By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The 16th annual Gutter Dance, a charity bowling event presented by the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, will be held on Thursday, May 16 at the Sooner Bowling Center, 550 24th Avenue NW, in Norman. The event was created to support the J. D. McCarty Center’s Camp ClapHans, a residential summer camp program for kids with special needs ages 8 to 18.
Originally, proceeds from the Gutter Dance went to develop a camp tuition scholarship fund. Now that the fund is sustainable, proceeds will go to the actual operations of the camp, organizers said.
As a part of this year’s Gutter Dance “Sweet 16” celebration, participants will be treated to snow cones provided by Eskimo Sno from 6-7 pm and birthday cupcakes from Abbey Roads Catering during the event.
According to J. D. McCarty Center hospital spokesperson Greg Gaston, registration for Gutter Dance cost $200 for a team of four. Team registration includes dinner catered by Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant, bowling ball and shoes, two lines of bowling and a chance to win a trip for two to Branson, Missouri, courtesy of Reynolds Ford.
The bowler with the most strikes during the event will win the trip. In case of a tie the number of spares will be counted. If a tie breaker is still needed the high score will win.
The trip will include accommodations for 3 days, 2 nights at the Dutton Inn in Branson. The package includes free breakfast and 2 tickets to The Dutton’s music show.
“What makes this trip unique, is that there are no blackout dates or limitations,” said Gaston. “Accommodations are based on availability.”
Check in and dinner for the Gutter Dancers will be held from 6-7 p.m. with bowling from 7-9 p.m. Dinner is also available for spectators for $10. Dinner tickets are available at the door.
Bowling teams will be competing for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last place trophies.
Competition categories include the most creative bowling team shirts and making a strike with a color pin in the rack. Additional door prizes will also be drawn at the end of the event.
Organizers say, bowlers who roll too many gutter balls, may buy a “ringer” to bowl frames in order to improve their pin count. Ringer tickets are $5 and can be purchased as many times as needed.
Corporate sponsors of the Gutter Dance include Reynolds Ford, Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Republic Bank & Trust, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, the Norman Transcript and Norman Family Dentistry.
Registration forms are available at the Sooner Bowling Center, at corporate sponsor’s locations, at Hal Smith Restaurants in Norman and Moore, or by contacting Greg Gaston at [email protected] or 405-307-2807.
Bowlers can register on-line by going to soonerbowl.com and click on the ‘Gutter Dance’ reservation link.
“The J. D. McCarty Center is Oklahoma’s center of excellence in the care and treatment of children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 21,” Gaston said. “For the last 73 years, the McCarty Center has been providing the physical, occupational, speech and language therapy that these children need to reach their highest level of function and independence.”
Camp ClapHans, a residential summer camp located on the south end of the of the J. D. McCarty Center’s 80 acre campus, will begin its seventh season of operation this June. The camp offers a one-to-one camper to camp staff ratio for a total of 12 boys and girls each week of camp.
Camp activities, which are adaptable to the camper’s abilities, include fishing, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, archery, field games, and swimming.
Deadline for Gutter Dance registration is Tuesday, May 14. For more information, contact Greg Gaston at 405-307-2807 or [email protected].