Scrabble tournament raises money for charities (plus, check out the winning board)

Event organizer Pam Hunter presents raffle winner Bob Daley with a custom-made Scrabble board. Hunter provided the board to help raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The event raised $2,700 for the two charities. Photo by Lynn Chiarelli.
Event organizer Pam Hunter presents raffle winner Bob Daley with a custom-made Scrabble board. Hunter provided the board to help raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The event raised $2,700 for the two charities. Photo by Lynn Chiarelli.

The 14th annual Spring into Scrabble fundraiser brought Ottawa’s Scrabble enthusiasts together for a full day of fun and charity on March 21.

Ottawa Scrabble Club member Pam Hunter, who has competed in Scrabble tournaments throughout Canada and the United States, has been organizing the fundraiser every year to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Hunter says the focus of the fundraiser was to have fun and raise money for a good cause. Anyone with a love for the game was welcome to participate and the event drew over 40 players together for the day.

“For me, I just enjoy playing the game and I thought I would use my love for it as a way to fundraise,” says Hunter.

Participants could choose to donate their registration fee to either charity. Raffle tickets for a custom-made Scrabble board were sold with all proceeds going towards the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. A silent auction was also held with items donated from local businesses. The event raised a total of $2,700.

The tournament was held at St. George’s Parish on March 21. Participants could choose to drop in for a game or two in the afternoon or register for a six-game tournament. Players were divided into divisions according to their level of play and experience participating in competitive tournaments. The A and B divisions were mostly made up of high-level club members and the C and D divisions were reserved for recreational players.

John Stardom is a resident of Kitchissippi and has been playing competitive Scrabble for more than 10 years. He is also a member of the Ottawa Scrabble Club and has participated in the fundraiser tournament almost every year.

“I really like the idea of a short tournament that is also for charity. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere here, which is also nice,” says Stardom, adding that there are several excellent Scrabble players in the community. [story continues below photo]

The winning board! Photo by Maxine Betteridge-Moes
The winning board! Photo by Maxine Betteridge-Moes

“Ottawa also has a really strong club. We have eight or nine really active expert players here. When a lot of Ottawa players get together for an event, the quality of the Scrabble is pretty high,” says Stardom.

Adam Logan was crowned the 2013 Canadian National Scrabble Champion and he competed in the final King of the Hill round in the A division against Wayne Barclay. Despite losing 389 points to Logan’s 455, Barclay finished first overall in the all day tournament on account of his cumulative score. A new player to the event, Chris Soicher, finished first in the B division and Tasia Papadatos and Betty Wong were the winners of the C and D divisions, respectively.

The Ottawa Scrabble Club meets Wednesday evenings at the Gloucester Public Library from 7-10 p.m. Scrabble enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels are welcome and each session is $3.

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