Bowling brings fun and friendship

Hood River Special Olympics bowling team gathering pledges for Nov. 5 Bowling with the Cops

<aroaj L:ander and Ester Simmons at Special Olympics bowling practice at Orchard Lanes.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
<aroaj L:ander and Ester Simmons at Special Olympics bowling practice at Orchard Lanes.

Bud Pounders wipes the sweat off his hands and grabs a bright blue ball from the carousel. He’s bowling in loafers, not the tri-colored slick-bottom shoes designed for sliding across the hardwood; but for his between-the-legs delivery style, this footwear is ideal.

He steps up — toes on the line — and tosses his ball down the lane. It’s a mean hook on this roll, and despite having the bumpers raised to prevent gutterballs, Pounders’ ball manages to sneak his ball around the outside of all 10 pins. He knocks over respectable eight pins the next roll to rescue the frame from a double goose egg; it’s high fives all around for that toss.

A couple lanes down, Mariah Langer and Esther Simmons are having similar luck. The two Hood River Special Olympics team members have been practicing for several weeks at Orchard Lanes, and although their scores have improved, the infamous gutterball shows up from time to time. And it does not help that they’re bowling alongside John Owre, who has by far the strongest throw on the team.

Hood River’s Special Oylmpics bowling team is 34 players strong this season, with members ranging in age from 12 to 70. The team practices every Monday for 12 weeks leading up to a regional competition in November.

“Right now the team is getting ready for Bowling with the Cops; they look forward to it all season,” said Anna Schwebke, team coordinator. “After that they have regionals, which is a against teams from all over the Northwest.”

Bowling with the Cops is a fundraiser the group does every year to raise money for team and traveling expenses. HRSO team members collect pledges from the community, either in flat donation or by score, and spend an afternoon (Nov. 5) bowling with/against law enforcement officers from around the county.

“Before bowling they competed in track and field and bocce ball; after this season they move on to skiing and swimming,” Schwebke said. “For many of our members, this is basically the only chance they have to get out and socialize with friends. Special Olympics provides an opportunity to build confidence and a sense of self-worth that many don’t usually get in their day-to-day lives.”

HRSO team members will be out in the community campaigning for pledges leading up to Bowling with the Cops. Anyone who would like to sponsor an athlete is asked to contact Schwebke at: Additionally, Schwebke said coaches are always in demand. Anyone interested in volunteering to coach can contact her for details.

Team business sponsors are also being sought and can inquire at the same email. Schwebke acknowledged the following businesses for their recent support:

Rosauers Supermarket, Full Sail Brewing, Orchard Lanes, Doug’s Sports, Dairy Queen, Walgreens, Papa Murphy’s, Pietro’s and Domino’s Pizza.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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