NWPA Ends the 2008 Season in Grand Fashion

Dave Lauer, Mikki Small, Suzanne Osborne, June Maiers, and Ford

On October 11th and 12th the NWPA held its end of the year tournament and banquet at The Parlor in Bellevue to a great crowd of players and spectators. The banquet was a great time, full of food and drinks, plus lots of prizes that were raffled off to support the 2009 season. Many thanks go to Linda Carter for her hard work, not the least of which was her donation of the grand prizes of four trips to a choice of many exclusive resorts all around the world. If this sounds like fun, it is an annual end of the year event which is free to NWPA members and we just ask a small donation from family, friends, spectators and non-members, so mark it on your calendar for next year. The banquet also included the Tournament Director's award for “Player of the Year”. It embodies sportsmanship, competition, attitude, attendance, and professionalism. In other words, a player in whom we would love to represent us at any level. This year it went to Liz Cole, our first winner from Oregon. In her emotional acceptance speech (tears were involved), one of the things she told us was that she was not nearly as deserving as many others she could name, which is telling that it went to the right person. Congrats Liz, you do deserve it.

The NWPA received an anonymous donation to this particular event in the amount of $250.  Also thanks to the Parlor for adding $500.  With the donation, this brought the added prize money up to $750, plus a $500.00 qualifying spot for the first WPBA Classic Tour Stop in 2009.  Thank you anonymous donor!

Before the tourney, at the players meeting, there were some interesting items, including the fact that the seven stops for the 2009 schedule is nearly complete. The rooms and months are set, but the exact dates are not as the WPBA has yet to set their schedule. Already three dates are qualifiers and others may be added. Keep checking NWPAtour.com for updates. Also, Tamre' announced that a formal Board of Directors would be reformed, and that anyone interested could apply by sending in a resume on line. The existing ad hoc committee of Tamre' as President and Chris Rogers, Ford, and Julie Valdez would stay, along with the great work of Carol Mellors as Financial Advisor, though whether as a board member or not is up to her. The number of members will be determined by the qualified and committed applicants, and while the benefits may be small, the work is extremely rewarding.

But enough of this, it's the tourney itself that's interesting, and both days were that. Any T.D. worth their salt will tell you that they have no favorite players, just favorite scores, and hill – hill matches or big comebacks rank very low on our scale. You see, we just want to write a name up and move along. But Saturday, it was nothing but all of the above, brutally so, which shows that the competition was at a very high level, and players were keeping an eye on the final rankings and the WPBA spot for 2009. Being second, third, etc can be very important later, you never know what may fall your way. On Sunday, however, play started with Suzanne Osborne over Janie Reckard 7-4 and MiKKi Small squeaking past Tamre' Rogers 7-6 (another hill-hill) to play in the “A” side finals, and Suzanne got that one 7-3. This meant that on the “B” side, Janie then played June Maiers from Minnesota, and June won 7-2, plus Mary Hopkin did the same to Tamre' 7-3. These two then played for the right go to the finals. June capitalized on several uncharacteristic misses by Mary, and won 7-4. The finals, one race to 9, was led by June early, and she got on the hill first at 8-6, but then a reprieve and a fortuitous bank on the nine got Suzanne to 8-7. Another opening led to her running out the rack to tie it up at 8-8 (did you have any doubt). Sometimes we forget how important the lag can be, but there is a big advantage since the winner breaks in tied matches, and Suzanne did what we all dream of doing by making the 9 on the break to win the finals and securing a paid entry to her first WPBA tournament. To see her jumping up and down for joy, or just the radiant happiness on her face, was a true pleasure, and makes all the hard work we do worth the while.

Congratulations also to June for a great tourney and even better playing. Also to Liz Cole, who qualified for the WPBA Classic Tour Stops in 2009 by finishing first in the 2008 rankings. Thanks to all who helped this year (you know who you are), but especially to Darrell Schulden for his volunteer work on the shot clocking. We are hoping for your help next year, it was invaluable. We encourage all of you to return next year with the goal of bringing at least one friend who has never been involved in the NWPA, whether as player or spectator.

Please visit our website regularly for more information concerning Board Members and dates for our 2009 Season.

See you in March!