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Mah Jongg tournament is Thursday, Sept. 4

Taking part in an engaging game of mah jongg are, clockwise from left, Judy Phillips, Judy Dawson, Pam Vold and Linda Remiger.

Monday afternoon and Thursday morning, women from the Park Rapids and surrounding area are busy playing the game of mah jongg at Citizens National Bank’s community room.

The Park Rapids Mah Jongg League started six summers ago on Potato Lake with four players. More than 45 names are now on the mailing list.

Mah jongg is an old, Chinese tile game of skill, strategy and calculation spiced with a degree of chance. It is played with 152 tiles with the goal of claiming and discarding tiles to form combinations or hands. It is estimated that at least a half million people in the U.S. play the game.

It’s a game of camaraderie and fun and is a social outing for most of the ladies.

Each player has an official National Mah Jongg League scoring card that they look at to come up with different combinations and sets. A new card is printed each year.

The group meets from noon-3 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays at Citizens National Bank in Park Rapids.

That sense of community has prompted an annual tournament, this year benefiting the Headwaters Animal Shelter.

A mah jongg tournament benefiting the Headwaters Animal Shelter will be from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 in the Northwoods Bank community room.

All levels of players – novice to experienced – are welcome. Registration is $25 but greater contributions are welcome. Lunch will be provided.

To register for the tournament, send checks to Sheila Hastings, 14355 Hummingbird Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470. She can be contacted at 732-3260.