Strikes, Spares, & Special Smiles Highlight State Bowling Tourney

January 14, 2022 Events

Pins weren’t the only focus at Special Olympics Wisconsin’s State Bowling Tournament in early December, as our SOWI community gathered (safely!) for strikes, spares, and Special Smiles at Bowlero in Wauwatosa.

Coinciding with the bowling competition, Special Smiles—an integral facet of SOWI’s Healthy Athletes programming—hosted free oral health screenings to those in attendance. Dental professionals from Fond du Lac and Woodruff and students from the Marquette School of Dentistry in Milwaukee volunteered time and resources. This Special Smiles event was funded by Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation.

Despite the reduced capacity of the competition and venue, 51 participants received a free health screening. Twenty-eight of those received fluoride varnish treatment on-site, while one—flagged urgent—was referred to a local dentist for further care.

“I cannot thank enough those who helped make this event happen,” said Melissa Schoenbrodt, Senior Director of Health Programs. “It is so important to continue providing opportunities and access to health care for our athletes—even during this challenging time. It simply would not be possible without the commitment of professionals and our volunteers!”

All athletes, coaches, spectators, and volunteers were required to be fully vaccinated and masks were encouraged due to local COVID-19 protocol. In order to attend the event, the county from where the programs were traveling must have had a 7-day average of new confirmed cases per 100,000 people of less than 50.

This year’s State Tournament featured first, second, and third place finishers in the Regional Bowling League from SOWI Regions 6, 7, and 8. A total of 116 bowlers and their coaches qualified for State, bowling in shifts throughout the Sunday slate.

“We were thrilled to be able to host this important State-level event, and to have done so safely with respect to the ongoing pandemic,” said Jason Blank, Senior Director of Sports. “I want to thank the venue and all participants, spectators, and volunteers for abiding by the protocol and creating a wonderful and safe atmosphere for our athletes to return to competition.”

Check out some photos of the event on our Flickr page.


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