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Shining Star: Charlie Whiteman

Charlie Whiteman is a New Cumberland man leaving a big mark on bowlers, from bumpers to the big time.

Positive reinforcement is just part of what keeps bowlers returning week after week, sometimes even day after day, to Holiday Lanes in Weirton.

On Friday afternoons, the ally is packed with the youth league bowlers looking for a little guidance and Charlie gives it to them.

Charlie is a fourth-generation bowler.

“I came in here when I was 5 years old with my dad, and they welcomed us in and I started bowling and it stuck. I've been here 30 years bowling,” he said.

He loves the place so much that he bought it in 2015. Coaching started years before that.

He took a young Shawn Curtis under his wing.

“He's like another dad to me. He's always been there, no matter what I needed,” Curtis said.

Now, Curtis bowls at the collegiate level at Witchita State University.

“I certainly didn't throw the ball for him. He did it, but it really makes me proud to be a part of it,” Charlie said.

And he's helping 14-year-old Jillian Peirto pin down her dreams. She won the state championship title in her age group in 2016.

“He really cares about the kids, like he loves us,” Peirto said.

“It's just amazing, he just wants to see them succeed,” said Julie Peirto.

“I don't want to turn my back on any of the kids,” Charlie said. “You may not have as much talent as Shawn, you may have enough talent to become a great league bowler, either way, I don't want to leave one of the kids that are interested in the sport to go out the door, because if I can keep them in here, I know they're not going be on drugs. They can be an asset to society.

He shows kids how to split their responsibilities.

“So if I've got to call a principal, I'll call a principal. If we've got to work on their grades, we'll do that,” Charlie said.

“I've seen him over here, in the booth tutoring Spanish one night,” said Bob Babinchak. I have seen him help coach kids that aren't so well of as others and do things for families so they could get equipment for their kids.”

“You know, he's running a business here, but its more than that to him, you can see it. He honestly cares about these kids,” said Jim Parsons.

Everyone is family. Charlie’s five-year-old son Cale is a fifth-generation bowler. Cale is left-handed, just like Charlie’s grandfather.

“I can teach these kids to bowl now, and they may be 13, 14 years old, and it's something they can do,” Charlie said. “My grandfather just passed. He bowled until he was 89 years old, so we have some bowlers that are competitive at that age, so I'm teaching them something that they're going to have for the rest of their life.”

This shining star is passing on his passion for knocking down pins.

If you know someone like Charlie who has a positive impact on someone's life, we’d like to hear about it. Nominate them here.

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