My KDL Story: Senior Wii Bowlers

"It is always amazing to host video game tournaments and see how fun it is for the players..."

Senior Wii Bowlers

Before last week, Margaret Squires had gone bowling once in her life, "but I went down the alley with the ball, so that was the end of that," said the Heather Hills Retirement Community resident.

Now, courtesy of the Cascade Township branch of the Kent District Library, Margaret needs two fingers to count how many times she's given the tenpins a whirl. And this time, no slippery lanes or goofy rental shoes were required.

Margaret was among a handful of people age 55 and older who took part recently in KDL's Senior Wii Bowling Tournament, held in front of extra-large screens in the branch's carpeted Wisner Center.

The event was a low-impact way to stay fit, socialize and explore the branch, she said.

At another "lane," Norma Renn hummed along with crooner Frank Sinatra's version of "Just One of Those Things" as she bowled the first strike of the competition from her wheelchair.

"We have a thing where, if all of us get strikes, she has to buy the beer," joked resident Reid McClelland as he pointed at Chris Marzec, Heather Hills activities coordinator.

Marzec said residents there visit the Cascade branch about every three weeks.

Kip Odell, youth services librarian who organized the event, said Wii Bowling for seniors has grown in popularity around the country and is a perfect program to promote exercise, self-esteem and healthy competition. The branch will host another senior Wii bowling tournament in the fall.

"It is always amazing to host video game tournaments and see how fun it is for the players," he said.

KDL is always interested in partnering with retirement communities and senior centers on services and programs their residents can participate in at local branches, including free computer and technology classes, author visits, reading and book clubs, branch Friends groups and resources such as adaptive technology for those with visual challenges.


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