My partner and I knew that once we would open our doors to Mel’s Lone Star Lanes, in Georgetown, Texas, that we would get involved with our community. Not just our local community but the bowling community as well.
While at the BPAA Bowl Expo, we heard and learned about the BVL charity and the great works it had done since 1942. We loved the fact that they help our veterans and activity duty servicemen with therapeutic and recreational activities.
Located in central Texas, just 45 minutes from Ft. Hood, we see and interact with many men and women who serve and have served. We knew the BVL could and would help those who are guests of Mel’s Lone Star Lanes. We started raising funds for BVL many years ago and every year we like to raise the bar on the amount we collect.
We requested two grants from the BVL in 2019. Both grants for two local organizations who do great work with our veterans. The Rock On Veterans program at R.O.C.K. and Heroes Night Out. The grant process was simple. Both organizations were extremely grateful for the grants and the money will be helping our local veterans and soldiers.
Pictured is our check presentation to the R.O.C.K. and a local veteran participating in their Rock On Veterans program. The program is for active duty service members and veterans who are partnered with horses and veteran volunteers. The goal of this program is to improve the lives of servicemen and women who have suffered injury in the line of duty, helping them adjust physically and emotionally to their post-war lives. The cost for veterans and service members to participate in the ROCK On Veterans programs are 100% covered through fundraising efforts and grants.
With low administrative costs, we know the money we raise for the BVL will impact many lives. We are BVL.
David Kellerman, President
Mel’s Lone Star Lanes
I have seen first hand what the Bowlers to veterans Link does to Brighten Veterans Lives. As a long-time representative for BVL at the National Veterans Winter Sports Clinic (WSC) held yearly in Snowmass CO. Now in its 33rd year, the Clinic brings veterans, volunteers and instructors together to build new skills and learn how to incorporate adaptive techniques in familiar sports. The WSC the clinic provides veterans with an opportunity to try a sport after overcoming an illness or injury and a chance to learn new sports and test their skills in a variety of different activities-- from skiing to hockey to bowling. Every year, it gets better and better; and every year my respect and admiration for the athletes grows and grows,
I am proud to represent the Bowlers to Veterans Link!
BVL has been a great charity since it's inception. It's costs are consistently kept low, and the impact on veterans, and now even active duty military lives can not be understated.
They have several programs that are great turn-key fund raisers, and for those that march to their own drum when it comes to fund raising (like us) they are very supportive and flexible.
Dan Simril, Foxfire Lanes
BVL has brightened many veterans' lives. In my local area, they have given to the VA hospital. The leaders of the organization are dedicated to veterans. The money they raise goes directly to support and help veterans. Our business participate yearly in their fund raising efforts.
BVL is one of the most amazing, directly beneficial nonprofit organizations available for our wounded and disabled veterans! Being directly and closely involved with this organization for the last several years, I have had the opportunity to see first hand how the funds primarily donated and collected from our bowlers from states all over America, have benefited our AMAZING veterans and the wounded in active duty. As one of the Directors of the FCUSBC local board and a BVL committee member, I feel blessed to be able to be a small part of bettering veterans lives. I look forward to spending time with Mary Harrar, BVL Executive Director and John LaSpina, BVL Chairman every year at USBC Convention. Assisting at the BVL Booth is by far the most fun and exciting part of my week at convention. Each year, I learn a little bit more from Mary and John and it just ignites even more passion for this incredible organization. Having the opportunity to be highly involved hits very close to home for me as we have a son in the Army who is a Ranger/Special Forces and has been serving for the last 17 1/2 years. It gives me a sense of peace knowing that BVL is right there to serve our veterans and those currently active duty.
Thank you to each and every one of our veterans and active duty military whom have placed their lives in harms way time and time again for their country. God Bless you all!!!!
We love raising funds for the BVL (The Bowlers to Veterans Link). The dollars are used both locally and regionally to help veterans with therapeutic and recreational needs. We just donated a transportation cart, that helps vets move from their cars to the clinic front door, here in Cape Coral, Florida. Our mission is to help make life better for the men and women who bravely served our country!
As a bowling proprietor in South Carolina I have operated bowling centers in various markets with military bases (Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach) .BVL is a great way to bond yourself to the community.
In addition we are very proud as an industry of what BVL accomplishes and the fact that it operates on a tight / efficient budget helping to put the vast majority of the funds raised to excellent use.
