Birthday parties may be common at Strikes Bowling Alley in Boca Raton. But a 100th birthday? That's something special.
Whitey Bovitch has been bowling for 40 years. He spends almost every day bowling at Strikes in Boca Raton as a part of several different leagues. So, on his 100th birthday, it's no surprise his friends, family and teammates came together to celebrate.
"This is the friendliest place, it's like going to Disneyland," he says. "Bowling is friendship, because I've been coming here for a long time, and it's exercise for me. I don't have to be the best bowler in the world, I'm satisfied with my scores and like I said i'm just a simple person."
That's how Whitey describes himself- simple. But he's anything but, according to those who know him.
With a signature dance along the way, and a song in his heart, Whitey brightens the lives of everyone around him. He even writes and passes out his own inspirational messages.
Ronnie Belletieri is the owner at Strikes and says they wanted to do something special to celebrate Whitey's birthday. He says, "I think they look up to him, I think they look up to Whitey, I think he's an inspiration to everybody, doing this 6 days a week. The man is 100-years-old. That's quite an accomplishment I think."
His secret to success in bowling and life? Sticking to a routine, kindness and having fun. He says, "one day I eat this, the next day I eat that and then I do it all over again, not very much exciting about me just that I made it to 100. I drink coffee, I don't smoke, I don't chew and I don't run in traffic, and I don't drink."
But for those around him, he's one of a kind.
Whitey says, "I just tell everybody to be nice to one another and if you throw the ball, throw it so it doesn't go down the gutter."
Whitey's wife of more than 75 years passed away just a few months ago and his friends in the bowling league say he was back just a few weeks later, as joyful as ever, making them all smile.
As a gift for his birthday, the bowling alley gave him a lifetime of free bowling. But Whitey says he will continue to pay, because you have to pay your way through life.