Tom and Amber

Tom McKernan of Gabriels

I began curling in 2001, which was also the first season my wife Amber and I went out to our first bonspiel with another couple. They were new to the club but had curled in Plainfield NJ, where the bonspiel was being held. We really were not experienced enough to be playing in a competition but the fun we had and the people we met really got us hooked. That was also our first time curling on dedicated curling ice which was quite different from the ice at the USA rink in Lake Placid where we learned to curl.

One of my favorite things about curling is the integrity of game and the level of sportsmanship expected . It is a game where you call your own fouls and praise your opponents great shot they just made against you. The game can be quite demanding physically and mentally. Sweeping as hard as you can and then a few minutes later needing to get into the hack and deliver a stone accurately can be quite challenging. The strategy of the game can be very complex and requires concentration and calculation.

When I am not curling, I enjoy spending time with ,my family, biking, piloting our 1963 Piper Colt, boating and cross country skiing in the Adirondacks and traveling with Amber.

My (professional) background is initially in education as an industrial arts teacher in the Saranac Central School District. After leaving the teaching field I was a model maker working on building a design check model of a nuclear power plant for a couple of years in southern Pennsylvania. Upon returning to the Adirondacks I went in to the contracting business and have been self employed as a stone mason contractor. I also spent a short time as masonry instructor at Adirondack Correctional Facility.

Other community involvement I have is helping to build the ice palace, providing free flights for youngsters as a pilot with the EAA Young Eagles program and regularly attending our local town board meetings.

One thing that I especially enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club is visiting each week with the people I have met through membership in the club. There are events designed for curlers of all experience levels. I especially recommend that newer curlers go to the events for curlers with 5 or under years of experience.

Dave Kobe

David Kobe of Lake Placid

I began curling the first winter after I moved to Lake Placid in 2008. My wife suggested we try the Learn to Curl to meet people in the area. She only played for a few years before she bowed out but I became hooked and am now starting my 12th season. The camaraderie within the club is fantastic and the game is great exercise.

I enjoy a number of aspects of curling. The game is more physical than one might think and it can really get your heart pumping. The members of the club also make the game very enjoyable with the excellent sportsmanship shown by everyone. And, finally, the strategy in the game can be both simple and complex depending on how skilled the players are making every game an interesting challenge.

When I am not curling, I can frequently be found on the ice in ice skates. My wife and I compete as ice dancers at adult competitions across the country and sometimes in Canada. We also like to perform here in Lake Placid in front of friendly crowds. While we are not as spectacular as the many amazing skaters one can see on TV, we have, after almost 30 years of practice, gotten good enough that people at least find our performances entertaining. Other hobbies include board gaming, movies, and trivia contests.

Professionally, I am a senior software engineer for a company that does contract work for NASA.  I am usually tasked with writing the software that goes on board various NASA satellites to control their behavior and data collection. In addition, I am the lead engineer on a satellite simulation product that our company sells. I feel fortunate that I am able to live in the beauty of the Adirondacks while working for a company in Maryland (although it does require me to travel down there on a fairly frequent basis).

Other community involvement has been somewhat scattered in a number of activities.  My wife is a member of Zonta, an international service organization working towards advancing the status of women. I am a firm believer that men have been giving women the short end of the stick for way too long and I do what I can to help her and the organization with their efforts.

The one thing I especially enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club is the level of friendship they have provided from day one. Members in the club are exceedingly friendly and their support while learning the ins and outs of the game is second to none.

Words of experience I’d like to provide is that people should give curling a try.  It is a sport unlike many others in that the age and strength barrier is pretty open. It will feel impossible at first but after just a few weeks of playing, you would discover that you CAN do it!

Sarah Wardner

Sarah Wardner of Tupper Lake

I began curling about 15 years ago. My husband Dave and I had watched some curling during the 2002 Winter Olympics and we thought it was a quirky sport that looked like fun. When the LPCC offered a “Learn To Curl,” I thought it would be worth a try, but I never dreamed that Dave would be interested. It turned out he was thinking the same about me. We attended the “Learn to Curl” and have been curling ever since!

What I love about curling is being able to tell people that “I am an International Curler.” 

My favorite curling moment was teaching a blind man to curl. He was participating in a corporate event organized by ORDA (the Olympic Regional Development Authority) and the LPCC was on hand to teach folks the basics of curling. We were outside on the Olympic Oval and it was snowing heavily. This individual was determined to deliver a stone and was oblivious to the obvious obstacles involved in his quest. We devised a system so he could hear the location of the Skip’s broom and the rest was history. He was thrilled to throw stone after stone after stone and became pretty darn good at it!

When I’m not curling I enjoy gardening, quilting, and time with family. I am a Registered Nurse and currently work the night shift at Adirondack Health. I injured my back at work several years ago and needed physical therapy for six weeks in order to walk upright and curl again. This experience taught me the importance of maintaining my core muscle strength and staying active. Zumba has been a life saver and I have recently started kickboxing and core de force classes. I love to snowshoe and walk in the woods with our dog GloryGirl. Dave and I enjoy cross country and telemark skiing, and hope for plenty of snow this winter. Bring it on.

