April 30, 2014

Good food, company and after-dinner games

As published in The Erin Advocate

The Community Dinner at All Saints Anglican Church isn’t just about good food. It is an opportunity to feel the bonds that make Erin strong – and a chance to have some fun, testing your luck and mental agility at a Games Night.
“It was important to us to create a social event with no strings attached, where you can come and meet people,” said Kathryn Dancey, who has helped organize the dinner.
It is held in the church basement at 81 Main Street in Erin, normally on the last Friday of each month, starting at 6 pm. Everyone is welcome.
The event has grown in popularity since it started in December 2010, with about 90 people now attending each month.
“It’s free, with no sermons,” said Rev. Susan Wilson, Rector at All Saints. “Just a nourishing meal and good fellowship.”
There’s a basket near the door for those who wish to make a contribution. Donations more than cover the cost of putting on the dinner. The committee of volunteers has been able to donate back to the Erin community, including the East Wellington Community Services Food Bank, the Special Friends Club, the ARC Industries building fund, the Erin Skate Park and the Upper Credit Humane Society.
Last Friday they served spaghetti and meatballs with salad, and apple crisp for dessert, and for the third month now, dinner was followed by a Games Night. It was organized by Chris Bailey and Stephanie Giugovaz, who offer toys, games, tutoring and camps at the nearby Brighten Up store.
Chris Bailey of Brighten Up
teaches a card game to kids
at the Games Night, following
last week’s Community Dinner
at All Saints Church.
No kittens were actually harmed when we played Kittens in a Blender, an easy-to-learn card game that challenges you to save as many of your own kittens as possible, even while trading your hands with other players.
I enjoy board and card games, but rarely have a group of people to play them with, so this is a nice opportunity to meet people and have a few laughs. It is also a chance to play a game that you are not sure about buying.
“We get to open games we want to try,” said Stephanie. “We pick the shorter, easier games.”
I actually won a round of Rack-o, where you have pick either a turned-up card or one from the pile, hoping to get as many cards a possible in ascending order. Like most entertaining games, it combines luck with strategy, and all the rules can be learned in less than a minute.
Next time, maybe I will play The Magic Labyrinth, which looks a bit harder since you have to figure your way through a maze that is hidden on the lower level of a two-layer game board. You move a magnet piece on the top that carries a steel ball on the bottom.
Every time a player hits an unseen wall, the ball drops and rolls back to the beginning. It’s a bit like real life – if you can remember the location of the walls, you don’t bump into them the next time around.