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Posted on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 : 12:17 p.m.

Cobra Kai invades 826 Michigan euchre fundraiser

By Richard Retyi

The robot-themed non-profit tutoring and writing center 826 Michigan (115 East Liberty Street) held a Euchre Tournament fundraiser on Sunday at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub (318 Main Street), with a twist - it encouraged lowdown, dirty, filthy cheating. A perfect place for the Cobra Kai dojo to make an appearance.

Twelve teams faced off in a contest reminiscent of the All-Valley Karate Tournament, but with fewer roundhouse kicks, a lot more do-gooding and a total of $3,493 raised.

Teams were given play money equal to their fundraising totals to spend on cheats during the tournament, from $5 card upgrades, to $20 legal reneges to pricy trump changes. As the tournament progressed, two teams distanced themselves from the pack, setting up an inevitable Cobra Kai - Miyagi Dojo finale.

Already Barndoors, consisting of 826 volunteer Tyler Brubaker and his son Cameron (nicknamed Sid) entered the contest with all the black gied cockiness of the Cobra Kai dojo. All that was missing was the feathered 80s hair and general beefcake of William Zabka (no offense fellas, but Bill Z. is a grade A hunk).

With a war chest of nearly $400 in funds raised, the Already Barndoors crew advanced to the finals embracing the role of John Kreese’s boys, riding free points from rules violations, high-fiving during big points and using aggressive play to send their disgruntled opponents to drink. They downed Coffee People in the first round before beating the Ann team in a chippy 10-8 match-up to earn a berth in the semi-finals. In the semis, Barndoors thrashed Bacon and Scramble 10-0, advancing to the championship with $230 remaining in their cheat fund.


On the other side of the bracket, the Loner Knights embodied all the traits of Daniel Larusso, Ali Mills and the Miyagi Dojo. They believed in fair play, enjoyed manual labor and looked many years younger than the date of birth on their driver’s licenses. Mr. Bill Sumerton and Mrs. Linda Sumerton (parents of 826 Program Director Amy Sumerton) piloted the Loner Knights past the first round, then twice defeated the Habitual Linesteppers to advance to the final table where they faced Already Barndoors.

Thanks to a quirk in the rules, teams eliminated from the tournament donated their remaining funds to one of the teams in the finals. With a choice between the Cobra Kai and the loveable Miyagi Dojo, it was no surprise that the Sumertons entered the deciding tilt with nearly $900 to Tyler and son’s $230. Despite the lopsided bankroll, the teams battled to a 5-5 tie as the tournament hit the 4-hour mark. The Sumertons took a 6-5 lead until the Cobra Kai swept the leg, scoring 3 straight points to make it 8-6. Somewhere, John Kreese smiled and crossed his arms.

Like the great Daniel LaRusso, the Loner Knights fought back, scoring a euchre on the next point and then crane kicking Already Barndoors in the noodle for the deciding two points and victory. The crowd went wild and in the spirit of sportsmanship, just like Johnny Lawrence, Tyler and Sid handed the Sumertons their prize and clapped along with the assembled crowd. Loner Knights received Borders gift cards and other goodies, while raising $520 for 826 Michigan.

The Barndoors aren’t all bad. Tyler and Sid were instrumental in building the 826 Michigan holiday storefront for the Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair Company. The Main Street Area Association is holding a contest for the best storefront and the Gearbots living room display is more than deserving of first prize (plus, if they win, the organization gets $500 towards tutoring and writing programs for kids!) Vote here, vote now, vote often.

And now ladies and gentlemen, Peter Cetera.

Richard Retyi writes about shooting, running medium distances and cards. Read more of his stuff here or send him your best gravy recipes at


Jordan Miller

Mon, Nov 16, 2009 : 8:19 p.m.

My favorite part of the story? "This is a video response to NeverEnding Story (Power of Goodbye ~Madonna)"


Mon, Nov 16, 2009 : 1:20 p.m.

826 Michigan is a great organization. Nice piece, Richard!!

Richard Retyi

Mon, Nov 16, 2009 : 12:58 p.m.

They raised $3,493! Now with the $500 they hope to win for their awesome storefront (vote vote, hint hint) that's quite a bit of tutoring and workshopping they can accomplish.