Event strikes at hearts of mothers, sons

The Bowl-A-Rama is the mother-and-son version of the father-and-daughter Valentines dance.

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Dawson Catlett, 6, smiles and laughs as his mom, Hilary Catlett, congratulates him on his bowling during the Mother & Son Bowl-A-Rama on Saturday at Stardust Lanes.

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Christy Kerr affectionately hugs, kisses and tickles her son, Alex Wood, 9, during the bowling event.

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Dawson Catlett leans back on his heels holding the ball between his legs before rolling it down the lane.

WALLA WALLA - Even though they rolled plenty of gutter balls and many of their scores ended in the low double-digits, the 37 mothers who participated in this year's Mother & Son Bowl-A-Rama bowled perfect games in the eyes of the boys who love them.

"It's just a little togetherness time we have," Donna Chapin said, adding it was the second time she and her son, Ryan, had attended the event.

The event lasted from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Stardust Lanes, 330 S. Second Ave.

"They just bowl. They got to squeeze as many games as they possibly can in two hours, which is actually quite a few," event coordinator Angela Potts said.

The event was started by the Walla Walla Department of Parks and Recreation about eight years ago to be the mother-and-son version of the father-and-daughter Valentine's dance, Potts said.

"My son just turned 5, and his sister got to do the father-daughter dance," Melissa McNeil said, explaining why she felt the need to take Zachary for the first time. "He didn't want to be left out," she added.

Of course, just like with the father-daughter dance, Potts said eventually the boys reach a point when they no longer want to attend with their mother because they are too grown up.

Chapin pondered this thought as she stood next to Ryan, who was already one of the oldest boys at the event.

"I want him to stay young. He is my little guy, though he is almost bigger than I am," she said.

The event cost $27 and included one boy, with additional boys costing $13 each.

Grandmothers, aunts and other motherly figures also participated.

Potts said the department also supplied scholarships for any mothers who couldn't afford the event.

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