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poverellobowlathon0It’s time again for the annual Poverello Bowl-A-Thon! In its 20th year, this is Poverello’s biggest fundraiser – every cent raised goes to back to the non-profit and helps provide meals for their 13,000 active clients. “We provide 1 million meals a year to men, women and children living with HIV,” explained Poverello Fundraising Coordinator Dale Madison.

poverellobowlathon0

It’s time again for the annual Poverello Bowl-A-Thon! In its 20th year, this is Poverello’s biggest fundraiser – every cent raised goes to back to the non-profit and helps provide meals for their 13,000 active clients. “We provide 1 million meals a year to men, women and children living with HIV,” explained Poverello Fundraising Coordinator Dale Madison.

The fundraiser has always been at Manor Lanes, but last year so many teams wanted to participate the bowl-a-thon had to be split into three sessions to accommodate everyone. This year the event is being moved to Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac. Those who worry about distance shouldn’t – Poverello is chartering four luxury coaches to bring bowlers from Wilton Drive to the bowling alley, and then back.

poverellobowlathon1The buses are being sponsored by Florida AIDS Walk, Matty’s/New Moon/Rosie’s, Ultimat and Patron. After the event the buses will bring you back to the drive where you can party at Matty’s, New Moon and Rosie’s – which are all going to throw special events that evening.

This year there will be several exciting prizes for bowlers. A Bowler’s Edge will make a professionally drilled bowling bowl for individuals who raise $1,000 and will give bowling bags to those who raise $500. Also, trophies will be given out that day – and not just for those who raise the most money. A trophy will be given out for those who get the most donations, no matter how much is raised altogether.

To participate, you just need five members on your team and between all of you it costs $50 – just $10 each! (The $50/team is a registration fee. Each bowler is required to raise $75 or more in donations in addition to the team registration in order to bowl.) Each team has T-shirts with their name and logo on them, which are sponsored by Broward Health and Ultimat.

A few years ago, $60,000 was raised and last year $44,000 was raised. This year Poverello hopes to raise $50,000, Madison explained.

Teams can sign up online and friends can participate by sponsoring them. Even if you can’t come and bowl that day, you can set up a page online to raise money on for the cause.

poverellobowlathon2“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Madison said. “It’s what we’re known for.”

Raising funds is extremely important for Poverello and the thousands of people that they serve. The non-profit was started 24 years ago by Father Bill Collins. He was working as a chaplain at Imperial Point Hospital and heard of a disease many patients had that there wasn’t a treatment for. Father Collins ministered to the patients and learned that they were having problems affording food, shelter and other basics.  He took his own retirement money and handed out food to those in need from the back of his car. When he ran out of money, he got a job teaching to raise further money and soon rented space at 18th and McNab where he opened a thrift store and a food bank. When the owner of the shopping center found out what Poverello’s mission was, he wouldn’t renew the space and Father Bill and staff had to move their operation again. They found their home in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, where they’ve been for 18 years. Poverello is set to move again to Dixie Highway, near the Pride Center. The larger location will be more space for the Poverello store and food bank.

Poverello has some more great fundraisers planned for this year. On October 16, they are having a Great Gatsby Gala at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum. In addition to all of the gorgeous vintage vehicles, the event will be open bar featuring Ultimat vodka, heavy hors d’oeuvres and music from that era, sung by a chaunteuse named Kimona. Guests are encouraged to dress up in outfits from that era and really get into it. There are huge sponsors behind the event, including Mercedes Benz, GeoVax, Ultimat and Patron.

Poverello is also known for their Martini Madness fundraiser, which is held quarterly at Rosie’s, Alibi, Matty’s and Sidelines. They also recently hosted An Evening With The Stars, which featured popular local performers, to celebrate Father Bill’s birthday.

Because of the state of the economy, help is needed more than ever for Poverello clients. Madison explained that a lot of clients didn’t need their help for a while because they had jobs, but because of the economy, many have lost their jobs and are in need, once again, of Poverello’s help.

“The need is so great now,” Madison said. “Help is needed now more than ever.”

INFO:
Poverello’s Bowl-A-Thon
Saturday, August 7
Registration at 11 am, bowling at noon
Sawgrass Lanes
8501 North University Drive, Tamarac
www.Poverello.org

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