The Herald Bulletin

October 4, 2013

Cooper's has long-standing tradition, presence

The Herald Bulletin

---- — With over 20 sanctioned leagues bowling at Cooper’s Sport Bowl, there is something for everyone. Men, women, mixed, youth and senior leagues are coming together every week to participate in the sport of bowling.

But just how did Anderson’s only bowling center come into being?

Nearly 60 years ago, Charlie Cooper saw an opportunity and took a chance. Tired of being put on a waiting list every time that he wanted to take his sons out for a night of bowling, Charlie Cooper developed a vision to create his own bowling center.

Three years later, in 1959, Cooper’s Sport Bowl opened its doors.

Located on the south side of 53rd street, Cooper’s only had 16 lanes and a snack bar. Two years later another 16 lanes were added along with a pro shop, billiard room and game room.

In 1978 Cooper’s jumped across the street with the construction of its present home. The new bowling center expanded to 44 lanes, enlarged its snack bar, kept a billiard room and included an arcade. Also added to the facility was a lounge known as the Grapevine.

As the times have changed, so has Cooper’s. In 1992, automatic scoring was installed and Shout’s Pub and Eatery was created. Not only is Cooper’s in the bowling business, they have expanded their vision to encompass a whole family entertainment venue. Birthday and corporate parties have become an everyday event.

With the decision to become one of the few businesses to remain open on holidays, family traditions have been born. It is common for several generations to head out to the center on Thanksgiving and Christmas night to finish off a day of family fun.

In a town that over the years has seen many bowling centers come and go, Cooper’s has endured and adapted to become the last man standing. Still family owned, Cooper’s is on its third generation of operators.

This weekend is full of bowling activities for the whole family. Saturday is Alternative, Inc.’s third annual Bowl to Strike Out Domestic Violence fundraiser. Hosted by Cooper’s Sport Bowl with registration beginning at 4:30 p.m. and bowling starting at 5. There will be many themed baskets available for bids and an iPad 4 will be raffled off at the end of the night.

You do not have to a have a full team to participate. Individual and partial teams are accepted. Bring the whole family out for a family fun night while supporting a great cause. You do not have to bowl to help out. Come on out and bid on a basket. There will be something for everyone.

Sunday brings a competitive side of bowling in the INJBT (Indiana Junior Bowlers Tour) tournament hosted in Fort Wayne at Crazy Pins. This tournament is monthly and provides a sport shot to challenge youth bowlers. It is also a Junior Gold Tournament qualifier. Practice begins at 8:45 with a 9:00 start time.

Walk ins will be welcome and are encouraged for both events.

Angie Colip’s bowling column appears each Friday during the bowling season.