BVL in Detroit supports the out patient activities at the VA hospital. The monies raised have been spent on various projects to contribute to the mental well being of both in-patient and day visitors to the John D. Dingell Hospital. The group ReCreation comes to perform annually through the efforts of BVL fundraising
On a local level, BVL helps the veterans at our local VA hospital who are able to get out and about by covering their expenses traveling on outings to bowling, the zoo, etc. Nationally, Re-Creation (a volunteer group of youngsters who spend a year of their life traveling around the country) puts on a spectacular musical and dance program at the Local VA hospitals.
We have run charity raffles for BVL in Battle Creek for years, with the proceeds going to our local VA hospital to support them with athletic and exercise equipment.
President Battle Creek USBC BA
BVL is wonderful. I am a director on our local GGRUSBC. We have raised money for BVL for many years I also go and visit our local Grand Rapids Home For Veterans. We are lucky enough to have a 2 lane bowling alley at our Vets home. I go and visit the Purple Heart League and help put bowling balls on the ramps for everyone. It is so much fun and i have made several new bowling friends there. I am assuming that some of the funds we raise helps the Veteran bowlers. I have also seen ReCreation at the home several times. I normally stay out in the hallway and dance and hold hands with the Vets in wheelchairs that cannot make it in to see them. But they can hear them and ReCreation is so wonderful, they come out and sing to and shake hands with every Vet there. I am so happy that BVL helps make that happen for our Vets.
BVL is supported all over the country by bowlers like me. We are ordinary people, no millionaires or corporate giants, but we do include military personnel among our members. Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL) is a non-profit supported only by volunteers who hold fund raisers to help our veterans rehabilitate in hospitals all over the country. Locally we have donated for as long as I can remember to the Veterans Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. These monies have been used to fund various recreational activities to help patients prepare for their daily lives after serving to keep our country free. I am proud to be a bowler and to actively participate in supporting the BVL. We never have any difficulty getting donations our members to donate yearly to support this most deserving non-profit.
I own a bowling center and we run a singles tournament for the BVL. Every bowler donates at least $5.00. We give back 1/2 to the prize fund and the other half goes the BVL. Last year we raised $5200.00. The bowlers are more than happy to participate in this GREAT program for our veterans. We run this program the week of Veterans day.
BVL was supportive to the Temple VA in Central Texas for many years for equipment in Adaptive Sports, I recently transferred to the Central Florida VA in Orlando 2017, and since then, BVL has again stepped up to assist the veterans at the Lake Baldwin Domiciliary. Through the BVL grant program, we purchased 3 Concept2 rowers to kick start a rowing program for veterans in an outpatient treatment program .
BVL far exceeds my expectations as a nonprofit organization regarding with their professionalism and dedication to support veteran's wellness.
Thank you BVL for all that you do for our veterans,
Michael Weaver, CTRS/ Specialization in Community Inclusion Services
BVL Grant Award to the New Recreation Therapy Clinic at the Blind Rehabilitation Center / Doris Miller VA Medical Center located in Waco, Texas.
As a Recreation Therapist providing treatment to our Veterans at the Doris Miller VA Medical Center (Blind Rehab Center) I greatly value the BVL’s support. Recreation Therapy is a therapeutic discipline that offers a broad array of modalities used to facilitate function, independence and ultimately an improved quality of life. These many different areas of treatment include fitness, art, music, assistive technology, adaptive sports and much more. The modalities used in these crucial areas involve the initial purchase, adaptation and maintenance of equipment. The generous support from the BVL has made this is possible.
Building a new Recreation Therapy Clinic at the Blind Rehabilitation Center has been a journey of planning and insight. This undertaking has involved the assistance of VA staff, colleagues and again the greatly appreciated support of the BVL. (Several of the devices included in the photos are made possible by the BVL).
It is an honor to work with an organization that does so much to support those men and woman who have served our country. I have seen firsthand the meticulous planning and tireless effort that goes into providing veteran focused programs that positively impact and brighten their lives and their communities. BVL is a well-run and well-organized charity that distributes all monies with transparency for the benefit of our Vets. This is an organization very deserving of your support.
Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL) is a wonderful organization that is committed to improve the quality of life of the brave men and women who so valiantly risked their lives in defense of our nation. John LaSpina, Chair of the BVL Board of Directors, Mary Harrar, BVL Executive Director and the entire BVL Team should be commended for the outstanding work they do in VA Medical Centers, Vet Centers and State Veterans Homes across the country. For over 75 years, BVL has been a leader in recognizing the importance of recreational therapy in the post-acute care of veterans. As an operator of State Veterans Home, we cannot be more grateful to Bowlers to Veterans Link for the tremendous support they have given the veterans we are so honored to care for. BVL has generously supported the recreational activities at the Long Island State Veterans Home for many years. From the sponsorship of music therapy programs such as the talented traveling entertainment troupe “Re-Creation” to the assistance in purchasing of new, innovative technology of Virtual Reality Therapy, BVL has helped provide outstanding quality of life through engaging therapeutic recreation programs for the Greatest Generation to the Latest Generation of America’s heroes.
