An extremely successful Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Morden's Access Event Centre is over. Host Committee Chair Ernie Epp says the week was fantastic, and was quick to point to the volunteers, and the work they did, as the reason for that success.
"I am humbled with how they looked after the fans that came out here, the way they looked after the players, the way they looked after the sponsors," he shared. "All I have heard is positive comments from all of those individuals... it's great."
The Sunday afternoon championship final was played in front of a sold-out crowd, and saw Team Kaitlyn Lawes capture its first provincial women's curling championship by beating Team Beth Peterson 9-8 in 10 ends. Epp noted they had to turn people away at the door, because they were already at capacity.
"Yesterday we had to have a conversation, and talked about is there any way we can we can squeeze some more people in here," he explained. "But our bigger interest was to make sure the people that had paid already had good seats, and got to watch a great game, rather than trying to look between other people's legs to be able to see it."
It's probably fair to say having Morden's Katherine Doerksen in the final as Team Peterson's second probably helped fill the stands even more.
"Having a Morden person that's playing on one of the teams, like what more could you ask for?" Epp noted when reflecting on a highlight from the week pointing to Doerksen's championship appearance. "Katherine Doerksen started curling because she went to a jam can event that we host in Morden every year, and she got the bug and has curled ever since, and curled extremely well. She's going to make it onto that podium, yet, just this year wasn't her year."
The numbers are still being finalized, but Epp expects the event generated a significant profit.
"My comment I'm going to make to the volunteers when we have our volunteer appreciation is we don't know the end result, but it's certainly tens of thousands," he said. " It's going to help with our curling facility, and with our curling programs. We want to have some more Katherine Doerksen's come out of Morden, so it would be great to be able to do that."
And what does this past week at the Scotties leave as a legacy for the Morden Curling Club and City of Morden?
"For me, it's the such positive emotions people are able to take away from this, after what the world has been through the past few years," Epp noted. "I'm going to suggest all these volunteers feel a lot more like family, than community members, to me."
You can listen to Clayton Dreger's conversation with Ernie Epp, below.
- With files from Clayton Dreger -
Several of the below photos are courtesy Connie Laliberte/CurlManitoba