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Fostoria teacher’s love for Scrabble and a good beer leads to unique competition

Dozens of Scrabble players got together at the Findlay Brewing Company on Sunday to drink beer and raise money for the Jerry Sisser Scholarship Fund.

FINDLAY, Ohio — For some, weekends are for kicking back with a few beers.

Others relish the opportunity for friendly competition that a game of Scrabble can offer.

But who would have thought the pastimes would go together like chocolate and peanut butter?

On Saturday, the Findlay Brewing Company hosted a Beer-Fueled Scrabble Tournament.

Organizers think it may be the first of its kind in the world.

Dozens of people showed up to the event to play, drink, and honor one of Fostoria’s best-loved teachers.

The event, held in conjunction with the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, helped raise money for the Jerry Sisser Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Jerry was an avid word game player and an educator who passed away unexpectedly last Spring. He was also a regular at the Findlay Brewing Company.

“Jerry was coming in, getting our beer to go, and sharing it with others. And that’s so meaningful. That’s one of the reasons the Findlay Brewing Company exists,” said Sarah Foltz, General Manager of the Findlay Brewing Company as she explained how the brewery got involved in the event.

Jerry taught television, communications, and journalism classes for more than 30 years at Fostoria High School.

Jerry’s family established the fund to continue and build on Jerry’s legacy as a teacher and proponent of higher education.

“We had people here that knew my father, and people here who didn’t know him at all. But have all responded because it’s a fun idea and a fun way to remember someone,” said Jerry’s daughter Sarah Sisser. 

Money raised at the event will help give a senior in Handcock County a chance to study in college.

Despite the propensity for arguments among serious Scrabble players and the loosening of self-control that can sometimes come with beer drinking, there was no evidence that things got out of hand.

“It was just a really fun way to remember Jerry. Playing Scrabble at a brewery on Sunday morning – what better way to end the weekend,” said Jerry’s friend Denise Thomas.

You can donate to the Jerry Sisser Memorial Fund here.

The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation supports causes that improves the quality of life in Findlay and Hancock County. 


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