Gadsden hosts Mahjongg tournament, raises money for orchestra

Pictured above, from left, Jane Herb, Gwen Bonner, Linda McClendon and Jimmye Bain engage in the day’s first game. At right, tiles from the specially-designed Mahjongg set auctioned off to benefit the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra.Pictured above, from left, Jane Herb, Gwen Bonner, Linda McClendon and Jimmye Bain engage in the day’s first game. At right, tiles from the specially-designed Mahjongg set auctioned off to benefit the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra.

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

At least 98 people from across Alabama and several surrounding states were in Gadsden July 17 for the Southeast Regional Mahjongg tournament, ready to match their tiles for a title.

While Mahjongg may not be a familiar game to many, it seems to be gaining in popularity locally. It is a very old Chinese game, using figured tiles.

Tournamnet coordinator Fran Andrepont pondered a moment to come up with a similar game, and couldn’t quite find on that fits.

“If you can play Rummy Cube or gin rummy,” she said, “you could play Mahjongg.”

The tournament grouped players in fours, setting them up at tables in the Senior Activity Center. They played matches throughout the day, while points were kept to determine the outcome.

In addition to the play, the group was to have lunch and ample time to visit the Mahjongg store. Mahjongg sets can be purchased with ornate tile designs, making the beauty of a set almost as enjoyable as the game.

The tournament is an annual fundraiser for the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestra board supplied participants with a dessert buffet.

Organizers conducted a silent auction for a specially-made Mahjongg set that included jokers bearing the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra logo.

The starting bid price for the set was $75.

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