When the earthquake started bowling over houses in Haiti, Jenise Lee set the ball rolling for relief.
The bowling ball that is.
On Jan 30th, Lee organized a bowling event at Club Bowl 300 that drew 128 participants and raised $4661.50. Attendees were able to choose between donating to Doctor’s without Borders and Red Cross Canada.
“I’m not an event planner. I just hope people can see that any normal person with their own set of skills can do it,” said Lee.
“It’s just about going out there and doing something [to help]. That’s what I want my message to be.” – Jenise Lee
She’s not new to the fundraising game. Lee previously organized two fundraising bowling events. Bowl for China on Jun 22, 2008 raised $1400 for World Vision Canada to aid the Szechwan earthquake victims. Bowl for Boobies on Oct 3, 2009 raised $1100 for the Women’s Healthy Environments Network.
Lee used Facebook connections to draw participants to her events, drawing participants through friends of friends to attend her latest fundraiser, Bowl for Haiti. Many more who just came out to show support and donate.
“Originally, they were just friends who attended,” said Lee of her previous two bowling fundraiser events. “At this (latest) event, I would say there were about 50 percent of the people that I didn’t already know.”
She chose bowling for her fundraising events because at the time of the Szechwan earthquake, she had been bowling every other week with a group of friends. When disaster struck, she decided she wanted to do more than just donate money.
“It’s not about what you do, it’s just about going out there and doing something. That’s what I want my message to be,” said Lee.
Her work has not gone unnoticed. For this event, she landed eight different sponsors including Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. The organization donated four platinum tickets to a Marlies game, as well as a signed Maple Leaf’s Jersey.
Lee hopes her fundraising efforts will continue to grow. She has created a Facebook page called Bowl for Change hoping to connect with more people for her future events.
While she is not sure when the next fundraiser will be held, you can be sure, when disaster strikes, Lee will bowl a strike against disaster.