Valley bowler Barta and family focus on giving back
BEAVER TOWNSHIP — Adam Barta of Girard is a two-time Guinness world record holder and one of the most accomplished bowlers in the country.
A professional bowler who prefers to be a non-carrying card member, he bowled his first 300 game at age 15, is the architect of 212 perfect games and has produced an 800 series 161 times.
One of the most caring, under-the-radar athletes you’ll ever meet, the holiday season is very special to him and his family as they continue to give back to those in need.
Addressing the Curbstone Coaches during Monday’s weekly meeting at Avion Banquet Center, Barta said using his God-given gift to help families in need has been very rewarding.
“God has given us all a gift. When we find that gift it’s great to be able to share it with others to make the world a better place,” he said.
Barta’s father, Pete, arguably his biggest supporter during his move up bowling’s ladder of success, passed away on Christmas Eve in 2012 after a two-and-a-half year battle with colon cancer.
Since that time, Barta and his family have used their own money and contributions from fundraisers to fuel their Barta Nation Families Foundation for “Keeping Hopes High.”
They give back to individuals and families on Christmas Eve, families that have been affected by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and who have fallen on hard times.
“When my father was diagnosed, they gave him two weeks to live and he fought a brave fight, living 2¢ years,” he said. “It is important to both me and my family that we help those in need during the Christmas season. We do it without fanfare and the recipients never know that we are coming. Seeing their reaction when we arrive and the look on their faces, just how appreciative they are, makes it all worthwhile.”
A five-time Youngstown Masters and five-time Warren Masters champion, Barta was inducted into the National Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 2018 and since January of 2011, has been the No. 1-ranked amateur bowler in the world.
The owner of three USBC (United States Bowling Congress) Open championship eagles (2015 team event, 2017 team and all events) and the 2017 Petersen Classic championship, he lists 164 team, doubles or all-event titles during his illustrious career.
His two Guinness records include most 10-pins knocked down in an hour (2,708), breaking the old mark of 2,132 by 576 pins. Then, needing 310 rolls he recorded the most strikes in an hour (191), breaking the old mark by 15.
His first record was set at Game of Wickliffe in Wickliffe and he earned his second world record at his home house, Holiday Bowl in Struthers.
It was during his second Guinness world record attempt for most strikes that he used the event as a fundraiser for Paige Lejeune of Texas, a young girl battling leukemia that he had met in a Texas hospital for terminal children.
“Meeting Paige really affected me because that could be my child,” stated Barta, who along with wife Marci has four sons, Logan (19), Blake (7), Brooks (5) and Lofton (21 months). “I told Paige that I was going to try to set another world record and dedicate it to her. Unfortunately, Paige passed away a couple weeks before the event but we were able to fly her family up for the event and with over 300 people in attendance and countless others viewing on-line, we were able to raise over $10,000 for her family and other families in need.”
The Barta Nation Families Foundation delivers their gifts on Christmas Eve, in honor of his father and last year their generosity helped 15 families in need.
To date they’ve assisted over 50 needy families.
“Depending on the circumstance it might be cash, gift cards, food or cash and food,” Barta noted. “There was one young girl who had a liver transplant and she was sleeping on an old, discarded mattress from a neighbor. We were able to purchase a bedroom suite, complete with bunk beds for her and her sister.
“Another time a mother and father both lost their jobs and, with children, didn’t feel much like celebrating Christmas so we lent a helping hand. Another woman fighting breast cancer we were able to assist with money and gift cards for her and her daughters. It’s just a special feeling when you can help others in need, especially during the holidays.”
Barta currently serves as a collection’s manager for the Cadle Company, he has been a Hammer (bought out by Brunswick last week) Bowling staff member since 2000 and national staff player for Turbo Grips Company.
Those wishing to assist Barta with his foundation are encouraged to call him at 330-502-8928. They can sponsor an individual, family and even assist with deliveries.
Next Monday, Joe Simon, Tribune Chronicle/Vindicator sportswriter will serve as guest speaker.