Westerville students will score various opportunities in the future, thanks to proceeds from the Westerville Community Bowl-A-Thon.

The annual fundraiser will kick off at 11 a.m. Feb. 29 at the Columbus Bowling Palace, 5707 Forest Hills Blvd. in Columbus.

The afternoon of bowling, coordinated through the Westerville Scholarship Foundation, the Westerville Education Foundation and the Westerville Symphony, serves as the largest Westerville fundraiser that benefits Westerville students, according to Hild Peersen, executive director of the Westerville Symphony.

Colleen Moidu, executive director of the Westerville Education Foundation, said the Bowl-A-Thon generated $8,000 for each organization last year.

She said the Bowl-A-Thon has received support from 70 to 80 teams in recent years.

The three nonprofit organizations utilize proceeds to fund scholarships for students of all ages, provide grants to educators and offer musical performances and programs to classrooms in Westerville, Peersen said.

"Funds from the Bowl-A-Thon help the Westerville Symphony present six annual orchestral concerts for the greater Westerville community as well as its popular Tunes n' Tales program for preschoolers at the Westerville Library," he said.

Moidu said the foundation uses the funds to support competitive grants for innovative programs in the Westerville City Schools.

She said the money is raised through event sponsorships.

In what is called the "Principals' Challenge," bowlers add the dollars they have raised to their bowling score for a chance to win a prize.

Moidu said this year's winner will have an opportunity to conduct the Westerville Symphony at the July Fourth performance.

"Monica Brown and Hanby has won this contest the last two years so the crown is up for grabs," she said.

Matt Lofy, director of marketing and community outreach for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Bowl-A-Thon is the primary fundraiser for the chamber's Westerville Scholarship Foundation, "which allows us to provide several scholarships to graduating seniors from within our school district and continuing education scholarships to employees of our member businesses," he said.

Peersen said the Bowl-A-Thon is looking for local families, students, coworkers and community organizations who want "to make a striking difference in their community to register a team for the Bowl-A-Thon."

He said he hopes they would consider reserving one of the 64 lanes available for the morning or afternoon flights of bowling.

"The only skill required is a generous heart for the mission of the organizations and a passion for Westerville," he said in a news release.

To register, go to westervillebowlathon.com.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla