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Tattoo artists paint bowling pins for online auction to support P.E.I. Special Olympics

Allan Clark, president of the P.E.I. 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association, displays bowling pins painted by local tattoo artists that will be auctioned off to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Allan Clark, president of the P.E.I. 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association, displays bowling pins painted by local tattoo artists that will be auctioned off to raise money for the Special Olympics. - Katie Smith

Island tattoo artists have put their creativity to the test to help raise money for the Special Olympics.

Tattoo parlours and artists from Summerside to Montague were contacted by members of the P.E.I. 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association to see if they would be interested in taking part in a new fundraising event.

Association president Allan Clark said prior to the Christmas holidays, the eight artists who participated in the fundraiser were given bowling pins to paint.

“We acquired some used bowling pins and had them cleaned up - all the bumps and scratches taken out of them,” Clark said. “We supplied (the artists) with a pin to use as a canvass, then they used their creativity to paint a design on the pin.”

The pins are now online and the public is encouraged to vote for their favourite design. Voting is permitted once a day until the competition ends on March 9, at which time the winner will be announced.

“I thought it was pretty crazy, some of the artwork, so we thought it would be a pretty neat fundraiser.”
-Allan Clark

Upon completion of the Fan Favourite stage, the winning artists will receive a plaque and the eight pins will be up for bid at an online auction, with proceeds going to the Special Olympics.

Clark said each year the provincial association raises $2,500 for Special Olympics through a variety of efforts, including volunteering at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival and hosting golf tournaments.

This fundraiser is a first.

“I saw the idea online, on Pintrest, to paint over bowling balls,” Clark said. “I thought it was pretty crazy, some of the artwork, so we thought it would be a pretty neat fundraiser.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, and P.E.I. will host the 2018 Special Olympics Canada 5-Pin Bowling Championships in Charlottetown in May.

Clark said he wanted to recognize the provincial association’s vice president, Valerie Kneebone, for her work on the fundraiser.

“She was instrumental in helping with this fundraiser, spending countless hours cleaning and prepping the 20-year-old pins prior to delivering them to the tattoo artists,” he said, adding he’d also like to thank the artists and tattoo shops that were involved.

The artists’ work can be viewed and voted on at Pei5pin.com/tattoo.

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