by Pam Owen
We said our goodbyes to the feisty Pat Vander Eyken (Momma to many of us) only last year, yet she is missed by so many that knew her. In 1987 Pat lost her husband, Gerry, to a stroke and in 2000 Pat began having heart issues of her own. When she recovered, the Heart & Stroke Foundation was her choice of charities. To honour Pat’s memory, Julie O’Brien and friends hit upon the idea of holding an annual get together. She was a Bingo addict and a fun-loving dart player – so what better way to keep her with us than to play darts and tell stories. Last year was the start for many of us to play in her Memorial Dart Tournament. This year, the fun continued! This past Saturday, June 3, many of the ladies that called her friend joined together again in loving camaraderie to swap stories and shoot darts.
Nearly 60 women showed up to play darts, a few less than last year, but still managed to surpass last year’s donation with a whopping $1,300 to the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Kemptville Legion Branch 212 stepped up again to offer use of the hall at no cost, and Julie pulled her team together: from collecting prizes from so many wonderful sponsors in our area, to setup/takedown/prize tables/ticket sales and dart draws! Please know, sponsors, that all of you were posted for everyone to see in various locations around the Legion Hall. Teams were registered, games were drawn up in a format where we would play every team once. A full day to be sure, but well enjoyed. The bar was open and lunch available for a decent cost, tickets were on sale for prizes (they sold quickly) and the sound of women having fun was the predominant sound.
The day began with Julie’s welcome to all. Ashley, from Heart & Stroke, spoke of the importance of awareness, of signs of strokes and how to respond immediately when something didn’t feel right. Don’t put it off…seek medical help immediately! The life you save might just be your own! Ashley told us a touching story from her heart, and it spoke to us all. The floor was then handed over to three of Pat’s daughters: Cathy, Nancy and Joanne welcomed everyone for being present and keeping Pat’s memory alive, then stayed on to participate in the darts.
When the last dart had been played and the dust settled, no more “diddles for the middle”, the finest darts had been tossed and “double outs” were done, the team from Barrhaven Legion Branch 641 emerged as victors. Nina and Angel Guy, Sheryl Smith and Pauline Kruegar will have their names engraved on the plaque. Carrie White from Kemptville Legion Branch 212 was the holder of the trophy for Double 1’s.
The Silent Auction items were handed out to the highest bidders and the many spectacular prizes were chosen by the various ticket holders. Overall, an amazing day of fun, the ladies already talking of coming back next year!