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Ten Oaks exceeds fundraising goal

Annual Ottawa Bowl-A-Thon helps send more LGBT youth to camp

The Bowl-A-Thon teams arrived decked out in their finest costumes on March 29. Credit: Derek deLouche

It was a successful weekend for the Ten Oaks Project. On March 29 its annual Bowl-A-Thon, a fundraiser that helps cover the costs of initiatives that include a weeklong sleep-away camp for LGBT youth, not only met but exceeded its $45,000 goal.

“The turnout was great!” says Hannah Biancardi, Ten Oaks’ manager of volunteers and programs. “We raised over $45,600 — and donations are still trickling in.”

The Bowl-A-Thon received sponsorship from organizations that include Venus Envy, Youth Services Bureau and the Canadian Mental Health Association, but the bulk of the money was raised through the efforts of the bowlers. Organizers encouraged teams to gather donations through an online platform, and with 25 teams participating in the event, the funds added up quickly.

On the day of, teams arrived decked out in their finest costumes. Biancardi mentions a few standouts, including the Masque-Gay-Rades, who bowled in tuxedos and evening wear; Queer Perfection, who came sporting cheerleading outfits; the self-explanatory Plaid Dads and Surf Squad; and the Gutterball Babies, which included some of the very youngest bowlers. The event also gave prospective campers a chance to meet current and future participants.

“We are so happy with the amount of money raised,” Biancardi says. “It will go towards everything from renting the camp sites . . . to helping [bring] in workshop facilitators and keynote speakers to paying for all the program supplies.”

Camp fees operate on a sliding scale, ensuring that economic barriers don’t prevent anyone from attending. “Some campers pay the whole fee, and others are paying a very small portion. Fundraising events like the Bowl-A-Thon allow us to make this happen.”