Bowling tournament runs this Saturday
Organizations combating childhood hunger will be the recipients of this multi-archdeaconry effort
By Gisele McKnight
Two-hundred bowlers, 39 lanes, four bowling alleys, and dozens of parishes will unite to bowl for the sake of children on Saturday in the diocese.
Moncton, Fredericton and the Kennebecasis Valley will simultaneously host bowling tournaments on April 21 with an aim to combat childhood hunger in New Brunswick.
The idea of a bowling tournament began last year in Fredericton with organizer, the Rev. Kevin McAllister, in the parishes of Marysville and Minto and Chipman. They challenged Fredericton-area parishes, who came out in droves and earned about $7,500.
With the objective set at $5,000, it was a great success, and the proceeds went to help build a library at Bishop McAllister College in Uganda. That library is being built and at last check, the roof was going on.
This year, Kevin has set his sights higher, with a $100,000 goal, three locations and a new cause. In Fredericton, he teamed up with the Fredericton Community Kitchens and their Student Hunger Program. It feeds about 350 kids a day in 18 schools in the Fredericton area.
In the course of organizing the event, the other locations, headed by archdeacons Brent Ham (Moncton) and Rob Marsh (Kingston & the Kennebecasis) have chosen their own charities that meet the needs of hungry children.
“Here we left it so each parish is allowed to designate a recipient in their own community as long as it fits the mandate,” said Brent. “It’s a really good cause. It’s been the right project for the right group.”
Moncton archdeaconry parishes have more than stepped up to the task, so much so that they had to enlist a second bowling alley. The first 12 teams will bowl at Fairlanes in Moncton, donated by parishioner Dick Carpenter, while the other seven or eight teams will bowl at Parklanes in Riverview.
Brent is pleased to see the great effort, including the fact that virtually every parish is fielding a team or bowlers. At St. Ann’s Westcock, outside Sackville, 95-year-old Maisie Campbell has put a team together, an example of the enthusiasm surrounding the tournament.
Salisbury & Havelock, Hillsborough, Kent County, St. Andrew, Sackville, St. Philip and St. James all have one or two teams; Riverview and St. George’s have three teams each and Shediac is coming with four teams.
“I went for participation over fundraising because for us it’s the first year,” said Brent. “And it’s nice to do something together that is a blessing for our community.”
After the competition, everyone will gather at St. Philip’s for a potluck meal.
In the Kennebecasis Valley, 10 teams will vie for bragging rights at the KV Bowling Lanes facility in Quispamsis. Teams are spread from Sussex to Saint John, with the proceeds to food banks in the region. Rob is hoping for maybe another team or two before Saturday.
“We’re looking forward to having loads of fun together,” he said. “The bowlers are really looking forward to it.”
Parishes have fundraised with special collections in church, pledges and other activities. After bowling, they’ll gather at St. Augustine’s in Quispamsis for a meal.
In Fredericton, 12 teams will go head-to-head at the Bowl-A-Drome on the city’s north side.
“All our lanes are full,” said Kevin. “Plus we have extra people to fill in where needed. Smaller parishes without a team still wanted to bowl. I’m glad we’re able to accommodate them.”
Kevin has been selling T-shirts for $15 and those sales have gone well, with around 300 sold. His parish of Minto & Chipman has made a big splash with their T-shirts already, becoming the envy of many other bowlers in the community. About 75 shirts have been sold there.
He still has about 175 T-shirts left and they’ll be for sale at the bowling alley in Fredericton on Saturday. He has small, medium and large available in black, red and blue.
One of the highlights in Fredericton will be a political team, called the PC Strikers, featuring Progressive Conservative leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Blaine Higgs, with Fredericton-area MLAs Pam Lynch, Kirk MacDonald, Ross Wetmore and Jeff Carr.
“We’re really excited to have an MLA team,” said Kevin, adding the Fredericton Community Kitchens will also field a team, with help from St. John’s Oromocto bowlers.
The overall goal is $100,000, and Kevin hopes efforts in Fredericton will result in $30,000 raised. Teams have been fundraising, and his own parishes are well into a bottle drive that will probably continue. The T-shirts sales have certainly helped. Pledges can be made via the Strike Out Child Hunger 2018 Facebook page, or by emailing Kevin directly: < micksizepint at yahoo.ca >
“We’re hoping and praying,” he said. “It’s my prayer that if we reach our goal, [the Fredericton Community Kitchens’ Student Hunger Program] will be able to take on another school. That’s my personal prayer.”
He’s also got one more idea that could produce big results. He is offering his Jeep Patriot as a travelling billboard for a year to a Fredericton-area business. He will allow the highest bidder to wrap his vehicle in their marketing information, though he reserves the right of refusal, depending on the type of business.
Information on the Fredericton Community Kitchens’ Student Hunger Program:
- Fredericton Community Kitchens Inc. Student Hunger Program began during the 2013-2014 school year.
- They currently provide lunches in 18 schools in the Fredericton and surrounding area.
- Fifteen of these schools receive 355 bagged lunches every school day.
- In addition to the bagged lunch program, the SHP prepares backpacks filled with food for students to take home to their families on the weekend. In the pack are 12-14 pounds of non-perishable food containing two meals for a family of four. They currently prepare 77 packs a week for 10 schools, including Minto High School.
- The SHP delivers a bulk food order to both FHS and LHHS Culinary Arts classes. With this food FHS prepares 125 halal lunches each week. With their food order LHHS prepares 300 healthy baggie snacks containing carrots, celery and so on each week to be distributed to their students.
- In addition to these programs, the SHP delivers bulk food and lunch snacks each week to the Anglophone West School District Enterprise Program, which operates out of the Education Center at FHS.
- As well, the SHP delivers bulk food and lunch snacks to Lincoln Elementary School once a month. This food is used to supplement the lunch program at their school.
- The SHP also supplements the breakfast programs at four schools with bagels and other breakfast food.