Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bowling in the Tropics.

In the name of completing yet another of my 'challenges' (search old entries if you're lost) I decided that instead of attending a charity event I would volunteer for one. I took some time in deciding which event I would attend because something I've discovered in this challenge is that no matter how much you doubt they will, people read what you write. The wonder of internet blogging is that anyone can have an audience, even me.

I didn't want to pick an event I cared nothing for and write about it. That seemed shallow and misguided. However, I don't see any reason why after volunteering a days time to an event I felt a valuable cause, I can't share that experience with you here. On the flip side, I will not be blogging about being set up by a friend. I'm sorry, that's just awkward to post on the internet. 

I volunteered for an event called 'Bowling in the Tropics'. It was held at Pin Chasers. I wish I had thought to snap a picture because the staff there had done a fabulous job of decorating the alley to the theme. The event was to raise money for Achieve Tampa Bay and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. I certainly have a heart for those who need assistance and so I was more than happy to lend a hand.

I paired up with one of their therapists for the day. I was able to ask her questions about the foundations and her job there. They are truly doing great things for the people who utilize their services. She and I also managed to sell $400 worth of raffle tickets to the generous bowlers. Money that will go towards helping the children and young adults I met who are receiving help from people like my volunteer - teaching them how to speak and effectively communicate despite the extra hardship this may be for them.

Props to Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ernest Graham who gave up his Sunday afternoon to sign autographs and take pictures with the kids and eager parents. He was delightful when I met him and was a great sport through endless questions, pictures, hugs, and autographs.

Better still, my friend and fellow Purdue Alum Lynn Enterline was there as well! She is working with the Bucs for the summer and was one of the staff assigned to accompany Graham to the event. So we were able to briefly catch up on her time in my neck of the woods and her plans after she finishes school at Wake Forest. I hope we will be seeing much more of her in Tampa in the near future.

Whether or not you're searching for friends, dates, or to pick up event planning tips - working charity events is a great way to spend the occasional weekend day. You can expect to see more of this from me in the near future with groups such as All Pro Dad, Walk for Life, The Warrick Dunn Foundation, and more.


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