The Bowling Foundation, YES Fund help team after fire

ARLINGTON, Texas - Members of a high school bowling team lost their equipment over the weekend when a fire destroyed their home bowling center. The Bowling Foundation and the Youth Education Services (YES) Fund already have sent the team new bowling balls to help offset the loss.

A fire in the early hours of Dec. 24 destroyed Charlie's Country Fun bowling center in Biggsville, Ill. The 10-lane center, which opened in 1978, was the home to the West Central High School bowling team.

BowlingFoundationLogoSue Rothzen, head coach of the boys' and girls' teams at West Central, said 11 of the 22 bowlers on the team lost equipment. The loss included bowling balls, bowling ball bags, shoes, and other equipment.

Rothzen said one of the players received her first new bowling ball as an early present from her parents, but it was lost in the fire.

The Bowling Foundation and the YES Fund quickly responded, sending the team 16 bowling balls Tuesday.

"I can't thank The Bowling Foundation and YES Fund enough," Rothzen said. "Here it is a holiday, and they still have come through."

West Central High School, which has an enrollment of just 307, started its bowling program seven years ago. The boys' team has qualified for the Illinois High School Association State Bowling Tournament the last two years, and Rothzen, who started the program, earned the IHSA Boys Bowling Coach of the Year honor last season.

YESfundlogo"The Bowling Foundation and the YES Fund hope these bowling balls can somewhat compensate for the loss," said Chad Murphy, International Bowling Campus Managing Director of Youth Development. "It is a devastating situation, since the community and the team lost its bowling center."

Rothzen said Kingpins Bowling Center in Burlington, Iowa, has offered to let the teams practice at its center, which is 12 miles away. The West Central High School boys' team is gearing up for the regional competition Jan. 21.

The Bowling Foundation is the charitable arm of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). Go to to learn more about the foundation.

The YES Fund, a joint initiative of the BPAA and USBC, is made possible by many of the leading brands in bowling. To make a contribution to the YES Fund, contact Chad Murphy at or call 817.385.8469. Go to for more information.