My curling advice: Laugh, wear warm socks and plenty of layers.

Bill Getman

Bill Getman of Saranac Lake

I began curling in 2016. Curling has always been on my bucket list, as it looked like it would be a crazy stupid fun sport to play. Turns out I was actually right for a change, and jumped at the chance to play shortly after we moved to the area and have been hooked ever since.

What I love about curling. Besides the great curling folks I have gotten to know over the years and standing in a huge freezer on a large block of ice, I truly enjoy the strategy and the physicality of the game. There is nothing more satisfying than when strategy meets up with the physical aspects, with a little luck thrown in, producing a great shot or end.

My favorite curling moment occurred during the 2019 “Give A Hoot” Bonspiel when strategy, luck, and physical ability all came together to produce an unlikely 5 point eighth end to tie our Canadian opponents. The tie forced a one rock throw off, resulting in a remarkable one point victory and contributing to LPCC total score and keeping the coveted traveling Granite Owl Trophy here in Saranac Lake for another year.

When I am not curling, as I am now retired, or unemployed, I am probably skiing, hiking, or kayaking with my beautiful bride Sylvia. I am continuing on a quest to become a 46er with one of my sons, plus doing some traveling, possibly to see one of the other two sons. I volunteer for the likes of the 2018 Snow Shoe World Championship, Adirondack Health, and the LPCC. And I’m soon to be a grandfather, and owner of a 10- week old Golden Retriever puppy. In my previous life I had a long rewarding career in sales and became “unemployed” after 4 years of being the General Manager of Bigrock Mountain Ski Area, in Northern Maine, before moving South to the “warmer” climate of Saranac Lake.

My curling advice: Savor the good shots. Blame the “crappy ice” for the bad shots.

Roger Steinbrueck of Saranac Lake

I began curling in 2004 and a favorite memory is all the open house curling events, seeing the guests having a good time curling.

One of my favorite things about curling is the friendship with curling club members, the challenge of getting the muscles of my body to work well enough to hit the button, which is difficult to do when playing only once a week.  I also enjoy being successful in playing a good game and when not having a good game, there is always next week.

When I am not curling, I keep myself busy playing pickleball, a new game for me, a few times a week, as well as walking–anything to keep myself physically fit. I have not retired yet (Nov 2019, when I’m 70!) and I work at Scotts Flower Shop in Saranac Lake. Kathy, my wife, runs the flower shop all year and I help her with whatever needs to be done to maintain the business. The summer outdoor plant business is a combined effort of both of us.  She does the paperwork and watering and I do whatever it takes to keep inventory sellable. During the summer, I’m also involved with Village Improvement Society (for over 20 years), maintaining their seven parks and setting up their flower gardens. Also for over 20 years, I’ve volunteered to oversee the flower gardens in Saranac Lake Village Parks, the hanging baskets, and the large planters throughout the Village.

My professional background. I’m a retired executive chef with training in Europe during the 1970s and a year in Paris at Le Cordon Blue. While that phase of my life was a great time, cooking is a young person’s job so I left cooking and bought the flower shop with my wife in 1993.

Other community involvement. My wife and I support numerous nonprofit organizations. There are many good ones to choose from in Saranac Lake.

One thing that I especially enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club is membership in an organization of friends. Oh, and the challenge of the ice every week!

Words of experience I’d like to provide. Good Curling! And everyone should try pickle ball.

Phyllis Magnus of Saranac Lake

I began curling in 1999 and a memory is  participating in the 2000 Winter National Senior Games at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.

The LPCC women’s team won the Bronze Medal. It should be noted that the gold and silver were won by men’s teams but we won the bronze competing against a women’s team from Detroit that did a circuit of competitions. It was the first time I had played on ice prepared by a professional curling ice maker. I think that was more thrilling than the medal.

One of my favorite things about curling is the camaraderie and good will among players. I also love the strategy of the game and the challenge for my body to respond to the mental picture of what is needed to make the shot that is called for. That is what keeps me coming back.

When I am not curling, I play tennis, golf and paddle. I go on a lot of bird watching trips, do some traveling, read and attend reading and discussion groups at the Saranac Lake Free Library, particularly science and social justice.

My professional background is as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in behavioral health services; mental health and addictions, both therapy and administrative services. Now retired.

Other community involvement I have is I am very active in Adirondack Voters for Change which has the mission of increasing citizen engagement in the political process. I serve on the board of North Country Home Services and am the North Country Action Team Leader for Compassion & Choices campaign to enact Medical Aid in Dying legislation in New York State. I am a founding and current member of the Saranac Lake Womens’ Investment Club.  

One thing that I especially enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club is meeting people that are not in my usual social groups and the diverse age range of players. I am 80 years old.  It is great for me to meet and engage with young people in our community as well as to enjoy interacting in ‘play’ with people I have known casually or professionally.

