After months of work aimed at sprucing up Savoy Lanes, the regional sports council is ready to get the ball rolling this weekend.
A grand reopening event takes place Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. and will celebrate volunteer effort and the community’s desires to save the bowling alley from untimely demise.
Nelson Regional Sports Council’s Kim Palfenier says the facility has been abuzz with workers painting, polishing, upgrading and “sweating” every weekend since June.
“They support the cause. They want the place operating again,” she says. “It’s a giant asset to the community and they don’t want it to be lost.”
One helper has joined the crew every day. Richard Him, on the special Olympic bowling team, brought his smile and helping hands more than anyone and Palfenier describes him as an “awesome volunteer extraordinaire.”
The bowling alley was on the brink of closure this spring as the current owners faced financial crisis. Then, the Kootenay Advocacy Network stepped in to buy the facility for the sports council to operate.
It was closed over the summer for the non-profit organizations to lead renovations, including wheelchair ramps and bathroom improvements.
Local businesses have jumped on board as well with contractors offering their services and Kootenay Christian Fellowship being a supportive landlord. While there is still some work to be done — like installing the lighting — the once blackened-with-dirt lanes are gleaming and ready to be shown off at the grand re-opening.
“We’re still limping along a little bit,” says Palfenier. “We’re asking for a little patience while we still work to get on top of this.”
Saturday will feature three-frame games with winners receiving prizes. There will be balloons, food, drinks and of course — fun.
League bowling has started and there is still a chance to sign up as an individual or a team. There are mixed, men’s, women’s and senior’s leagues. Palfenier says there are plenty of open bowling times and fundraising nights will also be held this fall in order to keep raising money to support the facility.
Keeping the local resource running and popular sport alive has been a major endeavor and Palfenier looks forward to seeing the community continue to respond with desire to support Savoy Lanes.
“It’s been a large project, no doubt about it,” she says. “We hope the community really does want to support it. They have to put their money where their mouth is if it’s going to be a viable venture. And I think they will.”
An invitation is open for all to come and participate in an afternoon of family fun.