It was delicious; it was surprising; it revealed a lot about the club; and it was FUN! Last Sunday night, January 7, Edmonds Petanque Club members met to conduct the annual club meeting and to enjoy an evening of delicious food and fun entertainment. The evening finished with a Question and Answer session involving all seven of the club Board members, in which the Board and club members wrestled with questions as diverse as “Can we buy a new landscape rake?” to “Is it possible that the club will grow too large? How do we respond to a 35% growth in membership over the last 6 months?”

Credit for this very successful event goes to all the volunteers who pitched in to make it happen. Heading that list is Sam Shanshory, who applied his career skills as a professional chef to create a sumptuous Italian dinner offering veggie and meat lasagna, lemon chicken piccata, and several other dishes. Sam was assisted in the Innis Arden Clubhouse kitchen by his hard-working sous-chefs Jeanna Holtz, Niall McShane, Joan Poor, Tom Delaney, and Samad Faik. Work in the kitchen began at 1:00 and lasted until dishes were served at 5:30. Chefs — we appreciate all your work!

The chefs who created our delicious dinner
Niall McShane and Jeanna Holtz “where the sausage is made.” In this case lasagna!
Michelle Martin, Rejean Idzerda, and Don Bothell creating elegant place settings, as elegant as possible with our plastic forks!

Club members had prepared a fantastic array of appetizers, which preceded a delicious meal. After an invitation to enjoy desserts that had also been provided by volunteers, the business meeting was convened. David Rockwell, club vice president and current chairman, conducted this year’s Board election, in which David, Jack McHenry, and Jeanna Holtz were re-elected to the Board for three-year terms. David then took a moment to explain that although he looked forward to remaining on the Board, he had decided not to stand for the position of vice-president again. David believes it is important for others to gain leadership experience in the club. At the last Board meeting, by unanimous decision of the Board, Bill Laprade was elected to the post of vice-president. Following the annual meeting, David Rockwell will assume the responsibilities of sports director. Jack McHenry will continue as club president, and Jeanna Holtz will continue her excellent work as club secretary.

Treasurer Ro Verdeja next presented a comprehensive financial report covering the club’s accounts during the last year. Jeanna Holtz conducted a review of the many events that took place in 2023, most prominently the opening of the Petanque Grove’s six new courts at the Edmonds Playfield and the initiation of the Cross-Sound Cup with the Port Townsend Petanque Alliance. Bill Laprade led us through a draft calendar of the tournaments and events that members can expect in 2024.

As MC of the meeting, Jack then took time to recognize significant contributions this past year from a variety of people: Jeri and Doug Lockhart and Tom Delaney have been instrumental in allowing the club to make use of Innis Arden facilities. Iyla Winterfeldt took time to offer petanque instruction to new players. Mike Martin, Keogh Singkeo, La Singkeo, and Larry Thomas spent much time preparing our new courts for competition. Sharon Reams offered accounting advice to Treasurer Ro Verdeja as he compiled our financial report. Finally, everyone took a moment to remember David Camardo, who died this year.

Iyla Winterfeldt

After all of this “business,” club members were ready for a little entertainment, and “The Zoozers” did not disappoint. Made up of Ro, his daughter Lía Verdeja (click here to view Lía’s website), friend Ahrif McKee, and surprise soloist Nicole Gaba, this impromptu (They had never rehearsed before Sunday afternoon) collection of musicians wowed the audience with several wonderful songs (“Rolling Stone by Passenger, “Don’t Think Twice” by Bob Dylan, “Time After Time” by Cindy Lauper, and “Stand by Me” by Ben King). In a signature move, each tune featured at least one player on Kazoo, hence the group’s name.

Ro in a soulful moment
Lía, Ahrif, and Ro perform Passenger’s “Rolling Stone”
Nicole and Lía rock out, performing “Stand by Me” by Ben King

To round out the evening, once the musicians had ended their show, Jack invited club members to jot down questions for Board members on index cards available on each table. The questions were diverse, both practical and philosophical. It was not a decision-making exercise, but rather a chance to raise topics of concern or appreciation. One question dealt with court surfaces. One question addressed the desire to offer more competitions and activities during the year. One question spoke of how it can be difficult to connect with potential team partners before an approaching competition. The most over-arching question had to do with the enormous growth that has followed the opening of the club’s new courts. What was once a club of 20-30 members now counts 125 members on its roster. Such growth presents wonderful opportunities as well as the challenge to welcome each new player warmly and to continue the friendly culture that is the hallmark of Edmonds Petanque. Board members listened to all questions carefully and are committed to making 2024 the best year it can be for everyone in the EPC.

Bartenders Keogh and La Singkeo prepared a display of historic EPC shirts for display at their pub

Photos by Howard Heflin and Jack McHenry