*Easter Seals Greater Houston is committed to being a lifelong partner for individuals of all ages with disabilities, and their families. Adult Services offers educational and recreational opportunities to adults with disabilities. This program offers many of its clients’ their only opportunity for socializing and provides respite for the adult participant’s caregivers. Stay tuned for how much fun our clients has while learning to incorporate the Ipad into their lives, communication and education.
Many of you may not know it, but on many a Saturday the Easter Seals Greater Houston Adult Program goes bowling. It’s an all-volunteer affair sometimes with National Charity League, sometimes with Junior League, sometimes with different church groups but all with an emphasis on fun in the moment. I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of attending the past few years when my schedule permits. And at the end of the games, I’m always glad I did.
The Metro vans begin to roll in @ 10 AM to the bowling alley, and it takes very little time for the excitement to build. The program members collect by our side of the alley, catching up with each other since the last time they met; while some volunteers begin fishing out the ramps from storage. All the logistics takes a bit; what ramps for which lanes with who is assigned where, then getting everyone situated after traversing the lane seating area while pulling bowling balls from bags and lockers.
Finally, everyone arrives and all is set so practice can begin as a warm-up. This is also a warm-up for the volunteers, each having one to two bowlers to assist in getting the ball to their ramp, and learning the intricacies of how each bowler likes their ball to be set. After a few frames, it is time to begin bowling in earnest.
It’s a three game series, with whoever ends up with the highest average score wining free bowling for the day. And just to keep things on the up and up, Edith often serves as score keeper recording the player’s results for each game. Don’t let the smile fool you, the competition will begin to heat up fast.
My first bowler is Tom, as usual looking dapper in his winter hat. He’s kind of irresistible to the female volunteers, so he is always getting big hugs. He has his own bowling ball and can play a mean game. Once he gets a feel for his lane, his aim is unerringly accurate. No surprises when he gets a strike, often with a number of spares to follow. Getting scores of 150 points a game puts him in contention to be high scorer.
This is Bryan, my other bowling companion for the day. His big smile is no accident; he has a bright outlook on life. He recently got his own bowling ball and likes to use the heavy ramps for stability. He’s a bit of a power bowler, those balls fly down the ramp.
There is rivalry between the bowlers to see who gets high score every game. But what’s more important are those strikes, whenever someone gets one there are plenty of compliments and encouragement in their direction from everyone else. Pulling off a difficult shot to get a spare also brings a lot of attention. For us volunteers, time seems to fly by. Of course, after the games some nourishment is in order for the bowlers; favorite food, Pepsi and pizza.
By Carl, Long-time ESGH Volunteer. To donate to support this program and others like it, click here. Adult Services offers recreational opportunities to adults with disabilities. This program offers many of its clients’ their only opportunity for socializing and provides respite for the adult participant’s caregivers.