Monday, July 30, 2007

Jeff Gordon Bowling Tournament

What fun! What a night. It started out by getting to meet Jeff. Such a nice guy. He acted kind of embarrassed to talk about racing or his career - he wanted the night to be all about the kids. I expected him to make an appearance and then disappear to do whatever pre-race stuff they do, but he hung around the entire night - mingling with each and every team. He signed autographs constantly. And even managed to bid on a Peyton Manning jersey while he was signing autographs and visiting with our team. He opened the bidding at $1,000 and, when it got up to $6,000, he decided to pay closer attention and asked Dave Calabro (the auctioneer) who he was bidding against. He pointed to a guy who must have been his buddy because he said, "I'm bidding against YOU?!" And Dave said, "Tell you want, we'll give you both a jersey for $6000 each." They both, right away, said, "I'll take it." Amazing all the money that was thrown around that night. All for the kids at Riley. It was such a happy night. At the end of the evening, when the last item was bought, Dave Calabro invited a young lady who had Downs up to the stage and announced that she had signed a baseball card (I believe it was her own signature) and wanted it to be auctioned off for Riley. They started the bidding, I think at $500, and this sweet little man ended up buying it for $2500! She was just beaming - so proud to have done her part. It was a special moment. Well, I jumped a little ahead of myself . . .

So, we got to practice a little bit and didn't look too bad! Dr. Darragh was throwing some strikes. His form was pretty good too. Scott was struggling a little, but ended up doing very well by the end of the evening. I was doing ok, and continued to just do ok. I did not make my all-time high (116 - I know, you're gasping, and not for being impressed, I'm sure) but I did break 100. I was thrilled with that. Bailey struggled a little bit. First thing Dr. Darragh said to her as he walked through the door (wearing his lucky Mickey Mouse socks that Bailey brought him back from Disney World) was, "You are under STRICT orders from Dr. Hubbard [Bailey's pacemaker doctor] to use the lightest ball in the house." So, we went up to the counter and found a 6-pounder. It was so light that it nearly ricocheted off the pins when it made contact. But she ended up doing very well, didn't get too tired, and didn't fall out of rhythm the entire night! Whew!!! That's an accomplishment. At the end of the night, Dr. Darragh said, "Looks like Bailey held up, didn't have any . . . " and I interrupted him with, "Shh. Don't say the "f" word [flutter]!" He stopped right then and his wife said, "What? What don't we say?" He had to explain it to her. It was pretty funny.

During the practice round, the lane next to us was empty because the stage was set up in that area, and Parker Bohn (one of the professional bowlers) was setting up a trick shot. Scott let go of his bowling ball, sent it wide right down the lane, and Parker saw it and gently reached over and tapped it with his right foot to send it right down the middle of the lane. We were thankful for that! Ha! He set up some trick shots that were pretty entertaining.

We bowled 3 games. The first 2 were just all 5 of us taking turns for a total of 10 frames. In other words, we each bowled just 2 frames. Our score was pretty pathetic. It was only 53 in the first game . . . nope, that's not a typo. I did not accidentally leave the 1 off the front -- we scored a whopping 53. Our celebrity during that game was Allen Bestwick, pit reporter for ESPN and ABC. He was a pretty good bowler, but obviously, not good enough to make a difference in OUR score. I don't think Parker Bohn could have bowled good enough to make a difference in our score. Our 2nd game celebrity was Miss Florida USA, Jenna Edwards. She was really nice. Pretty, too, of course. Tall, dark, beautiful. She would have been pretty intimidating had we not been having so much fun. Our score was a little better - 70-something. And then, Ron Fellows, race car driver, was our celebrity bowler for our 3rd game - and it was a regular game. We each bowled 10 frames and had our own score. Poor Ron. He was not a bowler. In the 8th frame, his score was a 31. So, he recruited Bailey to bowl the 9th frame for him. She threw a strike! He was so excited! Of course, then she had to bowl the 10th frame for him, and his score ended up beating her score by 1 pin! He taught her a fancy high-five hand shake thing. They were doing that after nearly every frame. He's such a nice guy - very friendly and loves to have fun.

Our hostess for the night was Brenda from the Speedway Kohl's. She was so sweet and did such a good job taking care of us. She really has a soft spot in her heart for kids, and was so happy for us that Bailey has been so blessed and has had such successes with her heart defect. She helped us celebrate the night. That's what it was - a great night of celebration. And to see Jeff and all the other celebrities just hanging out with everyone the entire night - it was just a big party. Just fun, fun, fun.

We are completely honored to have been a part of the evening, and thankful to Riley for inviting Bailey to represent the best hospital in the world.

Enjoy the pics below!



Anonymous Jennifer Riley said...


Thanks for posting an entry about the bowling night. I was wondering how it went. Great pics! It looks and sounds like it was a wonderful night. I guess it was worth missing lunch with me. Just kidding. Miss you and love you.


9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bailey & Angie:

Bailey keep practicing because I need someone to substitute for me on our mixed bowling league sometimes. It will have to be a female because I'm the only 'girl' bowling with 4 guys. You will have to be 18, but the way time is flying that should be in a couple of weeks.

Love you all. CAROL

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angie & Bailey,
Thank you so much for the beautiful card & picture. I have it in a frame on my desk at work. It was truly an honor to be your hostess at the Bowling Tournament! Bailey you are a beautiful young lady. Good luck to you in school. Love & prayers, Brenda Schindler, Kohl's.

10:09 AM  

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