Lori Stahl and Jackie Aspelin returned from the Pink Ladies State Dart Tournament in Brookings October 8-10 with a second place trophy in their division.
Lori explains that the Pink Ladies “is an organization for all women – 8 to 88, but really any women – to throw darts. The goal is to raise money to help families, men, women and children, afflicted with cancer.”
Jackie adds that the Pink Ladies organization was started in Yankton by a dart league that had a team member with breast cancer. “It started as a fundraiser to help her, and it’s grown to leagues in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, and even Canada.”
Although the name of the organization brings to mind breast cancer, Lori and Jackie say that the Pink Ladies supports people with all type of cancer.
It was after she attended a Pink Ladies dart tournament during the 2019 St. Patty’s Day celebration in Pierre that Lori became involved in the Pink Ladies. She joined a team in Pierre, and they were one week into their 2020 league season when they were shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A couple of women the pair threw with in Pierre were forming a Pink Ladies league in Potter County and invited Lori and Jackie to join.
“Even though the name of our league is Potter County, our
fundraisers will be for people in Sully County, too,” said Jackie
“We’re charter members,” Lori continued.
Part of their Pink Ladies charter requires the league to host a fundraiser, and the next league fundraiser is slated to be held January 29, 2022 at Brewster’s Tavern and Grill in Onida.
“There will be a taco bar, a 50/50 drawing, and the dart tournament,” said Jackie. “We’d appreciate it if people would come out.”
“Come have a taco, or play in the tournament and have fun,” Lori encouraged. “It’s a good excuse for us ladies who like to play darts and to do it for a good cause.”
In the Potter County Pink Ladies League, the teams from Sully County took first and second place in the league in their last season. “Kimmie Brehe and Desiray Nelson beat us,” said Lori. “The Sully County girls did the best in the league. Jackie and I got second in our league, and then we got second in our division at state.”
“Sully County people were really generous with their donations for the Potter County Pink Ladies dart tourney in Lebanon in July, and for the tournament in Hoven the week before state” said Jackie.
Jackie says the state Pink Ladies dart tourney is more like a regional tourney. “There were teams from North Dakota and Minnesota and Iowa there. There were no teams from Canada because of the border being closed. We bought the pink sunflower shirts which we thought were appropriate for Sully County.
A total of 133 teams played in the state Pink Ladies tournament, with a total of sixteen hours of darts play during the 3-day tournament.
“The coolest part I thought about the state tournament was when they stopped play to recognize a cancer family,” said Lori.
“The family was just showered with gifts,” said Jackie. “They had asked each team to give a gift, like a gift card, and gave all those gifts to the family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
We had so much fun,” said Lori. “When you get 500 women together, there’s a lot of camaraderie. We laughed and joked and cheered each other on.”
Pink breast cancer awareness cement trucks were on display during the tournament as well.
The second place trophy the team won at the state Pink Ladies dart tourney is on display at the Longbranch in Lebanon, the Potter County Pink Ladies league’s home bar.
In addition to the monies raised during tournaments, as part of their play, the Pink Ladies put $7.00 on the board for each game. “Part is for the game, and the rest is a donation,” said Lori. “At the end of the season, the vendor gives the money back to the league.”
The Potter County Pink Ladies plays on Wednesday nights and is comprised of six teams. They are always looking for new members. “We carpool up there,” said Jackie of their weekly trips to Lebanon for league play.
Lori adds, “It’s so nice, we leave at 6:00 p.m. and pick up our team members and chat and laugh the whole way there.”
Jackie lays out one of the requirements of membership. “Pink Ladies is women only, and you have to wear pink.” She adds that if a person forgets, they’re fined $5.00, which goes into their donation fund. “Some purposely don’t wear pink and just say, ‘here’s my donation’ when they throw their five bucks into the pot. I’ve added a lot of pink to my wardrobe since joining.”
The league has raised just over $2,000 since their inception, and have several families in mind to receive a donation.
“We know that when you’re battling cancer, any contribution is nice, but we want to do something significant and are still trying to build up our base as we get going so we can give a nice big check,” said Lori.
“Unfortunately cancer is something that affects us all,” said Jackie.
“Pink Ladies is something I’ll be a part of a s long as I can,” said Lori.