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Annual Best-3-of-4 tourney set Aug. 9; Sarasota Lanes celebrates its 56th year

Sarasota Lanes is celebrating its 56th year of operations this weekend.
Sarasota Lanes is celebrating its 56th year of operations this weekend.

One of the most-popular annual bowling events in the Sarasota-Manatee County area -- the fifth annual Andy Rapone Memorial Best-Three-Of-Four singles tournament -- will be conducted on Saturday, Aug.9, at Sarasota Lanes.

Conducted and sponsored by the Sarasota-Manatee County Men's Bowling Hall of Fame, the tourney allows all entrants to roll four games with only the highest three scores counting toward position on the prize list.

Three squads are scheduled -- at 10 a.m., 12:30 and 3 p.m. -- and with the lineage donated free of charge by Sarasota Lanes management, entry fee is only $10, with $5 going into the prize fund, $3 earmarked for the Hall of Fame and $2 donated to the Sarasota-Manatee Youth Scholarship Fund.

All entrants must be at least 18 years old and a certified member of a local United States Bowling Congress association. Re-entries will be permitted, provided lanes are available. However, bowlers may cash only once.

Handicap is 90 percent of 220, and there will be two average categories: 185-up and 184-under. Complete rules and information are on the entry blanks, available at most area centers. For more information, contact tournament director Bruce Combs at 955-7696 or Sarasota Lanes at 955-7629.

Sarasota Lanes to celebrate 56th anniversary with 56-cent games

Sarasota Lanes, located at 2250 Fruitville Road, first opened for business under then-proprietor Bernie Levkoff on Aug. 1, 1958, and the longest operating bowling center in the area will officially celebrate 56 years of operation on Sunday (Aug. 3).

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, all customers will be treated to games of bowling for the "celebratory" special price of 56 cents.

The center has also announced the dates for its annual Good Old Days promotion, which will take place on Labor Day weekend -- Friday. Aug. 29 through Monday, Sept. 1 -- with games of bowling, draft beer, sodas and hot dogs at 75 cents each until 9 p.m. on each of those days.

The center has operated with 36 lane beds for all but the first year of operation. Levkoff opened with 24 lanes and added 12 lanes, which are now Lanes 1-12, less than a year later. The opening came about a week before the now-defunct Rip Van Winkle Lanes began operations near the Sarasota-Bradenton airport.

After more than two decades in the bowling business, Levkoff sold the business to Dick Hubbard Jr. in 1979, and although Hubbard died at the age of 91 in 2011, the center is still operated by the Hubbard family.

To visit the Sarasota Lanes Web site, click here. And to read an report on the first 55 years of the center's history, click here to access an Aug. 4, 2013 article.

[You may subscribe to Bill Herald's bowling columns -- free of charge -- by clicking on "subscribe" near the top of the column, after which you will receive e-mail notification each time a new item is published.]

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