Liz Johnson is making Chicago her home bowling in more ways than one.
For a record fifth time, Johnson will set the women’s target score in Beat the Champions, just as she is settling into a new home in Palatine. She had her home in Buffalo for years.
For his first time, Francois Lavoie will set the men’s target for the 57th BTC, the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association’s charity bowling event. The Sun-Times is the media sponsor.
“I don’t think I ever bowled directly against him,’’ Johnson said.
Lavoie is Quebec-born, but graduated from bowling powerhouse Wichita State with a degree in business administration.
“It is always a fun time,’’ Johnson said. “It’s good fun bowling with the person. You raise a little money for charity and have fun with sponsors and fans.’’
With her experience in BTC, Johnson understands the charity aspect well: In the first 56 years of BTC, 5,768,200 entries raised $2.856,618.43 for charity.
While she understands the charity aspect, Johnson also is a top bowler and that shows in the targets she has set. She first set the targets in 1996 (702), then in 2007 (714), 2013 (678) and last year (717).
The target broadcast, which will be recorded at Elk Grove Bowl, airs on Christmas on NBC Sports Chicago (formerly Comcast SportsNet).
“It is pretty awesome,’’ Johnson said. “Great time and great for the people in the area. It is a fun day to kick back and just have the whole experience.’’
Both the men’s and women’s champions will win a cash prize of $7,500.
Contest week for league bowlers in BTC is Dec.3-9.