Pay it Forward honors ‘start right, end right’ bowling coach

DAVENPORT, Iowa — James Sanger nominated Lonnie Boyd for the Pay it Forward contest because he says Lonnie selflessly volunteers his time coaching Quad City youth at Thirty Lanes Bowling in Davenport.

James' sons Owen, 12 and Noah, 9 have been working with Lonnie over the past few years - the boys have had a lot of success and fun bowling. The whole Sanger family has gotten into the sport, all James says, because of Lonnie.

"Happened to meet Lonnie one day, he volunteered to help my boys and pretty much my whole family has become pretty good at bowling now... just 'cause of him, he taught us everything we know," said Sanger of Davenport, Iowa on Friday, February 1 at Thirty Lanes Bowling.

That's why James nominated Lonnie for the Pay it Forward contest sponsored by Ascentra Credit Union which aims to recognize people in the community who are giving back, with a cash donation of $300.00 so those people can "Pay it Forward".

James says Lonnie never accepts any money for coaching James' sons.

"He does it all out of the kindness out of his heart, [the money is] well deserved. I can't think of a better guy to give the money to."

"James thank you for nominating Lonnie," said Victoria Keninger of Ascentra Credit Union. "He is a great example of what we believe in at Ascentra, always listening, caring and doing what's right. On behalf of Ascentra Credit Union, I would like to present you with $300.00."

When Lonnie Boyd arrived to 30 Lanes bowling alley to help the Sanger boys practice. He was shocked when James walked up to him to surprise him with the money.

"Hey Lonnie, on behalf of WQAD and Ascentra Credit Union, I want to Pay it Forward and give you $300.00 for everything you do for the bowling community. For the kids - it's time to give you something back," said Sanger.

"Man I mean I am speechless, I don't know what I am going to do with all this money - thank you very much I appreciate it," said Boyd.

Lonnie has bowled since he was 29. Now retired, he lives in Moline and gives back to kids as much as he can.

"I do it because my mom always told me, she said, to give back to share with food and whatever you can give to the community." said Boyd.  "So I raised children, foster children and biological children, and I just continue to give back to all children, any talent that I have."

Lonnie said one day when he was younger, he was "clowning around" at a bowling alley with some friends. That's when Bob Cosper (Boyd still recalls his name to this day).

"He said, 'hey you're pretty good, how would you like to be in my bowling league'? He took me into his pro shop, he gave me a bowling ball and a brand new pair of shoes and he said 'Here. I want you to join me. I will teach you how to bowl.' He gave to me, I want to give back."

Lonnie's philosophy with bowling is 'you start right, you end right'.

"I think this world is in trouble," Lonnie said. "If we as parents and adults don't give back to do something to conquer all the craziness that's going on in the world today. We're doing a disservice to our country and the people in this community."

On the weekend of February 2-3  Lonnie's students did really well at the "City Roll Off". Owen won and Noah placed 1st in singles and all around event and both the boys got 1st place in the team event.

Lonnie says it's an overwhelming feeling, when he gets to see his students achieve success.

If you know someone who's giving back in the community. Nominate them here. WQAD will contact you if you're nomination is chosen.

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