Suburban Bowlerama has been named York Sunday News’ “Best of York County” every year for the past 15 years. This honor can in very large part be credited to the independently-owned bowling alley’s staff and the positive atmosphere they create. As Brooke Sweeney, who’s worked at Bowlerama since 2006, puts it, “This is a great place to work for.”
Steve Busler couldn’t agree more.
Steve, 53, is nearing his first full year at Bowlerama. He started there last June, landing the part-time job through Penn-Mar’s Customized Employment Program, which, in a nutshell, matches an individual’s skills and talents with an employer’s job needs. About a month ago, he took on his second part-time job at one of Infinito’s Pizza Buffet’s two locations in York, and recently completed job coaching there. Through the jobs he’s had over the years, Steve has honed many transferable skills, and made many friends along the way. For 15 years he worked at Burger King, followed by nearly two years at Maple Press.
“Steve is very detail oriented,” said Courtney Harless, a Penn-Mar PA Employment Support Manager. “He likes to finish what he’s doing and is very conscientious on the job.” Courtney added that Steve is very personable, loves to socialize and makes friends easily. “He has a great sense of humor.”
At Bowlerama, where he works Tuesdays and Saturdays, Steve has a number of responsibilities like dishwashing, trash disposal, filling ice, and clearing tables. He’s also begun working alongside Brooke, Bowlerama’s Kitchen Manager, helping with food prep and portioning.
Echoing Courtney, Brooke noted Steve’s attentiveness, “Any projects I have for him he’s willing to get in there and do them,” she said. “He’s just been really great – willing to help out with anything we need.”
“Bowlerama absolutely loves having him there,” said Courtney. “It’s been a sense of relief for Steve, to know he’s filled a need for them.”
Steve grew up in Hanover, Pa., and came to Penn-Mar in 1991, he said. For the past few years he’s been living independently in his own condo, receiving in-home support from Penn-Mar Community Support Professional Teah Cabral for several hours, twice a week. He mows his own lawn, shovels snow, and likes to keep his place organized.
“When I’m not working, I enjoy a lot of different things, like cooking, getting together with friends, and bowling,” said Steve, who is himself a long-time, accomplished bowler and Special Olympian. He was recently selected to play in a few different regional tournaments.
In addition, Steve enjoys expanding his various collections of fire, rescue and Emergency Medical Services patches that he collects like trading cards. Other collections include Disney paraphernalia and Hess trucks. His friend Brian Paterniti, (whose mother Nancy, a retired Penn-Mar DSP, worked with Steve for about 20 years) will often pick up collectibles for him at yard sales and flea markets.
Over the past decade, studies have indicated that social relationships — friends, family and community involvement – are a major indicator of a long life. For Steve, friendship is very important to him, and he keeps himself socially very active.
“Steve must be near immortal, because he maintains a social network like it’s going out of style,” laughed Teah. “Between friends and family, it seems he has something going on almost every weekend.” His parents have passed away, but Steve has three brothers, two of whom live close by, and the other in Florida. Needless to say, Steve is never without a seat at someone’s table at any of the holidays.
Just like his friendships, Steve cherishes his work. He’s proud of the jobs he’s held and has even created a diagram explaining them all. He strives to create a healthy balance between work and play.
When asked if he bowls at work, Steve’s reply was: “I’ll bowl a game when I get the free time to do it.”
“He’s very professional…work first,” added Teah.