ANNA MARIA – Several hundred people gathered Saturday night with a common goal in mind – to support The Center of Anna Maria Island.
All 64 lanes of the 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 that the tournament took over the entire bowling alley.
This year’s winners were Salty Dolphin for best team; Joey Newell won for top-scoring male with a 266-point single game and Cali Hanson won for top-scoring female with 184 points. The Gutter Ball winner was Dhaval Patel. Charlie Serra won the Top Kid award, and the Morey Foundation hippies team, sponsored by Laura King, won Best Costume.
“We sold out,” Center Executive Director Christopher Culhane said. “All of the proceeds will benefit The Center.” Culhane declined to speculate on the anticipated amount of funds raised by the event.
The cost of participation 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 multiple silent auction items.
The tournament was named for Greg LaPensee, who passed away on Dec. 21, 2021 at the age of 39, and was sponsored by his family’s business.
“Thank you to LaPensee Plumbing • Pools • Air for sponsoring and to the LaPensee Family for all you have done to help grow this event into what it is now,” The Center’s Facebook page said. “A huge shout out to the committee – Carlee LaPensee, Ashley Chiles and Janae Rudacille – and staff for all of their hard work.”
A non-profit community center, The Center on Magnolia Avenue meets the needs of those living on or near the Island, and serves all ages, including youths, teens and senior citizens.