Daytona Beach WBA Sends Bowling To Iraq
After seeing the Bowlers to Veteran's Link new portable Troop Lane Kits at the Women's International Bowling Congress meeting in Tulsa, Okla., and then again at Bowling Proprietors' Association of America's Bowl Expo in Orlando, Fla., Daytona Beach USBC Women's Bowling Association President Terrie Brensinger began hatching a plan to raise the money to send some all-American entertainment to troops serving overseas.
The bowling kit campaign, "Bowlers Salute America's Troops," provides local associations, bowling centers, companies or individuals the opportunity to send a 26-foot-long red, white and blue carpet bowling lane (emblazoned with the words "Bowlers of America Salute You"), a matching rubberized bowling ball, pins and score sheets to a serviceman or woman of their choice. The lane, pins and ball are easily stored in a lightweight nylon bag and just as easily assembled for bowling on any surface.
Brensinger and the other members of the Daytona Beach WBA formed a committee, began planning a tournament to raise money for the kits, and chose a serviceman they would send the kits to: Harold Parsons, a Daytona Beach-area league bowler who is on active duty in Iraq.
They first purchased a $99 promotional kit from the BVL that included a "How To" manual, posters, sample public service announcements and press releases. Armed with these materials, association representatives fanned out across town, putting up posters about the tournament at every bowling center, sending flyers to local leagues, and soliciting free public service announcements at area radio stations.
"I knew that Daytona Beach had bowlers in Iraq, and I knew that our community of bowlers could all come together for this one cause," said Brensinger. "Everybody has a loved one, friend or someone they've come in contact with, who is serving overseas. This is a project that touches everyone,"
"The other wonderful thing about this campaign is that we can really involve all members of our bowling community - men, women and youth," Brensinger continued. "We have youth members that want to be active in things that our adults do. They were so enthusiastic; they worked just as hard as any of our adults. It was fantastic."
Their efforts paid off. They received coverage in the Daytona Beach News Journal, three area radio stations ran the PSAs on numerous occasions, and the local news television station sent a crew to the tournament. The TV station produced a segment which aired several times throughout the next day.
More than 150 bowlers, including members of all branches of the military - retired and active duty, as well as ROTC - entered to participate in the nine pin, no-tap tournament.
The committee collected raffle prizes from local businesses and organizations and one of the biggest draws was the patriotic American eagle/flag BVL Viz-A-Ball included in the BVL promotions kit. Host center Ormond Lanes donated rosin bags to all tournament participants.
Owner of Deltona and Ormond Pro Shop, and CEO of bowlingball.com, Keith Spear donated $500 in honor of his cousin, Brian, who is serving in Iraq. Then, after a special presentation to the wife of Harold Parsons, who was invited to the tournament, a live auction was held, netting another $250. In all, the Daytona Beach WBA raised almost $4,000.
"We don't want to stop," continues Brensinger. "We've already sent two lanes over to Harold. Now, since we've begun this effort, we've learned about others from our area who are serving, and we want to extend our thanks to them as well. We're going to keep going with this program just as long as possible - as long as we have forces overseas."
For more information on the Troop Lane Kits, visit the Bowlers to Veterans Link Web site. http://www.bowlforveterans.org/