Deputy Executive Director
Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University
We have been working with BVL for many years and they are so supportive of the veterans we serve. They have provided funds that have enabled us to purchase guitars, take veterans on trips and purchase many arts and crafts supplies. We are lucky to have such wonderful partners. We look forward to a long lasting relationship.
BVL, What an amazing group of people. The bowling community works tirelessly to raise donations to assist our Veterans in hospitals & Nursing homes. This group goes back to 1942, and is as strong now as it was back then. It has been my personal pleasure to have worked with the BVL group and to visit our Veterans in the hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. The Veterans are so appreciative of what BVL does words cannot explain it. The dedication is beyond anything anyone could expect. I will continue to work with this organization as long as there is breath in my body!
Thank you BVL, Mary Harrar & Elizabeth for your hard work. You are amazing!!
Marine for life & Disabled Vietnam Veteran
BVL, What an amazing group of people. From the administrators, to the National USBC Board of Directors, to the local USBC association leaders, to the league bowlers in each association. They work so hard to ensure our Veterans are cared for, and they know we care. This group goes back to 1942, and is as strong now as it was back then. It has been my personal pleasure to have worked with the BVL group and to visit our Veterans in the hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. The Veterans are so appreciative of what BVL does words cannot explain it. The dedication is beyond anything anyone could expect.
Thank you BVL, Mary Harrar & Elizabeth for your hard work. You are amazing!!
Marine for life & Disabled Vietnam Veteran
This is a great a Non-Profit as this organization truly knows how to help out our Veterens at a time needed. When our veterans need a little help the BVL has been there for them and helping educate the USBC members at convention time and throughout the year on how and where the money we raise goes and accomplishments that impact our veterans that need assistance. I am a proud veteran to be able to help do fundraising for this organization and especially at each USBC Convention.
The Blind Veterans League is an annual financial supporter of Central Arkansas Veterans. Their support allows our facility to offer Bowling to Veterans as a recreational Activity while hospitalized in North Little Rock VA. Their grants and support offers Veterans the opportunity to learn and enjoy bowling. Their support also provides incentives for Bowling as well as awards for annual VA wide bowling tournaments. Without the BVLs support many events including Fishing Derby for Visually impaired Veterans would not be possible. As a Veteran who served 21 years on Active Duty in the US Army, I am appreciative of the support that BVL provides to Veterans in Central Arkansas for Recreational Activities! We are appreciative to their assistance so that we can support the well being of our Veterans through Bowling and other diversional activities!
BVL is a fabulous charity where you can be sure your donation dollars are well spent. They have a very low operating cost and a great reletionship with the adept of Veterans Affairs.
BVL grants provide arts and crafts programs, music and sports activities, reading materials, board games and much more to help boost spirits, speed recuperation, and improve morale.
They have supported these programs and services for more than 75 years and in that time donors have contributed more than 50 million dollars.
Please consider BVL as one of your charities of choice.
This is an amazing charity that does so much with their funding to help our wounded veterans. The focus is on providing recreational activities, bowling, basketball, arts and crafts, music therapy. They provide Billiards tables, Foosball, TV's and other items for our VA Hospitals. There is almost no paid staff and nearly every dollar donated goes to our veterans.
The paid staff truly believes in the mission of the organization and in providing the most benefit for the smallest amount of overhead possible. They do a fantastic job along with all of the volunteers that make this an organization that I believe really stays true to the mission of the original organizers. It is truly a pleasure to work with them, and I feel great contributing to the organization.
This organization does so much with so little. Their administration takes only 6 cents for every dollar donated. They actively support the veterans across the country and troops overseas. Part of the national funds go to support a traveling song & dance group called Re-Creation, who travel to different parts of the country entertaining our veterans in nursing homes.
BVL (Bowlers to Veterans Link) is a very well run organization that supports our veterans and troops at home and abroad. There is a small group of very dedicated people to support the national organizaton. They provide money for medical or recreation equipment to state run veterans nursing homes. An entertainment group called "Re-Creation" tours the country to entertain the veterans in nursing homes. Bowling lane kits are sent to the troops overseas to provide a distraction and fun. The few people manning this organization work very hard to provide a lot of services, and we applaud them.
