Lansing, MI (Monday, March 15, 2021) - The racing community has shown time and time again that they come out in droves when it comes to supporting charities and good causes. One of the original events that has led the way in charity work for the local racing community is celebrating its 4th Anniversary this year, and that is the annual Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club (MARFC) Bowling Tournament Presented by Northside Towing.
Originally started in 2004 as part of the Michigan ShortTrack Racing Club (MSTRC) message board to raise funds for individuals or families inside the racing community that had endured forms of hardship, the event was held for the first three years at Nic’s Restaurant & Bowl in Ovid, MI before moving to the Capitol Bowl in downtown Owosso, MI. Fans, drivers, track owners and series officials from both dirt and asphalt would converge to bowl, bench race, and bid on raffle prize items to raise the funds that would go to the deserving people and families.
The event would continue under the MSTRC banner until February 2016, when the decision was made to end the tournament and the MSTRC message board. That is when Bill Barnhart of MARFC inquired about the event resuming.
“We knew how successful the tournament had been under the MSTRC and figured that MARFC could carry that tradition of fundraising on,” stated Barnhart. “We already had an established fund to help raise money in the Randall Ginter Memorial Benevolent Fund (this fund was set up to help those who are injured during a racing event anywhere in the state of Michigan) and figured donating to another charity would be a good idea.”
The first two events were successful for the group, and with the addition of Northside Towing of Lansing, MI as a title sponsor, things were starting to look up.
“While our attendance and bowlers were down due to the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the addition of Jeff Finley and his family’s Northside Towing coming on board was a huge boost to our event,” said Barnhart. However, as the months after the tournament carried on, and the pandemic forced things to shut down, the news of Capitol Bowl’s closure took everyone by surprise.
“When we heard the news it was devastating because Tom and Theresa at Capitol Bowl were such gracious hosts for many years. Their unfortunate closure meant we had to look for a different venue. After losing our annual MARFC Awards Banquet, we sure didn’t want to see the same happen to the bowling tournament,” added Barnhart.
That is why the Royal Scot Golf & Bowl, located at 4722 Grand River Ave. in Lansing, MI is hosting this year’s event on Saturday March 20th. Barnhart commented, “We reached out to the folks there and they were happy to play host to our group. We look forward to working with them as long as they will have us.” The alley,which features 60 lanes of professional style bowling with computerized score-keeping and fully automated bumper systems, also has the Triple P Sports Lounge featuring full service dining, a full service bar, several big screen tv’s and the Lansing Bowlers Hall of Fame.
The itinerary for the event is as follows:
12 p.m. doors open/sign in starts
12:45 sign in ends/draw for teams
1 p.m. National Anthem/bowling starts
3 p.m. awards ceremony/MARFC meeting
The 4th Annual MARFC Bowling Tournament Presented by Northside Towing will feature the popular 50/50 and raffle prize table featuring hats, shirts, certificates and books from generous donors throughout the racing community and beyond. For bowlers, there will be trophies for men’s, women’s and team high scores as well as the bowler with the lowest score will receive the Greg Yost Never Give Up Award. The Chris Throgmartin Spirit Award is being given to Kevin England from Galesburg Speedway in recognition of his positivity during the shutdown of his home track. Immediately after the awards have been handed out, the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club will conduct their March meeting and will feature several guest speakers including Sarah Quall from Racing For Miracles. Please note that masks and face shields must be worn when not bowling.
Barnhart added, “We hope that with the vaccinations for COVID-19 rolling out that more people will come out to our event. Anyone that is a fan of racing, bowling, or if you want to come out and do some networking, we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy themselves all while helping two great causes in the Randall Ginter Memorial Benevolent Fund and this year’s charity of The Wounded Warrior Project.”
For more information on MARFC visit www.marfc.org. Learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project at https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/. For information on Royal Scot Golf & Bowl visit https://royalscot.net/bowling/.
Story - Chuck Darling