Can-Doers, Special Olympics keep Putnam busy as volunteer


Ruth Putnam of Crofton is bowling in just one league this year.

"I just don't have time for more bowling. I'm just too busy right now," she said. "The Special Olympics are coming up in a few months."

In that single league at Fort Meade on Friday nights, Putnam carries a 165 average. Her career high game and set are 244 and 611, respectively.

A few years ago, she became involved with the Can-Doers league at Annapolis Bowl.

"My sister-in-law, Marge McKenzie, was handling the league and I just sort of took over from her," said Putnam, who has been bowling for about 12 years. "That was about five years ago and the league is still going strong."

The Can-Doers is a league for the disabled that bowls at noon on Saturdays at Annapolis Bowl.

"It's open to anyone that has a disability," Putnam said. "The ages of the bowlers range from 8 years old into the 40s. But we'll accept members to the age of 60. We won't turn anyone away."

A director of the Young America Bowling Alliance for several years at Annapolis Bowl, Putnam restricts her activity in that group to that of a volunteer.

FTC L She's also Anne Arundel County Special Olympics coordinator.

"I became involved with the Special Olympics because many of the Can-Doers participate in it," Putnam said.

"This year we are looking forward to having about 150 kids in the Special Olympics bowling tournament."

That event will be at Annapolis Bowl in November and will drew entries from Anne Arundel, St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles counties.

Volunteers are needed for the Can-Doers league, the Special Olympics and the YABA on Saturday mornings. To volunteer call Putnam at (410) 721-9156.

Scoring is up at Riviera

"Since Steve [Sandusky, owner of Riviera Bowl] put in new pin decks a few months ago, scoring has increased," said Glenna Grimes, manager of the Pasadena duckpin center. "Most bowlers don't realize how important the proper pin deck is to scoring well on the lanes. Now you'll notice a better mix [of the pins] when your ball hits them."

Ken Smith can tell you all about it. A Pasadena resident for "over 40 years," the Baltimore native has been throwing a duckpin ball for more than 20 years.

Smith, 75, retired from his position as a crane operator with BGE after 45 years.

"I still bowl in two leagues," Smith said. "The [Friday] Riviera Golden Agers and the [Tuesday] St. James league. Right now the scoring does seem better at Riviera [Bowl]."

On March 17, Smith pounded the pins in the Golden Agers league for a league high and career high individual game of 181.

"That's my best game," Smith said. "But just a few weeks ago [in the St. James league], I shot a [three-game] set of 425."

That kind of high scoring could make things very interesting in the mixed handicap doubles tournament at Riviera Bowl next month.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, an award is offered for anyone who while bowling in the tournament breaks an individual world duckpin record.

"If a world record for an individual game or series is broken during tournament play that individual will receive a check for $5,000," Sandusky said. "And believe me, I'd be proud to pay it. That's why we're doing everything we can to have a high-scoring house."

Information and reservations: (410) 255-3550.

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