2020-2021 MCA President’s Letter

Midwest Curling Association Member Clubs and Members:

While the curling season might look different this year, for our curlers and clubs, we are excited to get back on the ice! Regionally, we are fortunate that all MCA clubs plan to open their doors this season. Clubs are working diligently to establish safety procedures based on state and local guidelines, and the Midwest Curling Association has been providing support and resources to our regional clubs during this time.

To start the 2019-2020 season, Windy City Curling Club hosted their Food Truck Bonspiel in August with a set of new curling stones. The club ran the event with 15 teams and social distancing guidelines in place. In other news, Chicago Curling Club was able to complete some much-needed upgrades to their ice-making system via an impressive fundraising campaign, which is still ongoing. Cedar Rapids Curling Club, unfortunately, experienced damage to one of their arenas during a recent storm. While damages have caused a delay to their season, Cedar Rapids CC continues to prepare for the 2021 USA Curling National Championships, scheduled for January. Exmoor Country Club also aims to hold the 2021 Men’s Senior National Championships in late January.

Throughout the regular season, the MCA coordinates three bonspiels for their regional members. The Prairie State Challenge, initially scheduled for November, has been canceled due to COVID concerns; however, we plan to move forward with our two other bonspiels pending state and local guidelines. The 5 Year & Under, hosted by Windy City CC, will occur in mid-January, whereas the 75th Dar Curtis Bonspiel, hosted by Exmoor CC, will be held in late February. In addition to annual bonspiels, the MCA coordinates regional playdowns for the U18 Junior Nationals, Club Nationals, and Mixed Nationals. These playdown events are a fantastic opportunity to represent your club and curl competitively against local teams. With a unique curling season ahead, stay up to date on local and regional events by following the MCA Facebook and by visiting the MCA Website.

The Midwest Curling Association is eager to support our members during these times. To give back, the Board of the MCA approved the continuation of the MCA Grant Program. Available to all MCA clubs, the grant money determined by each club’s annual membership can be used to enhance or promote the sport of curling. In addition, the MCA Board approved a one-year 50% reduction in MCA dues based on the current curling climate and the cancelation of one MCA Bonspiel. Earlier this year, the MCA also expanded their stone rental program by purchasing three more complete sets of stones. These stones are now available for use by our regional clubs.

On behalf of the entire MCA curling community, I would like to thank Russ Brown for his hard work and dedication over the last 15 years on the MCA Board. Most recently, he served as our USCA Representative. Moving forward, the Midwest Curling Association and Great Lakes Curling Association will share a representative. We are excited to welcome our new USCA Representative, Courtney Schmidt, from the Great Lakes Curling Association in October.

We look forward to a successful curling season, and we hope you and your families stay safe during this time! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your MCA Representative or myself. We are glad to help!

Good Curling!

Jeff Wright

President, Midwest Curling Association

midwestcurlingassociation@gmail.com

 

Photo Credit: Marilyn Wilson

74th Annual Dar Curtis Bonspiel

Beginning in 1947, the Dar Curtis Bonspiel is the oldest statewide curling competition held in Illinois. This year, 16 teams played in the two-day event hosted by Chicago Curling Club. Thank you to all the clubs who attended the bonspiel and congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the 75th Dar Curtis Bonspiel!

1st Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

Jim Millspaugh, Anthony Fowler, Gloria Chao, and Jack Manierre

1st Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club 

Nate Lenzini, Nick Koch, Zack Hill, and Lis Collins

2nd Event Winner: Waltham Curling Club and Exmoor Country Club

Mae Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Bella Hagenbuch, and Faith Geake

2nd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club and Exmoor Country Club

Audrey Gottschild, Kasia Kassner, Angelina Kassner, and Noa Yedlin

   

3rd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Adam Baxter, Steve Gadlin, Kristina Mitton Baxter, and Matt Miller

3rd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club

James-Grant Robertson, Brian Keto, Aaron Knowlton, and Kat Wiacek

4th Event Winner: St. Louis Curling Club

Mitch Stoddard, Mitch Sovar, Gina Johnson, and Donald Johnson

4th Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Eric Clifford, Zac Wiles, Brian Jenner, and John Sabatino

CanAm Tour Highlight: Simon Ganet

In November 2019, the United States Curling Association, in partnership with Curling Canada, commenced the inaugural CanAm Cup of Curling. A 20-person team, composed of curlers from across the United States, traveled to Canada to play against local teams during a 16-day, 24-club competition. Modeled after the Scots Tour, American curlers traveled to Canada as ambassadors of the sport to participate in a tour full of competition and comradery.

