BLBC Represented at National Night Out

National Night Out (NNO) is an annual neighborhood get-together, celebrated in blocks and neighborhoods across the nation each August 1. Its aim is to strengthen communities, including through improved police-community relations.

This year, BLBC bowlers joined our neighbors and new partners the Friends of Strawberry Creek Park (FSCP) for food and fun in the Park which is situated just a couple of blocks from the club. FSCP is a citizen-organized activist group that has worked closely and consistently with City departments in recent years to improve facilities in the Park and in the neighborhood more generally.

The gathering was not just an occasion to advertise the Club but also to get to know our neighbors better and do unashamed lobbying for their support, which many were willing to provide. We successfully gathered another 30 or so signatures to add to the application recently lodged with Berkeley’s Landmarks Preservation Commission that the club be granted landmark status as its about to enter its tenth decade in West Berkeley. We also buttonholed the Deputy City Manager who was there to represent the City of Berkeley and explained to him the issues surrounding the long drawn-out process involved in the renewal of our lease on what we would consider fair and reasonable terms. He listened carefully and said he would familiarize himself with the matter in greater detail.

And a number of fliers were handed out for the upcoming (August 13, 12-4pm) Open House and Neighborhood Bowl.

Thanks go to Laile Giansetto, Ann Brillhart, Cris Benton for helping with set-up and staffing our table as well as the several other BLBC members who showed up to lend a hand.

BLBC Members (l-r) at National Night Out: Jim Corr, Erwin Vista, John Hooper (with the latest in “bowl” design), and Giulia Gallo.

PIMD Mixed 2×2 Fours

A very tough, but also a very fun day of bowling at Palo Alto in the PIMD Mixed 2×2 Fours.

Eight teams played four 8-end games with a break for lunch after the second game. Only the top three teams would win money.

Three teams had members from our club, two of which were all Berkeley (listed in order to play below):

– John Hooper, Cathy Dinnean, Sarah Allday and Cris Benton
– Jerry Knott, Bob Schwartz, Annie Brillhart and Leslie Engler
– Bud Birkenseer, Ethan Bortman, Tess Ball and Laile Giansetto

The only two teams that won all three games had to play each other in the last game in a battle for first and second place.
Congratulations to team Larry Collaco, Joanne Kluck and Angie & John Peet for winning 1st Place.
A well deserved round of applause for team Rod & Rita Arriaga and Cheryl & Al Minvielle for winning 2nd Place.
Congratulations to BLBC team Jerry Knott, Bob Schwartz, Annie Brillhart and Leslie Engler.

League of Women Bowlers

Our first annual “League of Women Bowlers” gathering was a casual pot-luck dinner for the
girls of BLBC. We had such a good time lounging in the clubhouse with our wine and food that
we never even got out the door onto the green. We all know each other better now, and agree
that this event must be repeated at least once every year. We missed those of you who couldn’t
make it, but we certainly hope you will be able to join us next time.

Our women bowlers enjoying dinner and conversations

2017 PIMD Fives Tournaments

Fourteen members from the Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club participated in Saturday’s PIMD Women’s and Men’s Fives tournaments at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club.  It was a very good day for our club!

On the Women’s green, our very first ALL-Berkeley Women’s Fives team (Cathy, Leslie, Annie, Sarah and Giulia) won 1st place!
Just as delightful, over on the Men’s greens, Frankie’s team also won 1st place!
To sweeten the day’s results: Our all-Berkeley Men’s team (Bob, Cris, Jerry, John and Shawn) won 2nd place!
Also on the green and bowling well for their teams were our own Laile, Millard and Mo.
Finally, we all owe our thanks to Annie, Millard, and Sarah for returning to Berkeley and watering the grass after their long
day of bowling.
Well done everyone!
Left to right: Cathy, Leslie, Ann, Sarah and Giulia

Rob Hoey is the 2017 BLBC Singles winner

 

Our club hosted our first club tournament of the 2017 season today, the BLBC Singles tournament. All of you know that you don’t get any penny from winning this tournament…you get more than that…you get your name on the 2017 Winners Board at our club.

Differently from last year, the weather was perfect to bowl, not too hot, not too windy, and most importantly, also great for having a BBQ, and give Ray (the defending champion) and Shelagh a proper send off, since they will be soon departing for a very long journey across America.

This year, we could only accommodate six rinks, so we had twelve bowlers competing for the title, including the defending champion, Ray. This year’s format was three 12 end games, with a differential limit of ten points, with the top two bowlers playing a 12-end final game. The contestants bowled two games in the morning, took a short lunch break and then bowled the last game.

