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Puzzlemania earns for Friends of Music

By Staff | Mar 3, 2017

Chronicle photo by Toni Milbourne Winners of this year’s puzzlemania are, from left, Kim Naiman, Valerie DeJong, Sandra Wilcox and Gigi Brown. The group is shown with oven mitts on their hands, a punishment bought by an opposing team to hamper their efforts in winning first place. The efforts failed as the group rose above last year’s second place finish to win high honors this year. All proceeds benefitted the Friends of Music program.

The Friends of Music enjoyed a packed house Sunday afternoon as supporters came out to compete in a unique fundraiser. Teams of four or less each received the same 500-piece jigsaw puzzle and were given a time frame of three hours to see which group could get their puzzle together the fastest.

Of course, any competition must have handicaps, and teams could purchase some creative ones to slow down their opposition.

This second annual event saw about a dozen teams come out to compete. The event was the result of collaboration between Heather Marshall and Alice Barkus last year and has grown in popularity.

For only $10, a team could rent a set of oven mitts to be worn by a team of their choosing for a five minute period.

While the winning team of Kim Naiman, Valerie De Jong, Dandra Wilcox and Gigi Brown could be seen sporting the mitts, the supposed handicap did nothing to slow them down. The group competed for their second consecutive year placing second in 2016 but coming out on top this year.

For a $25 donation, one player from an opposing team could be put “in jail” for 10 minutes. That person’s team could bail him or her out for only $50.

To assist folks in putting their puzzles together, the organizers also rented LED flashlights for 10 minutes at a time or help from the “puzzle master” in fitting some pieces together.

Second and third place winners were not far behind in completing the colored pencil puzzle and when those places were announced, some teams gave up with a sigh of relief. Many others remained, determined to finish the puzzle before time elapsed.