For the first time since 2001, bowling’s own, oldest and most successful charity, the Bowlers to Veterans Link
, has cleared the million dollar mark – raising $1,069,779.75 going into the organization’s 75th Anniversary year.
“We’re absolutely delighted that we have broken that million dollar mark,” notes BVL Executive Director Mary Harrar.
“These monies were raised in small towns and big cities across America by hard working volunteers that understand the importance of the BVL mission to Brighten Veterans’ Lives. They know that their efforts will truly have an important impact on our veterans.”
The majority of the contributions – more than $630,000 – was derived from approximately 300 USBC associations and leagues throughout the country, up from $594,000 in the 15-16 season. The second largest group of donations was from bowling centers – over $210,000; a substantial increase from the $139,000 raised in the previous year.
BVL Board Chairman John LaSpina explains, “We called upon bowling proprietors for help, and they certainly have responded. Last year, we received donations from 130 centers. We believe, however, that this is just the beginning. Already, 550 centers have signed up for our ‘Care. Commit. Contribute.’ campaign – and we continue to hear from new centers each week. We are truly humbled by the support of our bowling community.”
The remainder of the contributions was the result of corporate support, personal contributions, and dollars donated in honor of members of the bowling community and military veterans. Harrar adds, “From our corporate partners to youth league fund-raisers, our cause is being embraced by all segments of the sport.”
A complete list of the 16-17 contributors can be found here.
BVL funds are used to provide recreational and therapeutic programs and activities to help brighten the days of veterans; encouraging them to become active in sports and the arts to help speed recuperation and boost morale.
Founded in 1942, BVL has been recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs for its commitment to America’s veterans.
Notes VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, “Our country’s sacred obligation to fully honor our commitments to our Veterans is deeply personal to me, and I’m particularly grateful to Bowlers to Veterans Link for joining us in their own enduring commitment and noble work for Veterans. My deep thanks to BVL for steadfastly honoring Veterans’ sacrifices.”
Harrar concludes, “While we thank each and every BVL volunteer and contributor for their efforts, we want to redouble our commitment as we enter this new season. There is plenty of room for more associations and centers to get involved. Contact me at [email protected] to get your free fund-raising kit. Let’s work together to make our next year better than ever! “