52 participate in Special Olympics bowling
By MARY TOBIA/Special to the TIMES NEWS Wayne Branch gets ready to try his skill at bowling a strike during the Carbon County Special Olympics which was held recently at Haja Lanes in Palmerton. Branch was one of the fifty-two participants in the 2010 Bowling competition.
A strike, a spare or a miss, it all totaled up to some serious scoring competition and lots of fun for the Carbon County Special Olympics.
Fifty-two members ages 8 - 66 years old were registered participants for the 2010 bowling competition held at Haja Bowling Lanes in Palmerton.
Over 30 volunteers were present to lend a hand in making the bowling event a success.
This was the fourth year for the CCSO popular bowling competition, which is alternately hosted each year by Fritz lanes in Lehighton and Haja Lanes.
The bowlers were divided into seven divisions. The top winners of each division will continue on to the Eastern Bowling Sectional competition in Allentown, which will take place on April 11.
The winners of that day will travel to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania bowling state competition.
Last year 12 members of the CCSO went on to compete at state level
"Every year, we train for bowling and end our season with our local competition and every year, I am overwhelmed with pride and joy seeing so many athletes with so many physical and mental challenges overcome these and for one day, be the best athletes in our county. It truly is inspirational and one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life." said Chris Anthony, Training Coordinator.
"All of the bowler today have completed 7 weeks of training to qualify for today," said Sharon Bonser, volunteer athletic registrar. " I have been working with the Special Olympics for 4 years. It is so rewarding for me. I want to make a difference in peoples lives."
Harry MacDonald of Tamaqua was cheering on bowler Chris Kerzmann.
"I met Chris many years ago at a group home in Hometown where I work as a CNA. We formed a friendship and I would bring him to our home for the weekends.
He has blended so well into our family and over the years he has just become a part of our family and we would have it no other way." added MacDonald.
Dorothy Scheckler of Bowmanstown was at the bowling match in support of her son, Seth.
"This gives all the athletes an opportunity that they might not ordinarily have and they enjoy it so much." added Scheckler.
"This is great, it gets Ryan out into some athletic competition and he loves to bowl!" said father Robert Lee of Penn Forest.
The Carbon County Special Olympics is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that raises the funds through the generosity of individuals, companies and foundation.
If you would like to donate to the special Olympics, become a volunteer or to learn more about the CCSO email Sherri Anthony at email@example.com, or call (610) 826-5810.