In case you missed it… Did you know we’re Live everyday at 2:00 PM EST on our facebook and YouTube Channels with our daily talk show, Live from Rab’s? You never know who is going to drop in and be a guest on our show. This past week, we welcomed PWBA Superstar Danielle McEwan! Check it out.
Gennaro’s Pizzeria & Snack Bar has re-opened for Take-Out & Delivery!
Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 8 PM!
Call (718) 351-0192 to place your orders… Pizza, Zeppoles, Jell-O Shots, and even the hard to find Flagship Brewery Ralph’s Ices Hard Selzters!
Rab’s Country Lanes remains closed until further notice. Check here for updates.
You can also watch us Live on facebook daily at 2:00 PM for the latest in bowling and our community!
We know you have amazing talents… and we know you’re home with plenty of time on your hands!… So we here at Rab’s launched a new Talent Contest, Rab’s Got Talent!
While you’re home, make a video and submit it for your chance to win and be crowned the Champ! Visit https://bowlatrabs.com/talent to learn more about how you can submit your video and move on to the Voting Round!
We can’t wait to be able to showcase your talent and crown a winner.
By Richard Giacovas | FOX 5 NY
The coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the creativity for small business owners trying to stay afloat.
On Staten Island, at least two business, including a popular bowling alley, have launched their own livestreamed talk shows.
“It was something we had on the back burner,” says Nazareth Laursen, the manager of Rab’s Country Lanes. “When this happened, we were like wow this might be the time.”
Every afternoon, Laursen and proprietor Frank Wilkinson live stream what they call “a show about nothing” from inside the shuttered bowling alley.
Staten Island’s two bowling centers have been shut down during the coronavirus as mandated by the city, but that doesn’t mean the thousands of keglers in the borough can’t get their daily bowling fix.
That’s because Rab’s Country Lanes proprietor Frank Wilkinson and Manager Naz Laursen are bringing the Island bowling community an hour-long daily show — named Live From Rab’s — at 2 p.m. EST each day, live from the Dongan Hills center.
The show can be seen on Facebook if you’re FB friends with either Wilkinson or Laursen, who do the show overlooking the empty and darkened lanes at Country.
Live From Rab’s topics center around what’s happening on the local bowling scene as well as the ongoing coronavirus. Both Wilkinson and Laursen know the coronavirus is serious, but try to make light of the situation on the show and there’s usually plenty of laughs.
Some interesting guests — professional bowlers and Island keglers Joe Cal and Joe Bruno — have appeared on the show.
Missed a show? Check out the archived videos on facebook.com/bowlatrabs or YouTube!
No bowling, no problem for teenager Joe Joe Guarnieri.
When a state mandate was enforced last week shutting down businesses, including the two Island’s bowling centers, it didn’t keep the youngster from doing what he loves.
With help from his mom, Cathy, the 14-year-old rigged up a makeshift bowling alley in front of his Midland Beach house.
“I go outside everyday for about a half hour to bowl,” says Joe Joe, a two-handed bowler. “It keeps me busy.”
The alley is set up perfect, sandwiched between a cinder block retention wall and the side of the family house. A gate is used for the backstop so the ball doesn’t go rolling down the block after it hits the pins.
The pins are real.
“My mom is friends with (Rab’s Country Lanes proprietor) Frank Wilkinson, who gave her the pins,” said Joe Joe, who bowls in two leagues at Rab’s, including the Saturday junior loop where he averages 204.
The ball is real, too, but it’s an old ball so it doesn’t matter if takes a beaten on the concrete lane.
“He’s been bowling since he was 2,” said Cathy. “I used to bring him to Country when I bowled and he would go in Frankie’s office and bowl with plastic pins and a ball.”
Joe Joe’s mom also likes the fact that her son, who is an eighth-grader at St. Teresa but is learning from the home with other New York students because of the virus, gets out of the house after being cooped up all day.
