Oak Lawn Bowlers Learn Valuable Life Lessons on 'Funday Sunday'
Oak Lawn boys bowling coach Kevin McKeown worked with his team to stage a community service event that ended with the Spartans treating Ronald McDonald House families to a day of fun on the lanes.
On “Funday Sunday,” members of the Oak Lawn Community High School bowling team delivered goodies to families in need and learned a valuable life lesson.
“It was an opportunity for our kids to see how fortunate they are and how hard life can be sometimes and how a simple act of kindness can bring so much happiness to a family that doesn’t have much to smile about,” Oak Lawn boys bowling coach Kevin McKeown said. “It was great to see how their efforts brought so much joy into these families’ lives.”
That joy was born out of a community service event dreamed up by McKeown and his team.
In January, the Spartans set in-season and off-season goals.
The first order of business was to carry on Oak Lawn’s rich tradition on the lanes. The Spartans accomplished that feat advancing to the IHSA state tournament for the eighth time in the last 10 years.
Second on the agenda was extending an invitation to a worthy organization for a day of bowling fun on the Spartans’ home turf—Palos Lanes on Southwest Highway, just northeast of 111th Street. And “Rolling with Ronald” was born as soon as McKeown reached out to the head of the Ronald McDonald House of Oak Lawn, Kelly Evans.
The two set a date for needy families to visit the Spartans: Sunday, April 1.
Or Funday Sunday.
In the month leading up to the event, Oak Lawn bowlers—14 strong—worked to raise $11,000 to cover their costs. The event began at 11 a.m. and went to 3:30 p.m. and included lunch, bowling and gift bags for each of the eight Ronald McDonald families. The bags were stuffed with color books, puzzles and candy.
McKeown said the Spartans also made a donation of gift bags to the Ronald McDonald House itself. The bags contained soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disinfectant wipes and many other items on the families’ wish lists, he said.
“It was the first time our program was able to do something like this, and right away my bowlers felt great about what they were able to provide,” McKeown said. “We talked at the end of the event and many of the kids talked about how sad they were talking with families and hearing some of their stories and, at the same time, how great they felt about seeing and hearing the families have such a great time.”
McKeown said Bill Keyser and Florida Plastics Inc. donated four White Sox tickets and a parking pass to an upcoming Sox game in April that was raffled off to one of the Ronald McDonald families. Florida Plastics Inc. was one of 16 area businesses on the list of donors participating in the Oak Lawn bowling fundraiser effort.