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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 1, Issue 33


By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      BVL seems to be one of those things that some bowlers think they know about, but besides being pestered to donate money or bowl in a tournament, folks are at a loss to explain further. Being a new WIBC director, this has been my first year seeing BVL from inside the association, so I had similar questions. In my association, we raise money by asking each bowler for a $1 donation each October, and then we host a tournament in January. And this weekend, that's where I was--working the tournament and bowling for hospitalized vets. So for my benefit, and everyone else's, Welcome to BVL 101.

      The Bowlers to Veterans Link is charity that has forged a long-standing relationship between veterans and bowlers. Originally formed in 1942 as the Bowlers to Victory Legion, the BVL has provided hospitalized veterans and those receiving outpatient services with the little extras that help them with their prognosis and help their mental outlook. During the war effort, BVL raised money to purchase planes to airlift veterans home, but today the goals are no less noteworthy.

      Today BVL provides the money necessary for entertainment to 2.8 million veterans whose military service dates as far back as World War I all the way through service in the Persian Gulf War. And of course, what would a bowling charity be without bowling events for veterans? BVL hosts bowling tournaments for veterans, and has programs that allow bowling to be used as physical therapy for hospitalized vets. Just last November, BVL was recognized with a White House ceremony for the ongoing commitment to veterans.

      Which brings me to this weekend. I've been getting the word out to friends (this included any bowler I knew within the association with an e-mail address) to bowl the tourney, even calling in favors by asking friends to bowl. I started a "minisquad" and told folks when I was bowling, and everyone was welcome to join me. And I dragged my family in on it. Mario talked to several of the folks he bowls with, passing out flyers and telling them when we were bowling.

      And not too little to be helpful, Michael skipped through the center, flashing dimples and batting eyelashes, as only a child can do, and sold candy bars for BVL. He proudly wore his BVL button, and had his little speech prepared when folks asked what the candy was for. When he sold them, they weren't 50 cents each but two for a dollar. He did better selling them than I did, I have to say.

      Sunday came and it was time to bowl. My friends checked in. We even had Dede Davidson, PWBA member turned cheerleader, come out and cheer us on. Trust me, if she wasn't sidelined with a back injury, I would have enlisted her into bowling as well. As my minisquad floored, we forgot about noble purposes, and just had a good time. When a drawing for a free bowling lesson led to a winner from yesterday's squad being announced, Dede quickly offered to give the same type of lesson to a member of today's squad. Tickets were handed out, and someone else went home a winner.

      In the end, we had a few bowlers beat the posted high scores, and win meager sidepots. I struggled scorewise--maybe I could have used that lesson myself. Next week is the last weekend of the tournament, and I will be there. Where no doubt, candy bars will be sold by an eight year old, and a hopefully a few more arms can be gently twisted to bowl again.

      If you'd like more information on BVL, The BVL Home Page has information, or contact your local association.

Gotta Split,

Angel


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