Local volunteer passionate about giving people with special needs the opportunity to go bowling

NORFOLK, Va. - Thomas Snively is passionate about bowling.

Actually, he's passionate about helping others have the opportunity to bowl - so much so that he drives weekly from York County to AMF Lanes on Little Creek Road in Norfolk to make that happen.

Thomas is the lead volunteer of a group of special needs bowlers from across Hampton Roads who bowl every Sunday afternoon at the bowling alley. Bowlers like Tamal Lee love it.

"'Cause it's fun," Tamal said. "You get a chance to do stuff."

Brittany French, another special needs bowler, explains why she enjoys it so much.

"We get to come together each week and we get to be ourselves and we get to laugh and have fun and joke around," she said.

And it's all thanks to Thomas. To thank him on the students' behalf, News 3 presented him with a News 3 People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

He was very thankful and says he does it for one reason.

"Just the joy of helping other people; people less fortunate than myself," Thomas told us. "I do this because I love it. I love these...I call them my kids."

It was Roy Rathbun, another volunteer who nominated Thomas, who acknowledged Thomas' commitment drives from York County once a week to support this.

"That's quite a bit, I will say that, especially with gas prices nowadays and the tunnel traffic," Roy said.

But for Thomas, he says he made a decision after he retired from the military.

"I said I'd never work for a penny again and I haven't. So this is the kind of stuff that I really enjoy," Thomas said. "My heart's in it; I love it!"