Scott Walkner blended two of his passions in life this past weekend with an event at Sports Bowl in Nevada.
The new site manager for Chitty Garbage, Walkner came into Story County this past spring with the energy to make a difference, not only for his business, but for the community as well.
Christmas Promise, a fundraiser with the goal of purchasing 50 new bicycles for children in need, took place Saturday, with two rounds of bowling.
Bowlers paid $25 a person or $100 for a team of five to bowl three games, and unlike 10-pin bowling, the event allowed strikes for knocking down just nine.
“It’s a good way to bring the community together and hang out,” said Walkner, who is an avid league bowler, participating in two leagues a week at Sports Bowl and being a sub bowler in one league that takes place in Ames.
“Bowling is on the downturn (in popularity), but there’s so much fun to be had with this sport,” he said. As he looked at those gathered for the noon round of bowling Saturday, Walkner was excited about the first group, noting that half of the 24 there weren’t league bowlers, so maybe they’d realize something that would be fun for them in the future by participating.
In addition to bowling, Walkner’s other pastime passion has been biking. For about seven years he did BMX competition in Minnesota and across the country.
Riding a bike, Walkner said, has been a way for him to get around in life and is an activity he sees as providing some freedom to those who climb aboard the two-wheel transportation system. “I think for kids, this will give them a sense of freedom; a sense of ownership” to have a bike to ride, he said.
Chitty Garbage provides service in mostly Story County, but also in some areas right outside the county’s boundaries. Walkner said he’s been not only busy trying to help get the business on track, but also trying to promote this event through every means possible.
He passed out flyers, posted the event on social media and talked to everyone he could about supporting it.
He had great sponsorship support, as the banners hanging in Sports Bowl during the event showed. Sponsors included Central Iowa Towing and Recovery of Ames, which threw in $1,000 and brought at least four new bikes on Saturday. Other sponsores included Peak Decals of Nevada, Dairy Queen of Ames, Ames Eye Care, Marc Olson REMAX Real Estate of Nevada, E-18 Brewing Company of Boone and Burke Corp.
Sports Bowl Owner Keith Tillotson was excited to host the inaugural Christmas Promise event. “It’s a shot in the arm, and it’s for the kids,” he said. “Scott’s a very energetic, very personable person. His whole family is. His wife (Jessica) bowls here too. It’s nice to have them in the community.”
As Walkner stood on a chair and shouted some welcoming comments to the noon crowd, he was smiling. “We’re going to have a good time today,” he said. “To see the support here today, I know it’s only going to get bigger and better every year.”