Natalie Savants cross-country bowling tour stopped in Rock Hill on Thursday, and it drew a crowd.
Natalie, a 9-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, is on a quest this summer. Her goal is to bowl in all 48 contiguous states.
She crossed North Carolina off her list Thursday afternoon at Ten Park Lanes in Charlotte.
After dinner, she stopped at Strikers Family Sportscenter in Rock Hill to add South Carolina to her list of states.
Natalies tour began in April as her family planned a spring break visit to Nevada and other states.
Natalie asked if she could bring her bowling ball, so we said, Why not? said Natalies mother, Ginger Savant.
Then I asked how many states wed be visiting, said Natalie Savant, because I wanted to bowl in all of them.
From there, it snowballed, said Natalies mother. It grew into a project to spread the word about youth bowling and to raise money for scholarships for other young bowlers.
Junior bowlers dont bowl for money like professional bowlers, Ginger Savant said. They bowl for trophies and scholarships.
The tours aim is to bring in money for the scholarship sponsored by Natalies youth bowling league in San Antonio.
Natalie has already kick-started her own college fund with bowling scholarships, and this summers project has gained a large following.
The projects Facebook page, Natalies Striking Summer, already has more than 3,500 followers.
It goes to show how supportive the bowling community is, Ginger Savant said.
Natalie is enjoying the attention. Thursday night she grinned and giggled for cameras between throws.
Its fitting that the bowling ball she picked is pink and called The Diva, Ginger Savant said. Thats what Natalie is called at home all the time.
Natalie pointed out her bowling shirt, which matched the ball: bright pink with The Diva written in black cursive.
This little girl is just the sweetest person terrific, said Howard Davis, owner of Strikers. He offered to help with the project after meeting Natalie at a bowling convention.
She comes from a bowling family, but this idea was all hers, and she has really done a great job, he said.
Chuck Gardner from Bowling Solutions Pro Shop, who worked with Ginger Savant when Natalie was a baby, has helped out with the trip.
Bowling Solutions donated a ball, which was raffled to raise money for scholarships.
South Carolina was the 22nd state of Natalies tour, but even with the project almost halfway completed, the bowling isnt close to an end.
I want to keep bowling forever, Natalie said.
Chandler West • 803-329-4033