Simon Ganet, a member of Windy City Curling Club and the Midwest Curling Association, was among the curlers honored to participate in the inaugural CanAm Cup. After curling in four Canadian maritime provinces and successfully capturing victory alongside Team USA, Simon was kind enough to answer some questions and share some photos from his trip.

 

What was your most memorable moment?

Each club welcomed us in their own way, which made the trip even more unique. What stands out afterward was getting to play, meet, and then socialize with so many different curlers. This was helped by our skip, who set the tone and encouraged our team to bond quickly on the ice.

What did you find most valuable about the touring experience?

The length of the trip enabled you to learn more about the game of curling and the community around it. Traveling with twenty ‘strangers’ who all had the common bond of further developing their curling abilities and themselves both on and off the ice also helped us grow as a team.

What new skills will you take home to Windy City Curling Club?

There was a heap of information shared about different opportunities and events put on by clubs and members across the United States and Canada. I am excited to bring back all the interesting new ways to build and spread the sport both on a local and regional level.

Any advice for future applicants/participants?

It’s an adventure of a lifetime getting to meet and compete with curlers from across different parts of the United States. It’s about the best bonspiel you could ask for!

Pictured (left to right): Craig Wickman (Lead: Columbus CC), Jay Packard (Skip: Milwaukee CC), Simon Ganet (Second: Windy City CC), and Scott Reich (Vice: Madison CC)

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming CanAm or Scots Tour, follow USA Curling to say up-to-date.

12th Annual Five Year & Under

From November 16-17, Windy City Curling Club hosted the MCA 5 Year & Under at their new dedicated curling facility. During this two-day event, sixteen teams from six regional curling clubs had the opportunity to gain more experience and play against their peers. Established in 2007, this open event is free to all MCA members who have played less than five full curling seasons. The Midwest Curling Association would like to thank Windy City Curling Club for hosting such a wonderful event, and we would like to extend our gratitude to all new MCA curlers who attended this bonspiel!

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

Hopefully, we see some of you again at the next 5 Year & Under!

1st Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Anthony D’Arco, Scott Maples, George Collins, and Jason Weible

1st Event Runner-up: St. Louis Curling Club

Mikhail Kurbatov, Phillip Stein, Colin St. Aubin, and Chris Seiffert

2nd Event Winner: Waltham Curling Club

Maxwell Salander, Logan Brandner, Kenny Kriha, and Logan Fahr

2nd Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Mae Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Bella Hagenbuch, and Faith Geake

3rd Event Winner: St. Louis Curling Club

Matt Brenner, Zack Folk, Dan Sovar, and Mitch Stoddard

3rd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Greg Torkelson, Girithar Anthay Suthakaran, Zac Wiles, and Tom Sikma

4th Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

Max Kassner, Nick Schallmo, William Ortell, and Koen Brown

4th Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Nick Haws, Ryne Krall, John Roberts, and Angela Haws

7th Annual Prairie State Challenge

Established in 2012, the Prairie State Challenge was created to give curlers, especially those who don’t have dedicated facilities, the opportunity to get on the ice for an exciting weekend of comradery, gameplay, and socialization. This open event, sponsored by the Midwest Curling Association, is free to MCA members and provides curlers the chance to mingle with other teams in the Midwest region at the beginning of the curling season.

This year, 24 teams from seven regional curling clubs played in the two-day event hosted by Exmoor Country Club and Chicago Curling Club. This was our biggest turnout for the Prairie State Challenge in several years, so thanks to all those who participated! And, congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the next Prairie State Challenge!

