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Dick Sauter wants bowlers in the Wednesday Ferndale Mixed League to know that he'll be back just as soon as the doctors turn him loose. That's going to be about seven or eight weeks.

"I think that Dad made the doctors wait to take him into the hospital until after he bowls Wednesday night," said his daughter, Annette Clayton.

Sauter will go into St. Agnes Hospital today. "Dad just loves to bowl duckpins. He just loves that league."

Sauter carries a 98 average in the Fair Lanes Southwest bowling center's Wednesday night league and last week threw a 415 series. That's a lot of pins over his 98 average.

His daughter, Annette, who is a cashier at Whitey's food store in Linthicum, is one of the members of the team known as Sauters Plus One.

Annette is the plus one. The other bowlers on that team are Terry Sauter, her brother, who has a 119 average; Don Sauter, her other brother, who also sports a 119 average, and Don's wife, Anita, with a 114 average. The team is tied for second place in the league.

"But we bowl because it's fun," Annette said. "It's something we can do as a family."

Dick Sauter retired as foreman for the Potts and Callahan Construction Co. and started bowling about 15 years ago.

You can look for Dick to be back on the lanes just as soon as he can walk into the center again. That's going to take a little time.

The doctors are going to operate on his hernia, try to patch up his ulcerated stomach and remove a tumor. He'll be in St. Agnes for about 10 days and then must rest at home for six or seven weeks. Then he'll be back bowling -- I guarantee it.

Oh, yes, about that average -- that's not bad for someone 77 years old.

* A non-alcoholic New Year's Eve party will be conducted at Fair Lanes Southdale.

The cost is $20 per person for adults, $10 per child 6-12, $5 for children 3-6 and free for children under 3.

The event starts at 9 p.m. and finishes at 2 a.m. The cost includes unlimited bowling, shoe rental, soft drinks, party favors, live deejay music all night, billiards and buffet.

The Mickey Mouse Youth and Bowling Ball-and-Shirt league will start at 3 p.m. Jan. 5.

The 16-week league will cost $7.50 per week and will cover three games, shoe rental, a Mickey Mouse ball and T-shirt.

A mixed fives league called the Red Rhino Ball League will begin play Jan. 20 and end May 12. The cost is $10 per week, and each bowler will receive a Red Rhino bowling ball.

Finally, Fair Lanes Southdale offers a family activity that's inexpensive, close to home and full of fun.

A family of four can come in to bowl any Sunday from noon until 6 p.m., and $19.95 will buy them three hours of lane time, bowling shoes, unlimited billiards, popcorn and soft drinks for everyone.

A family of three is $14.95. Families of five or more can just add $5 per person.

Information: Fair Lanes Southdale, 761-1300.

Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.

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