Bowlers roll for kids

With help from granddad, John Dyer, Lucy Stanford gets her ball rolling at the 10th annual Bowl For Kids Sake fundraiser.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
With help from granddad, John Dyer, Lucy Stanford gets her ball rolling at the 10th annual Bowl For Kids Sake fundraiser.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

A spring snowstorm was no impediment to the 10th annual Bowl For Kids Sake fundraiser to benefit Oak Harbor Big Brothers/Big Sisters — in fact, the warm confines of Oak Bowl on Midway Boulevard was the place to be Saturday morning.

The historic facility, in its 51st year of operation, was jumping with bowlers of all ages turning out in support of the worthwhile cause.

Bowlers began arriving at 8:30 a.m. for a round of socializing and practice before the action got started about an hour later.

All of the funds raised from T-shirt sales, donated prizes, raffles and team entry fees go directly toward matching children with carefully screened, caring Big Brothers /Big Sisters volunteers, and bowlers of all ages were out in force to share in the magic of connecting a child with a mentor.

Team names were diverse as the bowlers themselves and ranged from the Kiwanis Club, that has been a part of the event since its inception 10 years ago, to a team that called itself “The Divas and The Guy.”

In between were the Key Bowlers, all from Oak Harbor High School, who spent a fun Saturday morning dressed in their black T-shirts with a huge green star imprinted the front knocking down pins for the worthy cause.

Martha Wallin said this is her fifth year bowling in the event.

“I am bowling on the Kiwanis team again this year and we are also the sponsors of the Key Club team,” she said.

Oak Harbor High School senior KeryJeane Gehling, who is involved in just about every activity imaginable from being a member of the Wildcats’ medical staff at football games, to taking tickets at soccer and basketball games, to being a lifeguard at John Vanderzicht Memorial pool, said she has bowled at For Kids Sake fundraisers in previous years.

“They are a lot of fun to be in and there are so many people who get involved to help out and make the event a success,” she said.

Some of the bowlers were in the event for the first time and were surprised at the number of participants.

Two of the first timers were Cathy West and Nicole McCluskey, both from Oak Harbor, and both members of team Kiwanis.

“I work at Whidbey Island Bank,” McCluskey said. “This event is really something and I’ll be back next year.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters board member John Dyer was also on hand, along with his granddaughter, Lucy Stanford, and her mother, Jennie.

“I’ve bowled in this event before, but I haven’t for a few years,” Jennie Stanford said. “I’m back again and it seems to get bigger and better every year.”

Everyone involved had a good time at the event and $15,300 was raised to benefit the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

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