Monday, March 31, 2014

Rhonda's Bowl-a-thon Wrapup

Rhonda's Bowl-a-thon went great! We had an excellent turnout of Quad Squad folks and able-bodied friends and family, with plenty of good bowling and good fun for all. And more importantly, we did a significant amount of good for Rhonda.

Rhonda said she was overwhelmed by all the support and quite grateful for the efforts that everyone contributed, which should allow her to remain in her apartment at least through 2014.

The wheelchair/IKAN Bowler® users had these high games: Melissa 91, Brenda 100, Aaron 133, Lilian 145, Rhonda 168, Peggy 173, and Bill 192. Quite a few able-bodied folks bowled also, but I could not begin to list all their scores.

The bowl-a-thon was set up for users to bowl three games, and to collect money from sponsors who pledged a certain amount per pin based on the bowler's highest of the three games. Before the bowl-a-thon, thanks to the collective generosity of quite a few friends and family members, I was able to garner pledges that meant I would be bowling for more than $8 per pin. My average is about 155, so if I bowled my average, it would result in over $1200 for Rhonda. With that much per pin, quite frankly, I was feeling some pressure to bowl well.

As the below scoresheet shows, I was sharing a lane with my uncle TJ, and I had a 160, 167, and 192:



Under the circumstances, I actually think it was the best three-game series that I have ever bowled, and I believe I had some heavenly help. With the pressure of wanting to help Rhonda as much as possible, I managed to start with a game above my average, and increase my highest score for the bowl-a-thon with each game. Not only that, but I converted every single non-split spare of the three-game series. I'm almost positive that I have never done that before. And even though I have had 23 games of 200 or better, I have not had that many games without an open frame. In the last game, the 192, I had either a spare or strike in each frame.

All glory to God, and may God bless Rhonda and everyone who contributed to her bowl-a-thon.

If you want to know more about Rhonda, why we chose to do a bowl-a-thon for her, how it was set up, etc., please visit this link:

http://www.lookmomnohands.net/Rhonda.htm

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Friday, February 28, 2014

New Bowling Record for Males with Muscular Dystrophy

Timo Toivonen, a 25-year-old man with spinal muscular atrophy (a form of muscular dystrophy), has upped the mark for males with MD by bowling a very impressive 227. His game included eight strikes and four spares, and if you add that up, you can tell he had no open frames (and had three marks in the 10th frame).

For all the details, check out:

http://www.wheelchairbowlingrecords.com/Timo_Toivonen_227.htm


Congratulations Timo! :-)

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net
 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Article on Our Bowl-A-Thon Efforts

Rhonda's bowl-a-thon is in eight days and we are trying to spread awareness and gain additional participants and/or sponsors.

Yesterday, the Orlando Sentinel published an article. The online version apparently was much shorter than the printed version in the newspaper? I only saw the online version, which is here:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/lake/os-lk-bowl-a-thon-rhonda-reese-20140130,0,2854880.story

If that link stops working, there is a PDF printed version – and additional information – on the bowl-a-thon's webpage on my website here:

http://www.lookmomnohands.net/Rhonda.htm

If you're interested in helping either as an individual sponsor, or as a participant… please let me know.

Thank you for your consideration and may God bless us all!

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
About Bill: http://www.lookmomnohands.net/About_Bill.htm

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bowl-A-Thon to Help a Quadriplegic

We are having a bowl-a-thon fundraiser on February 8, 2014 to help keep my dear friend Rhonda Reese out of a nursing home for as long as possible. Rhonda has been paralyzed from her shoulders down since a car accident in August of 1991 when she was 25. And at age 47, a nursing home is not the best place for her to continue living as best she can (for one reason, high-level quadriplegics like us require quite a bit of physical assistance, and nursing home staff typically do not have the time to be able to provide the care that a quadriplegic needs, even if they have the desire to).

If you would like to help either as a bowler or sponsor/donor, or by spreading the word to others… please see this webpage with all the relevant information, and let me know if you have any questions:

http://www.lookmomnohands.net/Rhonda.htm

Thanks – and God bless!

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blessings and a Bowl-A-Thon

Below is the body of an email that I wrote to share with family and friends on Thanksgiving. If you read my blog or are friends with me on Facebook, and would like to be on my master email list to which I send occasional updates and things I feel are important, just let me know. And if the message below resonates with you and you want to participate by bowling or sponsoring me, please let me know. Thank you. :-)
 
Hello Everyone!

On this Thanksgiving, I'm doing well and have much to be thankful for, including family and friends both near and far. Being a quadriplegic, one of the biggest blessings is that I am able to live at home with my family and not in a nursing home.

Not only do I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and help to remind us all of the blessings that we should not take for granted, but I also want to ask for a little help to keep a quadriplegic friend of mine out of a nursing home for as long as possible.

On February 8, 2014 we are having a bowl-a-thon to raise money for my dear friend Rhonda to help pay for the care she needs. If you're able, will you please sponsor me for ten cents per pin for my highest of three games at the bowl-a-thon? So if I bowl a 100 high game, your donation would be $10 and if I bowl a 200, your donation would be $20 (my average is about 155 and my highest ever is 255).

We are also looking for as many people as possible who want to bowl in the bowl-a-thon, and who will seek 10 sponsors for their highest of three games. We are bowling at AMF Leesburg Lanes from roughly 4 to 6 p.m. with our Quad Squad bowling group and hopefully a bunch of able-bodied friends. Please let me know if you're interested.

Rhonda was injured in a car accident in 1991 at the age of 25, and her mother was her primary caregiver for more than 20 years until cancer made her unable, and ended her life about a year ago. Her efforts for all those years are what kept Rhonda out of a nursing home, and with your help we can continue those efforts.

May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving and may we count our blessings.

