SAINT JOHN - One of the most recognizable names in women's curling is headlining a charity bonspiel that will also boost the sport's profile in the Port City area.
Jennifer Jones, the 2008 world women's curling champion and a four-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian champion, will be in Saint John Nov. 26-28 to take part in the Wellington West Charity Funspiel.
The inaugural event is a co-operative project between the Carleton, Thistle-St. Andrews, Riverside and Hampton Curling clubs and will feature action at all four locations.
"We would really like to encourage curling and we have all of the four clubs involved in this," said tournament chairwoman Cathy Stringer. "The four clubs haven't done something together for a long time. We thought this would be a good strategy, something fun to do."
In addition, proceeds from the event will be donated to the Harbour Lights Campaign, which raises funds for food banks from St. Stephen to Sussex.
"We chose that charity because it benefits the whole area the four clubs draw from," Stringer said.
The Winnipeg-based Jones won her third consecutive Canadian women's title with a dramatic victory over Prince Edward Island in the 2010 final before she advanced to the world championship in Saskatchewan, where she finished third.
Jones, 36, is corporate counsel for Wellington West and Stringer heard through a club member at the Carleton Curling Club the company was interested in developing an event to promote the sport in the area.
So she approached the firm and once Jones' schedule was finalized, the details were set.
Jones will be on hand for a reception and the opening draws Friday, Nov. 26 and after action concludes that Saturday, she will be the guest speaker at a tournament dinner at the Lily Lake Pavilion that evening.
During the event, she will curl one end with teams - chosen in a fundraising draw and she will be on hand at the Thistle-St. Andrews on Nov. 28 for a junior curling clinic.
"We want it to be fun. We are trying to get people involved," Stringer said of the philosophy of the event.
The tournament committee consists of approximately 14 volunteers from the four clubs.
Registration is $240 for each team, which guarantees three games of six ends.
There is one open division, meaning teams can be male, female or mixed and organizers are trying to involve all age groups.
The committee can accommodate 60 teams for the event and Stringer expects it to sell out.
Promotional materials are not available at provincial golf courses and will be distributed to New Brunswick curling clubs once they open.
For more information, visit www.wellwestcurl.com.
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