrase heard around the sport.
"The spirit of curling"
"That's one thing that we love about Curling is they call it 'the spirit of curling,' There is no real referees that need to ref the game, you kind of referee your own game, and everyone's here just having a good time. It is competitive, but there's a lot of shenanigans you'll see down there. People are dressed up in costumes for Halloween. People are cracking jokes, having a good time. And again, it's the spirit of curling that we try to — that everyone tries to have when they're playing the game," said LCCC treasurer Todd Myse.
"The most important thing in curling is making new friends and renewing old relationships. I mean, that's the big thing. Sometimes curling breaks out in a tournament like this," said Bollenbacher with a smile. "It's really a family affair because we curl against each other for years and we know each other and it's just fun. Of course, it's nice to beat your friend once in a while but, you know, you don't put that on the top."
With the 'Creepy Sweepy Bone-Spiel' being the first time that the LCCC has ever hosted a multi-day event, it wasn't out of the realm of possibility for something to go wrong, but according to Myse and Tollefson things were going swimmingly mid-way through the event. Even curlers from other clubs thought the event was a major success.
"What they're doing out here is incredible. When I heard that they're getting up and getting ready to get a bonspiel. Our team decided right away, we're going to come out here and participate. We had two other bonspiels lined up, but this had to be first because it's an arena club and we support arena clubs, and the energy out here is just tremendous," said Mark Tolvstad, President of the Aberdeen Curling Club in South Dakota.
"Everything's going real smooth. They have it well organized. The ice is good. People are all friendly. So far, give them an 'A,' said Bollenbacher. "I think they're doing great."
Tollefson did note that the LCCC plans on hosting this event every year around this time and hopes it become a mainstay in the community. For more information on the Last Chance Curling Club, please click here.