Sunday, May 25, 2014

'Grandpa' hits the lanes for the flag

Bowling Friday night in the first Flag Day bowl-a-thon at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy was a blast!

It's been about 25 to 30 years since I last bowled, and let's just say that my bowl-a-thon scores reflected my lack of  any recent experience on the lanes. Can you say gutter ball? Say it a few times and you'll get really close to my scores.

There are two reasons why Friday night was such a blast: The people and the cause.

Nora Dwyer enters our team, 
"The Munsters,"  into the
 computer for scoring
We were bowling to raise money for this year's Flag Day Parade on June 8. For a lot of reasons, fund-raising for the 47th annual parade is lagging, and the bowl-a-thon was a new event planned by the Flag Day Committee to get the community involved in raising funds for this annual tribute to our nation's flag.

Tom Walsh, owner of Uncle Sam Lanes on Sixth Avenue, was only too happy to host the bowl-a-thon to help this hard-working group of people come up with the funding to put on the best parade they possibly can.

Cindy Bizaro Wilson and 
Jerry Weaver of the 
Flag Day Committee

Speaking of people -- the organizers, the bowling alley staff, the bowlers -- everybody there Friday night was terrific!

I don't think people realize how hard this committee works year after year to put on this parade. Once one parade is done, they're on to planning the next one, no matter what challenges they face -- and those challenges have been many in recent years.

When I walked into the bowling alley Friday, the first people I saw were Cindy Bizaro Wilson, secretary of the parade committee, and Jerry Weaver, committee vice president. I wish I had that woman's energy. She was greeting everyone, getting teams together, working with Tom Walsh and his staff, selling 50/50 and raffle tickets, and just genuinely having a good time. Jerry, her partner in crime, was only too happy to take on the greeting and selling roles when Cindy got ready to bowl. Later, he add the task of acting as MC during the games.

Record reporter Danielle Sanzone

One of the guys set to bowl in the lane next to us came up with the clever idea that each team should be named after classic TV shows. Soon we had the "I Dream of Jeannie" team bowling on one side of us, "The Addams Family" on the other side and "Welcome Back Kotter" was down a lane or two.

Our team was "The Munsters:" Nora Dwyer, who generously volunteers her time to work on a lot of community projects including the Flag Day and Uncle Sam Parades, bowled as the lovely "Lilly Munster, Record newsroom administrative assistant Sue Chasney was "Herman," and Record reporter Danielle Sanzone bowled as the beautiful "Marilyn." I got to be "Grandpa Munster," who was played by the late actor Al Lewis on the TV show during the mid-1960s.

It was nice to see that the fund-raiser drew the support of students from both Russell Sage College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Even parents of a graduating RPI student in town from St. Louis for the commencement took part in the bowl-a-thon.

"Lily Munster" aka Nora Dwyer
Suffice to say you won't be reading about our bowling efforts in an upcoming edition of John Craig's bowling column for The Record, but we did have a good time. We laughed at the gutter balls and we cheered the spares and strikes -- even "The Munsters" had one or two of those!

Jerry did a great job announcing the raffle winners. Even some of "The Munsters" were lucky enough to walk away with a door prize or two. I particularly like the BellaRyann bracelet that I won with the flag charm; the item was donated by MarEle Boutique Accessories. Kudos to Cindy for all the great door prizes she was able to collect for the event.

Sue "Herman" Chasney, left, cheers on
 "Jeannie" during the Flag Day Bowl-a-thon
Flag Day Parade Committee President Ed Manny was on hand to pick the winning ticket for the 50/50 drawing at the conclusion of the evening.

My thanks to "The Munsters," members of the Flag Day Committee, Tom Walsh and his staff and everyone who participated in the bowl-a-thon for a truly enjoyable evening.

Here's hoping the event raised a lot of money for the 47th annual Flag Day Parade, which steps off at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 8. This year's parade will feature a variety of veterans groups and drum & bugle corps from throughout the Northeast and it has the Marine Corps Band New Orleans as its headliner.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home