There will be firsts when Francois Lavoie sets the men’s target score for the 57th Beat the Champions.
He will be the first Quebec-born man to set the target scores for BTC.
“I had not heard of Beat the Champs before being approached for the event,’’ he emailed. “I love the idea though, and hope to make this year’s event a success.’’
The target broadcast, which will be recorded at Elk Grove Bowl, airs on Christmas on NBC Sports Chicago (formerly Comcast SportsNet).
Liz Johnson will set the women’s target for a record fifth time for the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association’s charity bowling event. The Sun-Times is the media sponsor.
Winners of the U.S. Open are asked to set the BTC targets. Lavoie’s first PBA title was the 2016 Open. As experienced in BTC as Johnson is, Lavoie is not.
As to his approach, Lavoie emailed, “It’s hard to say at this point, since this is such a unique event, and my first time participating. However, I want to make the event as fun as possible for everyone involved. I think I will try my best with scores, all while enjoying my time with Liz and the rest of the audience.’’
Success at BTC is measured in charity. In the first 56 years, 5,768,200 entries raised $2.856,618.43 for charity. Lavoie should understand. He graduated bowling powerhouse Wichita State with a degree in business administration.
Lavoie has not been to Chicago, though he bowled college events at Stardust Bowl in Addison.
“I plan on making the most of this trip and indulging in some of what Chicago has to offer with my girlfriend,’’ he emailed. “I’m sure we’ll make memories then.’’
For the second year, memories of both the men’s and women’s champions will be enriched with a cash prize of $7,500.
Contest week for league bowlers in BTC is Dec.3-9.