You hear the phrase, "the best kept secret" often but it is rare when you come upon one. This is my experience with BVL. Since 1942, this organization has raised a tremendous amount of money (over $50 million) to help veterans - and has done so with quiet and efficient dignity. Just this past year I was fortunate enough to be involved with BVL as they provided a Trackchair (specialty wheelchair) to a deserving veteran from Arlington Texas. Through grass roots fundraising from bowlers across the United States, BVL is making a HUGE impact in the lives of veterans. Now to make this "best kept secret" a household name...
As a bowling center, our involvement began in June of 2016 with our commitment to raise awareness of BVL within our center and to raise a minimum $1,000 by May 31st, 2017. Through a variety of big and small events, we were proud to present a check to BVL at Bowl Expo 2017 in excess of our goal. We are looking forward to our re-commitment for this season and raising a minimum of $2,000!
The support we get from BVL for these fundraising opportunities is invaluable and very much appreciated!
The BVL has proven to be one of the strongest charities for our Veterans. Thank you for your continued efforts to help those who help us. As a proud to supporter we love sharing that the BVL runs at a very low cost basis. Keep up the great work! Through our local fundraising efforts we sent bowling lanes to friends and families of ours serving overseas. Thanks BVL!
What an honor it is for our company to raise $$$ for the men and women who've served our country. BVL is our charity of choice and we've seen first hand here in Southwest Florida the positive impact this organization has on the thousands of veterans who call this area home. You also have to be impressed that BVL puts 94% of all monies donated to work for our vets! There are dozens of veterans-related charities out there doing wonderful things, but for our money there is only one that Brightens Veterans Lives daily...BVL!
Bowland/HeadPinz Entertainment Centers
Fort Myers, Florida
No group is more deserving of our support that the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces. In a time when movie stars and sports figures are put high on pedestals, I am proud to be part of an organization that honors the true heroes, our Veterans. I know of no other organization with such a low overhead. The fact that 94% of money collected goes to our Veterans is amazing. Every year, for 75 years, bowlers have shown that they are generous in their support of the Veterans. Thank you BVL.
What BVL does is amazing! Their extremely low overhead rate proves that they put our veterans first ... So, so, so proud of this organization and of the bowlers who have supported it for 75 amazing years! Here's to much more success for BVL and for the support of our veterans ... No one deserves it more. (Please stand if you can.)
I am a board member but so much more ... I am an admirer of how efficiently BVL is run and that focus is never lost. Every decision is made with the mission of Brightening Veterans Lives regardless of race, gender, age. BVL reaches out to all veterans! Our only goal is to be able to help and serve all of the veterans who need us. They deserve our support so we work tirelessly to be efficient so that the greatest percentage possible of the money dobpnated goes to them. The best (bestest!) part is that BVL will always be there and will always be ready to help.
BVL is an outstanding charity. I am very impressed with what they do and will continue to trumpet the merits of this organization every chance I get.
BVL is the proved to me to be the best charity for our Veterans. They have very low overhead which means more money for our Veterans. When we raise money for the BVL, we request funds to come back to Iowa to help our home town veterans with their recreational needs. We are able to see where that money is used, as we personally deliver the checks from BVL to the VA centers. Without BVL, our Veterans all over the nation and abroad would not have the recreational needs met.
As a bowler, donor and volunteer, I have seen BVL at work at the National TEE Tournament at Riverside Iowa. Board members from our state women's bowling association volunteer to help at the bowling venue. This year over 50 visually impaired veterans enjoyed bowling in Coralville Iowa. Every year we have made new friends but also meet up with friends we have made the past years. Because of BVL, these veterans are enjoying the sport we all love. What an honor it was for all of us helping these veterans. BVL has also helped our three VA facilities in Iowa. We have personally delivered the donations from BVL to these sites. What a feeling to see what and how these men and women will be helped with the proceeds from BVL.
Make this one of your charities.
I am a Veteran's Service Officer in Pennsylvania who deals with veteran's issues on a daily basis. BVL raises funds to help those veterans who are our nation's heroes and exemplifies how they should be respected for securing the freedoms that we all cherish today. Thank you to such a wonderful organization and all that you do for veterans !!
i was a general manager for a bowling center chain in the Philadelphia area and we became involved with BVL through the Bowling proprietors Assn. In our 4 centers , soliciting bowlers to make a pledge, we were able to raise over $20,000 each and every year. The monies were targeted for Walter Reed Hospital and the families that were visiting loved ones receiving treatment. The chance to help these families was an easy "sell" to our bowlers they stepped up in a huge way. We also set up a Veterans wall in each of our centers honoring those who served and continue to serve our country. Working with BVL certainly changed my life and i now have a new found appreciation of what our military due for us every day. Thanks to BVL, i still remain involved in any way i can to further their mission.