From the card table to the lanes, these senior citizens are active

The banquet was held at Fort Ball Pizza Palace and it was not a good time for me to be on a diet. I stopped in to see what all the commotion was about and had a chance to talk to a few of these athletes. My schedule would not permit me to stay for the awards that were to be passed out, but I got a list and I would like to share a few of them with you.

Many of you may not be familiar with the Allen Eiry Senior Center, but these folks are members. They are aware of all the activities available to them and active they are. If you are a card player, euchre, pinochle or bridge games are on the menu. Like to shoot pool? You can do that, too. How about classes for sewing or making crafts? All you have to do is sign up.

If you like a little more physical action, golf leagues and bowling leagues are on the schedule. It was the end of the latter league that brought me to Fort Ball for this story. Melissa DeMoss was in charge of the league and she invited me to the banquet festivities and filled me in on the popular activity.

Twenty-nine bowlers took part this year. The league ran for 30 weeks, with each participant bowling two games on Wednesday afternoons. They did have teams, though new bowlers were placed. Many of the bowlers took some time off in the winter to head south. When they returned, all they had to do was show up at Heritage Lanes and get back at it.

Because the league was unsanctioned, these folks got no mention in the newspaper. I hope to rectify that with this column. Let’s take a look at the awards that were handed out last Tuesday evening.

The women’s high games for the season were rolled by Betty Sendelbach 196, Joann Elchert 195 and Linda Reinhart 187. For the men, Harry Smith shot a 252, Dave Hamilton 244 and Bob Reinhart 233. Harry had the top average for the season at 182 and Joann topped the ladies with her 144 average.

Two bowlers had the distinction of bowling each week and received perfect attendance awards. They were Sally Van Buskirk and Glenda Franklin. Being there all 30 weeks is impressive. What Harry Smith did on more than one occasion is also pretty cool.

Harry bowls in the Wednesday Morning League at Heritage Lanes. He also drops in at the K of C Lanes to bowl in the 55 Plus League, which takes place on Wednesday evenings. Harry bowled eight games on Wednesdays several times during the bowling season. I asked Harry if that was a lot of games to bowl in one day and he didn’t hesitate. “No, not really” was his serious response. It may not be for him, but I guarantee it would be for me.

You’re my hero, Harry!

Here are a few other awards that were handed out. Most improved – Dave Everhart and Sandy Smith. Most pins knocked down for the season – Dave Hamilton 8,977, Sally Van Buskirk 7,796. Most splits converted – Bob Reinhart 8.

Since only two games are bowled each week, triplicates were not a possibility. However, duplicates could be recorded and several people accomplished the feat, including Sally Van Buskirk, Brenda Cardenas, Paul Fey, Sandy Smith, Jeanette Lynch, Dave Everhart and Tom Kennedy.

A couple of special awards caught my attention as I perused the awards list. One was the Best Victory Dance that went to Glenda Franklin. I asked her if I could see the dance and she said yes. She never showed me, though, so I guess I have to stop in next season!

The other one was called the Trend Setter Award. This went to Bernie Tiell for his suspenders. Bernie was sporting them at the banquet. They are bright yellow and are in the pattern of a yardstick. It made me think of what I would wear to challenge Bernie for this special honor. I was thinking of maybe breaking out an old tie-dyed shirt from my college days.

Think I’d “measure up,” Bernie?

As are all the events sponsored by the Allen Eiry Senior Center, the main goal of the bowling league is to have fun. That mission was accomplished as several people were talking about their St. Patrick’s Day Party at Heritage.

One of the questions I had for the group was what age constitutes senior citizenship status as far as participating in the bowling league. I was informed that the magic age is 50. Seems like I have been eligible for this activity for several years now!

If bowling, or golf, or card playing sounds like a good idea to you, then contact the Allen Eiry Senior Center. As for being in the bowling league, all you need to do is meet the age requirement. You don’t even need your own bowling ball or shoes. Heritage Lanes will help you out. All you really need is the desire to be active and have fun.

Suspenders and dance moves are optional.

Al Stephenson is The Advertiser-Tribune’s bowling columnist.

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