Handicapped bowling helps wheelchair-bound adults enjoy sport
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A project of the Academy Club Med is the Fort shafter Handicapped bowling, a monthly service activity which is being managed and run by an Academy graduate Pearlette Simao.
Alumna Pearllette Victor Simao and her sister, Raynette Luddington, also a graduate run the Fort Shafter Wheelchair Handicapped Bowlers League. Since their brother Roland was born with cerebral palsy, Simao and her sister were inspired to participate and volunteer with the Fort Shafter Wheelchair league.
Simao said, “We all helped my mom, Pearl Victor, who was his primary caregiver, with Roland at home and whenever or wherever our help was needed. Our dad, Raymond Victor, started the league approximately 40 years ago to give the wheelchair-bound adults an enjoyable activity because nothing was available for them at that time.”
“We also used to help dad with the bowling when our help was needed, but my sister and I, along with our husbands, took over the League when my father died in 2001,” said Simao.
Club Med advisor, Elizabeth Sutter said, “We got involved with handicapped bowling because we were originally affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. That affiliation required that we do monthly community service. Director of Development, Andrea Hamilton put me in touch with Pearlette Simao and the rest is history.”
Adviser Erin Flynn said, “In the beginning of the year, we usually have 20 students help out, but we try to have 6-10 students every time.”
“Helping with handicap bowling was amazing! I usually take for granted everyday normal things like walking, but seeing people who don’t get to do these things was definitely a humbling experience. Mrs. Sutter was in need of volunteers, so I decided to lend a hand and I’m so glad I did,” said junior Jaclyn Sakamoto.
Club Med goes to Fort Shafter the third Saturday of every month except in December due to the winter break.
Simao said, “We could not succeed without the help of the volunteers and Fort Shafter bowling alley, and we, along with the bowlers and their families, are very grateful for their much needed help.”