By Todd Wills
Special to the Corsicana Daily Sun
Terry Tate loved Elvis and he loved bowling.
In fact, his bowling form included some of the Elvis Presley dance moves of the 1950s, his brother Jim Tate said.
"Terry always bowled with an Elvis fanfare which everyone loved to watch," said Jim about his brother Terry, who died on Feb. 20 at age 64.
On Saturday, the Monday Navarro County Rotary Club will host the Terry Tate Bowl-a-Thon benefiting Special Olympics from 10 a.m. to noon at the Corsicana Superbowl.
The Monday Navarro County Rotary Club is having a bowl-a-thon for a third straight year. This is the first one in tribute to Tate, who won many medals in the Special Olympics and was an avid bowler, something that goes back to just after he graduate from Corsicana High School.
Tate, who had Down Syndrome, took bowling as a serious sport, just like many other challenges. It was his mother, Janice Bailey, who started a weekly bowling group of those with special needs in 1970.
"He didn't have anything to do," Janice said Tuesday. "Terry loved a challenge. This was just a humble beginning."
The group included Mike McClure, Mike Flanagan, Ann Castles, Clint Cowen and his mother Iris and Lonnie Garcia. The group grew and grew. Several female students at Navarro College came and helped the bowlers, Janice said.
"Being competitive by nature Terry won many bowling trophies," Jim said. "Always a smile on his face win or lose he was humble in victory and a gentleman in the "agony of defeat."
Tate and his group went on to play golf and compete in track and field, including the annual Special Olympics in Corsicana.
"We never held him back on anything," Janice said.
It was a very special group, she said, one that started the grassroots in Corsicana of those with special needs staying active and being challenged.
It all started on the bowling lanes with Terry's Elvis moves.
"I still don't know how to count," Janice said of scoring in bowling. "I hope some of how we started made a difference."
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