Lee Owen: Bowling birthday parties are the way to go

By Lee Owen

The Daily Advance

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As a parent, I realize the difficulty of planning a birthday party, and with a 5-year-old and 10-year-old having birthdays in the same month, I have the additional consideration of cost to think about.

My wife and I have done the parties at the house, but after 20 kids have invaded, the cleanup is that of a disaster area, and the cost was outrageous.

We have also had parties at parks, but with February weather being uncertain, that too was often a bust.

Finally, our kids both came to us, fully into bowling right now, and asked if they could have their party at the bowling alley.

We thought about it and realized that it was the easiest thing to do, because the kids would be confined to a building, get to bowl all they wanted, and we could also have the cake and presents right there.

Reality started to sink in though, and we wondered just how much this would cost, considering we were going to have the party on a weekend, during what is considered prime bowling time.

I called Albemarle Lanes and inquired about having a birthday party their and was surprised to find that they actually had a package just for birthdays.

For $125, we were able to get 2 lanes for an hour where we could fit up to 12 people on the pair, and if we needed more, it was only $50 for each additional lane for up to 6 more people per lane.

This sounded great to me, because not only was this a way to keep the kids busy and it was different, but it was also now their mess to clean up.

As I was about to book my reservation, I was also informed that there was more with the package.

On top of all of the bowling, I also got 45 minutes in a birthday room afterward, where they set up balloons, birthday streamers, birthday plates, a drink for every person in the party, a huge bowl of chips and candy, and a real bowling pin for all of the partiers to sign for the birthday boy or girl.

Needless to say, this was clearly the best way to go for the party, and afterward, we decided that as long as the kids wanted it there, we were definitely not going to argue.

Where ever your center is, they probably also offer these packages, so give it a try for your next party. You will be the coolest parents ever

MONDAY NIGHT MIXED

Michael Murphy, normally a 173 average bowler, caught fire this past week, taking top honors with his personal best of the season, a 255/628. Charles Sharpe followed with a 233/621, and Scott Palmer added a 601.

Pat Dooley, who I had the pleasure of subbing with this past week, also had an amazing night. The 143 average bowler started out with a 146 game but went on to roll games of 212 and 162 for a big 520 series, roughly 100 pins over her average on the night. Linda Barrett added a 200 on the night and Debbie Winslow a 198.

FELLOWSHIP MEMORIAL LEAGUE

Mark Tarkington began his night with the first ten strikes, only to come up a little short for 289, on his way to league high honors of 724. Joey Winslow followed with a 693, and Adam Meads had a 258/679. David Ange, fresh off of a PBA Regional Pro-Am win in Tavares, Florida the weekend before, added a nice 267 on the night.

Julie Transue topped the ladies with her 178 game, followed by a 158 from Michelle Pearson and a 157 from Dottie Pelis.

MARTIN LUTHER KING LEAGUE

Bobby Winslow set out to show his son, Joey, that he wasn’t the only one that could post the big numbers, leading the league with a 278/702, showing he is in perfect form with the NC Senior Games fast approaching. Joey followed dad with a 279/650, as Roy Smith added a 257/650.

Monica McCoy had another good night, leading the ladies for a second week in a row with a 201, followed by a 171 from Janet Ackerley.

YOUTH BUMPERS

Kaylee Winslow topped the league with her 211 handicap effort, followed by the 209 from Colby Judge.

YOUTH LEAGUE

Robbie Vinson topped the league with his 188 game this week, followed by a 169 from Thomas Adams, and a 155 from Lucas Votava.

On the girls side, it was Morgan Brothers and her 155 game, followed by a 109 from Sammi Stanwick and a 83 from Jasmine McKnight.