Filling Dark Lanes While Helping the Community

by Bob Johnson 0

Bowling centers have a unique opportunity to serve the community while filling lanes during traditionally slow periods — such as Thursday afternoons, when most people are either working or in school.

Most people — but not all. An example: men and women with developmental delays. At Melody Lanes in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday afternoons are devoted to individuals who participate in programs developed by Brooklyn Community Services, which is one of seven organizations supported by The New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund. The Times reported on the Brooklyn Community Services’ bowling program in its Sunday edition.

“The recreation program is a wonderful outlet for them,” Jim Johnson, the director, told the Times. “It’s socialization. It’s camaraderie. It’s good competition. It’s inclusion in the community.”

Johnson added that while participants have numerous activities from which to choose — including softball, art lessons, field trips, etc. — bowling is the most popular.

To read more about the program and its benefits — for the community and the host center — click here.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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