All photos courtesy of Gregory Strom
“We’re entertainers. We love community. Our house is always a hub, so 2020 was difficult for sure,” says Mrs. Minnesota America Jessica Koehler, a married mom of three, health and wellness industry leader, and volunteer mentor with Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge. Nonetheless, the Koehlers are looking forward to a new addition to their Andover home: a bowling alley, which Hanson Builders and Brunswick are installing this month. “We see it as the light at the end of the tunnel,” she adds. “Once everyone can get together again, we’ll have some bowling leagues!”
Koehler and the kids aren’t active bowlers—yet. But her husband, chiropractor Eric Koehler, bowls on a doctors’ league and it’s a great stress reliever for him, she says.
They’re “not sports-court kind of people,” she adds, but when the Koehlers built their house, they wanted to create something epic, fun, and different. The tall, beautiful space in the basement of their three-level home (next to a TV lounge and space with a pool table, ping pong table and bar) will soon also host the bowling alley—currently a work in progress.
The two-lane bowling alley will include refurbished old-school backdrops, neon signs, built-in seating and benches, and a big chandelier, she says. “It’s intended to be a safe haven, a space for fun and joy.” In addition to inviting her mentee to enjoy the space with her, Koehler also hopes to invites other mentors and their mentees. “It’s about building deep personal connection, because that’s what mentees have been missing,” she explains.
When Koehler married her husband eight years ago, she adopted his two children who had lost their mother to addiction. She nurtured her new family, which soon included another son. She later attended Harvard University Executive Leadership Program. She is currently a mentor for teens in crisis, guiding them through recovery with support, education, and life skills. She created the 12 Days of Giving Campaign in collaboration with local businesses to raise funds for addiction services for Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge & Victoria’s Voice Foundation.
The bowling alley, she hopes, will also serve as a venue for “fundraisers and unique galas,” she says. “Let’s switch it up a little bit. Let’s raise some money for a good cause in a unique way.”