Badminton Bash a hit
Benjamin Miner, 38, of Greenfield smacks a birdie at the Badminton Bash fundraiser for Dial/Self Youth and Community Services on Sunday at Northfield Mount Hermon School. Miner was dressed as a rooster and his teammates as French girls for their team "Shuttlecock and the French Hens."
Sam Kitfield, 15, of Northfield takes a swing at an incoming birdie at the Badminton Bash funraiser for Dial/Self Youth and Community Services at Northfield Mount Hermon School on Sunday.
GILL — Despite the bleak and blustery weather of another day that apparently hadn’t got the memo about spring, more than 70 people got a head start on summer Sunday, with several hours of badminton.
The squeak of sneakers on gym floor and bright yellow birdies arcing between rackets filled the air in Northfield Mount Hermon’s Forslund Gym Sunday afternoon for the second of two tournaments making up the 13th annual Badminton Bash, a fundraiser for Greenfield-based nonprofit DIAL/SELF Youth and Community Services.
The L&D Builders team was one of the only groups not on the courts before the tournament began.
Jessica Larkin said they’d been doing this long enough to know to save their energy, though they weren’t particularly expecting to win.
“That’s a lot of the fun of it. Low expectation, high fun,” Larkin said, although they do now have a home badminton court. “We have a couple of boys and we’ve started to play with them, so I guess we do practice a little,” she said.
Larkin, 40, and Luke Smith, 48, who live in Bernardston, have participated for several years, sponsoring a court as L&D Builders and fielding a team.
Larkin said they know DIAL/SELF executive director Phillip Ringwood and initially got involved at his invitation.
“We did it once and it’s so much fun, it’s the best way to support a great organization and have lots of fun, I think mostly it’s just a lot of fun,” Larkin said.
“I believe in what Phil’s doing,” Smith said.
Organizer Starr Pinkos said the event usually raises about $10,000 for the agency through donations and corporate sponsorships, money that goes to fill in the gap left by state and federal funding.
Shuttlecock and the French Hens was the only team in costume, guaranteeing the prize in the costume category.
“We’re in costume to make up for our lack of skill,” said Soren Mason Temple, 40, of Northampton, in striped shirt and beret.
Benjamin Miner, 38, of Greenfield, was dressed in a homemade rooster costume, with felt wings, tail and hat.
“Well I keep wondering when other people will show up in costume to challenge us, but clearly we’re just so intimidating that no one dares try,” Miner said.
Last year the team dressed as Mexican wrestlers.
Team L, with Peter Li, Brian Lee and Matt Ashby won the afternoon tournament. L&D Builders, with Luke Smith, Jessica Larkin and Katie Larkin took second.
Ben, Caroline and Sammy Marsden won the morning tournament as The Brown Coats, with Bill Tsai, Dana Roscol and Deb H. taking second as the International Badminton Machine.
Shuttlecock and the French Hens, with Miner, Mason Temple and Anja Schutz won the costume category.
You can reach Chris Curtis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 257