Mike Moore: `The man of today’

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

Steve Kniola once said of Mike Moore that he simply wished that he could be Mike Moore for a day. It is a statement that gives Mary Ellen and Tater aka/Gary, the very loving parents of Mike ‘goosebumps’ to this day, according to Mother Moore.

On Easter Eve Brian and Becca Vanmter opened Astro Lanes for a Scotch Doubles Fundraiser for Mike “The Icon” Moore a gentleman who has touched the lives of so many in the Wapak community simply by being Mike. There is no pretense to Mike Moore simply joy and more often than not love for anybody who crosses his path. I find myself in agreement with Kniola, it would be great to be Mike if even just for a day.

Mike is off for Seattle in July to the National Special Olympics. He will be competing for his 80th gold medal. You heard me right Michael Phelps, Michael Moore passed your mere total of 23 gold a long time ago.

We take him to the airport for the Seattle trip June 29 and he becomes a member of Team Ohio from that point. “I guess at that point we are not his parents any more,” shared a very loving mom and dad.

Never could a statement ever be any more offline. The incredible Mary Ellen and Tater will always be the parents of this incredible young man.

It is also very true that his sister Sarah will always have to share her brother with his other brothers and sisters of the Wapak area, as well as his brothers and sisters from St Marys, Lima and any other area where Mike decides to park his bowling equipment.

Sometimes when the topic of Special Olympics comes up, individuals get this picture of individuals rolling games far below the standard of what one would see on league night. While in some cases that is true, Mike is a very special individual. His skill-set is simply beyond what any could imagine.

Recently Mike competed in the State Eagles tournament with some very regular folks. His travel buddies for the trip included Steve Rostorfer, Jeff Triplett, Rodney and Tyler Phillips, Steve Schipper, Chris Van Meter. Mike topped the charts from our area on that weekend with a 747 in the team event and as well as sets of 687 and 674 in singles and doubles. Let me do the math for you that would be 2,108 in All Events.

The fact that the community loves Mike, simply for being Mike could not have been made any clearer than when Vanmeter shut down the bowling during the Scotch Doubles bowling event for Mike and Denny Borgert sang a song illustrating the love that both he and the different communities have for Mike. The more I played the song back the more I realize that as spot on as the words were what was even more apparent is the love that Denny and so many others have for Mike.

It is like Mike takes in all that love and then does all that he can to pay it back if not forward. I can only echo Kniola and wonder what it would be like if we could all just be like Mike for even a day. The world would be such a better place if we could be that kind of a man or woman for a day. Denny you were so spot on.

Mary Ellen /aka Sweet Tater as well as Tater and Mike /aka Tater Tot extended their thanks when we hung out some on Friday evening. Clearly they were appreciative for all the Vanmeter did to put the Scotch Doubles as well as the considerable love that was shown by Borgert and JJ Miller and his family and all that came out to support Mike but they praised so many others that I know I lost track.

The Blue on Blue event of Auglaize County that supports the Special Olympics annually were most generous as has been Dave Axe and the Special Olympic group of the community.

They reminded me of when the professional bowlers, Chris Loschetter, Ronnie Russell and David Wodka of the Hitmen came to town late last year and so many others that I could not keep up.

Mary Ellen shared, “Different leagues have had 50/50’s for Mike, people have handed us money and we have even received unsigned cards in the mail with money enclosed.

Much like their son, they have remembered each scenario, sadly I could not write fast enough to share them all here.

I have always thought that Mike and his family should travel to and throughout Seattle first class. The money that they have received thus far will certainly help with that even though this is a family that will refuse first class I am sure.

That said Mike will be going for this 80th and that number is really stuck in my mind. Maybe it would be great if any of us had an extra 80 cents or $8 or $80 or even $800 dollars hanging around we could slide it into one of those nameless or name on envelopes and drop it off at Astro Lanes for Mike and the family.

I am sure that what they do not need will be passed through to the Auglaize County Special Olympics.

This was not my last trip to Auglaize County for this season. It seems that Peg Lowry and Kim Parent and crew ripped pins up during the Inter-City tournament and still lead the way. Varsity Lanes here I come.

See you at the lanes, most notably The Jessica Sanford Tournament this coming Saturday and Sunday at Westgate Lanes.


Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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