On September 30, members of Adult Recreation Services had a first – the first-ever Dartball Tournament at the Family Center in O’Fallon. Four teams competed. Trophies were handed out. Everyone had a wonderful time.
For 20 years, the O’Fallon Knights of Columbus Council #2269 hosted Dartball every Tuesday in February and November for the members of Adult Recreation. The Ladies’ Auxiliary would be there to assist the players, help keep score and hand out drinks. “Our hall is being renovated or we may be getting a new one,” Rita Thornhill, member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, said. “We were unable to continue hosting, but we didn’t want them to stop playing because they enjoy the game so much.”
Rita had a plan. She took her concern to her husband, Eugene, who is a member of the Knights of Columbus Council, and he mentioned it in a meeting. “In one week, they (members of the Council) had completed a Dartball board,” Rita said. “It was a surprise.”
The board was dropped off at the Family Center earlier this year. Whether it was because Dartball was being offered more often in the Adult Recreation schedule of events brochure or more people wanted to learn about Dartball, the popularity grew. “On average 25 members were signing up,” Sharon Zull, Recreation Coordinator, said. “Then it was getting to the point where I had to waitlist members because so many more were signing up for Dartball.”
So, Sharon went to Rita and asked if Community Living could pay for a second Dartball board. Rita asked her husband if he thought a second board could be built. He went back to Ron Wilmes, member of Knights of Columbus Council and the man who built the first board and stand. “Next thing I know, my husband is telling me he has another Dartball board to deliver to Community Living,” Rita said. “It’s incredible what was accomplished and all I did was ask.”
Once Ron was finished building, Jerry Schoenherr, member of Knights of Columbus Council, painted the boards. And, Ron could not have built the boards without the wood, which was donated by Chic Lumber, where Mike Saali, member of Knights of Columbus Council, works.
In the end, it was a win-win for everyone. “Now, having the two boards, they can play whenever and they don’t have to rely on us,” Rita said. “The members are so competitive, but they are also having a good time. That’s why the Ladies’ Auxiliary plans to attend the Dartball events, because we have just as good of a time.”
And, with the donation of two Dartball boards, the first-ever Dartball Tournament will now be an annual event. “It was such a huge success,” Sharon said. “The members really enjoy learning and playing Dartball.”
Above photo: Jerry Schoenherr, Ron Wilmes, Joann Schoenherr, Wilma Sitzer, Vince Scully and Eugene Thornhill pose with the Dartball board donated to Community Living’s Adult Recreation program. To view photos from the first-ever Dartball Tournament, click here.