This isn’t Zachary Bopelish’s first Pens and Pins, and as evidenced by his personalized Penguins bowling ball, it certainly won’t be his last.
Bopelis and other Make-A-Wish children partook in a bowling match with the Penguins in the annual “Pens & Pins” charity bowling tournament, held at Latitude 40 in Robinson Township for the first time on Monday evening.
The event was organized and run by the Penguins Wives Association, with all proceeds from the evening – including funds collected from the sale of mystery pucks along with baked goods – being donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia.
Courtney Scuderi, wife of Penguin Rob Scuderi, said the event is one of the ways the Penguins aim to give back to their city.
“We’re part of the Penguins Wives Association and what we try to do is get together and try to give back to the community,” Courtney said. “This event in particular is for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and it’s just our way of contributing to Make-A-Wish and reaching out to the neighbors and the fans in Pittsburgh.”
Among the highlights from the fun-filled evening was a scoring controversy in Lane 1, where Simon Despres, Marc-Andre Fleury and Pascal Dupuis were all bowling together. According to Dawn Parks, who was attending her first Pens and Pins, she may have seen Dupuis fiddle with the scoring system.
“All I know or heard is that Pascal Dupuis is, or may have been, changing the score, but that’s all I saw, I mean heard,” Parks said with a smile.
However, when Dupuis was asked about the controversy, he simply smiled and denied it all.
“I don’t know what happened,” Dupuis deadpanned. “Really, I don’t know what happened.”
Next to Lane 1 was Brandon Sutter, Zach Sill and Paul Martin, who were bowling with Parks. Sutter and Sill were the top bowlers for the Penguins through eight frames, but Sutter didn’t know if that was enough to help him be crowned the best bowler on the team.
“I’m going to need a couple more strikes to maybe be the champion,” Sutter said. “It’s been fun. It’s fun to come out and see the kids and we’re having a pretty good time. I think it’s a fun event for us.”
Fleury said the event is a nice chance for the players and coaches to mingle and hang out with fans.
“I think it’s a fun event,” Fleury said. “We’ve been doing it for many years and we get to meet some of the Make-A-Wish kids and the proceeds all go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It’s fun, we don’t just sit here and sign autographs. We actually get to play and interact with the kids and stuff.”