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Friendly bowling competition benefits The Arc Carroll County

When it was Charles Lee's turn to bowl, he patiently waited by the ball retrieval Sunday at Thunderhead Bowl and Grill in Taneytown.

Though there were blue, yellow, black and green balls to choose from, he didn't lay a finger on any of them - he'd rather wait.

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Seconds later, he reached down and grabbed a shiny pink ball and sent it rolling down Lane 13.

"It's my lucky ball," said the 32-year-old. "... sometimes."

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Lee was one of 15 The Arc Carroll County clients who attended the 2nd annual Bowling Ball competition Sunday at Thunderhead Bowl in Taneytown. The event included door prizes and a raffle.

There were 19 four-member teams registered to participate in the friendly competition, said Lisa Albin, director of development for The Arc. The three teams with the highest combined scores over the course of two hours were awarded trophies.

The event was established for The Arc clients to enjoy time with their families and friends and to raise money for programs and services of The Arc. The inaugural event raised about $5,000 last year, Albin said. The Arc raised nearly $7,000 this year, Albin said.

A slew of local businesses served as sponsors for the event this year. Many of the businesses also came out to bowl and meet clients of The Arc, she said.

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Don Rowe, executive director of The Arc, said the event gives clients a chance to get out of the house, have fun and meet a lot of new people. It also provides the chance to "focus more on the ability than the disability," he said.

In the dim bowling alley, music blared through the speakers. Balls could be heard rolling down the glowing lanes followed by the sound of pins falling over.

Gary and Dale Davis cheered on Lee's team, which included their daughter, Jamie, who's also a client of The Arc. The event is a great way to get Jamie outside and active, Gary said.

"The kids are all smiles," Gary said. "They really enjoy themselves."

During the first game Lee bowled, he didn't get any strikes. He said the first game was pretty difficult, and he was more focused for the second game.

Though he struggled, Lee pulled through at the end and had the highest score out of his three teammates, who trailed just behind his 99 points.

"It's the ball." said Lee, smiling.

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