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Rock Skipping Championships return to Polson

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POLSON — The Polson Rock Skipping Championships are making their return after a three-year hiatus, coming up on the morning of June 3. 

First started in 2015 by Kevin Avison and Mike Lozar, the event aimed at raising funds for the Mission Valley Ice Arena. In its early days the event saw an attendance of around 50 people. Now, years later, the funds from the event will go toward the Ken Avison Memorial Scholarship fund. 

Ken Avison acted as a superintendent in Montana schools for over 30 years and was a big believer in public education. His son Kevin said that the community, comradery, and competition are things he really appreciated, so Kevin believes it is as a good way to honor him and have a good time in the process. 

“We want to raise the money to award students to be able to go to college, and that was a big part of my dad’s life … helping kids succeed in life and education,” Kevin stated.

The registration fee is $15 for those 12 and under, $20 for 13 and over, and $50 for families. All proceeds will go toward the scholarship fund, minus the cost of pizza and pop provided at the end of the event. 

Registration on the day of the event begins at 9 a.m. at The Cove Deli and Pizza. A brief rules clinic will follow before the bagpipe-led procession leads everyone to the nearby business, Riverside Recreation, on the Flathead River. The competition begins at 10 a.m. and Kevin stressed that the event is “bring your own rock.”

An awards ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m. to crown Montana State Champions in both age divisions, as well as acknowledge second and third place winners. Judges will determine the winners by counting how many skips they saw, comparing numbers and averaging their scores. Kevin added that all judge’s results are final and anyone who wants to argue their score will have to retrieve their rocks to present to the judges. 

This year, former Lake County District Court Judge Jim Manley will participate as a judge. He and Judge DeVries have both participated in the past, something for which Kevin expressed his gratitude. The Cove Deli and Pizza has also been a great supporter, as well as Mayor Eric Huffine and his business Riverside Recreation, allowing the event to happen from their shore. “He volunteered to let us throw from there … He’s a great supporter of the city as well, so we thank him for that,” Kevin commented. 

To learn more about the championship or how to get involved, visit:

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