By Emily Angelastro
Something special can happen when family and friends come together and bowl for a cause. On Sunday, February 10th, Syosset Lanes held the Take Steps Kickoff Celebration for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. This volunteer-driven and non-profit organization, which began in 1965, is dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The kickoff event’s goal is not only to have fun bowling but also to raise money and awareness for a great cause.
Nancy Davis, a coordinator within chapter operations says “it’s all about getting out the word about Crohn’s, and getting people to sign up to do the actual walk.” The event kicked off with inspiring people, such as patients and their families, sharing stories about their journey and goals for the foundation. Organizers then showed a slideshow of everything the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is about, including its’ history and successes. When this part of the event came to a close, the real fun began.
Different events went on in all corners of the bowling alley. From the moment guests walked in, they were greeted at the registration table and offered free bowling. One complimentary breakfast table was set up and filled with pastries, bagels, and coffee while another station hosted a beer and cocktail table.
There were other activities for guests to be entertained by, including a“potty toss, “where kids and adults could up pick up small sacks and toss them across the room into a toilet prop to win raffle tickets as prizes. The raffle tables were a huge success, earning over 700 dollars for the foundation in just a few hours.
Visitors could also stop at the 106.1 BLI table, where Ray Atkin was giving away BLI prizes and letting people spin the prize wheel for a chance to win big. Atkin says, “today I am here with 106.1 BLI, Long Island’s #1 for all the hits, and we do this every year actually; we support the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. We run commercials on the radio station, and we’re here right now. We’re giving away prizes, we have a prize wheel. I’m helping make announcements, and we’re also giving away a pair of tickets to Nickelback. And we’re having a good time!”
And finally, there was the free bowling that had family and friends having a great time competing against each other while also allowing new faces to meet and come together.
While everyone loves free food and bowling, it’s important to remember the reason everyone came out to Syosset Lanes. The Kickoff Celebration event raised a large sum of money that will go towards the foundation to cure these diseases and improve the lives of patients living with them. While there was an upwards of about 300 people in attendance, there were also a high number of volunteers to help produce the event.
Volunteers for the event included Five Towns College students. Each student had a different job for the day and earned community service hours. Nancy Davis explained the various other events of the foundation. “When you work at the chapter, you take part in all of the chapter events. We have not just walk events, we have special events, we’re going to do a dance party, we do our gala, and we have a woman’s card party that we do, and then we also have education events… and we do spin,” said Davis.
This year’s Long Island Take Steps Walk will be held at Belmont Lake State Park on May 3rd at noon.