The “Great Gobble Spiel”, as the name might suggest, started off as a bit of a joke. Frank Balas and his wife, Martha, were talking in October of 2008 and commenting that some of their friends played golf on Thanksgiving morning, some go to football games, hunting, bike riding, hiking, etc. so they said “Why don’t we curl?”

Frank sent out some emails to see if there was any interest in curling on Thanksgiving morning and several members responded that they would like to do it. Later in the week He was cleaning up a bunch of junk in the club basement and found the Turkey statue in the bottom of a box of stuff and it occurred to him that they might be able to use it on Thanksgiving morning as a joke. He took it home and showed it to Martha and they had a laugh about it. Then they started to toss out some names and came up with the "Great Gobble Spiel” after seeing a Charlie Brown comic strip about the "Great Pumpkin”.

Frank called the woman that does our trophies and she made the original wood base. In 2014 the small base was filled with winners’ names and a second tier was added.

In the first year there were 12 players with two juniors, so they used two sheets, four teams with three on a team. Interest grew to the point that if you don’t sign up early you might not get in. It has always been a family oriented event and the juniors have been invited from the beginning.

The original fun spirit in which The Great Gobble Spiel was organized has continued with coffee and munchkins available before going out on the ice.

The first winners back in 2008 were the team of Fred Flynn, Heather Murphy and Gabriele Bruce, Skipped by Fred Flynn.

 

Submitted by Frank Balas

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