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2016 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR // Volunteer of the Year recipients:

2016: Don Piche, Traverse City CC, Traverse City, Mich. 2015: Darryl Horsman, Coyotes CC, Tempe, Ariz. 2014: Mary Fanette, Norfolk CC, Norfolk, Conn. 2013: Cal Tillisch, Wausau CC, Wausau, Wis. 2012: Doug Brugler, Rochester CC, Rochester, N.Y.

he is on the phone, composing emails, making lists on his famous 3x5 index cards or just sim- ply thinking about our club when he should be sleeping at 4 a.m.” Te club prides itself on being unique, es-

pecially when targeting a generation that likes new things oſten. “Because we are essentially blazing a trail,

our board has been very open to, and almost focused on, thinking outside the box,” Piche said. “It’s not a dig on what curling clubs are currently doing, but it was clear to us that the 25-40-year-old demographic is where the ex- citement is for the game. Tey LOVE innova- tion, new stuff – heck, they buy a new phone every year! So when we did the first ever Cher- ry Bombspiel, we gave ourselves permission to do out-of-the-box stuff.” Some of that innovation included get-

ting Stephen MacNeil, an eight-time North American Bagpipe champion, to become the official bagpiper of the club. “We march ALL the teams onto the ice on our first day of the Cherry Bombspiel. It’s our take on the Olym- pic Opening Ceremony, complete with flags, anthems and toasts,” Piche said. “I can tell you, tears flow. Several curlers have told me ‘I’ve played for 12 years and never have made it to the finals...never been piped on.’ Tey love it! Pageantry matters, at least for our club!” Te father of four boys, Piche is passionate

about seeing people grow as individuals and groups – inside and outside the chiropractic clinic. “It is a sure bet that anyone who meets Don

Piche is charmed by his smile, entertained by his wit and sense of humor, surprised by the friendly bear hugs he lays on everyone – male or female, and stunned when they walk away and realize they just agreed to serve as the chair of a committee or show up at 7 a.m. to prep the ice for a group of kids with disabili- ties,” said Valerie Kirn-Duensing, the club’s

Traverse City Curling Club’s Don Piche (above) is the 2016 USA Curling Volunteer of the Year.

Communications Director, in her letter of support on behalf of the TCCC Board of Directors. “Simply put: Te Traverse City Curling Club would not be in existence if not for the efforts of Don Piche. He keeps going and going and going.” A native of Traverse City, Piche’s sister, Cara Colburn, also is active with the club, serving on the

board of directors and cheerleading her brother to further successes. “Tis whole curling thing has shown me that, deep down, people want to be connected,” Piche said.

“Did I tell you that I was a hugger?” Surely, the Traverse City Curling Club feels Piche’s generosity flow and the U.S. curling community can now feel his arms of support.Q Piche will be honored for his achievement at the 2016 Members’ Assembly in October in Tempe, Ariz.

USA Curling (( 11

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