Bringing their best games to the bowl-a-thon were Special Olympians, from left, Michelle Yonts, Mary Wood, Becky Kingsbury and Julie Riehl, all of Harmony.
Bringing their best games to the bowl-a-thon were Special Olympians, from left, Michelle Yonts, Mary Wood, Becky Kingsbury and Julie Riehl, all of Harmony.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, 10 bowlers came out to support Habitat for Humanity by bowling at B&B Olympic Bowl in Preston. Seven bowlers from the Fillmore County Special Olympics joined Habitat's partner family members, Teri Root and her son, Haven, and friend, Sue Sikkink, to raise funds to help finish the current build in Harmony.

The bowlers spent weeks before the bowl-a-thon collecting pledges from family and friends. Then, on Jan. 26, they bowled three games at the bowling alley. While bowling, the participants played BINGO bowling and won prizes for getting a BINGO, filling in squares for strikes, spares, certain number of pins and, heaven forbid, gutter balls.

Special prizes were awarded to Jason Stockman for the highest three-game total, Michelle Yonts for having the second highest three-game total, Julie Riehl for bowling the most strikes, Stanley Thompson for having the most spares, Zachary Hansen for the most money raised, Becky Kingsbury for having the best sportsmanship, Mary Wood for best team player and Haven O'Connor for most improved.

The bowlers raised nearly $1,000 during the event.

Megan Grebe, Fillmore County's Habitat for Humanity coordinator, extended her appreciation to B&B Olympic Bowl for hosting the event and donating the use of the lanes. Harmony Foods, the Sweet Stop and Sandwich Shoppe, First Southeast Bank and JEM Theater provided prizes. She especially wanted to thank all those who supported the bowlers and made donations to the Habitat for Humanity project.

Grebe said the house in Harmony is progressing nicely. The drywall is going up and there will be some volunteer groups coming this spring from Chicago and Superior, Wis., to help work on the house.

She anticipates that the home will be completed in June and an open house and dedication will be held soon after, allowing the Root family to move into their home and enjoy the summer there.

The Harmony Steering Committee will be hosting its annual March Meltdown festivities on Saturday, March 2. The day will begin with a dart tournament in the afternoon and continue with a chili cook-off, dessert contest, meat raffle and lots more fun. There will also be a silent auction featuring baskets and items generously donated by local businesses and residents. Look for more information on that event in the coming weeks.

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical, grassroots, Christian organization, dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat partners with homeowner families, the members of the local community and volunteers to build simple, decent, affordable houses. The houses are sold to those in need at no profit, through no-interest loans.

To qualify for a Habitat home, families must currently live in substandard housing, be unable to obtain a conventional loan from a bank, have the resources to pay a monthly mortgage and be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity. Before moving into a Habitat home, families must contribute 300 hours of "sweat-equity" to the building of the home and must make a modest down payment.

Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties built its first home in Winona County in 1994. Since then, 43 homes have been built. In addition to the 25 homes within the city of Winona, Habitat has built homes in Lewiston, St. Charles, Minnesota City, Altura, Stockton and Rushford. It is currently building homes in Harmony and Utica.

Volunteers interested in helping with Habitat for Humanity projects or offering donations may call the Habitat for Humanity Winona-Fillmore Counties office at (507) 457-0003 or visit the website at www.habitatwinona.org.