By Nancy Allen
More than 150 teams of four people each participated in the non-profit Lake Improvement Association's Fourth Annual Bar Stool Open, the group's premier fund-raiser, held on Aug. 14.
The event is best described as a miniature golf course spread over 12 establishments around Grand Lake St. Marys, with one hole at each stop. Along with the putt putt golfing, there also was a pontoon and boat decorating contest.
This year's event raised roughly $15,000, the most to date, said Bob Grimm, LIA member and event co-chairman. Grimm co-chaired the event with his brother, Stanley Grimm. Dozens of other LIA members volunteered their help.
Establishments participating this year were the Celina Eagles, Celina Moose Lodge, Roberts' Towne Tavern, Carter Villa, It's It Bar & Grill, Shirley's Bar & Grill, Shingle Shack, Sunnyside Inn, Bayview Pub, Duckfoot's Bar & Grill, Behm's Restaurant and Rustic Haven.
Prize money was $500 for first, $250 for second and $125 for third places. The majority of the teams traveled around the lake by boat or pontoon, but participants also were allowed to participate by car. The first-place winner in the putt putt contest was the Night Crawler Crusaders from Rustic Haven made up of Sean and Tony Ritter, Rod Brandt and Jon Ztegenbusch, and second place went to the Pirates from Duckfoot's Bar & Grill made up of Matt Maleski, Dale Mears, Kenny Oldnger and Dale Winner. There was a three-way tie for third place between the Castaways, Hole Hunters and Lake Lizards.
A best-decorated pontoon or boat contest with prize money was added to this year's event. About 40 pontoons and boats competed for cash prizes of $250, $125 and $60 for first- through third-places. Judging was done at Behm's Landing.
First place went to Git-R-Done & the Hillbillies. Attractions included an out house, still wet and dirty laundry and costumed occupants. Second place went to the Reservoir Rats, a pontoon made to look like a '57 Chevy, which included a 78-year-old Elvis and occupants in poodle skirts and hula hoops. Third place went to Seven Thirty-Eight O'Clock, which was decorated with hand-painted flags from each establishment participating in the open.