“I think it’s a great idea. He’s on the computer most of the day doing schoolwork so I love that he gets outside in the fresh air for a while,” said Cathy.
And Joe Joe plans to get outside on his makeshift lane every day as long as the coronavirus keeps the Island’s centers on lockdown.
“I’m going to go out there every day,” said Joe Joe. “It’s fun and a good way to practice.”
By Nick Regina | firstname.lastname@example.org
Staten Island Advance | Click Here for Story on silive.com
Bayonne resident Steve Soss claimed his first title at the 45th Annual New Year Singles Classic at Rab’s Country Lanes on Saturday — but even he couldn’t believe it.
An epic finals match between the 30-year-old Soss and Tim McAuliffe Jr. left the crowd buzzing with every toss — but no one in attendance was prepared for how the 10th and final frame would shake out.
Trailing by just two pins, 208-206, through nine frames — Soss promptly stepped up and struck out on the final frame, leaving McAuliffe with the daunting task of matching the effort.
With 246 pins, Soss held the advantage but was forced to look on as McAuliffe immediately answered with a pair of strikes in his final frame before unceremoniously gutter-balling his final attempt, cementing Soss’ triumph, 246-238.
“I screamed, the relief of knowing that I won,” said Soss, as he watched the ball find the gutter. “I shouldn’t have won, there’s no words…I’m happy.”
“That’s never happened before,” remarked tournament director Jim Elliott.
Ironically, the epic matchup was a rematch of the 2014 final — which McAuliffe won.
“I was thinking here we go again,” said Soss after McAuliffe gained the advantage heading into the final frame.
“To throw a double and for him to then throw a double, watching him match it I felt like I was done,” added Soss.
The southpaw admits he didn’t fire his best games on Saturday, but he made big shots when it mattered most.
“Just made clean shots, can’t say I threw the ball great today,” admitted Soss. “But the shots that I made, I was able to finesse some.
“It feels good to be a part of it, at least now I get my name announced every year,” joked Soss. “Just keep bowling and trying to bowl good.”
As for McAuliffe, who fired a 298 in his first game on Saturday, the result is tough to swallow.
“After the second or third frame I thought it would take 260 to win, I knew I might need every strike to win,” explained McAuliffe. “He gave me another chance…I just shot it a little right.
“It was a great match, the last time was close too, it was basically identical except for the result,” he added.
Nevertheless, the outcome is bittersweet.
“I was pretty lined up, stayed relaxed, made consistent shots, Steve’s a great bowler,” added McAuliffe. “It’s tough to get to the final, it’s too bad to let that one go.”
The final was preceded by an equally exciting semifinal, in which McAuliffe downed Joey Weisenstein, who also fired a 298 in his first game of the day, 249-237.
In the other matchup, Soss edged John Eadicicco, 225-217.
Eadicicco, the 2013 champion, also competed in the very first NYSC in 1976.
Prize money: Soss ($1350), McAuliffe ($800), Weisenstein ($500), Eadicicco ($350), George Cretella ($275), Steve Kotowski ($250), Dan Brezo ($230), Kevin Ng ($215), Mike Marchese ($190), Anthony Arias ($170), Christian DeVito ($160), Joe Lampariello ($155), Ira Levy ($150), Jeff Scire ($145), Michael Pitkoff ($140), Zach Dobrin ($135), Carl Worley ($125), Pete Labella ($120), Bill Salvatore ($115), Rob D’Onofrio ($115), AJ Everts ($110), Tom Hollywood, Jr. ($110), Tom Hollywood, Sr. ($100), Darius Fuller ($100).
The duos of Tyler Sidman & Eric Capizzi, Steven & Betty Ann Souffrin, and Luke & Kenneth Vroom captured the titles in their respective divisions in Rab’s Thanksgiving Leftovers Adult/Child No-Tap Tournament held November 30 & December 1, 2019.
In Division A (Team Averages 360 & Over) Tyler Sidman & Eric Capizzi rolled a total score of 2,006 including a perfect 900 set by Eric!
