Making An Impact
Your donations affect the lives of our active and veteran service members. Below are just a few examples of your dollars in action!
National Veterans Special Events
BVL Volunteer Sandra Eckert (Ft. Collins, Colo.) has seen for herself BVL dollars at work:
“I wish all the BVL contributors could see what an impact BVL programs have on our veterans,” Sandy explains. “Because BVL is so much more than a hospital grant for a TV or trip to a ball game. Through BVL’s funding of the National Veterans events, we help provide a whole new outlook on life; giving vets an opportunity to get involved in sports or the arts. This gives them a new direction, and the skills to work toward new goals.”
BVL/VA Annual Veterans Bowling Tournament
For more than 70 years, this tournament has been conducted each spring, and is open to veterans receiving care at VA Hospitals, Out-Patient Clinics and Vet Centers. Five-person teams roll a total of 45 games, which are then submitted to the Bowlers to Veterans Link. Separate divisions for visually impaired, wheelchair and senior veterans help level the playing field, and BVL volunteers around the country assist VA staff with scoring and coordination.
“The BVL tournament affords our guys the opportunity to continue to compete on a national level in a sport they really love,” says Boise VAMC Visual Impairment Coordinator Valerie Duffy. “This is what they talk about all year.”
“Bowling in the tournament was a lot of fun,” reports Matthew N., who bowled in the event after returning stateside following a tour of duty in Afghanistan. “It was a chance to get out on the lanes and test my skill – it was especially gratifying because our team came in second in our division!”
Lane Kits for the Troops
Introduced in 2005, BVL has sent more than 550 bowling lane kits to troops deployed on active duty throughout the world. The program is a hit — providing soldiers, sailors and airmen an opportunity to take a break from the stresses of their jobs and enjoy the fun and camaraderie of the sport.
“The response to this campaign has been tremendous – from both our volunteers and the service men and women who have received the kit,” explains BVL Board Chair John LaSpina. “We have bowling centers and league bowling associations signing up daily to support this effort, and the feedback from the troops has been absolutely wonderful. They love it, and we love it.”
From the U.S.S. Enterprise, one seaman says this, “Whenever we find a time to set the lane up, it tends to bring out sailors from every hatch looking for a chance to relieve some stress. And everyone agrees that this is one of the coolest packages ever.”
From Camp Arifjan, a soldier wrote, “I have to say that this is one of the greatest ideas I have seen come to Kuwait. Thank you for what you are doing for the troops.”
Project Military Music
Here are just a few of the responses to BVL mailings:
“We want to thank you for the wonderful CDs you sent us. We use the music on a daily basis so it’s fun to have new music to listen to. It often reminds us of our years of service and helps us to feel appreciated for having served our country. Keep the music coming!”
- Utah State Veterans Home
"The veterans would like to thank you for the music CDs. They will be used in our large recreational multi-purpose room on the PA system as well as on individual units. Remembering our veterans with the gift of music is meaningful and therapeutic. We look forward to listening to the music and hearing from you once again in the near future."
- Long Island State Veterans Home
Re-Creation Performance Tours
BVL receives hundreds of letters from the VA Medical Centers and State Veterans Homes singing the praises of “Re-Creation” and confirms that BVL sponsorship of the tours makes a world of difference for our veterans. Here's an excerpt from a letter received:
“I can’t tell you how much it means to our hospitalized veterans, visitors, and staff to have such a talented, creative, and energetic group with us for the afternoon. Their enthusiasm and genuine expression of gratitude to America’s heroes goes a long way in aiding recovery, both physically and mentally. The show was perfect in every way and they were able to visit some veterans in various locations in the medical center who were not able to come to our main auditorium. The interaction with the performers was heartwarming and the visit will certainly not be forgotten.”
- Salem, Virginia VA Medical Center