"Bowl For Life" Fundraiser breaks record in donations towards St. Jude
The 19th annual Tony O' Rear Bowl for Life saw record-breaking numbers in donations and funds raised through the campaign.
This year the campaign raised $16,225 and a total of $184,863 over the past 19 years.
The event was held as a memorial fundraiser for Tony O'Rear, who was 11 years old when he was diagnosed with aplastic anemia which is a disease that prevents bone marrow from producing platelets properly, died a year later.
All proceeds go to children fighting cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Barbara Breedwell says her son Tony was her rock and seeing the community’s support is overwhelming.
Breedwell said, "Words cannot describe how I feel, it's just a great feeling, a warm feeling to know that they love the kids of Saint Jude that much."
19 years later Tony’s family is remembering him by giving back to others.
Breedwell said, "Tony would want us to help every kid out there, so you have that in the back of your mind, knowing you're helping the kids and you know you're doing something your son would have wanted you to do... it's not a problem."
Amongst the bowlers competing at the event was Chad Collins who says if it wasn't for Saint Jude’s treatments, he wouldn't be alive today.
Collins was diagnosed at an early age with a Wilm's tumor, a childhood cancer that attacks the kidneys.
He says being a survivor is why he actively gets involved and gives back.
Collins said, "It's really neat being the old guy, so you know I go up there and I'm sitting there with the kids, and they just kind of look at you, like what are you doing here and it's awesome; you know their parents are my age or younger.">
St. Jude treats patients from across the world including residents from right here in the Tennessee Valley.
A reason bowlers say they come back every year.
If you would like to help participate in next year’s fundraiser there are several ways to participate:
• Lane Sponsors - $150.00, receive a banner over a lane
• Table Sponsor - $50.00, your name will appear on all 32 tables in the center
• Individual bowling teams (4 members) - $150.00 per team
Barbara Breedwell says the best way to get involved is to contact her through Facebook.