The Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL) recently received a several hundred dollar donation from a local bowling league that wanted to give back to those who serve the country.
Andrew Amore — local resident and son of LeElla Lanes owners Diane and Ron Amore — recently decided that he wanted to give back to the servicemen and women in this country by one of the best ways he knows, by bowling.
“I think this is a great thing because those people who enlist are there for us so we can live the lives we live,” Amore said during an interview on Thursday about BVL. “And I think that is such a great thing. Personally, I don’t know if I could do that, I just think it’s amazing that there are people willing to do that. Leave their families and lives for the betterment of others.”
Amore explained that to raise the $300, they held a “Sunday Mixed Couples League,” where those who wanted to play would pay $3. Of their fee, $2 went into a prize pool and $1 would go to the BVL. Every so often someone’s name would be called via a raffle, and they had a chance to win the prize pool if they could bowl a strike and it was through a few of these Sunday leagues the group was able to raise the money.
According to information from the Amores, the Bowlers to Veterans Link is a national nonprofit charity (501(c)3) that supports America’s veteran and active duty service men and women. It was founded in 1942 and has been the sport’s most successful charity — raising over $50 million for America’s active duty service members and veterans. BVL’s first campaign during World War II raised money to purchase medical evacuation planes to ferry the wounded home from the battlefields of Europe. The BVL Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and the Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America (BPAA).
With this money, the BVL will provide grants for arts and crafts programs, music and sports activities, reading materials, board games, and much more to help boost spirits, speed recuperation, and improve morale. Additionally, the organization helps sponsor six national veterans’ recreational events – the Winter Sports Clinic, the Golden Age Games, the Wheelchair Games, The Summer Sports Clinic, the Training/Exposure/Experience Tournament and the Creative Arts Festival.
Additionally, BVL sponsors the tours of the entertainment troupe “Re-Creation,” which performs at VA Hospitals and State Veterans Homes around the country, supports an online tribute campaign to those who have served our country through “Operation: Honor Force,” and responds to veterans in need – recuperating veterans, veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and aging veterans – giving them an outlet for the joy, freedom, and friendship that recreation and sport can bring.
BVL raises about $1 million annually, and there are local programs in more than 1,200 communities throughout the United States. The organization also not only raises money for veterans, but also volunteer time at veterans’ facilities organizing games, events, reading, etc. Finally, the BVL supported the dependents of those killed during Operation Desert Storm with academic scholarships for college, and has shipped more than 550 portable carpet bowling lane kits to active duty troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and a host of other locales, including to the USS Enterprise and USS Ronald Reagan.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.