• Megann Horstead

Candlelight Bowl Fundraiser supports LWSRA


The lights shone down and the music surrounded Darla Vogelsang as she tried to select a bowling ball to use.

Members of the community filled several lanes at Laraway Lanes on Saturday, Sept. 30, to show support for special needs children, like Darla, who belong to the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association.

The evening marked the return of the annual Candlelight Bowl Fundraiser for supporters of the LWSRA, which describes itself as a provider of recreation and leisure services for individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities while promoting greater disability awareness in the community.

“It’s about having camaraderie in our community, awareness about who LWSRA is, and the profits from this fund our events, like Trunk-or-Treat, that are open to the public,” said Karyn Reczek, marketing outreach and fundraising coordinator for LWSRA.

Another portion of proceeds—depending on what’s raised—typically supports the organization’s scholarship fund, which can go toward anyone who applies.

Last year, LWSRA awarded more than $12,000 in scholarships.

Reczek stressed that they like to help anybody who is having financial hardship as a member of the LWSRA and said they want to make sure they’re accommodated.

This year, the Candlelight Bowl Fundraiser was expected to raise roughly $1,500. It drew in nearly 50 participants this time around.

Bowlers paired up for two games of scotch doubles, which is when one person throws the first ball and the other person throws the second one, and a third game encouraged participants to be silly while bowling.

Those participating in the Candlelight Bowl Fundraiser had opportunities to compete and win one of several gift certificates. The LWSRA conducted a mystery pot, in which a number is randomly pulled out of a hat and the winner bowls that number.

“We got a lot of donations from local vendors, so we’re going to be awarding those as prizes,” Reczek said.

During the fundraiser, people tried their hand at winning one of several raffle prizes, which were donated to the LWSRA. A 50/50 raffle was also conducted to help the organization to raise funds.

“This year, we actually have quite a few baskets,” Reczek said. “In years past, we haven’t had baskets, but this year we do have baskets.”

The fundraiser’s ability to draw in participants year after year is amazing, Reczek said.

“For me, personally it just warms my heart that they’re all so supportive,” she said.

The event’s purpose rings true for many, Reczek said.

“We do have a lot of the same people come back because it’s just a fun night out,” she said. “It’s a family event. They can bring their kids and their friends. It’s just a fun night.”

Reczek stressed how important it is for the LWSRA to host events that are open to the entire community and said they’re appreciative of any support provided.

“That’s why we do these events,” Reczek said. “We do them as a community outreach, so that people understand who we are because we’re always surprised when people don’t understand who LWSRA is and what is available to those with disabilities.”

Reczek said she wanted to thank volunteers Aisha Bilal and Sue Eisenbrandt for their contributions.

For more information about the LWSRA, visit www.lwsra.org


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