A tradition that spans a half-century in Savannah continues as AMBUCS celebrates 50 years of bowling. The AMBUCS exceptional bowling league started in 1965, initially opening for 7 – 16 year old children with special needs. As the bowlers have aged over the last five decades, the league increased it’s age limits and has now matured into an adult league. For the last four years, the bowling has served as a fund raising platform. Now the 4th Annual AMBUCS Celebrity Bowlapalooza is set to begin. WSAV’S Martin Staunton and Kim Gusby make up one of the 22 teams competing to raise the most money between now and October 17, 2015.
The money raised provides cost free, custom bikes and trikes to children and adults with mobility challenges. This drive begins with a Kick-off Party at the Knights of Columbus on Liberty Street in Savannah Thursday, July 16 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Last year, Gusby raised more than $5,000 dollars- enough to buy six new bikes. Keven Sheehan has been working with AMBUCS for years and says the change in the recipients state of mind is amazing. “It changes their behavior because they’re no longer frustrated. They’re different. They can’t do something. Now, when they’re on that bike, all it is to them is a bike ride,” Sheehan said. That ride can bridge more than the gap created by mobility challenges, it can help build bridges to new friendships. “I got a message from a mom on Facebook recently that her son had got a bike and now every kid in the neighborhood thinks he now has the coolest bike,” said Sheehan.
The bikes are free to riders but actually cost around $750 dollars each to build. Celebrity Bowlapalooza allows AMBUCS to give the bikes and trikes to children and adults for free. The kickoff event launches a three month effort filled with a wide variety of activities planned by each team. “We got a lot of local restaurants that are participating in to donate some of the food, so it’s going to be a great night of fun and the exciting part is that night, two children are going to have their lives changed because they’re going to get bikes,” Sheehan said.
The bikes grant a level of independence and confidence that goes beyond any measure of money. The goal this year is $90,000 dollars. It will culminate with the 4th edition of the Bowlapalooza event. It will be held a AMF Savannah Lanes on Tibet Avenue, Saturday, October 17, 2015. Donations can be made online on the link below:http://www.savannahambucs.com/2015-celebrity-bowlapalooza.html