2015 marks a full quarter century that the Poverello Bowling to Fight Hunger charity fundraiser has been in existence. This year the bowl-a-thon will be held on Saturday August 15. What started out as a relatively small bowling event held in Wilton Manors has grown into a large successful affair.
It is now being held at Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac which has the ability to effectively accommodate the bigger, upscale event. Last year all of the ally’s 56 lanes were sold out. There were 280 bowlers and numerous spectators who came to cheer them on. But the first fundraising activities at Poverello date back 27 years when a small group of people joined together with a humble desire; to give some hope and a little help to people living with HIV/AIDS.
It all started in 1989 when Poverello Founder Father Bill Collins and current CEO, Thomas Smith joined forces to assist those who were HIV positive and most in need. The first fundraiser they collaborated on was a Christmas dinner party. The money raised at this event was used to make over 250 gift boxes that were filled with basic living essentials and then hand delivered to people with HIV/AIDS in the community. The very next year, Poverello held its first bowl-a-thon. The proceeds from that event, and every bowl-a-thon since, have gone toward helping Poverello provide life-saving food, nutritional counseling and wellness services to those living with HIV/AIDS who subsist at or below the Federal poverty level. Poverello CEO, Thomas Smith recently said, “Over the course of the last 24 years the annual bowling event has raised nearly 1.5 million dollars.”
The outpouring of support by the community, both in terms of time and donations, is truly impressive and a testament to the communities commitment to those living with HIV/AIDS. Poverello’s Events Coordinator, Kevin Clevenger recently stated, “We are very excited to say that Bowling to Fight Hunger 2015 is well on its way to being was a sellout.” Mr. Clevenger said, “As of June 12, over 40 lanes have already been claimed by teams with just 16 more available to the public.” He recommends that if people want to be a part of this event that they do not wait. He said, “Go as soon as possible to www.poverello.org and look for the section entitled “Bowl-A-Thon” to get all the information needed and register.”
He is also seeking sponsors for the event and businesses willing to donate items for the silent auction and raffle. The silent auction and raffle are a central part of the bowl-a-thon’s festivities and a chief source of revenue for the charity. If you are a business owner willing to make a tax deductible donation you can contact Mr. Clevenger at 954-561-3663 Ext. 106.
Poverello staffers report that they are, “Both humbled and grateful to the entire community that provide sponsorships, help raise funds, bowl and to those who make donations to bowlers and provide auction and raffle items.” The Poverello team fully expects the 2015 Bowling to Fight Hunger quarter centennial event to be even bigger, better and more festive than ever!