Lloyd Olley opened his bowling alley, Sherwood Lanes, in 1961. With twelve lanes and only eight busy, he “had more bowling than bowlers at that time.” Lloyd saw an opportunity to turn the situation into a “community effort” and invited the kids from the Peace School of Hope to bowl every week at his alley for free. Sometimes as many as sixty children would show up to bowl at one time.
The teachers, Barb Hofmeister and Eva Scott, had so much patience.
At first, some of the kids “wouldn’t even know which way to throw the ball” but soon caught on and loved to join in. The focus was on social activity and fun. The kids came by bus every week and “had a real ball.”
Lloyd says that he became very close to the kids over the years. “They treated me first class, you know. The girls made sure they did. They liked to come bowling.”
Lloyd was invited to many of the Peace School’s celebrations. “The kids all liked to see me coming.” Every Christmas one of the students would be chosen to present a handmade gift to him.
Lloyd sold Sherwood Lanes in 1978. He started a sawmill operation and supplied material to Swan Industries. He looks back on the years at the bowling alley with a great deal of satisfaction and is happy that he was able to help out and provide a place for the kids to have so much fun.
“I thought that was a very valuable contribution, allowing them to bowl for free. It wasn’t like if you donate money to some organization, then of course there’s administration costs and so on. This way, the whole benefit went to the kids.”