Tragedy and Loss

Tragedy and Loss affects people and groups in many different ways. On that horrific day in September we watched the towers fall and we all came together; from individual people to a band of Americans. We saw each night on our local news channel, the patriotism of Americans who may not have even known their next door neighbor become friends for a common cause. In late September of 2012 the bowling word woke up to the sad news that PBA member Tony Reyes was involved in a traffic accident and did not make it. We, as individual bowlers, came out to support his wife Nicole and their daughter Gianna in their time of need. When Jim Nesbitt, owner of VISE, heard what had happened he was on the ball asking what we can do to help. There were both local and national raffles with help from Vise, Storm, PBA and their players. At the IBMA breakfast during Bowl Expo, we had a very special guest; Nicole Reyes was there with longtime friend of the family Robert Smith. Here is what Smith posted on his facebook page:

“Sometimes bowling reminds you why we love it, it’s the people. This morning at the IBMA breakfast function by Storm with Vise Grips presented a check to Nicole Reyes, Tony Reyes wife, for the amount of $55,000. Amazing and extremely touching gesture by everyone involved. Major thanks to Vise Grips and Jim Nesbitt for being in charge of the fund raiser. Jackie Wyckoff also for her time and effort. From myself, and I am sure everyone else in Tony’s family circle, a huge thank you. Truly amazing!”

In recent months the bowling world has heard of two more sad stories. The first one is baby Judy the daughter of David Haynes & Tisha Carter. Judy who was born with cancer, specifically a tumor that is attached to her spine, completely restricting use of her left leg; she began receiving treatments almost immediately. The great bowling community came out again to help out. Part of the monthly SNBT entry was to raise money for all the expenses that Haynes and Carter will be faced with over the years. There are continued fund raisers in the Las Vegas area. This was posted from Carter’s facebook page:

“Judy Lucille Haynes born June 18th. As many of you have heard through the bowling community grapevine, Judy was born with cancer. A tumor called neuroblastoma that affects about 650 kids a year, and half that number affect children under 2, its very rare that these tumors show up in newborns and another rarity is that the tumor attaches itself to the spinal cord as it did with Judy. Our little babybear has to endure too much at such an innocent age and now she has to beat these odds. On day 2 of her arrival into this world, Judy was airlifted to the Children’s hospital in LA to receive treatment. She began receiving the first of many chemo treatments the first week she arrived. Judy has immobility in her left leg that we are praying the reduction of the tumor will alleviate the pressure on her spinal cord and allow her to regain movement. Today we received news about the cancer from her biopsy, that it is NOT a stage of cancer that rejects treatment. We are hoping in the next few weeks that they allow us to leave LA and continue her chemotherapy at home and begin physical therapy on her lower extremities. This is a very difficult time for us and we appreciate the prayers and support from everyone as no one can ever predict when their world will be turned upside down.”

The most recent one is in regards to rising PBA star Josh Blanchard and his wife Aimee. This was posted on Josh’s facebook page just after the passing of their little angel as not much more info has been released. There have been a few donation events set up from the good people at Above180.com, Virtue Bowling Supply & iGrind to just name a few.

“These words are harder to type than they are to say out loud. For everyone trying to get a hold of me or Aimee the past few days, we apologize for not answering. Yesterday morning at 11:01am Aimee gave birth to our beautiful Grayson Lynn Blanchard 5 pound 10 ounce baby girl. Because of complications during the delivery, we lost Grayson before she entered our world. This has been the hardest 48 hours for me and my wife. Mom and Dad will be heading home today to recover from this tragedy. We would appreciate everyone’s respect and not call us for a little while until we have come to grips with this and are ready to talk. We are making arrangements for her funeral for early next week. As soon as we have plans set in stone I will post times and location here on Facebook. Thank you for everyone’s love and support during these trying days.”

Being a parent of an angel in heaven myself I understand what Josh and Aimee will be going through. Never will a parent fully understand the why of all this. In closing no matter what staff we are on, the average we have, we just need to treat everyone as a friend and sideline the negativity. Please take a moment to think of these families than show your friends and family what they mean to you.

The Bowling world has loss yet another one of the good guys. Bowl.com reported on August 1st that USBC Hall of Famer John Jowdy has passed away at the age of 93 from natural causes. In the early 60’s Jowdy went to work for Columbia 300 and has been credited as the person to have started what we now call today as being a “Staff Player.”

“A lifelong proponent of the sport, he was well known for his coaching career but also brought bowling to many fans through his work as a bowling writer. Jowdy was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service in 2001. As a writer, Jowdy’s columns appeared in dozens of bowling newspapers and magazines, and he earned numerous awards. He also authored two books on bowling.”

Till next time stay Happy, Healthy and Bowling.

Brian Hirsch

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