Women’s Feather Bowling League returns after 40 years on Detroit’s east side

‘The winner of the league gets a hand-painted portrait on the wall, which is a big deal’

For the first time in 40 years, a women's Feather Bowling team has returned to Cadieux Cafe. There was an eruption of energy and excitement 40 years in the making.

DETROIT – For the first time in 40 years, a women’s Feather Bowling team has returned to Cadieux Cafe.

There was an eruption of energy and excitement 40 years in the making.

“Everybody starts telling me, ‘Hey Kathy, they finally got a league,’” said Kathleen Maiale.

At the center of it is a feather, what looks like wheels of cheese, and lots and lots of ladies.

“It’s a round stone,” said Christina Ridella. “The idea is to roll it across the alley to land as close as you can to the feather.”

Brianna Ellison is responsible for bringing together the dozens of women who make up the new league. She grew up down the street from the Cadieux Café and spent much time supporting from the sidelines.

“When I was coming to cheer for the men, one of my first questions was, ‘is there a women’s league,’” said Ellison. “‘Where is it?’ It was like, ‘there used to be one, it’s not here anymore.’”

Ellison had hoped to get about a dozen women to join, but word spread, and now they’re a team of 45.

“We’re the OG’s here in this country,” said President Cadieux Men’s Bowling League Michael Johl.

The men were just as excited to share their passion for the game with the women.

“It’s been great,” Johl said. “I don’t want to see it die.”

The league is not dying; Instead, it’s growing as many women like Lee Padgett are stepping off the sidelines to take a turn at it herself.

“I’d watch them play, so I never got to do it myself,” said Padgett. “When I had the opportunity, I jumped.”

Maiale tried to start a league herself 10 years earlier and is in it for bragging rights now.

“The first women champion in the first women’s league that’s happened in 40 years,” said Maiale.

Whoever wins the league gets more than an honorable mention.

“The winner of the league gets a hand-painted portrait on the wall, which is a big deal,” Ridella said.

“It’s 2022 now, and it’s time to start getting some female faces on the wall,” Ellison said.

Getting their face on the wall is something that everyone who comes to the cafe is ready to see.

“I’d love to see that,” said manager Bryan Caputo. “We have too many beards on the wall now.”

You can check out the women’s league Wednesday nights.


About the Authors:

Pamela Osborne is thrilled to be back home at the station she grew up watching! You can watch her on Local 4 News Sundays and weeknights. Pamela joined the WDIV News Team in February 2022, after working at stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.