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Sportsman Lanes Bowling Center in Siler City is closing

By Bob Welsh
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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Siler City, NC - It saddens me to inform everyone that Sportsman Lanes is once again closing. We have made every effort within our means to keep the place going and provide affordable quality entertainment and fellowship for
everyone that has joined us here. We truly wanted to keep the place running, but running into various obstacles from signage problems to outrages Progress Energy rates, we were just unable to bring in enough revenue. I spent money for my construction business for numerous months to attempt to keep it open, but just can’t afford it any longer.

My sincerest appreciation goes out to all my League members that have shown such a commitment to us since they began, all the wonderful childern, young adults, and adults you have been such a blessing. A special heartfelt appreciation to the Jordan Matthew Special Education class, I will miss sharing your smiles as you bowled here. Many people don’t understand that these children raise their own funds to experience the fun of going on outings. To see the pride in their eyes is worth more then any job I ever got paid for as a general contractor.

My first unforgettable memory here is of a woman that had recently lost her job and her 5 year old really wanted a bowling birthday party. We had been open for all of 2 days and she called. She asked our prices and I told her. Then the next thing I know she was crying. I asked her if everything was alright, she proceeded to tell me she had already called all the other alleys and there was no way she could afford it, but fortunately she was going to be able to have her child’s party here. At that moment it reconfirmed for me why I wanted to open in the first place.

We have done 194 birthday parties and were involved as much as possible with each one, from singing Karoke to doing line dancing. Watching the kids bowl, and jump in and out of the bubbles we had setup in the corner, it was just pure joy from their faces. Though I missed out on time with my own kids during this endeavor, my wonderful family knew why this was so important to me and never gave me anything but support and prayers, but as we all know life is never a guarantee and we must be willing to go where it takes us. If we only touched just that one woman and gave here a little happiness in these difficult times, then every late night and afternoon of sitting here waiting for a customer was worth it.

This holiday season I challenge you to take the time to give a little of yourself to someone, whether a stranger or someone you’ve known all your life. A kid may just need someone to listen, and old man may want to share a story, a lady may need someone to watch here child while she loads here groceries in the car. We spend so much time recieving in life that we lose focus that we always receive so much more when we start giving of ourselves. You can’t do that if you don’t get out into the community. That’s also what the bowling alley did; it gave somewhere for people to congregate and enjoy one anothers company.

So get out to a local church, coffee shop, downtown store, next door neighbors house, but you have to actually get out to meet people again. No one ever talks to each other anymore unless a co-worker or just in passing. Try to buy at a local shop, maybe lend a little cash to someone if it won’t hurt you too bad. Not saying give your money away, but sometimes we do have to acknowledge where our blessings really come from and what we can do to give back.

This place has allowed various groups that otherwise wouldn’t ever utter a word to one another share a game of pool and laugh. I have seen first dates, couples re-kindle a spark by letting go of everything going on in the real world, families sharing the love for one another by just throwing a simple ball down a wooden lane. The power of spending time together is un-imaginnable, but we spend so much time just living nowadays, we forget to live. I am not a outspoken or sentimental person, though this sounds like it. But I did want to take this opportunity to let everyone know what this place meant to me in this short time and what the people that touched my life did as well.

If you don’t remember anything else that I have stated, in my opinion, giving is addictive and respect for one another is priceless. Become the richest person in the county this holiday and throughout the year by just giving a little of yourselves to one another.

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Sportsman Lanes Bowling Center in Siler City is closing

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