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North Hills Monthly

Seneca Valley Senior Holds Bowlathon to Benefit Special Needs Students

Dec 30, 2014 12:06PM ● By Mike Doerfler
By Mike Doerfler

For many, an afternoon of bowling may just seem like a good time with family and friends. But for Seneca Valley Senior High School senior Gabby Mayer of Cranberry Township, bowling means more to her than just a day of fun with others. Recently, as a way to help a cause close to her heart, Mayer held a bowlathon at the Family Bowlaway Fun Center in Butler with the prime beneficiary being A Night to Remember—a special event for children and teens with physical or mental disabilities.

Mayer has two younger siblings who both have autism, so it’s easy to understand why helping special needs children is so important to her. In the past, she’s volunteered at the Miracle League Field in Cranberry Township, so when it came time to choose a topic for her senior project, she didn’t hesitate. 

Mayer began by holding a homerun derby at the Miracle League Field on Oct. 17 where she raised $200, with the proceeds going to autism causes, including A Night to Remember. She thought that perhaps a bowlathon would attract more participants and more money, so she set about making it happen. “After all, who doesn’t like to bowl?” she asked.

Though there were several bumps in the road during the early stages, her event, which also included a 50-50 raffle, Chinese auction and bake sale, came off as planned. “This project taught me a lot about holding a successful fundraiser,” she said. “Now I know better what to do and what not to do the next time I hold an event like this.”

The bowlathon was held on Sunday, Nov. 16, and was a complete success. In addition to the homerun derby proceeds, money raised during the bowlathon, which attracted 80 participants, totaled $2,002, all of which will go toward benefitting A Night to Remember. The funds will pay for things such as hairstyles, makeup, dresses, tuxedos and limos for the children who attend this wonderful night.

Mayer hopes to inspire others to dig deep and do something that is near and dear to their hearts. “No matter what the cause may be, just do something that hits home with you,” she said. “It could be through volunteering, fundraising, donating, participating in a community function, or any other idea you may think of. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help of other people when you’re trying to hold a fundraising event, because the bottom line is to feel a sense of happiness that you’re giving back to a cause you care about.”

Mayer says that she is very much looking forward to the actual A Night to Remember dance, knowing that by then, all of her hard work and effort will have paid off. “All of the stress and hard work you endure through the whole process is so rewarding,” she said. “And that’s what counts the most!”