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Date of Issue: September 01, 2010

20-year stike-spare benefit rolls to an end

Aug. 28 marked the 20th and final O’Connor Bowling Challenge. It’s been organized by twin brothers George and Billy O’Connor at the AMF Lanes in Bradenton together with spouses Sharon and Sue and long-time cohorts Peggy Davenport, Jennifer and Bill Lowman, Chris Holmes and Chris McNamara. The group has helped raise more than $150,000 in 20 years for sporting equipment for youth programs at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.

Assistant Center director Scott Dell was effusive in his praise of the O’Connors and their crew, thanking them for their many years of service during the awards ceremony following the challenge at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar.

During my 20 years of participating, I’ve taken great pleasure in ripping my friends for their “bowling accomplishments” in this column so I guess it’s my turn. With Matt Bowers and Mark Bowers out of town and Matt Welch too scared to show up, I was challenged this year for lane superiority by Jen and Joe Rogers and Bonnie Bowers and Chrissy Bowers. Chrissy Bowers bowled a 127 in her final game of the evening to top my rather pedestrian 105 effort, while Joe Rogers surged ahead with a 153 in his final game to take high game among our group.

In the actual competition (if you can call it that) Brian Fritz was once again the bowler of the night. His 244 earned him the high-game trophy and helped him to a high series of 650. Aris Thompson, TLC director at the Center, won high game for women with a 179, while Catherine Vandergrafe won the women’s high-series trophy.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Kim Stablin somehow out-dueled Stephanie Bell to take low game among the women with a 42, while Eric Pendleton managed to bowl a 50 to take low game honors among the men.

Last but not least, Katie and Michael O’Connor, who will take over the fundraiser next year, pulled Jake Spooner’s name out of the hat to win the prized flat-screen TV to complete a fantastic 20-year run by the O’Connors and their crew.

Congratulations and see you next year.

Horseshoe news

Mother Nature ruled the horseshoe pits with rain Aug. 28, although four rough and ready tossers showed up and got in some horseshoe action. Steve Grossman, Jay Disbrow, Jeff Moore and Sam Samuels tied for first place.

Norm Good and Tim Sofran were the only duo to earn the requisite three victories and were the outright champs during Aug. 25 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City hall pits.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

Register now for adult soccer

The Anna Maria Island Community Center is hosting a fall, adult-coed soccer league. For $75, adults now have a fun way to stay in the game.

Interested players must register by Sept. 9 and must be at least 20 years of age. Team registration is not permitted, but pairs are encouraged. Everyone who signs up by Sept. 9 will be placed on a team, but for league parity, everyone must attend the tryout date.

Captains and sponsors are still needed for the league, which will start play on Sept. 30.

For more information, contact Tyler Bekkerus or Andy Jonatzke at the Center, 941-778-1908.