1st Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

Jeff Wright, Russ Armstrong (not pictured), Sean Silver (not pictured), Steve Waters, and Russ Brown

 

1st Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Scott Rutherford, Greg Stewart, George Collins, and Michael Lerner

 

2nd Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Tom Sikma, Girithar Anthay Suthakaran, Zac Wiles, and Eric Clifford

 

2nd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club

James-Grant Robertson, Philip Ledbetter, Aaron Knowlton, and Adam Pitzer

 

3rd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Mike Reid, Margaret Schwarz, Jeff Swier, and Maureen Zwier

 

3rd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Simon Ganet, Chris Collander, Kenny Kriha, and Beth DeGeeter

 

4th Event Winner: Waltham Curling Club

Maxwell Salander, Logan Brandner, Logan Fahr, and Paul Salander

 

4th Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Eric Reithel, Brooke Borowiak, Lauren Visser, and Aaron Visser

Written by: Shannon Brown

2019-2020 MCA President’s Letter

Midwest Curling Association Member Clubs and Members:

As I’m sure you are aware, the curling season is just around the corner. And for some has continued throughout the summer.

In the last few years, curling has grown both locally and nationwide. Within the region, we have had several exciting changes. Windy City Curling Club officially opened their doors in May to a dedicated facility located in Villa Park, IL. St. Louis Curling Club continues to grow and has expanded their curling operations from one arena to two. And, Cedar Rapids Curling Club was awarded the 2021 USA Curling National Championships, a fantastic opportunity for the region.

With the recent success of the United States Men’s Curling Team, interest remains high. The Midwest Curling Association looks forward to the continued expansion of curling in the region and is eager to support their clubs and members as they spread their enthusiasm for the sport. In addition, the MCA would like to recognize our competitive teams who experience continued success at local and nationwide bonspiels and competitions. Their hard work and dedication is inspiring, and we look forward to seeing what the 2019-2020 curling season brings!

Throughout the curling season, the MCA hosts three bonspiels for their regional club members. The Prairie State Challenge and 5 Year & Under, both taking place this November, are quickly filling up. We look forward to seeing curlers from all MCA clubs on the ice! In addition to annual bonspiels, the Midwest Curling Association coordinates regional playdowns for the U18 Junior Nationals, Club Nationals, and Mixed Nationals. The MCA playdowns are a wonderful chance to represent your club and curl competitively against other local teams. A rare opportunity for all members of our curling community is the USCAs Sixth Annual Members Assembly from Oct 11-13 at Milwaukee Curling Club. This event offers endless opportunities to socialize with curlers and learn more about the sport through clinics and on-ice sessions. Since the assembly is free and nearby, we encourage our members to take full advantage, even if just for an afternoon. With a busy curling season ahead, please check out any additional regional and club events on the 2019-2020 MCA Calendar.

To give back to our regional clubs, the Board of the MCA recently approved the MCA Grant program. Available to all MCA clubs, the grant money determined by each club’s annual membership can be used to enhance or promote the sport of curling at a regional level. We hope to continue this program in the upcoming years! To help improve the communications side of the MCA and keep up with our ever-expanding curling community, we have added a new position on the MCA Board. Shannon Brown recently became Media & Communications Director, and since starting, she has worked to grow our social media and update our website. Stay up to date with the MCA and register for all regional events at www.midwestcurling.com. Also, give the MCA Facebook page a like to stay current on events in our regional curling community.

We look forward to another successful curling season! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your MCA representative or myself. We are always eager to help!

Good Curling!

Jeff Wright

President, Midwest Curling Association

midwestcurlingassociation@gmail.com

Chicago White Sox Curling Night

On September 28th, members of our local community have the fantastic opportunity to enjoy a White Sox’s game and connect with other curlers with a passion for the sport. The Chicago White Sox are selling tickets in section 518 exclusively to members of Chicago’s curling community. This designated section will allow curlers to socialize with other club members and enjoy a lovely night at Guaranteed Rate Field.

In addition to bringing together curlers, $2 of every ticket sold will come back to Chicago’s curling community. For all those interested, feel free to bring your friends and family! And remember to wear your curling apparel to show your passion for the sport.

MCA: How to Get Involved

73rd Annual Dar Curtis Bonspiel

Beginning in 1947, the Dar Curtis Bonspiel is the oldest statewide curling competition held in Illinois. This year, 12 teams played in the two-day event hosted by Waltham Curling Club, the oldest curling club in Illinois. Thank you to all the clubs who attended the bonspiel and congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the next Dar Curtis Bonspiel!

