When Heartland Bowl owner Robert Gallaugher decided to start the Memorial No Tap tournament in the memory of the builder of Heartland Bowl, Ray Plante and brother Elmer, both of whom passed away the day of the grand opening in 2007, little did he know how the annual would grow over the years.
This year with an increase in the number of entries, Gallaugher thinks it has not done too badly.
“I founded this as a way of keeping the bowlers engaged in smaller towns because the bigger centres already have their major tournaments,” said Galaugher.
Gallaugher knew Plante as a friend and has fond memories of their times together.
“We do the Scratch side of the tournament in his memory as Ray was a pretty good bowler in his day,” Gallaugher explained. “We do the Handicap side in memory of my brother Elmer who also passed away in 2007. Elmer was a decent bowler but he was there more for the fun of the game.”
With 110 entries this year, Gallaugher said that this was the best year so ever.
“We had 100 last year, but this year it has increased,” Gallaugher added. “We had people from Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Pincher Creek, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Drumheller and of course, Stettler.”
The funds raised from the tournament would go into the operation of the facility.
“However, most of the entry money is paid out to winners, with $4,500 being paid out this past weekend alone,” Gallaugher explained. “We only do the Memorial as a tribute to those two gentlemen.”
To play in the tournament you only need 24 games in a league somewhere to establish and average.
“It is a singles tournament so there are no teams, it’s the men’s or ladies’ division,” Gallaugher further added.