Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boy scout leads effort to repair VA bowling alley

From the Daily News:

To become an Eagle Scout, an ambitious Long Island teenager is spearheading the rejuvenation of a neglected World War II-era bowling alley at a veterans health care facility in Queens.

Alfred Russo, 16, of Garden City, decided to spruce up the six lanes in St. Albans after troop leaders warned that sending care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq would be too costly.

"I wanted to do something that would be meaningful to me," said Russo, whose 91-year-old grandpa, Glen, fought in World War II. "I wanted to respect the veterans because they served this country."

Tucked in the basement of a building that also holds an auditorium and outpatient clinic, the bowling alley dates to the center's origins as a naval hospital.

It welcomed veterans until the late 1990s, when a leaky roof led to flooding that warped the wood floors and damaged a gutter.

Facility officials learned a few years ago that replacing the machinery would cost $150,000. But since the ball returns and pin-setters still work, Russo is focusing on less-expensive repairs.

He led a team of volunteers that journeyed to the alley Nov. 27 to sand the gutters, scrub balls and pins, mop the floors and clean out closets.

Donors, such as the Maple Family bowling-center chain, are chipping in by sending cash, shoes and pins for the effort.


Anonymous said...

Gee, swell!

Anonymous said...

In an era where teenagers are all about me, me, me, I think it's wonderful that this young man is doing something for the vets, who get nothing.

Klink Cannoli said...

It's heartening to see a sliver of respect for human dignity and dare I say it, patriotism.

Anonymous said...

he must really need the work as a pin setter!
naw it's a tear jerker.