By: MYLE NGUYEN
Mayor Gary Christenson and Malden’s Golden Tornado Club hosted the first-annual Changing Lanes Bowling Tournament on Oct. 18, 2012. People all over the community came to bowl and compete in the event as well as support Malden’s athletic programs.
At the end of Mayor Christensen’s first year in office, the mayor decided to replace former Mayor Richard Howard’s annual golf tournament, which was a sixteen year tradition, with a fun-filled night of bowling. The golf tournament used to be a formal event that started with a luncheon and proceeded all day, ending with dinner and an award ceremony. Mayor Christenson wanted to change the event to something that was more casual and that could benefit local businesses.
Living with the nickname “Bowling Alley Gary,” from previously being employed at the Granada Lanes bowling alleys, Christenson saw bowling as a great opportunity for the community to come together and support the great cause.
The bowling tournament took place at a newly renovated Town Line Luxury Lanes. The evening started with a cocktail hour and then bowlers laced up their rental shoes and competed in the friendly tournament. Principal of Malden High School, Dana Brown described the event as filled with “some very good bowlers, and also some very bad bowlers, but overall it was fun and people shared some laughs.” Along with bowling, the tournament included food, a DJ who played upbeat music, raffles with great prizes, and of course, a trophy for the winner.
With the help of coordinators, sales from the raffles, and support from sponsors, like JRM Hauling and Recycling,
Comcast Cable, Baseball Field of Dreams, the tournament was able to raise around $40,000. The funds raised will go to the Golden Tornado Club, which supports Malden athletics with sports equipment and thousands of dollars worth of scholarships for student athletes. Mayor Christenson expressed the importance of the event because it “[provides the] student athletes the opportunity to succeed not just in the area of athletics, but in life as well.”
Mayor Christenson explained how the bowling event “was one of the most fun nights [he has] had since becoming mayor.” With all the positive feedback it received, he declared that “without a doubt, [they] will be doing [the event] again.” MHS teacher Dana Marie Brown also expressed that “[she] absolutely [cannot] wait for the next event” and she will be sure to practice in the meantime.