ERMA - The first Kiwanis R.M. Teitelman Middle School Builders Club Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Fundraiser is history. It is expected to become an annual event.

According to a release, the best part about the tournament was that it was a multi-generational playing field of teams. Builders Club president, Jakob Hansen, organized multiple teams to play that included his siblings, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Kiwanis Club of Cape May sponsored the purchase of the 550 piece jigsaw puzzles titled the Lighthouses of New Jersey.

The collage features seven lighthouses on the Jersey coast painted on a chart map background. The puzzle worked out to be just right for a competition of this sort.

Jacqueline Moon, one of the Kiwanis advisors, was in contact with other non-profit groups that had run these types of tournaments and advised them on choosing a puzzle that was fun, didn’t have a lot of ‘fill’, like sky and sand and that could be completed in the allotted time frame of three hours. In November, a non-participating group of four tested the puzzle and finished it in two hours and  15 minutes.

The winning team was the high school LCMR Kiwanis Key Club. The team sponsored themselves for $50 and walked away with almost $300 in prizes.

The winning team members were club teacher/advisor Chris Vitale, Nick Arpa, Ryan Devine, and Andrew Heim. They finished in one hr and 39 minutes.

The second-place team was Puzzlers, Too sponsored by the Crab House at Two Mile Landing. The team was made up of three players, Builders Club president Jakob Hansen, his grandmother Gail Johns and Hailee Stiefel.

The third-place team, Paddle Puzzlers,  was sponsored by Aqua Trails Kayaking and SUP. The four-member team was made up of Erin Haibach, a Builders Club member, Kyla Haibach, Anya Davids and Marley Kronemeyer.

In addition to volunteers from Kiwanis, members of  the Lower Twp Historic Preservation Commission donated time for the day as well as Joan, one of the Teitelman "cafeteria ladies."

Local businesses donated the prizes. Each of the top three teams got to choose which four prizes they wanted with the first place team choosing first.

Each player of the non-placing teams was given a raffle ticket for the remaining three prizes.

Proceeds from the event will assist the club with its

continued upkeep and renovation of grave markers at the Union Bethel Civil War Veterans Cemetery, Cold Spring.

The club has vowed not to let the cemetery fall into disarray again. It has been adopted as an ongoing project.

In addition, Thanksgiving baskets are made for families in need at their school.

In the future, some programs they want to add include donating funds for the Friday Bookbag program. Teitelman sends home bookbags with food for the weekends for children in their school who may not have all they need to eat over the weekend.

Additionally,  the club has a soft spot for animals so may want to assist with a rescue in need of supplies.  

Lauren Hansen, who works in the front office at Teitelman helped to keep registrations organized.

Paul Schulte is Teitelman teacher advisor.

Jacqueline Moon and Mary Hendrie were Kiwanis Club of Cape May advisors.

Builders Club president is Jakob Hansen.