Coconuts + Autism Awareness = Hoa Aloha

February 11, 2013
Chelsea Budde

There's nothing like the thought of Hawaii to bring a smile to our frozen winter faces!  When we first started planning our bowling event more than five years ago, we chose a theme that has become the spirit of our most significant annual fundraiser.  Hoa Aloha means good friend, and that's what this family-friendly day is all about.  It's the spirit of ohana -- a family sense of working together without judgment, where no one is left behind or forgotten.

We bring in ramps for our younger bowlers or those without the upper body strength to get the ball to roll down the lane.  We can put the gutter guards up so knocking down pins is more likely.  We understand when the noise and the waiting becomes too much for our friends with autism and they run out of ways to cope.  We exchange compassionate glances instead of disapproving stares.  We raise our eyebrows with joy instead of furrowing them with scorn.  We support each other, understanding that while one in 88 of us has autism spectrum disorder, we're all in it together.

Awareness. Acceptance. Empathy.

If that sounds like the kind of mission you'd like to support, please get a team of four to six bowlers together and register to join us at New Berlin Bowl on Sunday, April 14, starting either at 10:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m.   You'll have two hours and fifteen minutes to bowl two games.  For $110, your team members will get shoe rentals, unlimited soft drinks, plus the two games and a festive lei per person.  They'll be qualified to win great prizes in the following categories:

  • Top Fundraiser - Individual: a Toshiba 50" LED L2200U HDTV 1080p 60Hz
  • Top Fundraiser - Individual, Runner-Up: an Apple iPad mini
  • Top Fundraiser - Team: TBA
  • Highest Score: Miller-Coors products
  • Best Costumes - Team: New Berlin Ale House Bowling Party for Ten People
  • Best Costume - Child: TBA
  • Most Gutter Balls: TBA
  • Most Creative Use of a Coconut: the coveted coconut bowl from Pepper it Up pottery!

PLUS DOOR PRIZES!  Here's how you get a chance (or several) to get in on those ...

  • Raise at least $10 in donor pledges.
  • Wear a Good Friend shirt.
  • Be a current member of Good Friend.
  • Show up with blue in your 'do. (stay tuned for more on this year's HighLight It Up Blue campaign!)

Participants can also have their team photo taken by a professional photographer at no charge!  (Donations appreciated.)  Even if you don't want to come and bowl, you can pick up some raffle tickets for your chance to win a Brewers VIP Package for four, get some goodies (including fresh popcorn and gluten-free selections!) at the bake sale, or just grab lunch at the Ale House and cheer on your favorite bowlers.

We are grateful for those who support our staff and student trainings through this fundraising opportunity, and for all the volunteers who make it happen!  Watch for updates on our Facebook event page.

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