And may we count ten cents per pin for Rhonda on February 8.

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lilian Strandlund's IKAN Bowler® Testimonial

My friend Lilian Strandlund is a delightful woman with cerebral palsy who is 64 years young. About five years ago, she met my Dad, Jim Miller, at a Toastmasters speaking group. Lilian uses a power wheelchair due to her CP, which also affects her speech – yet that didn't stop her from joining Toastmasters and giving speeches! That's an example of the type of spirit that Lillian has, and one reason why the word "delightful" is a most appropriate description.

Lillian is one of our central Florida Quad Squad Bowlers, and she wanted to share what the IKAN Bowler® has enabled her to achieve and what it means to her. Without further ado, here is Lilian's testimonial…

I am so thankful to Jim Miller for inviting me to come out and watch the central Florida Quad Squad Bowling Group.  I liked the group name right away.  I was surprised to find out that somebody had invented a device where an electric wheelchair user could really bowl.  I was very excited to go and watch. 

The big day came.  As Ed and I entered the bowling alley, I looked around for a familiar face.  I saw Jim and a few wheelchair users.  I headed for the group.  Jim introduced me to his son, Bill, and the rest of the group members.  Then I saw how a fancy bowling ramp called the IKAN Bowler® attaches to a wheelchair.  It gives the wheelchair user complete control of the bowling ball.  I watched as wheelchair users were driving with an IKAN Bowler® attached to their chairs, turning slowly to aim the ramp as they approached the foul line. Then I saw how the ball released when they stopped and it went where they aimed.  Amazing!

After I watched for a while, Claude, the co-inventor, came over and asked if I wanted to try it.  I said, “Oh yes!”  He brought over an IKAN Bowler® and showed Ed how simple it is to attach it to my wheelchair.  Claude and Bill gave me some pointers and then they let me loose.  My first game I broke a hundred.  I was thrilled!  I had a real sport that I could participate in.  I joined the Quad Squad at every outing they had and I was doing well. 

One of Claude’s friends came and watched several times.  One day he asked if I would mind if he bought an IKAN Bowler® and gave it to me.  This person, Robert, whom I hardly knew, wanted to give me a bowler.  I was speechless.  I nodded my head.  I was so touched by his kindness.  Tears came to my eyes; I knew I would never be able to afford one.

I remembered Claude saying the IKAN Bowler® was sanctioned by the United States Bowling Congress and that meant I could bowl on an able-bodied league and in tournaments.  Since Ed enjoyed bowling as much as I do, we joined a mixed league.  The first day on the league I was so nervous.  I knew they had to accept the IKAN Bowler® but would they accept me as a person who could bowl.  Our group-mates were very gracious.  Once I started bowling, people in the league were amazed how well I was able to control the bowler. 

Let me explain something: in league bowling you must switch back and forth between two lanes.  I had never done that before, but luckily I had enough room to switch lanes by going behind the ball return and scorer's table.  I just had to be so careful not to bump anything, anybody, and not get in the way of any bowler bowling.  Even though it was very nerve-racking, my first day on the league went very well.

For three years I have also participated in tournaments.  I enjoy watching bowler’s faces turn from disapproval when they first see me to acceptance after they see me bowl.  I like blowing people’s minds.

It is so gratifying to be able to participate in a sport with my loved ones.  It feels so wonderful to be able to play side by side with an able-bodied person and be accepted.  It’s like being on equal ground. 

There is one more very important thing that the IKAN Bowler® has done for me.  My mother and brother hold flying records.  I never would have believed that I was capable of having a record also.  I so much wanted to be like my mother and brother but I couldn’t see how it would be possible.  With the IKAN Bowler®, my dream of holding a record has come true!!  My 215 high game is actually the world record in multiple categories of dynamic wheelchair bowling. You can see them on the website: WheelchairBowlingRecords.com.

Thank you Claude, thank you Bill, and thank you Robert for making this possible!!!

Lilian

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Lillian and being delightful!

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT

Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Monday, September 30, 2013

7 IKAN Bowler Users and a 23rd 200+ Game

At our central Florida Quad Squad outing on Saturday, September 14th, we had seven different power wheelchair users bowl with an IKAN Bowler.  The reasons for wheelchair use among the seven people include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and spina bifida.  We also have had people with muscular dystrophy in our group, but not on that day.

Brenda, Julie, Lilian, Rhonda, Aaron, Doug, and I were the seven IKAN users.  If you're wondering how it works, the bowling alley typically has enough lanes that each wheelchair user can bowl on his/her own lane.  Most of us bowl 3-5 games in the roughly two hours that we are together with various family, friends, and our volunteer caddies who are now friends who have become like family.  We usually have a sizable group -- and we ALWAYS have a good time! :)

Bowling is always fun, whether the scores are particularly good or not.  A good score is subjective to the person bowling, but we all have a friendly competition for top score of the afternoon (my Dad started this by offering $20 for the top score -- if that score beats me; I'm not eligible as the prize money is supposed to be incentive for people to beat me and keep my "ego" in check, says my loving Dad:) and Aaron set the bar high with a really good 196 in his second game of the afternoon.

But my strike ball found its groove and I followed Aaron's 196 with a 205 to take the lead for the top score of the afternoon.  That was my 22nd game of 200 or better, so my caddy George tried to get a printout.  But my Aunt Jackie accidentally cleared my score before George could get the printout!  Jackie apologized and half-jokingly said, "you'll just have to do it again!"

That, of course, is MUCH easier said than done, but my strike ball was working well and I did break 200 again in the very next game, nearly matching the 205 with a 204.  So that's why the title of this post includes mention of a 23rd 200+ game -- for a person who happens to be a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic.  Here's my scoresheet:


 

All glory to God and God bless all!

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net