Before the annual Mitch Carlson Memorial Dart Tournament took place Sara Swanson the mother of this year’s recipient Milo Swanson didn’t know what to expect but said “ I know our cheeks are going to hurt from smiling so much.”

That expectation came true this weekend as hundreds braved the Winter weather to help support Milo’s journey of battling a brain tumor. In the last few years the Mitch Carlson tournament has been used as a way to raise funds to help a child in need in memory of Mitch. This year the family decided to have Milo as the recipient a native of Ormsby.

About Milo

Milo is an Ormsby 9 year old boy. In August of 2016, Milo had a 10 hour surgery where they cut open his skull and completely removed a benign brain tumor and 92% of a second lesion that is connected to his optical nerve. After many MRIs and trips to Rochester every four to eight weeks to monitor his progress they learned it has grown and has become another tumor. It is a non-cancerous, low grade tumor. He will need a regimen of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. Since Milo has had surgery once in that area, surgery is out of the question at this time. In January, Milo had a port-a- cath surgically placed to administer treatments. They will make weekly trips to Rochester to have three hour chemo infusions for the first phase of treatments. Treatments are expected to take about a year to complete. Before the tournament Milo also mentioned that he was wondering if he would be able to learn how to play darts. Milo’s dream came true on Saturday as he got to learn how to throw darts by participants in the tournament. The lucky person who got to face off against him was the winner of a contest where the goal is to be the last person to donate a dollar. During this hundreds of dollars was raised. While Milo quickly picked up the skills and knowledge of how to throw darts he was also presented with his own dart set putting a huge smile on the nine year olds face who said he is excited to continue throwing darts.

While the weekend included plenty of conversation a silent auction and baked goods there was also plenty of competitive darts taking place. This year the tournament had 32 participants for the Friday night Cricket style tournament and 88 for the 501 style tournament on Saturday.

Cricket style tournament females 1 Becky Ibarra 2 Amber Gleason 3 Sabrina Carlson

Cricket style tournament men 1 Tony Pietsch 2 Kevin Spitzner 3 Norman Steinbrink 4 Brian Neitzel 501 style female 1 Samantha Carlson 2 Katie Elzenga 3 Kelsey Nelson 4 Jayme Ekstrum

501 style men 1Jordon Elzenga 2 Anthony Forand 3Eric Abelson 4 Norm Anderson 5Nathan Lindquist

As with tradition the winners of each tournament donated back their winnings which totaled to $400 extra being raised to help Milo.

After the tournament Milo’s mother was very thankful for all those that attended and helped out in any way. "Thank you to the Mitch Carlson family and dart tournament supports! Your support, kindness and generosity was the best kind of overwhelming, ever! We wish we could have hugged each and every one of you!" Milo said that he enjoyed meeting lots of new people and is excited to attend next year’s event "I appreciate everyone coming and I had lots of fun there. I met a lot of people that are awesome! I think I am going to love playing darts! I can't wait to see people there next year! "

Be sure to check out this story in the March 1st print edition of the Plaindealer