Cyber Report #967

E-dition No. 967 • Thursday, August 31, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (



Max Bowl Provides Shelter for Port Arthur Evacuees


It’s said that disasters bring out the best in people and the worst in people.


Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey has been a prime example. While there were reports of looting in Houston, prompting a curfew to be enacted, there also were countless reports of good Samaritans aiding relief workers in transporting people all over southeast Texas out of harm’s way.


While the death toll is expected to rise as the flood waters subside, there’s no question things could have been much worse had not so-called “regular citizens” pitched in to help their fellow human beings.


In hard-hit Port Arthur, Texas, Max Bowl had closed for the night on Tuesday when General Manager Jeff Tolliver got a call from the local fire department, asking if he could turn off the fire alarm. The reason: The center was needed to house displaced residents, who had been driven from their homes by the flood waters, and the fire department had popped the lock to get in.


Max Bowl sits on higher ground than the area surrounding it, and was one of the few places in the entire city that had not flooded.

Over the next several hours, around 200 people were brought to the center by boat and various other forms of transportation. Although no cots were available, the center’s concourse was transformed into a place where people could sit or lay down, protected from the rain and flood waters.


Berton Jay Fountain, Betallion Chief for the Port Arthur Fire Department, told CNN that Max Bowl was being used as a safe haven until the people there could be re-located to actual evacuation centers.


As the hours went by, upwards of 1,000 people came through Max Bowl’s doors. A few staff members who lived nearby and could get to the center safely returned and began cooking food for those who needed it. People brought their pets with them — dogs, cats and even one monkey.


At one point, the flood waters got dangerously close to Max Bowl’s doors, but ultimately stopped about 6-8 feet short. As of this morning, about 300 people remained at the center, waiting to be re-located to an evacuation center.


Back in Houston and surrounding areas, many bowling centers were closed, waiting for the storm and flooding to subside. No reports of flood damage had been reported to BPAA, although that could change as owners are able to return to evacuated areas.


Reuters reported that five Main Event centers in the Houston area had been closed because of the massive storm, and one suffered extensive damage. Read more about that here:


Of course, the impact on business moving forward is immeasurable. Officials have said it will take years for the region to recover, given the widespread damage to homes and businesses.


The American Red Cross is on the ground in the disaster zone, providing victims with food, clothing, shelter and other assistance. If you’d care to donate to the relief efforts, here’s a direct link to the Hurricane Harvey donation page:



Ebonite Exercises Option to Continue as Junior Gold Sponsor


The Brands of Ebonite International have extended their sponsorship agreement with International Bowling Campus Youth Development to remain the presenting sponsor of the Junior Gold Championships through 2020.


The Brands of Ebonite — Ebonite, Track, Hammer and Columbia 300 — had agreed on a two-year sponsorship deal that started in 2017 and, following this year’s Junior Gold Championships in Cleveland, made the decision to exercise a two-year option for the 2019 and 2020 events.


“It’s a great opportunity for the Brands of Ebonite International to team with the Junior Gold Championships for the next three years,” said Ebonite’s President and CEO, Randy Schickert. “From the trade show to the opening ceremony through the week of competition, the Junior Gold Championships show its commitment to creating an outstanding event each year for youth bowlers. We were thrilled to be involved in 2017 and look forward to heading to Dallas in 2018.”


In addition to the 2018 event in the Dallas area, the Brands of Ebonite International will be the sponsor when the Junior Gold Championships are in Detroit in 2019 and Indianapolis in 2020.


“With the support of sponsors such as Ebonite International, we can continue to grow the Junior Gold program and make these tournaments very special events for the participants and their families,” IBC Youth Development Managing Director, Gary Brown, said. “Providing outstanding programs and competition for youth bowlers is our commitment as we build a future for the sport.”


The Hammer brand will continue as presenter of the Survivor tournament, a companion event to the Junior Gold Championships. The Survivor tournament is the largest annual Junior Gold qualifying event.


The Track brand will sponsor the Junior Gold Road to College Scholarships, which awards $20,000 in scholarships each year, with 80 Junior Gold advancers randomly selected for a $250 scholarship to be placed in their SMART accounts.


The Ebonite brand will sponsor the Junior Gold Road to the Experience of a Lifetime, which gives four Junior Gold members and a guest an expense-paid trip to Ebonite International’s headquarters in Hopkinsville, Ky., where they will receive a tour of the facility, coaching, special prizes and more.


The Brands of Ebonite International will continue to award additional scholarships during the Junior Gold Championships, including scholarship bonuses for select honor scores shot during competition. During this year’s event, Zachary Singer of Buffalo Grove, Ill., shot a 300 game with his Track Cyborg, and Ebonite International added a $500 scholarship to his SMART account.


