Web developer Dave Cousins is a huge fan of the 1998 comedy “The Big Lebowski.” He travels to attend Lebowski festivals, and even had the honor of being selected as Best Dude at one of those celebrations of all things The Dude.

Like all people who have a passion (obsession?) for something, Cousins wants to share his excitement with any and all willing (or not) to listen — or participate.

Cousins has taken his love for Lebowski to the next level by organizing Viva Lebowski, a mini-Lebowski festival, fittingly held at Bayside Bowl in Portland on Saturday. There will be bowling, drink specials, trivia and costume contests, and a screening of the film.

The uninitiated (ages 21 and older only) are welcome to experience the movie for the first time with die-hard fans. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Use of a bowling ball is included in the ticket cost, but shoe rental is additional.

Organizing and holding a Lebowski event was something Cousins thought and talked about for a long time before he actually put things in motion. “There was always a question,” he said. “Why are we doing this?”

In Cousins’ mind, the event needed to be bigger than just a fun night out. His “reason” for doing the event came through a friend, Colleen Kelley, owner of Silly’s restaurant in Portland. Nicholas Stevens, a former Silly’s employee and owner of 13th Cookie, a local bakery of organic, vegan, gluten- and soy-free cookies, has multiple sclerosis, and a flare-up prevented him from working.

Cousins, who only knew Stevens casually, jumped at the chance to put his passion for Lebowski to good use. Stevens, Cousins said, is a humble guy who can’t believe complete strangers want to help him out. But Cousins sees it differently.

He’s betting that people — Lebowski fans and others — will want to help Stevens and others in future years. His biggest goal is to keep Viva Lebowski going and continuing to help those in need. “It’s nice to have a fun time,” he said. “It’s even nicer to give it a purpose.”

Staff Writer Stephanie Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

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