All games and bowlers had a marker (some even had their own designated marker) throughout the day, and it was a real pleasure to being able to focus on your game and not worrying about setting the jack or dropping it. Someone who knows that I am not very good at recalling things verbatim, may have said to me that marking is a job of love and, boy, we were very much loved today – so thank you Leslie, Sarah, Jim, Bob and Ann!!! Ann is also one of the PIMD umpires so she was on triple duty today!

So back to the tournament. By the end of the last game, there were three bowlers, Rob, Cathy and Lennon who won all their three games, but Rob and Cathy had the same points differential (+22), and moved to the final game, which also showcased two markers, Sarah and Ann. It was a great game: both Rob and Cathy made beautiful shots, all of which were received with applause and compliments from all of us spectators. Rob took an early lead, but Cathy fought her way back into the game, and during the second half of the game, it was a one point game. However, in the end, despite her best efforts, Cathy couldn’t overcome Rob’s great shots and bowls, and the game ended 12-6 for Rob.

After the game, we fired up the grill (thanks Rob for this idea, and thanks Erwin for starting the BBQ), and had hot dogs, chicken skewers, pork chops (thank you Cathy!), veggie burgers, potato salad, cheese and salami, a delicious cherry pie, and lot of drinks and fun conversations.

Huge thanks to Cathy, Ann and Sarah for setting up the club house, getting rid of the weeds near rink 1 and 2, and providing plenty of coffee and snacks throughout the day! Thanks to our Tournament Director Shawn and Ann, our Assistant Tournament Director – today’s event was a great success, and we all had a great time, before, during and also after the games.

Congratulations to all the bowlers who bowled and participated to this event today and to Rob Hoey, the 2017 BLBC Singles Champion!

 

Cathy and Rob before the final game

The Meat Axe is (Temporarily) on Leave

Saturday, April 15 saw the 2017 Meat Axe Challenge Tournament held at the Palo Alto Club. The annual contest pits Berkeley against PALBC in a match-up that has almost the intensity and rivalry of the Cal-Stanford game, except that this is lawn bowling rather than football, so is a bit more decorous.

Long story short, although we fielded 6 strong Berkeley teams, all bedecked in the spiffy new Club colors, we were unable to hold on to the trophy that has hung on the Clubhouse wall these past two years. After two sets of six triples games (morning and afternoon), the overall result was 9-3 in favor of the spirited Palo Alto players.

Accordingly, we had to hand over the cleaver until next year when the venue returns to Berkeley, and, hopefully, the trophy returns to its rightful home.

With appreciation to all BLBC members who participated and to the Palo Alto Club, which, as always, organized a fine sporting event.

BLBC Team sports their new Club colors ahead of the 2017 Meat Axe Tournament in Palo Alto.

2017 Opening Day

Sixteen BLBC members bowled at Opening Day at Rossmoor LBC: Cathy, Giulia, Laile, Sarah, Susan, Bob, Cris, Des, Erwin, Gordon, Jim, Phil, Ray, Rob, Shawn and yours truly.

As always, Rossmoor LBC did an outstanding job of supplying food, beverages, decorations and three lovely greens! Before bowling commenced there was a “spider” on each green. Three lucky bowlers would win a bottle of wine. This was a gift from our club to Rossmoor to help them celebrate their 50th year. I guess it was only fitting that all three winners belonged to Rossmoor LBC! (Cathy and Sarah wrangled greens one and three. I wrangled green two. FYI:  A bottle of wine for Cathy and me, and a six-pack of beer for Sarah as thanks for wrangling….:-)

Five BLBC members won money:  Sarah, Cris, Phil, Rob and Shawn. Congratulations! On the lighter side:  Giulia and Rob each won a flower and balloon centerpiece….one winner at each table. (Rob graciously gave his win to Ginger Harris. Nicely done!). On top of that, everyone was given a pin celebrating Rossmoor LBC’s 50th Anniversary.
The PIMD 2017 lawn bowling season has officially begun. Let’s hope our little club has another big year! 

Holiday Cheer at BLBC

The Club held its 2016 Annual Meeting on Saturday, December 10, immediately followed by the very popular Holiday Lunch. Alas, a hoped for beak in the weather did not materialize and attendees had to forgo the usual post-prandial bowling match as the rain turned the green into a small lake.