The Columbia 300 brand will extend its support of the Pepsi Youth Championships, the tournament open to all United States Bowling Congress Youth members. Columbia 300, as the official bowling ball of the Pepsi Youth Championships, will provide state coordinators a Columbia 300 bowling ball for fundraising at their event.


The Brands of Ebonite International also plan to connect with Junior Gold bowlers throughout the year through its Facebook page, Junior Gold 365 by EBI, and will have a major presence at the next three Junior Gold Championships.



Museum Spotlighting PBA Hall of Famers Still Competing


Since 1958, when 33 of the world’s greatest bowlers banded together to form the Professional Bowlers Association, the organization has provided the highest level of competition in the sport of bowling, and the PBA is recognized as the major league of bowling throughout the world.


Each year, 3,000 members representing 30 countries participate in a multi-level competition system including the PBA Tour, PBA-World Bowling International Tour, PBA50 Tour, PBA Regional Tour and PBA-PWBA Women’s Regional Tour.


The PBA Hall of Fame debuted in 1975 with inaugural members Ray Bluth, Don Carter, Carmen Salvino, Harry Smith, Dick Weber, Billy Welu, Frank Esposito and Chuck Pezzano, and the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas, serves as the home of the PBA Hall of Fame.


Now, a special exhibit is featuring items from individuals whose outstanding records have earned them the title of “PBA Hall of Famer,” and who continue to compete in PBA competition today. The temporary exhibit includes items from the museum’s permanent collection, and will be on display until the end of October.



Growth Spurs Personnel Changes at Kegel


Over the past two years, Kegel has experienced significant growth as it has expanded its pinsetter parts line and introduced new coaching tools.


In order to meet the changing needs of the business, some restructuring has been done involving several members of its Operations staff.  John Thrift, Tony Crews, Dave Houser and Bob Daugherty have assumed new roles at Kegel, effective Aug. 28:


* Thrift has been promoted to Operations Manager, and now oversees all the manufacturing operations and personnel for bowling products.


* Crews moves to a new role as Materials Manager, responsible for all aspects of materials flow, inventory and the purchasing department. His day-to-day responsibilities will extend across the entire organization.


* Daugherty becomes the new Warehouse Manager, responsible for transportation, storage and distribution needs.


* Houser returns to his role as the Quality Manager, ensuring the quality of Kegel’s products and the continuous improvement of the company’s entire quality system.


“We are very fortunate to have such talented people who have been with Kegel a long time,” said the company’s CEO, Chris Chartrand. “Collectively, these four employees have about 80 years of experience at Kegel in many areas where they can lend their knowledge and expertise. We wish them success in their new roles.”



Business Briefs…


* H5G has introduced a new League Enhancement Alliance Program (“LEAP”) designed specifically for league bowlers across America. “We created H5G with the idea of changing the image of bowling, and now the LEAP program will take us to a new level by enlisting United States Bowling Congress certified league bowlers across the nation to join the movement,” said H5G Founder and President Todd Molbeck. To find out how the LEAP program works, click here:


* The Michigan city of Kalamazoo soon will be home to a revitalized bowling-based entertainment center called Revel & Roll West. In space formerly occupied by a center called Pinz, Revel & Roll West will feature 30 lanes of bowling, a private six-lane area for parties, a 12,000-sq.-ft. arcade, a laser tag arena, what’s billed as “the world’s largest PAC-Man station” and more. “We want this to be THE entertainment center of Kalamazoo on the West Side,” Robert Brown Jr. told Michigan Live. Brown will operate the facility for the property owner, Treystar Inc. Read more here:



Other News You Can Use…


* Rhino Page defeated rookie Chris Via, 190-173, to win his first PBA singles title in seven years Sunday in the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio. Earlier in the event, E.J. Tackett clinched the PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup title. More:


* With teams quickly filling the schedule for the 2018 USBC Open Championships in Syracuse, N.Y., USBC will add another week to the competition. To meet the extra requests for squad times, the 2018 event will begin its run at the Oncenter Convention Center on March 24, a week earlier than previously scheduled. Full report:


* Jason Belmonte defeated Cameron Weier, 245-180, to win the PBA International-World Bowling Tour’s Storm Lucky Larsen Masters at Baltiska Bowlinghallen in Malmo, Sweden, on Sunday for his 15th career PBA Tour title. Belmonte joined E.J. Tackett as the only three-time PBA Tour title winners in 2017. More:


* The National Bowling Association’s Youth Weekend at the International Training and Research Center just marked its eighth edition, and the program continues to provide a learning ground for student-athletes wanting to take the next step in their games. Eight student-athletes were selected to take part in this year’s TNBA Youth Weekend, and the ITRC, home of Team USA, served as the backdrop for the three-day experience. More:


* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is PBA star Danny Wiseman. To listen to the interview, go to:


* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at



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