Baileyville Spednic Club Appeals For Assistance

By Gwen Clark

The Spendic Club in Baileyville has been around since 1948 and started out by Mike Fogia and several of his Italian friends as a social club and bowling area in Little Woodland.  The bowling section of the first club  in its time did not have automatic  pin set up and ball returns and so several of the young people took part in setting up the pins and returning the balls to the bowlers.  Two such youth were Jack Costello and  Alvie Hanson.  Jack serves on the current city council in Baileyville.   Everyone involved in the club chipped in and helped out in contributing with work events and the club was fully established in the community in 1951.  This was the purpose in the original Club operation.   The club has served the community and surrounding communities for many years since its establishment.   

The Spendic Club is a private plub and members pay dues each year to maintain their membership and with each passing year and membership renewals and new memberships what once was a membership roster of 400 plus has taken a downward turn to just over 200 at present.   Along with the memberships come privileges as far as discounts on services and entrance access to events as well as the facility itself.  Not all members are from Baileyville. The membership is open to anyone who wishes to become a member.   Anyone can have access to the facility once signed in by a member.   The facility has expanded to an all modern bowling facility, a bar, banquet hall,  kitchen facilities, pool tables and dart boards, large screen TV area and has come a long way from the small bowling social club of 1948.

Through the years the club has gone through numerous changes in leadership as well as members.  Their availability to the general public has increased, and their operational structure became more business oriented.   Somewhere along those years it was thought a good idea to begin hiring personnel for certain duties and about five years ago the Club began to run into financial problems with the IRS.  Over $30,000 worth of fines hit the Club hard and for the first time ever they had to mortgage their building to compensate the fines.  The end results are still evident  in their finances today.  The club is struggling to keep its doors open.

The new President of the club, David Costello has taken his responsibility as President seriously and is attempting to get the facility back on track.   In releasing some of the employees and shuffling schedules around he has saved the Club a bunch of money thus far but its overall maintenance and up keep is still in dire straights.   In the past the club has had some bad happenings but it also has been a benefit to people and communities as well.  Costello is hoping that people will see that the good far out weighs the Club’s past.     Volunteers both club members and general public have began to come forward to help in upgrading and overall maintenance of the club but it is only a start of things that are necessary to keep things running smoothly.

Events that the club has provided to the community and individuals are numerous and most are done without compensation and with a caring and compassionate attitude.  Members have volunteered to help with events.  The doors have been opened for things such as benefit dinners, dances, tournaments and events when people have fallen on hard times, when illness has hit families and friends, when deaths have taken a toll on people who are at the end of their ropes.   A Christmas Party is held there every year for the children after the Christmas Parade.   Summer Day Camp participants are able to use the facilities for bowling.

The transition into the new season has been one of improvement.  The bowling alleys have been upgraded through volunteers and their talents. Black light bowling will also be offered. Birthday parties and other event availability for facilities for kids and adults are available.    

The kitchen facilities are being leased out to a group and homemade meals lunch and dinner will be served as well as bar patron snacks.  As the menu will be put into place at some point so that if people have a favorite they will know which time to catch that food at the club, the smaller attached lounge is being set up to accommodate non-smokers.  The large screen TV can be used for people who want to see a pay preview event with a group of friends and others.  A house band will be on occasion to provide music giving local talents a chance to jam together during some evenings.    

The bowling season has started up.  There is beano held on Tuesday evenings. Dart games on Thursday evenings and free pool on Saturdays.  If you are not a member a member can sign you in. You can choose to join as well at any time, and all facilities are open to public use.   The bowling alleys are open as well and if planning a childs’ event there are stands to roll the balls off for children  and gutter ball blockers so that children will be able to bowl like the pros.   A bartender will be provided should you need to hold a dance or a special event and all at a minimal cost compared to  area business facilities.     The minor expense to rent any of the facilities is small but will contribute big to the ongoing functioning of the building itself.  The Baileyville October Fest will be held during the week of October 4 thru the 12. On October 12 beginning at 3 PM there will be a horseshoe and a pool tournament. At 4 PM “Minute to Win IT” competition. Must be 21 to enter. At 8:00 PM a dance and karaoke will be going on.

The Club has lost very special members this past year, Roscoe Seeley, Pat Donahue, Phil Robb to name a few.   Phil Robb  held the bowling record  for the Eastern Maine Championships and renovations on the bowling will be done and the alley will be named in his honor and as a remembrance.  Over all the loss of the Spendic Club will be a loss to the Community.  

It is a private club which provides public events and is not set up to make money but it does need money to continue operating and improving.  Volunteer individuals, groups and businesses are asked and encouraged to offer whatever they can to save this service for the area.