Many nonprofits have walk-a-thons or telethons to raise money for the work they’re doing.
Bessie’s Hope hosts a bowl-a-thon.
The organization, which works to bring senior citizens and youth together, is hosting its ninth annual intergenerational bowl-a-thon on Saturday at bowling alleys in Denver, Lakewood, Littleton and Westminster.
“We’ve been around for 18 years and our work is intergenerational in scope, so we try to make all our fundraising efforts something both age groups can enjoy,” said Linda Holloway, who founded Bessie’s Hope with Sharron Brandrup and Marge Utne. “This is a very good event that’s enjoyed by all ages.”
The bowl-a-thon is made up of teams of four, which can feature anyone from 3 to 93, according to Darleen Stiny, program coordinator for Bessie’s Hope. Much like a walk-a-thon, the bowlers collect pledges to support them and the organization.
“We have all kinds of people bowl. There are elders who come from elder care facilities, and kids from our youth-at-risk programs,” Stiny said. “Some teams are families, and we have student groups as well.”
The event is a perfect example of the work that Bessie’s Hope does throughout the year, which focuses on finding ways for youth and older residents to connect and help each other.
“With a lot of our at risk youth, these kids have real low self-esteem, and it’s the same with many of our elders who can feel forgotten at the facilities they live in,” Stiny said. “Our programs really allow them to come together and lift each other up.”
The bowl-a-thon is one of the nonprofit’s key fundraisers, and has grown by leaps and bounds since it first began. According to Holloway, when the event began it was just at one alley, but it became difficult to find a time that worked for everyone who wanted to participate, and when it expanded to two locations, it still wasn’t convenient. Finally, the event was spread to four locations to make it easier for everyone.
“The great thing about the event is the elders don’t feel separated from the activity — they’re right there it,” Holloway said. “The kids really get into the helping the elders, so the ingetergenerational camaraderie is great.”
For more information about the bowl-a-thon call 303-830-9037 or visit www.bessieshope.org.