Annual BCAG Bowl-a-thon Breaks Records . . .
. . . for funds raised, participation and fun
An increased number of bowlers, auction items from generous local vendors which attracted spirited bidding, and the popular Pink Pin contest combined to send the 11th Annual Bowl-a-thon into record territory. All funds raised support grants to young mothers with breast cancer who have financial difficulty due to their disease. This long-time BCAG fundraiser has been significantly supported by Pacific Grove High School students for the past four years.
"I'm going to be back again next year" was the typical comment as the afternoon of fund-raising ended.
Bowlers of all ages filled all the lanes (24) at the Monterey Bowling Alley, Saturday, March 16. Bowling skills ranged from "impressive" to "whoops". Participants were entertained and spurred on by the Pink Pin Contest in which at random times a colored pin appears at the head of the pin setups. If the bowler at that time scores a strike, he/she goes on to the next level. This year three bowlers qualified to bowl for the cash prize and one of them scored a strike in the final round to win the $500 cash prize that had been funded by two local plastic surgeons.
A record number of local vendors donated more than 70 items for the silent auction and raffle. These ranged from restaurant meals to salon offerings to a variety of gift packages and much more. In a separate auction category were the artistically and imaginatively painted bowling pins created by art students from three local high schools. Successful bidders were rewarded with original pieces including pelicans, starry sky, and much more – all painted on bowling pins.
Plans are underway for next year's Bowl-a-thon, promising more fun, prize items and the opportunity to support this important local cause. Stay tuned for the date announcement.
The Breast Cancer Assistance Group of the Monterey Peninsula* (BCAG) is an organization of breast cancer survivors who work to improve the lives of local breast cancer patients and their families. The primary activities of BCAG are sponsoring educational programs and raising funds to provide financial assistance to women in the California Central Coast area who have breast cancer.
The need for financial support is widespread. The physical and emotional ravages of breast cancer are widely recognized. One in seven women will experience this devastation. Some will bear the additional burden of severe financial difficulties related to the disease. In most cases, an entire family is financially impacted when a woman has breast cancer. To assist in such cases, BCAG gives "Special Needs" grants to women who apply and meet the requirements for recipients. In the last ten years BCAG has awarded hundreds of "Special Needs" grants.
Grant recipients are primarily low-income, but there are many exceptions because the costs of breast cancer treatments can be overwhelming for middle-income families as well. Often the applicants are not working because of their illness, they may have lost their insurance along with their job, or they never had insurance or their insurance co-payments are too high for them to pay without assistance. Many of the applicants are single-parent mothers. By the time they apply to BCAG they have exhausted their resources and they do not qualify for other assistance programs.
All local women who have had breast cancer are automatically members of BCAG, if they choose to participate. A Board of Directors is elected annually to secure finances, plan the educational programs and oversee all BCAG activities. A Medical Board of oncology physicians and practitioners serves as consultants. BCAG is a non-profit California corporation with tax exempt status as a 501(c)3 organization from the Internal Revenue Service.
*formerly the Breast Cancer Action Group of the Monterey Peninsula