OTTAWA — The Sons of the American Legion Post 63 will be holding their 20th annual Putnam County Special Olympics bowling fundraiser at noon Saturday at Ottawa Highland Lanes.
Dani Hoorman, coordinator of the event and legion member, said when the event began 20 years ago there are only two bowling teams participating, 10 total people, and they raised $6oo.
“We really didn’t know how to advertise or raise money,” she said. “The next year we had more teams. It just grew from there.”
American Legion Post 63 has raised over $433,000 during the past 19 years which has been donated to the Putnam County Special Olympics to help them in many different ways, Hoorman said. They donated half the cost of a new bus for the teams to get to and from events, they donated money to assist in the construction of a sensory room at Brookhill Center and recently donated $40,000 to the construction of a walking track and shelter house at Brookhill, she said.
“They spoil us quite a bit,” Bill Unterbrink, CEO of Brookhill Industries Inc. and Director of Brookhill Special Olympics, said. “There’s no way we could do what we do without their support.”
The legion doesn’t just help pay for large projects, they also pay for uniforms and equipment for all four special Olympics teams — swimming, basketball, bowling and track and field. They also pay entry fees for the Putnam County Special Olympics teams to compete in, pay for hotel rooms for them to stay in and other things to support the organization, Unterbrink said.
The American Legion Post 63 put raised money into an account and holds it until Unterbrink approaches them with a need for the Brookhill Center or special Olympics, he said. They legion donates what it can to the need.
A barbecue chicken dinner will be served at 11 a.m. at American Legion Post 63 before bowling begins. Cost is $9. Bowling will begin at noon and will have five two-hour shifts, noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and at 8 p.m. teams of Putnam County firefighters will arrive to bowl, said Hoorman.
Raffles for a griddle, watch and mixer, donated by Ottoville Hardware, Wannemaker Jewelers and Whirlpool, will be held throughout the day. A 50/50 raffle will also be held during the event.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362