Central Michigan University students threw bowling balls through their legs and behind their backs Thursday at the Strikes for Special Olympics: Bowling with a Twist fundraiser.
The Strikes for Special Olympics event, which was put on by a group of Central Michigan University classmates, was held at the Riverwood Resort bowling center. All proceeds went to Special Olympics Michigan.
Holton junior Ben Blamer was the team member who chose to partner with Special Olympics Michigan, after being involved with special education classes throughout high school and through volunteering. He was pleased with the turnout and commended his team’s work ethic.
“Overall, we put in over 150 hours as a group and we have had a great team effort throughout the entire semester,” Blamer said. “Bowling is a fun sport that anybody can come out and enjoy playing, and it’s even better that we can support the Special Olympics while we have fun.”
The fundraiser was organized by one of the groups formed in the RPL 430: Planning Recreation Programs and Events class taught by Tim Otteman. His class divided into six groups with five members each, and the groups were required to partner with an organization to put on a fundraising event.
The theme of the night was “Bowling with a Twist,” which required participants to try new, interesting ways of bowling. Each lane had different bowling instructions for the players to try.
Sometimes they would have to throw it through their legs, while other times they would have to throw it without looking. The most talked about style was the “Fred Flintstone,” which required bowlers to wind up their shot, then tippy-toe forward before letting the ball go.
Portland junior Victoria Spitzley was the group member who proposed the “wacky” bowling idea for the fundraiser, which she got from her job back home.
“At the bowling alley back home where I work, we always throw these wacky bowling parties that are a fun, new way to bowl,” Spitzley said. “I enjoy seeing how the participants react to the funny bowling styles, and it’s always fun watching them try to act them out.”
The team went in with optimistic hopes of reaching a goal of $250. With more than 75 participants attending, that goal was met within the first five minutes of the fundraiser’s start. Registration was $10 per person before the event, and $12 at the door. Funds were still being calculated at the event’s conclusion.
Throughout the night, there were many ways to win prizes, which were donated from many local Mount Pleasant businesses. Aside from the main 50/50 raffle, there were numerous raffles for different prizes, which included 18-hole rounds of golf, jewelry and Taco Bell gift cards.
Mardi Gras beads were given to any participant who bowled a strike. Whoever had the most beads at the end of the night won special prizes, such as Coors Light merchandise and free holes of golf, courtesy of Riverwood Resort.
There were food and drink specials specifically for the event, including a $7 large pizza and cheap beer specials. Free cab rides were available for participants, courtesy of local Mount Pleasant cab company Joe Cab.
Troy junior Kevin Slimak thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the interesting bowling styles, and was thrilled to be supporting Special Olympics Michigan in the process.
“The wacky bowling is tough, but it makes for an even playing field for everyone,” Slimak said. “If you’re going to go bowling, then this is the night to do it, because you’d be supporting such a great cause.”