Bowling for charitable dollars

Published 12:31 pm Saturday, October 18, 2014

Western Tidewater has no shortage of civic organizations whose mission is to do good for our community. One of those organizations is the Franklin Rotary Club.

Each February, the Rotary Club hosts an annual bowlathon. And thanks to the generous support of several sponsors — most notably our title sponsor, the Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center — the bowlathon has consistently grown in size for the last several years.

As any of the previous committee chairs can tell you, organizing the bowlathon is a significant undertaking. But they would also tell you that the results are well worth the effort as the funds raised allow the Rotary Club to act on its motto, “Service above self.”

I am honored to be the chairman of this year’s bowlathon committee. Yet while I will freely admit to being somewhat awed by the challenge of meeting and, hopefully, exceeding the results of our prior events, I too know that the outcome will be worth the work.

The bowlathon is the Rotary Club’s primary fundraising event, last year having generated in excess of $26,000. This year, our goal is to reach $30,000. Is it a stretch?

Perhaps. But allow me to elaborate on why the bowlathon is such and important event not just for Rotary, but the entire community.

The Franklin Rotary Club has a number of local charitable interests that we strive to support. The following is a list of those organizations that we were able to support last year:

  • Colonial Virginia Council of Boy Scouts of America
  • American Legion Post 73
  • Franklin Cooperative Ministry
  • American Red Cross
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Blackwater/Nottoway Riverkeeper Program
  • Western Tidewater Free Clinic
  • Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater
  • The Children’s Center
  • Bright Beginnings
  • Franklin High DECA Club
  • Franklin High Robotics team
  • James L. Camp YMCA

In addition to these organizations, the Franklin Rotary Club was also able to present three scholarships, one to a student at Paul D. Camp Community College, and two to graduating high school seniors. By raising the bar for this year’s bowlathon, our goal is to increase the amount we are able to present in scholarships.

Whether you choose to bowl a few games with us on Feb. 7 or give financial support as a sponsor of the bowlathon, you can feel good knowing that the money raised goes right back into our community. It is a unique opportunity to help fund the organizations that help our neighbors in need, support our outstanding students, and make ours a better community in which to live.

TONY CLARK is publisher of The Tidewater News and chairman of the 2015 Franklin Rotary Club bowlathon committee. His email address is