Barbie's Bowl-A-Thon to benefit domestic-violence victims

Liz Evans Scolforo

In between running her Shoppe American Made store in Dover, tending her garden and making friends of complete strangers, Barb Schrum loved to bowl, daughter Alecia Armold said. She had her own bowling ball and her own 1970s-era bag for it.

Sisters Alecia Armold (left) and Becky Schrum started a nonprofit organization called The Hope Shoppe after their mother, Barb Schrum, was murdered.

"Bowling is something we'd do on (holidays such as) Mother's Day," Armold said.

That's why Armold and her sister, Becky Schrum, chose bowling as the first fundraiser for The Hope Shoppe, their nonprofit organization that helps domestic-violence victims with the resources they need to leave their abusers.

Barbie's Bowl-A-Thon runs from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at Colony Park Lanes North, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. in York. For a $12 ticket donation, people get two hours of glow bowling and rental shoes.

On May 29, Barb Schrum — called Barbie by some — accompanied friend Laurie Kuykendall Kepner to the Wellsville-area home of Kuykendall's ex-husband to help the woman retrieve a few of her belongings. Kuykendall had tried to get a law-enforcement officer to go with her but was told that state police, sheriff's deputies and constables won't do escorts, called "standbys," unless there is a protection-from-abuse order in place, her family members have said.

Martin Kepner fatally shot Barb Schrum, 55, in the head and stabbed her in the neck as she sat in the passenger seat of a car, belted in and waiting for Kuykendall to return to the vehicle, officials have said. Kuykendall, 53, apparently tried to run but was fatally shot in the head by her ex-husband, who then committed suicide, according to officials.

Fighting for change: Armold started agitating for change soon afterward. She posted a petition at to make using a Maryland-based lethality assessment program mandatory for all Pennsylvania police departments.

The program is already in use by some police departments in York County. It provides officers with 11 questions to ask a suspected domestic-violence victim, which help gauge whether the person is at risk of being killed by an intimate partner.

Not long after that, Armold and Becky Schrum started The Hope Shoppe.

Three women pushed into activism by tragedy

Over Christmas, the nonprofit raised enough money to sponsor three single women through the York County YWCA, according to Armold. The YWCA runs Access-York.

"We got so many donations we were able to fulfill everything the women put on their wish lists," she said.

Annual event? Now, the sisters are hoping Barbie's Bowl-A-Thon is just as successful and that it becomes an annual event. Armold said January was chosen for the fundraiser because her mother's birthday was Jan. 27.

Fifty-six people have bought tickets so far, she said.

"I'm a little nervous. I've never put anything together like this before," she admitted.

During the bowl-a-thon, Armold and Becky Schrum will hold a Chinese auction, raffling off gift baskets and gift cards, Armold said. They will also pass out literature about domestic violence, she said.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by emailing

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at