Words of experience I’d like to share There are basic moves to delivering a curling stone but everyone has individual characteristics of motion that feel natural to them. I think what is important is getting a feel of delivery that moves smoothly from your own body center. I could never slide very far from the hack.  What I developed was a body memory of when I need to release a stone to achieve the shot. The point I am making is that both from my own experience and watching newcomers learning the game, I have seen people become good and joyful curlers with all kinds of styles.  It just takes patience and most of all, trust in the good will of your fellow curlers.

Kimberly Weinrick of Saranac Lake

I began curling in the 2018-2019 Season at a Learn to Curl the year we moved here from Manhattan. My husband Brian, arrived a bit earlier to begin his role in leading research in Tuberculosis at Trudeau Institute. While he was born in Upper Michigan and is an avid skier, snowboarder, hockey player, I grew up as an Army Brat, playing basketball and baseball, moving often. As such, friends old and new, ALL advised us that I would need a Winter Sport. So to avoid skiing, I jokingly proclaimed I would curl, and by great chance and accident – I LOVED IT! The sport, the people, it’s just fantastic… except my skill level… I need to settle into a routine of actually finding the Skip’s Broom. I think that’s what next season is for.

A few of my favorite things about curling include the simple and clear sportsmanship and respect at every step of the game. The trust that each player brings with the first hand shake and ‘good curling’ to calling their own stone if they burn it. That along with genuine joy for watching a great shot, no matter who threw it. Sportsmanship – and takeouts, what a sound!

Recently I had the great privilege of volunteering with the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games as the Deputy Head of Media Relations for Curling where I would interview the Skips from each team and provide flash quotes and quick story write ups on the events; in short, we had tight deadlines to describe exciting matches.

When I am not curling, we’re involved in our sons’ programs with school, music and sports for every season. We have two boys, 12 and 5, and to see them skiing, skating AND curling is such a treat. This is a magical place to raise a family, and we adore it even more each year! That said, I still sneak away to New York about once a month for meetings, dinners and the occasional gala… And we try to bring the boys on a travel adventure about once a year.

My (professional) background includes leading strategic communications and change management for Wall Street firms and CEOs. One of my favorite roles that started me on this path was serving as a junior press officer at the New York Stock Exchange. It felt like the center of the universe to me. I really enjoy my work and am delighted when I have the opportunity to help firms bring more women into the financial industry. Recently I’ve also been leading strategic communications for a biotech that is working on an alternative to traditional opioids.

My other community involvement includes youth chess, youth curling, the Saranac Lake Reentry program designed to reach newly released, formerly incarcerated people, the Financial Women’s Association of New York, and The American Museum of Finance, a Smithsonian Affiliate.

One thing that I especially enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club is the amazing mix of people from a variety of professional backgrounds. It’s such a fun and interesting group who all come together to prep the ice, host learn to curls for the community, throw some stones, sweep HARD and have a good laugh along the way!

 

 

Jackie Haynse

Name of town: Saranac Lake

My first season of curling was in 2007. I took a break in 2015 and came back to the curling club again in 2023.

I enjoy the camaraderie of curling and all the different places I have gone and people I have met because of curling. I met my now husband Eric in 2010 when he started curling with the club. I love that this a sport that you can compete in well into your senior years and that you always can improve on.

When I am not curling, I am working as a Program Director for Sunmount DDSO in Tupper Lake, spending time with my family and parenting an amazing 5 year old daughter, camping and hiking all the trails and mountains in the Adirondacks, and also working on the Board of Directors for Songs at Mirror Lake in Lake Placid.

The one thing I enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club is having a great sport and activity to participate in and look forward to in the winter. Winters can be tough in the Adirondacks and having a great outlet really helps.

My words of experience are to just get the right weight and hit the line. It’s that simple and that hard 🤣.

 

 

 

John Omohundro, Saranac Lake

I began curling when I moved to town full-time in 2016. I attended a Learn To Curl and could tell immediately that I’d like the sport.

I enjoy curling because like 10-pin bowling, which I also love, there’s finesse involved and even us old folks can still be good. You have to do a good job yourself but it’s a team sport. Your teammates and you bond over the competition.

When I am not curling I speed skate (slowly…) on the oval in Placid, cross country ski, snowshoe. Occasionally I go inside to eat and sleep.

I am a retired professor of anthropology from SUNY Potsdam, where we lived for 40 years.

Other community involvement. I’ve been board member and officer of the Bayside Cemetery Association (Potsdam), restoring the landscape, reorganizing their records, creating urn gardens, natural burial plots, etc. A real education in American death practices.

The one thing I especially enjoy about the Lake Placid Curling Club turns out to be the camaraderie on the ice, at the snack periods after games, and at the parties. How else am I going to meet interesting people from so many other walks of life?

Words of experience: Insist that your team mates coach you as you play. They’ll be hesitant to offer unsolicited advice but you need it. We can’t afford much practice time—the year is all games—so you have to learn on the battlefield.