TEAM PITCHIN’ – Chris Spangler pitches a washer as partner Jo Vinyard looks on. The team won second place in the Int’l Washer Pitchin’ doubles competition held Saturday. (Photo by Lori Cathey)
By Lori Cathey
Gray skies and a little rain didn’t stop the 23rd Annual International Washer Pitchin’ Contest held Saturday, August 20th at the Yorkville Park. The event kicked off Friday night with an enormous crowd of well over 300 people turning out to enjoy fried catfish and great company at the Yorkville Community Center.
The Junior Washer Pitchin’ Contest started in the rain but the kids had a lot of fun playing in the mud. The winners of the junior competition were six-year old Cason Reynolds from Alamo-first place, Chloe Reynolds-second place, Carley Reynolds-third place and Hayley Walker-fourth place.
At around 12 o’clock, the opening ceremony started with Yorkville Fire Department Captain JD Cowan welcoming the crowd and thanking them for coming out to support the fire department. Kasey Harris sang the National Anthem and followed with the Pledge the Allegiance. Pastor Travis Davidson gave the opening prayer. Acting Yorkville Mayor Mack Zarecor thanked the fire department for all they do for the city and everyone who came out to support this event and community.
The Yorkville Fire Department recognized one of their own, Firefighter Gilbert Guznan who, passed away earlier in the year. His son Alyx Guznan received the plaque honoring him for his service to the community.
For the first time in the several years, the Annual International Washer Pitchin’ Contest named a Grand Marshal. Jim Tuner, one of the founders of the event, is the 2016 Grand Marshal. Tuner has served in some way every year.
The weather cooperated and by the time of the singles competition, the sun was shining. There were 32 single players in the competition and 20 teams participated in the doubles. The singles competition winners were first place-Chase Reynolds, second place-Randy Vinyard, third place-Chris Spangler and fourth place-Mike Spangler.
For the second year in a row the doubles team of Randy Vinyard and Mike Spangler won first place. Second place went to Chris Spangler and Jo Vinyard, third place winners were Eric Allmon and Casey Hall, and fourth place winners were Dale Shelby and Helen Shelby.
Yorkville Fire Chief Mike Norman said, “I would like to thank the community for the huge support shown for the Yorkville Fire Department despite the bad weather. I would also like to thank all of our sponsors, fireman and their families for making this year’s fundraiser very successful. The Yorkville Fire Department is strictly a volunteer department. All proceeds from this event will help with any operating expenses and to upgrade equipment.”