Avenues raises $10,000 at annual bowling fundraiser and auction

Bowlers supporting Avenues SLS enjoy pizza and drinks at Valencia Lanes on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Photo courtesy of Avenues SLS.

Avenues Supported Living Services held its 5th Annual No-Tap Bowling Tournament Fundraiser and Online Charity Auction on Saturday at Valencia Lanes. 

The event drew hundreds of bowlers and their family and friends to help raise $10,000 to close state funding gaps in the support the local nonprofit provides for people with developmental disabilities in north Los Angeles County. 

“It was just a great day, and everyone was having fun,” said Natalie Cavarretta, the organization’s director of development, noting all 24 lanes at the bowling alley were full for the fundraiser. “It really felt like 2019 again.” 

A young bowlers prepares to throw a bowling ball at Valencia Lanes during a fundraiser for Avenues SLS held Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Photo courtesy of Avenues SLS.

Part of the smooth operation of the day’s event included the contributions of the Santa Clarita Valley Young Marines, according to Cavarretta. 

“I think being there and it being 9/11 was just very fascinating for some that were in the service that were there,” she said. “It was an emotional day for people. It’s that feeling of patriotism, but also knowing that we were honoring the 9/11 survivors and the tragedy.” 

The Young Marines helped to open the fundraising with a flag ceremony and later served ice cream donated for the event by Baskin-Robbins. 

Santa Clarita Valley Young Marines led the flag ceremony at the start of a bowling fundraiser for Avenues SLS at Valencia Lanes held on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Photo courtesy of Avenues SLS.

Food sales and event T-shirt sales contributed to fundraising efforts, as well as the auction, which brought in approximately one-third of the day’s donations. 

“Because (the auction) was a hybrid – it was online but it was also at the event – I think (that) is what helped boost it,” she said of the auction’s success. 

Ultimately, organizers say the event’s success will help Avenues provide high-quality services to people with developmental disabilities. 

Lori Shepard, right, director of development for Avenues SLS, selling 50/50 tickets to raise funds at Valencia Lanes Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Photo courtesy of Avenues SLS.

“Most of the people we support live below the poverty level or they’re in Section 8 housing and on CalFresh,” said Cavarretta. “So, the fundraising really goes to supplement areas that need to be filled within the organization.” 

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