Usually quieter during the winter months, the Fort Wayne Sport Club was bustling with activity on a recent evening in February.
The group hosted their annual Corn Hole and Euchre tournament, attracting nearly 100 members of the public looking for fun, good food and warm conviviality. For a cost of just $ 15, people could walk into the club, located at 3102 Ardmore Avenue, and play either a Corn Hole tournament or an Euchre match, while enjoying a food buffet and cash bar. of the club.
About 16 people played at the Cornhole – eight teams of two – and about 40 were seated in the Euchre games – 10 tables of four players. The event ran from about 5 p.m. to about 11 p.m., said Phil Wisniewski, president of the entertainment club.
“It’s a lot of fun and friendly, but it’s basically a fundraiser for us,” Wisniewski said. “It helps us pay for a lot of the things we need here.” He noted that past tournaments and this year’s event have helped pay for new doors and windows for the building, as well as new trays and chairs in the club’s bar.
Food served to the hungry crowd included hot dogs, burgers, a wide range of condiments for both (including sour sauerkraut), vegetable platters, potato and tortilla chips, chili and biscuits.
“It’s funny; it’s camaraderie; everyone knows everyone. You get together, you eat and you drink beer,” said Kevin Warren, the club’s chief administrator, who is a member. of the club for about 20 years.
The event has been going on for about 10 years, Wisniewski said, and it’s one of the few times the club is open to the public during the winter. Although the club has a Fish Fry on the fourth Friday of every month, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the next taking place on February 22, he said.
Also new for the club this winter is the group’s first annual Mardi Gras celebration, which will take place on March 23 at 8 p.m., Wisniewski said. For $ 20 entry, this event will offer a DJ, decorations, masks, beads, performers and “celebrations,” according to the club’s flyer.
The club will also soon be hosting its community garage sale, March 8 and 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with approximately 325 strong club members donating items for sale. All proceeds from the sale then go to the club.
During the summer months, the club is usually packed with activity, hosting a series of football matches on the huge outdoor pitches that line the club building. The games accommodate a wide range of players. In fact, Erick Siela, one of the Cornhole players for the evening, has said that he spends a lot of his summer evenings refereeing soccer matches there.
“I have refereed a lot of matches here at the club,” said Siela, a 35-year-old plumber from Columbia City, who said she donated plumbing work to the club. “And then you kind of get into the social aspect of it. And that is really the best part.
Siela said that although he has competed – and won – in Euchre matches at the event in the past, it was his first night playing corn hole. Unfortunately, his team lost their match.
But that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for the event, he said.
“I’m just coming here to give back,” Siela said. “It’s great to do this and be a part of the community. It is totally worth it.