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Michigan bowling team pays donations forward after fire

December 23, 2018
In this Dec. 5, 2018 photo, Monroe Fire Department firemen put out the last of the hot spots near the kitchen area at the Nortel Lanes bowling alley in Monroe, Mich. The City of Monroe Fire Department, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Michigan State Police (MSP), has concluded the cause of the Dec. 5 fire to be undetermined. Lieutenant Thomas Ford of the Monroe Fire Department, in cooperation with ATF and MSP Fire Inspectors, led the investigation into the possible cause and origin of blaze which destroyed the 66,000 square foot complex and presented a combined $8 million loss. (Tom Hawley/Monroe News via AP)

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan high school that received more than 200 bowling ball donations after losing some equipment in a bowling alley fire plans to share the generosity.

Members of the Monroe High School’s boys and girls bowling teams lost equipment when Nortel Lanes burned to the ground Dec. 5, The Monroe News reported . Some members had left their equipment at the facility in preparation for a match that had been scheduled to take place the day of the fire.

“High performance balls are over 200 dollars apiece,” said Mike Meagher, the Monroe girls bowling coach. “The average pair of shoes is 50 to 60 bucks, and bags are anywhere between $50 to $150. I’m guesstimating at least $4,000 to $5,000 of equipment was lost, just with (our) kids.”

The Monroe Trojans reached out to the bowling community on social media for equipment donations.

“What happened next really let me know the character of our community, and the sense of family our bowling community has toward its youth bowlers,” said Eric Pillette, the Monroe boys bowling coach.

Pillette and Meagher estimate that the school has received more than 200 bowling balls, up to 40 pairs of shoes and around 50 bags. The group also received bowling accessories, including towels and ball cleaners.

The teams have shared the donations with programs at other schools, as well as other groups that also lost equipment in the fire.

“We feel this is the only way the community’s generosity can be completely fulfilled,” Pillette said. “All the equipment will find its way to people who need it.”

The Monroe Fire Department, Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Wednesday that they couldn’t determine the exact cause and origin of the fire because of its massive destruction.

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Information from: Monroe News, http://www.monroenews.com

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