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AMF committing $4-million to Special Olympics

AMF Bowling Worldwide will invest $4-million over the next four years in Special Olympics International programs, and Monty Castevens and Emily Brazeal couldn't be happier.

"I had heard something of this last week and, obviously, we think it's just great," said Castevens, director of Florida's Special Olympics. "Bowling is ideally suited for mentally challenged people and was one of their favorite sports even before Special Olympics was involved.

"This means we will be able to greatly expand our programs in Florida, to the benefit of the participants and all involved."

"I don't know all the details, nor do I know how much money we actually will receive for our program, but it's just terrific," said Brazeal, coordinator of the Pinellas County Special Olympics.

AMF will invest $1-million a year for a penny-per-game, open-play program, a new Special Olympics summer league program, and an annual Special Olympics bowl-a-thon, to be conducted at AMF centers worldwide. AMF owns and operates 353 centers in the United States and another 87 overseas. Timothy Shriver, president and CEO of Special Olympics International, and Doug Stanard, president and CEO of AMF Bowling Worldwide, made the announcement last week.

There are more than 2,000 participants in the Florida Special Olympics bowling programs, about 300 in Pinellas County. More than 30 county schools and agencies are involved in the program, open to any mentally challenged person.

Castevens said the AMF programs and financial details will be explained at a meeting next week of national Special Olympics coordinators in Portland, Ore.

REBELS LEAD: Dixie Hollins' No. 1 squad jumped into the scratch lead of the Pinellas County High School League last week at Twedt's Lanes, while the Seminole High girls continued to roll along at Crossroads Kenneth City Bowl. Normally, the league bowls at a single center every Thursday.

The Rebels, with high scratch game-series of 984-2,706, moved ahead of St. Petersburg No. 1 with a 93-11 record. Chris Gross fired a high game of 268 for the Green Devils and Ron Thomas nailed a 713 series for Northeast No. 1. Gibbs No. 1 moved into third and Seminole No. 1 was fourth.

The Warhawks girls lost only one point in improving their record to 95-10, with Kristin Salerno notching high game-series of 241-678. Boca Ciega moved ahead of Lakewood into second and St. Petersburg High was third.

The Northeast girls lead the handicap race with a 74-31 mark, and Lakewood's No. 2 team heads the boys with a 73-32 record.

Largo's No. 1 team is the scratch leader in the North Pinellas League with a 64-20 mark, four points ahead of Clearwater No. 1. Tim Seward of the combined Upper Pinellas team fired the high game-series of 216-622 last week.

POLSON LEADS: Jeff Polson averaged 230 over four games for a 921 total and the top qualifying spot in the 40th annual Tampa City Match-Play Championship last weekend. The top 32 qualifiers, all from Tampa, will compete in double-elimination match play starting Saturday. Polson earned $1,500 for his effort.

Steve Spitzer qualified second at 907 and Brian Fitzmaurice was third at 888. Defending champion Darin Hays drew a bye and will face the elimination winner in the final, worth $3,000.

MIXED WINNERS: Roland Ensminger Jr. and Jerry Buckhart rolled a 648 series to win the A division of the adult-child Scotch doubles at Tarpon Lanes. Jamie and Mary Ann Lockhart rolled a 728 for the B division title, and Jillian and Jerry Kennedy were the C division winners with an 803 series. Lindsey and Greg Crino won D division with a 767 pinfall.

DAVIS WINS NABI: St. Petersburg's Vince Davis stopped Madeira Beach's Don Schroeder 210-193 to win the NABI tournament and $475 at Largo Lanes on Sunday. Largo's Anthony McKnight was third and Clearwater's Dennis Eggleston fourth.

NABI is at Crossroads Kenneth City Bowl this weekend, starting with qualifying today.

AROUND THE LANES: Brian Weikel nailed a 299-736 at Countryside Lanes. Brian Adkin fired a 299-782 at Liberty Lanes. John Myers managed a 300-802 during qualifying for the weekly king-of-the-hill matches at Ten Pin Lanes, but lost to Kyle Triplet in the final. Bob Gonnelly rolled a 300-818 and Ed Price Jr. fired a 276-803 at Sunrise Lanes. Frank Raia rolled his first 300 game with a 684 series and Bill Heym notched a 299-669 at Rainbow Lanes. The Brunswick World Team Challenge (BWTC) is at Winter Haven next weekend and entries are still open for its Seminole Lanes renewal Jan. 10-11. The St. Petersburg Women's Classic opens a three-weekend stand Nov. 8 at Ten Pin and Crossroads Kenneth City lanes.