Tyler Stork, at left, is organizing a three-day pool tournament this weekend that will bring cheer to many local children. Teaming up with Miles Petree, owner of The Old Legion Hall and On The Crunchy Side, the two will present a fun-filled weekend of pool, good eats and great charity.
Tyler Stork, at left, is organizing a three-day pool tournament this weekend that will bring cheer to many local children. Teaming up with Miles Petree, owner of The Old Legion Hall and On The Crunchy Side, the two will present a fun-filled weekend of pool, good eats and great charity.
As the son of Harmony's legendary "Easy Eddie" of Easy Eddie's Pool Hall fame, Tyler Stork has been playing pool since he was "knee high." As the holiday season gets underway, Stork is combining his love of the game with a desire to help area children have a joy-filled Christmas. He has partnered with Toys for Tots to host a three-day pool tournament and toy drive to be held this weekend at The Old Legion Hall in Harmony.

Stork explained this will be the eighth event of this kind he's held, though it is the first one of this magnitude being held locally. "Most of the others were held in Phoenix," he said. "And, in the past, I've helped specific individuals and families who have been struggling with health or financial issues."

Because he knows what it's like to be down on one's luck, Stork said he's hoping to make his own holiday a bit brighter by knowing he's done something to bring happiness to children through this fundraiser for Toys for Tots.

The event kicks off on Friday night, at 7 p.m., with a Scotch Doubles tournament. The team of two will alternate shots until one misses and play goes to their opponent. Stork noted play will be according to league rules.

There will be nine tables set up in The Old Legion Hall, provided at a discounted rate by D&R and Family Fun Center in Rochester. Cues will be available for use for those who do not have their own.

"My mom (Darcy Erickson of Mabel) will be here on Friday to be my partner for the Scotch Doubles and my sister, Anna, will be my partner on Sunday for the adult and kid Scotch Doubles," Stork noted. He's thinking he will be too busy on Saturday organizing the singles tournament to play himself, but would like to if at all possible.

Saturday's singles tournament begins with registration at 9 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. start. There will be an upper and lower bracket to accommodate players of all skill levels.

"It will also be a good day to come and spectate," Stork said. "We are going to have some master players - the best of the best."

On Sunday, families and youth will be included in the fun with adult and child teams in two age divisions, 10 to14 and 15 to18. Registration begins at 10 a.m.

"I wanted to allow everyone, of all ages and skill levels, to be included," Stork explained. "Pool is starting to become a dying sport. But the interaction you get with others is great. It's a very diverse sport - a lot of people from different walks of life play pool."

Plus, Stork feels this is a good opportunity for people to learn the game. "It's not all about winning," he said. "It's about learning the game and how to talk the talk. It can be a good come-together family event."

Registration is $15 for lower division and $20 for the upper division players. It is also asked that participants bring one or more new unwrapped gifts for each player entered in the tournament.

Stork explained there will be a payout for first, second and third places in each division.

To register early, one may call Stork at (507) 429-6324 or (507) 886-3554.

In addition to the pool tournament, funds will be raised through raffle prizes donated by local businesses and individuals.

The main raffle item will be a retro-looking Rowe Juke Box valued at $3,500. Stork explained only 120 $20 tickets will be sold for this refurbished relic. He noted the juke box now has a touch screen, Internet hook up, MP3 capabilities as well as the ability to play music from a memory stick as well as download playlists.

"I continue to be in utter shock and amazement as to how the local businesses and individuals have pulled together and supported this," Stork said.

Toys for Tots will have a box in front of The Old Legion Hall this week through Monday for anyone wishing to donate a toy to the cause and several Marines representing the non-profit organization will be attending the event on Friday and Sunday to share the spirit of giving at the event. "We hope to present a donation and the toys on Sunday when the Marines are here," Stork added.

Catering for the event will be done by On The Crunchy Side with munchies and snacks.

"I really hope to have a good turnout," Stork concluded. "I want people to come and have a good time and it's all for the right reasons. If nothing else, it's a Christmas party to myself - a way for me to feel good about helping the kids have a good Christmas."