- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Every strike was a strike against cancer and every spare, when participating in Bowling Over Butts showed that one cared.
Bowling Over Butts was hosted by X2REP which founder Anthony Eric Murrill said focuses on reaching out to youth and adults about the dangers of smoking.
X2REP is a mission youth outreach program that focuses on anti-smoking.
Looking out across the lanes Friday at AMF Lanes in Waldorf, Murrill said many of the events sponsors, community members and youth had all come together “to join the effort to fight against cancer by bowling over butts.”
X2REP, Time to Represent, is a partner with the the Charles County Health Department’s Cancer team, which according to Mary Beth Klick, is a subcommittee of the Partnerhip of a Healthy Charles County.
Klick runs the tobacco prevention and smoking cessation programs at the health department.
Klick said because it was part of the cancer team’s goal to do a project associated with lung cancer, they chose to work with X2REP on the event.
Klick said on average, 64 Charles County residents a year die of tobacco-related illnesses.
Klick and other representatives from the health department were at the bowling alley Friday talking with participants and other advocates about the effects smoking has on the body and how smoking can lead to multiple types of cancer, not just lung cancer.
Klick said it was nice to be a part of the bowling event because it’s “a wonderful way to combine something fun with something educational.” Everyone who came out to bowl, had an opportunity to participate in the anti-tobacco event.
Murrill said while it was important to reach out to youth, the anti-smoking message was for adults too.
“We want to change what smoking looks like in the eyes of our youth and skins of our adults,” he said.
By having participants hear from sponsors and anti- tobacco-advocates Murrill was looking to make sure children saw that “it’s no longer cool to sit around and have a cigarette in your hand or a blunt in your hand.”
Alisa Spells, of White Plains was unaware of the event when she brought her family to the bowling alley Friday.
“I just came to go bowling, and this is great,” she said.
Sponsors such as The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center and Health Partners had informational booths set up, and people such as Miss Baltimore USA 2014 and other advocates were walking around promoting the anti-smoking message during the bowling.
The various sponsors were part of bowling teams, and during a tournament-style bowling competition, sponsors would use the opportunity to talk to other teams about smoking.
Maureen Steele and Kimberly Brewer, both members of the Associates in Action team from Kohls, said they were looking forward to going around and talking with youth about the dangers of smoking.
Murrill said Monday that all 32 lanes at the bowling alley were filled Friday during the four-hour event. Throughout the day there were more than 200 participants.
Kirk Spells, 6, said smoking was “not good,” and that among other things, “smoke gets everywhere.”
Lisa Wood, 15, said she liked the idea of combining bowling with an anti-smoking message.
“It’s just fun,” she said.
Lisa said people need to stop smoking because “it’s bad for your lungs and everything.”
During the event, youth participants made a pledge to kick smoking to the curb.
Murrill said Friday’s bowling event kicked off what would become a semi-annual event.
He said another anti-smoking event would be held in June.