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Just for the fun of it

James Stone tosses bean bag as Tom Stokes both Hobart looks during Bean Bag toss tournament MariReiner Center Hobart Ind.

James Stone tosses a bean bag as Tom Stokes, both of Hobart, looks on during a Bean Bag toss tournament at the Maria Reiner Center in Hobart Ind. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 11, 2013 11:06AM



Kathy Edwards turned around in disappointment, sure her last throw had been short of its mark.

But the beanbag slid right into the hole, giving her team another point.

“I’m doing surprisingly well. I’ve only played once or twice in the summer at family picnics,” Edwards, secretary to the chief for the Hobart Police Department, said as she and teammate Cpl. Simon Gresser won another match Saturday in a beanbag competition hosted by the Maria Reiner Senior Center.

“It’s the same with Simon. It’s just pure luck we’ve gotten where we are,” Edwards said.

The competition, which MRC executive director Pam Broadaway said was just for fun, pitted the police department against the center. Broadaway said the Hobart Fire Department was supposed to send teams as well, but none showed, causing a last-minute scramble to find additional participants.

Lt. Jack Grennes and Code Enforcement Officer Ken Gagliardi also did better than expected, ending up one of the four final teams along with Edwards and Gresser, and two teams from the senior center — Dave Hiestand and Tom Stokes and the eventual winning team of Bob Burkland and James Stone.

“It’s fun, and for the seniors. It’s a great time,” Grennes said. Still, he added, “If we lose, we want a re-match.”

A number of the seniors participating in the competition are old hands at the sport, since they regularly come to the center on Wednesdays to play beanbag toss.

Joyce Yagelski, of Crown Point, is one of those who enjoy tossing beanbags. She and Millie Hovanec, of Hobart, danced to the music as they waited their turns and a little dance when one got in.

“This is my number one activity here, although I like to play pool here, too,” Yagelski said.

Hovanec wasn’t scheduled to play, but said she was having “a wonderful time” once she got into the heat of the competition.

Dan Burkland also got into the fun, although he said it was his first time playing and he came to the event just to watch his father, Bob Burkland, participate.

“There weren’t enough players so they pulled me out of the stands,” Dan Burkland said. “I had a lot of fun.”

Hiestand, who also plays beanbag toss on Wednesdays, said Broadaway had been wanting to have a beanbag tournament.

“I said let’s try getting the police and fire departments in a competition like with the breakfast cook-off. But let’s not make it a fundraiser. Let’s just do it for fun,” Hiestand said.

“The main thing is that everyone have fun,” Hiestand said.



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