One time, I think in ninth grade, I bowled a 220. I was a mediocre bowler and this was an anomaly, but ever since then I have referred to myself as a "220-bowler." My latest opportunity to bore innocent bystanders with my high-score bowling story was Feb. 11 during the Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal Bowl-A-Thon.
And bore them I did. But more importantly I passed the torch of bowling mediocrity to my 4-year-old son, who hit the lanes for the first time in his life and had a great time. Also enjoying himself was my 1-year-old son, who ran toward the pins several times, hoping to knock them over by hand, before being corralled by my wife.
Enjoying an afternoon of bowling with my family and looking around at other staff members and their kids having a blast, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate we were. Fortunate to have the time and the money to go out for an afternoon of fun. Fortunate to have loving families. Fortunate to have good friends and coworkers. Fortunate to have good jobs in a bad economy. Not everyone is so lucky, including some of the people who will be helped by the $862 we raised during the Bowl-A-Thon and the more than $44,000 the Christmas Appeal has brought in this winter. It’s good to know we can help our less fortunate neighbors, even if it’s by doing small things like taking part in a fundraiser.
For next year’s Bowl-A-Thon I’m hoping to collect more pledges for my kids. When you’re trying to decide how much to give them per pin, just remember, their father is a 220-bowler.