Grand County bowlers annual tournament
As a kid growing up in Grand County my parents bowled once or twice a week at Granby Lanes and/or Kremmling Lanes and so it was a treat to be able to go hang out in the alleys with them and all my friends. Maybe get some pizza or popcorn and play some fooseball or pool. As I got older and began to bowl myself bowling was a treat for myself to have a night out and take my kids along to play with all their friends at the alleys. Then I began to travel to tournaments with my mom both in Colorado and across the United States. Now I still bowl and it is still a treat for me to have my time at the bowling center and enjoy bowling with husband, daughter and my friends and enjoy a little pizza and popcorn while I’m there. In addition, being part of the board of directors for the Grand County association for the past 20 years has been very rewarding and challenging in trying to keep our leagues and tournaments full of bowlers. We have such a long history of bowling in our county that has served so many generations of bowlers I hope we can continue to keep the tradition alive!!
Grand County women bowlers are excited about their 60th annual tournament. The event will be held at 9 a.m. on April 23 and 24 at The Foundry in Fraser for members.
In addition to bowling there will be a bake sale and auction, which are open to the public.
“Our bowlers are killer bakers,” said Francie de Vos who has served on the board since 2009 and began league bowling in Grand County when Grand Lake Lanes first opened in the late 80s.
All proceeds fund the Grand County Bowling Association and is used to provide recognition awards for the men’s, women’s and mixed leagues, she said.
The ages of the women in the association vary from 20 to 79 years old. Their oldest bowler is Shirley Quealy who turns 80 this year.
“As my age went up my average went down,” said Quealy with a laugh.
The bowling association in Grand County has bowled in four different bowling alleys.
Rocky Mountain Lanes where CarQuest is now, burned down.
They played at Granby Lanes beginning in 1956 until the late 70s. The venue was unique because it had five lanes, which is different because there is normally an even number of bowling lanes, said de Vos.
Kremmling Lanes had six lanes. One of the names this venue had was Big Money Bowl.
Quealy remembers playing in Kremmling when they had enough teams to have two shifts.
“I wouldn’t get home until 1 a.m.,” she said.
“And I would get up the next morning and teach school.”
She was a teacher at Middle Park High School for 27 years.
Grand Lake Lanes was open for bowling starting in the late 80s but didn’t open this year, said de Vos.
Currently, they play at The Foundry, now the only bowling alley in Grand County.
“Many ladies didn’t want to drive there but they are coming back,” said Terry Fisher.
Every year there are different gifts that the association gives members. Gifts such as logo tote, nail clippers and hand towels. On the 50th everyone got a towel with 50th logo.
“This year since it’s the 60th there are extra special gifts,” said de Vos.
Participants must have a Grand County membership card to play in the annual tournament. The annual membership for a bowling season is $21.
The card gives members discounts at the tournaments that are held all over the country. Most restaurants and shops in tournament towns offer discounts.
The groups has traveled all over the country to play in tournaments.
“We don’t go to bowl, we bowl to go,” said Fisher.
During the tournament Hall of Fame members and board members are recognized.
There are many Mother/Daughter bowling teams. In the past there were Grandmother/Mother/ Daughter teams, but not this year.
In Colorado there is a 600 Club. Members in Grand County include Christy Horn, Terry Pratt, Beverly Tillson, Autumn Fisher and Kathy Burke.
On Feb. 12, 2012 Jean O’Neil and Beverly Tillotson were inducted into the Grand County USBC Hall of Fame.
Christy Horn is a USBC certified coach through the national organization. Horn offers classes and works with Fraser Rec kids to improve their bowling score.
“She is great bowler and awesome coach,” said de Vos.
Leagues begin again after Labor Day. People can stay in touch through Facebook, said de Vos.
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