By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Twenty-three teams participated in the Gutter Dance 13 charity event held last month at the Sooner Bowling Center in Norman. Oklahoma. Presented by the Bob Stoops Champions Foundation, proceeds benefit the Camp ClapHans program.
Located on the J.D. McCarty Center’s 80-acre campus in Norman, Camp ClapHans is a residential summer camp for children ages 8 to 18 with developmental disabilities.
The Center is in its 70th year of serving families from all over Oklahoma.
“The McCarty Center is a state agency,” said Greg Gaston, hospital spokesman, “but Camp ClapHans was built entirely with donated money. And now we operate the camp entirely with donated and raised money.”
The teams, with the support of corporate and lane sponsors, netted $10,355 from the event.
Prizes were awarded in several categories including individual and team trophies.
The 2016 Gutter Dance champions were the Energy Inspectors with a total pin count of 1,450. Team members were Ryan Autry, Andrew Cook, Chris Autry and Eric Howard.
Tiffany’s Restaurant placed second with a total pin count of 1,195. This year’s team included Donnie Hicks, Robert Kent, Jerry Dover and Ian Hicks.
In third place with 1,089 pins was Peyton’s Body Guards. Team members were Chris King, Pat King, Jacob McClain and Matt Powers.
Since the inaugural Gutter Dance event, it has been the tradition to recognize the last place team for their effort and participation.
“It’s like we’ve always said, you don’t have to be a league bowler to participate in this event,” said Gaston. “You just need to like to have a good time. So we recognize the last place team who represents those who want to support a good cause and have fun, even if they don’t bowl often, or at all.”
The last place bobble head trophies went to OrthoCare’s Peter Pan and the Lost Boys with a total pin count of 466. The team included Edna Hulley, Tara Harris, Amanda Lennert and Crystal Vasquez.
The winner of the most creative bowling shirts category was the team called Nerdy Nurses, which included Heather Terpening, Jill Floyd, Jennifer Giamelle and Sheila McMichael.
The big prize of the evening went to the individual bowler with the largest number of strikes for the two lines bowled. This year’s winner, Chris Autry from the Energy Inspectors team, claiming 12 strikes, was awarded a 4-day/3-night trip for two to Branson, MO, provided by event sponsor Reynolds Ford.
Other sponsors included Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Clark Construction, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman Family Dentistry and Republic Bank and Trust.
Camp ClapHans, accredited by the American Camp Association offering a one to one camper to staff ratio, opened on Sunday, June 12.
In addition to providing activities that a typically developing child would find at camp, Camp ClapHans features activities that are adaptable based on each child’s ability.
Camp activities include a zero entry swimming pool, a ropes course, arts & crafts, archery, horseback riding, fishing, boating, a specially designed tree house, and a camp fire site for nightly story telling and camp songs.
Each camp session begins Sunday afternoon and ends on Wednesday afternoon, concluding on July 20. Accommodations feature a large, wheelchair-accessible, climate- controlled cabin, shared by other campers and counselors. Each camper is assigned to a counselor for the week, with onsite nurses overseeing the medical needs of each camper.
This year’s camp crew consists of students from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, East Central University and Southwestern Oklahoma State University, as well as recent local high school graduates.
Opened in 2013, Camp ClapHans is named in honor of the late Oklahoma native Sammy Jack Claphan, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.