The mother and son duo, Steven & Betty Ann Souffrin rolled a 1,917 total to nab the Division B (Team Averages 321-359) title, while the father and son duo of Luke & Kenneth Vroom bowled over the competition with a 1,950 total in Division C (Team Averages 320 & Under)!
Jason Wichnovitz holds the record for the most perfect games (300) bowled in the event, a total of 9. Other 300 games by youth bowlers were rolled by Anthony DeLeon, Brianna Mester (x2), Joseph Guarnieri (x4), Jessica Fetik (x2), and Brandon Leung.
Luck would also have it that Jason Wichnovitz and Joseph Guarnieri were also selected at random draw to each receive a $250 Scholarship Award!
Other Raffle Prize Winners
- Jessica Fetik – $60 Country Pro Shop Gift Card
- Jill Calendrillo – $40 Rab’ Country Lanes Gift Card
- Jason Wichnovitz – $20 Gennaro’s Gift Card
- Jill Calendrillo – $60 Country Pro Shop Gift Card
- Joseph Guarnieri – $40 Rab’ Country Lanes Gift Card
- Gianna Farina – $20 Gennaro’s Gift Card
- Brianna Mester – $60 Country Pro Shop Gift Card
- Larry Cummings – $40 Rab’ Country Lanes Gift Card
- Joseph LaBarbera – $20 Gennaro’s Gift Card
- Tyler Sidman – $60 Country Pro Shop Gift Card
- Luke Vroom – $40 Rab’ Country Lanes Gift Card
- Joseph LaBarbera – $20 Gennaro’s Gift Card
Complete Results can be found on the Tournament Page: https://bowlatrabs.com/bowling/tournaments/thanksgivingnotap
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Bowling has been good to Frank Wilkinson.
In turn, Frank Wilkinson has been a champion for the bowling community.
Bowling has been synonymous with the Wilkinson family for decades since Frank’s father, Rab, was a professional bowler and regarded as one of Staten Island’s all-time best. He owned Rab’s Pro Shop in Grant City and Rab’s Bowling on the Green in New Dorp, before he took over Rab’s Country Lanes in Dongan Hills in 1995.
While most babies wore booties, Frank Wilkinson was probably wearing funky bowling shoes while growing up in the apartment upstairs from the Pro Shop on Lincoln Avenue. Along with his two older brothers — Anthony and Thomas — he learned the business while working in different capacities in the bowling center and running youth tournaments.
As the older brothers decided to pursue other careers, many viewed Frank as the logical candidate to take over the family business down the line.
Except, “down the line” turned out to be a little sooner than expected once Rab was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2005, and his mother, Dee, spent more time at home caring for her husband over those next three years until his passing. During this difficult time, Wilkinson decided to put his college and teaching dreams on hold and take a more active role running the day-to-day operations at Rab’s Country Lanes.
“It was difficult because I was a kid coming into the business, and I automatically felt I had to earn respect from the people who already worked here. I was working with the staff, and I was involved, but I wasn’t their boss,” said the 33-year-old. “But over time, you earn that respect. In any business, actions speak louder than words.”
Some of those actions included tapping into the advice from his mentors at the bowling center as well as the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and the Bowling Proprietors Association of America.
“You learn from your peers. You have to go outside and look for that. Our industry is so tight, and we have some amazing people who are willing to help,” said the Great Kills resident.
Just like learning how to shine on the lanes, Wilkinson — who was a three-time Staten Island Advance All Star for bowling while at New Dorp High School and has rolled 17 perfect games in his career — has excelled as a businessman.
While the amount of bowling centers has dwindled across America over the years, he has kept Rab’s Country Lanes thriving.
“When it comes to entertainment businesses — whether it’s bowling, movies, or restaurants — we’re all in the same boat. We’re fighting for people’s time and dollars,” said Wilkinson. “One of the things my dad instilled and talked about was taking care of those who take care of you. He knew the importance of taking care of the staff that works for us because at the end of the day, our staff is our family and, without them, the wheels don’t turn.”