1st Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club 

Todd Mackinson, Patrick Schuster, Jimmy Klus, and Brian Keto

1st Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Mae Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Bella Hagenbuch, and Liberty Salander

2nd Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club and Waltham Curling Club

Anthony Fowler, Gloria Chao, Cameron Rittenour, and Bradley Anderson

2nd Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Maxwell Salander, Logan Brandner, Grant Scrits, and Mason Videgar

3rd Event Winner: Waltham Curling Club

Nick Haws, Angela Haws, Ryne Krall, and Scott Tiezi

3rd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Tom Arra, Linda Arra, Lori Cassidy, and Chris Arra

4th Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

James-Grant Robertson, David Shore, Katharine Wiacek, and Phil Ledbetter

4th Event Runner-up: St. Louis Curling Club

Mikhail Kurbatov, Ana Paris, Emma Rohrbach, and Sam Smith

Get to Know the 2019 MCA Board and Representatives

The Midwest Curling Association (MCA), a regional association of the United States Curling Association (USCA), was founded in 1945. The purpose of the MCA is to promote the game of curling at the nine regional curling clubs located in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.

The MCA Board is composed of four main positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. On top of that, each club within the region has a representative. Lastly, a USCA representative rounds out the team. The president of the MCA has a two-year team, whereas, all other positions are up for election every year.

We asked our board members and representatives a few questions so the regional curling community could get to know the individuals behind the Midwest Curling Association. Please enjoy reading their responses below.

David Jamros – MCA President

Where are you from?
Resides in Downers Grove, IL. Member of Windy City Curling Club.

How long have you been curling?
David has been curling for 12 years. After watching the Olympics in college, he decided the sport would be fun. He attended a group outing at Waltham Curling Club, and the rest is history.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
David has been a part of the MCA Board for six years in various capacities. One year as the Waltham representative, one year as the Windy City representative, two years as Vice President, and two years as President.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
David enjoys helping grow the sport at the regional level. In addition, he likes providing another avenue (i.e., MCA bonspiels) for regional clubs to compete against each other.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Winning the Dar Curtis Bonspiel

 

Jeff Wright – MCA Vice President

Where are you from?
Resides in Libertyville, IL. Member of Exmoor Country Club.

How long have you been curling?
Jeff has been curling for 45 years and began after being introduced to the sport by his family.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Jeff has been on the MCA Board for several years. He was initially the Exmoor representative for one year before moving up to Vice President.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Jeff enjoys watching the sport of curling grow at a regional level.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Winning gold and earning the title of Team USA twice at the USCA Senior National Champions. And winning the bronze medal at the 2018 World Senior Curling Championships.

 

Mark Striblen – MCA Treasurer

Where are you from?
Resides in Glenview, IL. Member of Exmoor Country Club.

How long have you been curling?
Mark has been curling for ~18 years. His friend, John Winand invited him to the Golfspiel at Northshore. Mark then attended a learn2curl where his main instructor was Ann Brown. After learning, Mark signed up for a league and after a few nights was hooked.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Mark has been the MCA treasurer for 10+ years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Mark is delighted by the growth of regional curling. He is pleased to watch as clubs gain new members every year and as more clubs are added to the region. In addition, Mark enjoys watching as some MCA clubs transition from arena ice to dedicated ice.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
During his first mixed curling experience, Mark made it to the first event finals at the old Northshore Early Bird Mixed Bonspiel. Also, at his first men’s bonspiel, the Exmoor Men’s Continental, Mark, and his team won the third event.

 

Tonya Henderson MCA Secretary

Where are you from?
Resides in Naperville, IL. Member of Windy City Curling Club.

How long have you been curling? And what got you involved with curling?
Tonya has been curling for three years. She bought her husband a learn2curl session for Christmas and was immediately hooked.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
This is Tonya’s first year on the MCA Board.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
As a new member of the board, Tonya looks forward to learning more about how the MCA supports the region’s curling programs.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Meeting some of the greatest broomstackers in the world

 

Philip Burian – Cedar Rapids Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Iowa City, IA.

How long have you been curling?
Philip has been curling for five years. He started by attending a learn2curl out of curiosity. His main goal for attending the session was to get a picture with a broom as a gag. It turned out he enjoyed the sport so much that he became instantly enamored.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Philip has been a representative for one year.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Philip appreciates the exchange of local information and advice that comes along with being apart of the MCA; in addition, he enjoys the opportunities offered by the MCA to curl on dedicated ice at MCA events.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
While Philip’s most embarrassing accomplishments come to mind more quickly, he was most proud when he watched Cedar Rapid’s club members take the day off work to volunteer at a corporate mini-spiel that raised over $5,000 for United Way.

