Last Thursday night, the Oak Bluffs Fire Department took home the trophy in the inaugural annual Island firemen bowling competition at the Barn Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs. Firemen and their families bowled for free and drank plenty of beer during the friendly competition, meant to bolster a sense of community among the departments.
The idea, conceived only two weeks prior by general manager Mike Sawyer, is the first in what Mr. Sawyer
hopes will be a series of community outreaches for the new business, which will operate year-round. The Barn has been open since May.
“We want to set up all these fun events, and we’re kicking it off with this,” said Mr. Sawyer.
During planning, Mr. Sawyer reached out to Oak Bluffs fireman Jimmy Maseda, who acted as a public relations liaison to the rest of the Island departments.
“He asked me if I could help get all the towns together to do this, so I notified someone from each town and asked them if they could get a team together,” Mr. Maseda said.
Mr. Maseda said the departments are often called to assist one another at emergencies, but said that they didn’t have any type of regular social event where they could congregate and relax.
“This is a way to get us all together and have fun,” he said.
The games on Thursday featured a twist: Each lane had a gold pin in the shuffle that, if randomized into the front pin, upped the ante.
“If that happens, and the firefighter rolls a strike, we’re going to donate or give away a $10 gift certificate for The Barn,” said Mr. Sawyer.
The West Tisbury fire department was the first to land such a strike, and the team cheered with their hands in the air.
Moving forward, Mr. Sawyer intends to organize similar competitions among other Island groups, namely the police departments. He’s also tossing around ideas for school bowling competitions, as well as competitions among restaurant staffs.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Mr. Sawyer gave away gift certificates to the bar. Mr. Sawyer gave away gift certificates to The Barn.