“He also instilled in us that absentee ownership is a big issue with declining businesses, so you have to be involved,” he added. “You always have to evolve. You have to stay current, and he was always looking at what was next. He looked toward the future in our industry, whether it was technology or the way people act. We prided ourselves on trying to stay current with trends.”
For his accomplishments, Wilkinson is being honored with a Louis R. Miller Leadership Award, which he will receive in the Master Businessperson category. The awards — which are presented by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Advance — honor the memory of Louis R. Miller, a businessman and West Brighton resident who was also a community leader.
The only proof you need to see the family’s success is by visiting the bustling center and hearing the constant crashing of pins by bowlers of all ages and all skill levels. While having a thriving business is enough to make him feel proud, Wilkinson goes a step further with a solid volunteer portfolio.
On the national level, Wilkinson served as director and past president of the USBC and was director of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America. Locally, Wilkinson has just been tabbed president of the North Shore Rotary, served as co-chair of that organization’s Annual Celebrity Chef Event, and is the current director and past president of the Staten Island USBC.
Rab was a huge supporter of local charities and was cited by several organizations for his generosity. So, it should come as no surprise that his son has continued with the giving spirit by helping others through the Rab Wilkinson Foundation, which awards scholarships to the Island’s youth, and assists a lengthy list of schools, charities, and organizations with their events. Over the last few years, the Rab Wilkinson Foundation has supported the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy program with scholarships, while Wilkinson has also donated his time to act as a mentor for the high school students in the program.
The foundation likely receives its greatest notoriety with its Bowling Against Breast Cancer Bowl-a-thon. Through his leadership, this campaign has raised over $665,000 for Staten Island Breast Health Projects over the past 17 years, including over $50,000 in the last two years alone.
“The core values that (my dad) instilled in us are what made this business. This is why we’re here and why we’re celebrating 25 years this February. If it wasn’t for his vision, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Wilkinson.
Whether it’s running the bowling center or helping others through his community involvement, Wilkinson’s leadership abilities are on full display. He said he remembers how his mentors helped him, and that’s why he’s willing to take the time to mentor today’s youth.
Rab’s Country Lanes boasts one of the biggest youth bowling programs in the country. Although the youngsters learn facets of the game, such as picking up spares and adjusting to different lane conditions, they’re also learning countless life skills through Wilkinson, his staff, and coaches. Many of those coaches are high school students who started bowling at the lanes at a young age.
“These kids aren’t just bowling in a program. They get recreation, they get to socialize with other kids their age, and they work with a coach while learning how to throw the ball or just how to be a better kid,” said Wilkinson. “That’s all part of youth sports in general. Without that, we don’t have a future business.”
Recipients of the Louis R. Miller Awards are recognized as effective business leaders, and for their outstanding contributions to the local community. Awards are given out in four categories: Emerging, Established, Master, and Not-For-Profit. The honorees will be recognized during the annual Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 13, at LiGreci’s Staaten, West Brighton. For tickets, visit www.sichamber.com or call the Chamber at 718-727-1900.
Below, Wilkinson shares more about his goals, job, and life:
Current occupation and title: Proprietor, Rab’s Country Lanes
Hometown: Great Kills
Past occupation/s and titles: Occupation? Other than a role inside the family business? Non-existent. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity learning all different aspects of our business as a kid, such as cleaning, serving food and drink, sorting and spraying rental shoes, party host, front desk customer service, pin chaser, etc.
The best part of my job: Seeing familiar faces every day while also meeting new people and knowing that our facility provides an outlet for people to get away from everyday life, bringing smiles and joy to those who participate in the fun.
The most difficult part of my job: Who cares? No need to complain about the “difficult” things. Difficult tasks and challenges are things that keep us going. Bring it on!
