David Brabaw is clutching a frozen, 8-pound turkey in a pair of as-seen-on-TV Ove Gloves. He’s got a bowler’s stance as he eyes the pins at the end of the lane over the bird’s rump.
There’s a hush as bird strikes the pins, then an eruption of cheers as the pins settle, including an ecstatic, guttural “YEAH!” from Brabaw — he got a strike.
Brabaw’s not at a rowdy bowling alley, but on the eighth floor of Juneau’s State Office Building. He was one of a handful of state workers turkey bowling on Wednesday during the lunch hour. That unmistakable sound of bowling pins getting knocked around echoed up several stories of the building.
One makeshift bowling lane with 10 real pins was fashioned out of duct tape and a plastic drop cloth on the tile floor.
“Well, I have 34 right now in the fourth frame, but the last two frames, I’ll get a strike!” said Bong Carandang in the midst of a competitive game. “Or I’m gonna try and get a strike!”
The event was organized by employees of the division of Enterprise Technology Services. They charged $2 a throw, or $5 for a six-frame game. It was a fundraiser for the SHARE Campaign, a charitable giving program for state employees.
The turkey hucking was a spectacle. Folks were watching in the atrium, and several more gawked from interior office windows.
“Turkey bowling, I was very envious of, it sounded like great fun,” said Paula Pawlowski, the SHARE Campaign coordinator for the whole state, though her day job is as executive director of Serve Alaska. Different offices run the SHARE Campaign from year to year.
Turkey bowling was one many novel events state employees across Alaska put together to raise money for charities and nonprofits. Past events included selling chances to throw a pie at IT people, Halloween parties, coffee sales, silent auctions, chili cook-offs and bake sales.
“There are all kinds of creative ways that they’re having fun while giving at the same time,” Pawlowski said.
The SHARE Campaign goal for the year is to raise $415,000. The campaign is about two-thirds of the way there.
Wednesday’s turkey bowling event will kick in another $95, less the cost of the drop cloth. Taku Lanes donated the pins. The two turkeys used were also donated, but were too beat up to be regifted.