Bowling fundraiser to benefit free clinic
The fourth annual Bowl to Help fundraising event for the Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center free clinic will take place Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Columbus Square Bowling Place.
"It is THE main fundraiser," executive director Joyce Bourgault said last week.
Those attending the event, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m., will have the opportunity to meet former world heavyweight boxing champion James "Buster" Douglas and Ted Williams, the former resident of the streets of Columbus who has come to be known as "The Man with the Golden Voice."
Columbus Square Bowling Palace is at 5707 Forest Hills Blvd.
Mindy Drayer of WCMH-TV (Channel 4) will be the emcee. The event brings in funds to help give patients a first month of needed medication, provide for labor and "just the general operation of keeping the clinic running," Bourgault said. She added that she is hoping the event will bring in enough money that the clinic can be open for a fourth night each month, starting in January, to offer treatment to people with little or no insurance. That might serve to ease some of the burden placed on volunteer doctors and staff on the first Friday clinic of the month, she said.
"We always find that the first Friday is slammed with people," Bourgault said. "We had 59 people one night. That's way too many people for us to handle."
Douglas, who stunned the boxing world when he knocked out previously undefeated Mike Tyson in Tokyo on Oct. 25, 1990, was approached by a free clinic board member about putting in an appearance at Bowl for Help, according to Bourgault.
"He really likes to support this kind of thing," she said. "I think he mentioned that some family members that he had had to use free clinics at one point."
Williams, whose golden voice was discovered by Columbus Dispatch web producer Doral Chenoweth III in October 2010 in a video clip that went viral on the Internet early in January 2011, sometimes used free clinics during the time he was homeless, Bourgault indicated.
Items to be sold as part of a live auction during the Oct. 14 fundraiser will include hot-air balloon rides, a Skate Zone 71 children's birthday party for up to 10, a bowling party for eight, Ohio State University basketball tickets, boxing gloves autographed by Douglas and more, according to the brochure for the event. Contests for children and face painting are planned.
There will also be a raffle drawing for $500.
"That's usually a big hit," Bourgault said. "There are a lot of good giveaways this year. Most people come because they want to support the clinic.
"It's not just bowling. It's a lot of other activities, too. There's a bake sale. Boy, we've got some good stuff coming in for the bake sale."
The cost to bowl is $25 a person, although Bourgault said participants are urged to collect as much in donations as they can, with the first $25 going toward the entry free. Bourgault said every $1 donated translates into $10 worth of medical care the clinic can provide.
Those interested in participating may register online at helpinghandsfreeclinic.org or obtain a form and bring it with them to the bowling alley.
More information is available by calling 614-262-5094.