My life philosophy: Live life to the fullest, have no regrets, and take full advantage of opportunities that come your way!
I am most proud of: The amazing community of family and friends within our bowling center, including our team that makes Rab’s the remarkable place it is.
Something that no one knows about me: People seem to think that I’m fearless, and maybe that’s part of my persona? However, that is SO untrue. Besides the obvious fears, like something awful happening to my loved ones, I have lots of other fears, too, just none that I am not willing to face.
Personal interests and hobbies: Food, cooking, enjoying a nice glass of wine or Tito’s, and bowling (duh!).
I laugh at: “yada, yada, yada…”
I admire: My parents. They worked too hard for me not to be great.
By Joe D’Amodio | email@example.com
Staten Island Advance | silive.com
DETROIT — Jason Wichnovitz finished in 62nd out of a field of 868 athletes in the U17 division of the United States Bowling Congress Junior Gold Championships late Friday night.
He was the only Islander of three to reach the Final Advancer Round. Maya Avilez (15U Girls division) and William Courtney (U17 Boys) got eliminated in the Advancer Round. In all, 23 Island bowlers competed in the event.
Wichnovitz, a lefty, averaged 183 through 26 games, 16 in qualifying and 10 in the Advancer Rounds on Friday.
“This week has taught me a huge lesson,” said Wichnovitz. “For those who don’t know, the last few years at Junior Gold and Teen Masters I have felt that I didn’t belong to compete with these other athletes, and I was losing hope on myself. This year both Teen Masters and Junior Gold was a HUGE reminder that I belong with these athletes and that I can compete on the same level as them.”
Meanwhile, Maya Avilez fell 55 pins short of the Final Advancers Round after an 848 five-game set in the Advancer Round on Friday morning. Maya averaged 177 through her 21 games of competition.
“After missing last year’s cut by five pins, I came into the tournament with the goal of making the first cut,” she said. “I was determined, prepared endlessly, and succeeded. From there anything else was icing on the cake. Unfortunately, during Advancers Round the breaks didn’t go my way. Overall, for the week I am so proud of my performance and growth from last year. Now I am ready to whack ‘em in U17.”
This was Courtney’s third trip to the Junior Gold Championships and best finish (86th place). He fell only 57 pins shy of the next round.
He had a great week, averaging 186 but lost some steam In the end.
“I was very hopeful going into the week and got a great result! I am really happy about my performance and can’t wait to get back on the lanes next year in Vegas,” he said. “The week of bowling was absolutely exhausting, bowling about 30 games in one week. However, that was all worth it and can’t wait to take a little bit off to rest.”
Melissa Kammerer, Rab’s Youth Program Coordinator and Team Gold Manager who has competed in six Championships herself during her youth bowling career, was on hand all week working with the Island contingent and provided support, lots from her own experiences at Junior Gold and at Wichita State University.
“Rab’s Team Gold has worked their hearts out on the lanes this year and it definitely shows it, especially for Jason, William, and Maya!” she said. “They showed the courage of what never giving up really means. They have bowled a few Junior Golds in the past and always fell a few pins short. This past year I watched them on and off the lanes work harder than ever and it paid off. We had some amazing bowling for all of our athletes regardless of scores. Now it’s time for them to learn from this experience and work even harder for next year.”
U15 Division – Field Size: 715 Boys / 356 Girls
GIRLS – 24 Advance to the Final Advancers Round (cut: 3772)
37 – Maya Avilez 145, 139, 212, 183, 169-848 | 3717
U17 Division – Field Size: 868 Boys / 443 Girls
BOYS – 64 Advance to the Final Advancers Round (cut: 3967)
42 – Jason Wichnovitz 193, 202, 232, 181, 152-960 | 4022
86 – William Courtney 226, 207, 175, 164, 149-921 | 3910
BOYS – 16 Advance to the Match-Play Bracket (cut: 5047)
62 – Jason Wichnovitz 147, 135, 168, 143, 147-740 | 4762