Here are some of the participants of the Third Annual Unified Bowling Tournament at Strikers Lanes. Submitted photo
Here are some of the participants of the Third Annual Unified Bowling Tournament at Strikers Lanes. Submitted photo

By Paul J. Seeling, Gateway News, with Roxi Wakeen, Special Olympics

BALDWIN, WI – Sunday, October 1 was another big day for bowling in Baldwin!  Strikers Lanes hosted its Third Annual Unified Bowling Tournament for Special Olympics competition, which links our special needs population with our community.  We had sixty-four energetic bowlers and as many enthusiastic spectators!  (The spectators came for the food, and they weren’t disappointed!)  St. Croix Electric Coop provided support for the tournament as well.

Strikers did a beautiful job with providing unbelievable service with a smile.  It is always a pleasure for our bowlers to feel like they’re part of a strong community.  Students from Baldwin-Woodville High School provided friendly partners, but were amazed to find that they had stiff competition from the Red Cedar Special Olympics team.

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. It empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, leading to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst as well as programming around health and education, Special Olympics works to end inactivity, injustice and intolerance.

Worldwide, Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for individuals with intellectual disabilities with 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries.

Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) provides year-round sports opportunities to more than 10,000 athletes, of any age and skill level, across the state.  With training and competitions in 18 Olympic-style sports our athletes push hard and play harder. They strive to beat their personal bests, defying the odds again and again. From swimming to snowboarding, from the local ball fields to the shining stage of the World Games, our athletes showcase the talents and triumphs of people with intellectual disabilities. For more information about SOWI go to specialolympicswisconsin.org.

St. Croix Electric Cooperative provided grant money to help cover the cost of prizes.  Because of the generosity of Strikers Lanes and St. Croix Electric Cooperative, bowlers were rewarded for their energies on the lanes.  Thank you, Kay and Mike Dorwin, and Joe Acterhof and Bruce Achterhof of Strikers Lanes for your support and attention to detail for our tournament.  Newcomers were thrilled with the positive atmosphere and great fun found at Strikers Lanes.  

A special “Thank you” goes to Jen Nickowski, Lauren Husby, Chad Lesner and Carol Gilbertson for setting up the event and service during the afternoon.  Students from Baldwin-Woodville and local Olympians were treated to bowling.  A wonderful day was had by all.  Thank you, Strikers Lanes and St. Croix Electric Cooperative!