Members of the Hellenic Orthodox Church (corner of Utica and Delaware) aka the Greek Festival Church, are organizing a first ever community backgammon tournament. The effort behind the tournament was a culmination of zeal from a select number of backgammon fans, and a way to roll out the welcome mat for the church. “This year at the Hellenic Festival (May 30 – June 2), we are going to be holding our 1st ever community backgammon Tournament,” said church member Dean Mellas. “We are really hoping to get people outside of our own parish to play. It will be an NCAA Bracket style, best of three, and single elimination event – 128 entrants only. It’s a pretty good payout – for a $20 entry fee; $500 for the champ, and $400 for the other final three.”
“I suggested the idea for a backgammon tournament this year at the spring Festival Committee planning meeting,” Dean continued. “It was inspired by My Big Fat Greek Family (150 strong), which has a reunion every year or so, and we ALWAYS have a Tavli Tournament (Tavli is a Greek style of backgammon game – but we play standard backgammon, and call it Tavli) – anyway, the Tavli event is always a smash and has gotten pretty big with our family. So, that’s how the idea for a community tournament came about. We are always looking to do different things at our festival to make it a more rewarding experience. We have guest lectures from UB, and Canisius professors talk on subjects from anthropology to Sophocles, as well as one act plays, strolling musicians, church tours and religious presentations (not proselytizing, just education), and of course GREAT FOOD, SHOPPING AND CULTURE! We think that the backgammon tournament is not only an expression of our culture (it’s very popular in Greece), but also would be fun and attract some new faces too. We hope to make a few bucks for the church of course, but in all, as a church community we give back so much to our local community – Soup Kitchen, Disabled Veterans, Women & Children’s Hospital, the list is endless. It’s a great community.”
Tournament starts on Sunday June 2 @ 1pm
For more information on the tournament and how to sign up, open the PDF below.
For further information:
Dean Mellas, Director, 716-439-8551 (o)
Harry Mellas, Asst., 757-773-5819 (c)