Team Ridgefield Library Brings A Game, Scottish Kilts, Horn Mugs, Bagpipes and Wins First Prize in the 2022 Petanque Tournament

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2022 Branchville Area Civics Charity Bocce Tourney Rages in Ridgefield, Kilt-clad Ridgefield Library claims victory over Boys & Girls Club, RVNAhealth brings super scrubs, chocolate fountain and oysters.

Once again, the battle for the prestigious Branchville Champion Bocce Team title raged yesterday, Saturday September 10th, at the Branchville Bocce Courts located at 59 Willridge Road in Ridgefield.

Of note this year was the exceptional tailgating from each of the six participating nonprofits, which included live bagpipe performances and authentic Scottish clothing (Ridgefield Library), shucking of fresh oysters (RVNAhealth), toasted A+ sandwiches for breakfast (Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department), and on top Bloody Marys (shrimp, bacon, veg) from the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield.

Mitch Ancona, owner of Ancona’s Wines and Liquors, headlined the 8th Annual Branchville Charity Lawn Bocce Tournament. “We’re here to have fun and to support the organizations we love,” Ancona said.

Representatives from six local charities including Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department, Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield, Ridgefield Library, Wilton Library and RVNAhealth gathered at the Bocce Mitch Ancona’s Arena around 9:00 a.m. for pre-game – tailgate style. Along with plenty of provisions including Bloodys, kegs, grills and a range of food, attendees proudly represented their charities through custom t-shirts, capes, kilts and exclusive cocktails.

But it’s not just about having fun with the tailgate, there’s a game to play! In their third tournament year, the members of the Ridgefield 8 represented by the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield found themselves battling the Ridgefield Library (again) for the top prize. Winning the Guinness World Records title for longest marathon bocce team doesn’t always mean victory. In a jaw-dropping finale, the kilt-clad Ridgefield Library (Scottish horn mugs in hand) took home the 2022 top prize!

“The motto of this tournament is just to have fun…and donate money to great organizations that help make our communities even more wonderful,” Ancona said.

Each team engaged in a friendly competition for over $3,000 in prize money.

The cash prizes were distributed as follows:

1st: Ridgefield Library – $1,500

2nd: Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield – $750

3rd: Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department – $500

4th: Wilton Library – $250

Mind Prize: RVNAhealth – $500

It is worth noting the Spirit Award. RVNAhealth has maintained this energy for four consecutive years by bringing its A game into tailgate joy and provisions, and sportsmanship in general. Super Scrub chef Gigi Weiss knows a thing or five about tailgating and sets up with a bar (complete with bar stools), a generator (to plug in the fridge and chocolate fountain) and at noon, her man principal, Mike, fetched and shucked fresh oysters and served them on a silver platter for all in attendance to enjoy. Just wow!

The tournament is sponsored by the Branchville Civic Association (BCA). The charity is made up of three generations of local Branchville families and is best known as the owner and caretaker of the Branchville Civic Baseball Field, which the founding members built in 1946.

Petanque is played by throwing a small ball, called a pallino, onto the field. Players then throw bigger balls towards the pallino to see who can get closer. It can be played as a team, as in the tournament, or one-on-one. The game requires strategy and precision, but can be enjoyed by players of all ages and athletic abilities.

Ancona explains: “The petanque tournament is the culmination of Ancona’s traditional business purpose,” Ancona said. “Focus on family, community and charity – with a healthy dose of fun.”

Yes indeed. A good dose of fun! Thanks Mitch!

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