Looking Back, June 1, 1995
Looking Back, June 1, 1995: Spare-O-Lanes keeping kids busy this summer
In response to a community concern that Quincy kids have nowhere to spend their free time, one Quincy business offers itself as a gathering place for community youngsters this summer.
Bart and Beverly Olson, owners of Spare-O-Lanes bowling alley, are offering their business as a place for Quincy kids to spend time for the second year in a row.
“I’m just trying to do my part, as a parent because I know what my kids went through, and as a business owner who knows that there’s nowhere for these kids to go,” said Beverly Olson.
Once a month this summer, Spare-O-Lanes will provide free bowling, video games, and snacks for Quincy kids. Olson said this year they will provide four sessions each day, accommodating 50 to 60 kids per three-hour session.
While the program started with the intention that it would be primarily for “at risk” kids, Olson said the program is really for all Quincy kids.
“This was something I felt this town lacked for the kids,” said Olson.
Olson said she can really see a difference in the kids when they are given a place to go and treated with respect.
“I feel that if you respect them and talk to them the way you want to be talked to, you get their respect,” said Olson. “This is basically a program to show kids that we know they exist.”
The program was started by the Olsons but is supported by the city of Quincy, and a variety of businesses. Olson said that L&R Burger provides the hot dogs, chips, and soda for the kids, while Seafirst Bank provides cookies.
The kids are given $1 each to play video games along with the free bowling time and food. There are also drawings for prizes at the end of the day.