On the business side, the meeting voted to reduce the fees charged several categories of “non-regular” members—namely, Dual, Associate, and Students over 18, and amended the Club’s constitution to loosen the definition of Associate Member. Certificates were awarded to 2016 tournament winners and cheers went up for Club members who had performed well at regional or other competitive events.

As has been the practice on recent years, lunch was a pot luck affair, with as broad and tasty a selection of dishes as one might expect in the Bay Area, from competing lasagna dishes to curry chicken to every kind of salad and, of course, one had to leave room for the plentiful desserts.

Despite the downpour, a good time was had by all, and we look forward to a vibrant and fun-filled New Year, hopefully with a renewed lease as we gear up for the Club’s Centennial celebrations in a few years’ time.

And a special thanks to the Hospitality Committee—Susan Jamart, Sarah Allday, Cathy Dinnean, and Ann Brillhart—who set up a beautiful festive arrangement in advance!

 

BLBC 2016 Draw Pairs

Jim Corr (skip) and Ray Francis (lead) took the honors in the BLBC’s 2016 Draw Pairs Tournament. The event was held on a lovely Saturday November 12, when “passing showers” in the forecast seem to have evaporated without touching the ground and the weather was pleasantly and unseasonably warm. Twelve strong bowlers were divided into six skips and six leads and then randomly matched to make up the separate teams. After three 12-end games, only two teams—Jim and Ray and John Hooper (skip) and Ann Brillhart (lead)—managed to win all three games, setting up a tough and spirited final. John and Ann started firmly, maintaining a lead until the half way point, but, as the shadows lengthened, Jim and Ray came back strongly to carry the day (or the evening as it was by then!). Congratulations to Jim and Ray and thanks to all participants, especially those who stayed on to watch and encourage the finalists!

Ray Francis (left) and Jim Corr (right), BLBC 2016 Draw Pairs Champions.
Ray Francis (left) and Jim Corr (right), BLBC 2016 Draw Pairs Champions.

PIMD’s 2016 Closing Day

Over 90 bowlers from eight clubs celebrated PIMD’s Closing Day and PIMD’s 50th Anniversary at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club. Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club was well represented by sixteen bowlers:  Twelve vets and four novices. The format:  One 12-end game in the morning, a break for lunch, and then one 12-end game in the afternoon. Two teams would be awarded 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place in both the morning and afternoon games. In addition, several ties were awarded. Prizes were awarded at the end of a very fun day!
 
Six BLBC members won money in the morning game:  Shawn Roney (skip), Frankie Napoli (skip), Bob Schwartz (second), Glenn Nunez (lead), Giulia Gallo (lead), and Sarah Allday (lead in tie game).
Four BLBC members won money in the afternoon:  Rob Hoey (skip), Bob Schwartz (second), Cindy Moss (lead), and Leslie Engler (lead). 
Congratulations to all BLBC winners and to all the BLBC members who participated! 

To celebrate PIMD’s 50th anniversary, fifty prizes were awarded based on today’s drawing from a large container of raffle tickets collected throughout the year starting on Opening Day. Anyone who played in a PIMD tournament or attended a PIMD meeting was given a raffle ticket. Nine members from our club won prizes! Cathy Dinnean and Sarah Allday each won a bottle of wine. Cris Benton won a set of decorative candles, Gordon Wilson won a Drake’s Pride towel and a PIMD 50th Anniversary coin, Annie Brillhart won a box of See’s candy, Jim Corr won a $20 gift card donated by PALBC, Cindy Moss won a $25 Bevmo certificate, Millard Long won a $50 Safeway certificate, Shawn Roney won $50 cash, and Frankie Napoli won $100 cash! 
Last, but not least, one of the primary goals of Closing Day is to recognize and encourage novices. Sixteen PIMD novices participated this year. BLBC novices included Cindy Moss, Glenn Nunez, Laile Giansetto, and Giulia Gallo. They are all a welcome addition to our club, and it was great to see them at Closing Day!
PIMD 2016 Novices
PIMD 2016 Novices

One of the highlights of the day occurred when Bud Birkenseer, PIMD Tournament Director, presented our own Giulia Gallo with a trophy to celebrate her win as the PIMD 2016 Novice of the Year. Well done Giulia!

Bud and Giulia, 2016 PIMD Novice Champion
Bud and Giulia, 2016 PIMD Novice Champion

 

Congratulations to everyone in our club who participated in this tournament!

The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club promotes the game of lawn bowling for the enjoyment of new and experienced players alike.