Bowlers roll to raise money for the Center

Some members of the AMI Locals team bowled like bananas. -Anne Yarbrough | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Several hundred people gathered on Saturday evening with a common goal in mind – to support the Anna Maria Island Centre.

The 64 lanes of Bowlero Bradenton bowling alley were sold out, filled with participants in the Greg LaPensee Bowling Tournament, a fundraiser for the center. This year marks the first time the tournament has taken over the entire bowling alley.

This year’s winners were Salty Dolphin for Best Team; Joey Newell won the men’s best score with a single game of 266 points and Cali Hanson won the women’s best score with 184 points. The Gutter Ball winner was Dhaval Patel. Charlie Serra won the Top Kid award and the Laura King-sponsored Morey Foundation hippie team won the Best Costume award.

“We sold out,” said the center’s executive director, Christopher Culhane. “All proceeds will benefit the Center.” Culhane declined to speculate on the expected amount of funds raised by the event.

The cost to participate was $50 per person; $700 for Signature Lane sponsors; $450 for Lane sponsors with six players; and $250 for Lane sponsors without players.

The event also featured several silent auction items.

The tournament is named after Greg LaPensee, who died on December 21, 2021 at the age of 39, and was sponsored by the family business.

“Thank you to LaPensee Plumbing • Pools • Air for sponsorship and to the LaPensee family for all you have done to help make this event what it is now,” the Center’s Facebook page said. “A big shout out to the committee – Carlee LaPensee, Ashley Chiles and Janae Rudacille – and the staff for all their hard work.”

A non-profit community center, the Center on Magnolia Avenue caters to the needs of those living on or near the island and serves all ages, including youth, teens and seniors.

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