The 14th-annual Sean Yonan Memorial Scholarship Bowling Tournament will be held this weekend in Sheboygan.
It was created by Yonan’s family after he died of a severe asthma attack when he was just 9 years old on Valentine’s Day in 1995.
The event will run from Friday to Sunday at Lakeshore Lanes and Maple Lanes.
“We knew that Sean’s favorite activity was bowling because he could do that even when he had his asthma attacks – and he had them quite often,” said Sean’s father, Keith Yonan. “We never thought it would be quite to the extent that he could pass away.”
So Keith, who was involved with his son in youth bowling, wanted to give back to the community.
He found out scholarships can be given out through bowling tournaments and children can save the money for education as they grow older.
The first memorial tournament was small and held in 2006, and about $4,000 was raised.
Approximately $20,000 will be handed out this weekend, and the overall total the tournament has given away will be about $250,000 after Sunday.
“It’s kind of grown beyond leaps and bounds,” Yonan said. “People ask what I’m going to do to top it next. I don’t think I can.
“We’ve got a good thing going here and the kids are rewarded, so that’s the best part.”
The weekend, comprised of over 400 bowlers, kicks off with a Baker Fundraiser Tournament with 24 teams of five bowlers each as well as PWBA Women’s Tour and Storm Bowling staff member Bryanna Cote.
On Saturday, youth from all over the Midwest will compete in two separate scholarship tournaments.
Another youth scholarship tournament will be held on Sunday for Sheboygan-county residents only, and the weekend is capped with an Adult Open Tournament that features $5,000 in cash prizes.
“It’s very competitive,” Yonan said.
Those interested in bowling – youth or adults – can still join the festivities.
Also, private or corporate sponsorships are still available, and people can donate gift certificates or merchandise that will be raffled off with the proceeds going toward additional scholarships.
For more information, contact Yonan at (920) 980-4752 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It helps us bring back all the memories of the good times we had when Sean was bowling, and allows all the people who were a part of Sean’s life to be involved and helps us all get together and reminisce,” Yonan said. “That’s a great thing.
“As far as the tournament goes, I’m just shocked by the outpouring of the help and support we get from the people. Especially from Lakeshore Lanes, too, because they donate their things. Mostly the bowling is free; we don’t have to pay for that. That’s a great thing, too.”