Reopened: Maine Bowling Alley Overcomes Tragedy to Celebrate New Beginnings

LEWISTON, Maine – Six months after a tragic mass shooting that claimed 18 lives and left 13 injured, the bowling alley where the horrific incident took place has reopened its doors. Justin and Samantha Juray, owners of Just-In-Time Recreation, welcomed patrons back to the venue on Friday, signaling a brave step forward for the community.

The reopening of the bowling alley comes after gunman Robert Card unleashed terror, killing eight individuals at the Jurays’ establishment before proceeding to a nearby bar, Schemengees Bar and Grille, where he took the lives of 10 more people before ending his own life. The devastating events of that day have left a lasting impact on the entire community.

Samantha Juray, reflecting on the tragedy, expressed her determination to move forward despite the painful memories that linger. She emphasized the importance of not allowing the perpetrators to prevail, stating, “If we don’t move forward, we’re just going to allow the people that have taken so much from us to win.”

Justin Juray admitted to feeling hesitant about reopening the bowling alley until receiving overwhelming support from the Lewiston community. The outpouring of solidarity and encouragement from residents helped the Jurays find the strength to take this significant step towards healing and resilience.

The reopening event saw numerous attendees, including Colin, who was present at the bowling alley during the shooting. Accompanied by his parents, Colin joined others in celebrating the lives lost and the symbolic rebirth of Just-In-Time. The community’s presence and unwavering support were evident throughout the event, demonstrating a shared commitment to moving forward together.

Amidst the reopening, employee Tom Giberti, hailed as a hero for his actions that day, shared his gratitude for the community’s support and excitement for the venue’s return. Giberti’s remarkable bravery in saving the lives of multiple children under harrowing circumstances serves as a testament to the resilience and strength displayed by individuals in the face of tragedy.

The bowling alley’s tribute to the victims included displaying photos of those who perished, as well as dedicating bowling pins inscribed with the names of all 18 shooting victims. Furthermore, with assistance from the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, the venue received upgrades to enhance safety and functionality, symbolizing a fresh start for Just-In-Time.

The reopening ceremony, characterized by a ribbon-cutting event, featured Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline commending the community’s spirit and resilience. Mayor Sheline’s words echoed a sentiment of unity and perseverance, emphasizing the shared resolve to stand strong in the face of adversity. Justin Juray expressed gratitude for the community’s unwavering support, underscoring the collective strength and determination that inspired the decision to reopen the bowling alley.

In the aftermath of tragedy, the reopening of the bowling alley stands as a poignant symbol of resilience, courage, and community strength, as Lewiston continues to navigate the healing process with unity and unwavering resolve.