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Port Orchard women find support after 40 years in bowling league

Multiple women in the "Tuesday Wonders" bowling league have been together for more than 40 years, creating a network of support through life.

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Every Tuesday, a group of women meet at Hi Joy Bowl in Port Orchard for their weekly bowling tournament. This is a tradition the “Tuesday Wonders” have continued for decades.

Secretary Bernie Boyd has been a member for 44 years. She said the group started in 1952 and was originally named the Bubble Gummers, then changed the name in the 1960s.

The group’s size has ebbed and flowed through the years, sometimes dwindling to just a few women, but they have continued the tradition even with a small group. Now, they’ve expanded to 12 lanes and two people per lane.

Bernie said that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group never missed a Tuesday bowl. The only reason they had to briefly stop playing was when the bowling alley burned down in 1982, but even then, they commuted to Bremerton’s bowling alley to continue their games.

Bernie is one of a handful of women who have been part of the league for more than 40 years. She, alongside Pat and Sandi, said they’ve lived a lot of life through that time, and are thankful for their bowling friendships through the highs and lows.

“We laugh together, we cry together. We’re just good friends,” they agreed.

Bernie said her bowling friends were there for her through everything from the loss of her husband to her breast cancer diagnosis -- support she’s thankful for.

“It’s like having a bunch of sisters,” she said.

While many of them have years of history, others are new to the league.

Helen Muralt started about one month ago.

"It's been a fun league, there’s a lot of wisdom here. I plan to soak up every bit of it,” she said, adding that she could see herself sticking with the group for another 40 years to carry on the legacy.

While the purpose of the group is to bowl, that’s not the reason they come back.

Sandi said she’s happy to break 100 each game, but values the people around her more than anything. After each week’s round of bowling, they carry the conversation to lunch, rotating around to different local restaurants to keep the entertainment going.

For more information about the Tuesday Wonders or other Hi Joy bowling leagues, click here.

Watch: Made in Washington celebrates Women's History Month with focus on women-owned businesses 

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