OCL Friends host first mahjong tournament

Participants get their tiles out before the start of the tournament.

Participants get their tiles out before the start of the tournament.

The Ocean County Library Friends hosted their first Mahjong tournament September 10 in the Toms River branch’s Mancini Hall.
“We hope this becomes an annual event,” said Library Assistant Director Valerie Bell.
Judging by the popularity of Wednesday’s tournament, that may very well happen.
“We had all 80 player positions filled within two weeks and then a waiting list,” said Marie Goione, president of the Berkeley Library Friends group who suggested the tournament.
This tournament was the first for Dennis Taylor, the only man who participated.
“A friend roped me into doing this,” he said, “but he chickened out at the last minute.”
It was about the fiftieth tournament for Taylor’s wife Marie, including a mahjong tournament cruise.
“I’ve been playing for 40 years,” she said. She taught Dennis and a neighborhood couple how to play last year.
Joanne Bourne, owner of Four Seasons MJT, helped the friends organize the OCL Friends event. She also told the players the rules the group would follow and was the tournament’s director.
The participants played four rounds of four games. Each round lasted 50 minutes.
The tournament began at 9:30 a.m., broke for lunch, and then concluded at 3:30 p.m.
The winners were (1st) Laury Wigdner; (2nd) Miriam Lubinsky; and (3rd) Joyce Berks.

The tournament winners, left to right: Laury Wigdner, Miriam Lubinsky, tournament organizer Marie Goione, and  Joyce Berks.

The tournament winners, left to right: Laury Wigdner, Miriam Lubinsky, tournament organizer Marie Goione, and Joyce Berks.

It took several volunteers to make the tournament a successful event.

It took several volunteers to make the tournament a successful event.

Dennis & Marie Taylor.

Dennis & Marie Taylor.

Assistant Library Director Valerie Bell welcomed the players to the tournament.

Assistant Library Director Valerie Bell welcomed the players to the tournament.

Marie Goione suggested the tournament for a fundraiser.

Marie Goione suggested the tournament for a fundraiser.

Joanne Bourne was the tournament's director.

Joanne Bourne was the tournament’s director.

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Supervising Librarian Judy Macaluso coordinated efforts between the Friends and OCL to make the tournament a success.

Supervising Librarian Judy Macaluso coordinated efforts between the Friends and OCL to make the tournament a success.

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