Niles bowlers raise money for scholarships

Published 7:36 pm Monday, January 3, 2011

Does the Christmas spirit still exist in Niles? Evidently it still abounds in the hearts and minds of the Thursday night league bowlers at Joey Armadillo’s Bowling Center.

On Thursday, Dec. 23, the Niles City “B” Men’s League and Thursday Ladies’ Night Out League raised more than $700 to benefit the Niles Youth Bowling Association.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the two leagues have spearheaded a raffle to benefit the youth bowling program. More than 70 youth, ages 5-19 participate in bowling, every Saturday at Joey Armadillo’s, during the bowling season.

Each year, at the conclusion of the bowling season, the Cindy Cross Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a graduating local senior who participates in the program. The $200 stipend is given in honor of Cross, a long time bowler in the Niles Association. Additionally, $100 grants, “In-House Scholarships” for future educational purposes are placed into escrow for younger bowlers. More than $1,500 dollars was distributed to league members last year.

“I am pretty amazed at how well we did,” commented Dave Lembke, secretary for City “B” League, which took the night off from bowling to coordinate the event. The $706 amassed this year practically doubled the previous year’s contributions.

Donna Medlin, Youth Bowling Association director, was equally impressed with the results. She explained that $200 will go toward the Cindy Cross Scholarship Fund and the rest of the proceeds will go into the fund for the “In-House Scholarships.” These amounts are carefully controlled by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) for future distribution.

More than 120 individuals purchased at least three tickets in the raffle for $2 each. Most were Thursday night bowlers, but others contributed also.

During the evening, there were 41 draws for a huge variety of prizes. Five turkeys, five hams, a Detroit Red Wings commemorative mirror, gift cards, gift certificates, CD cases, t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts and toys were only some of the voluminous amount of prizes handed out.

Lembke, Medlin, Mark Young and others who organized the event were especially grateful for the numerous local businesses who were donors. O.K. Distributing (Jamie Stover), Nate Wines (Jim and Scott Nate), Lowery’s Grocery of Buchanan, Niles Wal-Mart (Mary Jane Davis), Wings ETC (Jim Weaver), State Farm Insurance of Three Oaks (Dave Majerek) and MacAllister Machinery Company of South Bend (Jacquie Coffel) contributed heavily to the cause.

Their generosity is the true seasonal exemplar of the principle it is better to give than to receive.