 

Jim Wilson – Chicago Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in the Winnetka, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Jim has been curling for 50+ years. His parents belonged to the Madison Curling Club, which was the hub of their social life. In high school, he played on the boy’s varsity curling team for three years.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
This is Jim’s first year as an MCA representative.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Jim likes the idea of helping curling evolve and grow in our area at an opportune time due to last years Olympic success. He believes that if we can help individual clubs and events thrive, then the MCA is doing their job.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
The 1985 Men’s National Championship win and the subsequent semi-final finish at the World Championships, the Silver Broom.

 

Michael Sible – Des Moines Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Winterset, IA.

How long have you been curling?
Michael saw curling in the Olympics many years ago and threw his first stones at St. Paul Curling Club in 2002.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Michael has been a representative for two years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
He appreciates how the MCA allows him to get perspectives from other clubs on their operations and goals.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Taking Des Moines Curling Club from 24 members to 66 members

 

Steve Wright – Exmoor Country Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Libertyville, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Steve has been curling since he was 16 years old and was introduced to the sport by his father, Jeff Wright.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
This is Steve’s first year as an MCA representative.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Steve looks forward to learning more about how the association is comprised and how it can help grow the sport of curling.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
His 2nd place finish at the Club National Championships and his 8-ender

 

Becca Walters – St. Louis Curling Club Representative
 
Where are you from?
Resides in St. Louis, MO.

How long have you been curling?
Becca has been curling for 12 years. She was introduced to curling after attending an open house with a coworker in Seattle. A year after the open house, she signed up for a novice league and has been curling ever since.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Becca has been a representative for two years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Becca has enjoyed getting to know and become friends with curlers from other clubs in the MCA. She has also appreciated the opportunity to participate in the MCA Illinae Bonspiel.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
On Ice: Winning the A event at the Illinae Bonspiel and being runner-up in the A event at the Granite Curling Club Women’s Spiel and the Waltham Mixed Bonspiels. Off Ice: Contributing to the growth and expansion of St. Louis Curling Club which had no ice for several years prior to her arrival, but after much hard work now has 80+ members, runs multiple leagues, and hosts several bonspiels.

 

Steve Parke – Waltham Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Bloomington, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Steve has been curling for 13 years. He was first introduced to outdoor curling on a ski trip to Zermatt, Switzerland. That trip was immediately followed up by a group trip to Waltham Curling Club.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
He has been on the MCA Board for a year. Previously, he served as a club representative for Illinois Central Curling Club.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the Midwest Curling Association?
Steve appreciates being able to call into MCA meeting by phone and learn about the progress of curling in the region.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Teaching new people and watching them enjoy the sport

 

Walter Burns – Wilmette Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Lake Forest, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Walter has been curling for 25 years and was introduced to the sport during a guest night.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Walter has been on the MCA Board for 15 years in various capacities. He has served as a marketing specialist, club representative, and president.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Walter appreciates how the MCA encourages club collaboration which weaves the curling community together.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Walter is still waiting for an eight-ender

 

Jeff Sampson – Windy City Curling Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Downers Grove, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Jeff has been curling for eight years. His co-worker, David Jamros, got him involved by inviting him to a group outing at Waltham Curling Club.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Jeff has been a representative for five years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the Midwest Curling Association?
Jeff loves the comradery that each club has with each other and their willingness to help, not only the sport but the individual curlers. From veteran curlers to the brand, spanking, new ones.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Getting Windy City Curling up and running

 

Russ Brown – USCA Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Lake Forest, IL. Member of Exmoor Country Club.

How long have you been curling?
Russ has been curling for 44 years and was introduced to this sport by his parents and grandparents.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Russ has been on the MCA Board for 12 years in various capacities. He has been the Exmoor representative, Vice President, President, historian, and now USCA representative.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Russ enjoys watching new curlers progress in the sport.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Winning the gold medal at Senior Nationals and earning the title of Team USA (twice). Winning the bronze medal at the 2018 Senior World Championships.

Thanks to all the members of the MCA Board for their contributions to our regions curling programs!

Written by: Shannon Brown