Bowling aficionados of all stripes gathered Sunday afternoon in St. Joseph, taking to some local lanes for the purpose of raining death blows upon cancer.
This marked the seventh year for the “Strike Out Cancer St. Joe MO.” On the schedule for each October, the event was held at Belt Entertainment and drew more than 100 participants.
Besides the natural competitiveness of bowling, event coordinator Kitty Karr said the program also featured more than 100 silent auction items. The lineup included an autographed Kansas City Chiefs football and an autographed 8-by-10 photo of Patrick Mahomes.
Karr said the proceeds will benefit the Patient Assistance Fund at the Cancer Center at Mosaic Life Care.
“We have 32 lanes of bowlers, with four to six on a team,” she added. “There are several baskets in honor and memory of people who’ve had cancer,” she said. “I started that about four years ago. It’s very popular.”
So far, in the previous six years combined, Strike Out Cancer has raised more than $63,000 for the center.
“This is a volunteer thing for me,” said Karr, who has about a dozen assistants for the program.
The inspiration is derived from her mother Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, after receiving the diagnosis in 2012. Her mother died from a stroke two years ago. The death of Allison Hummer in 2010 from brain cancer has also served as an impetus for the fundraiser.
Cupcakes available at the event referred to Felicia Richey, whom Karr said would have turned 59 years old on Sunday.
“We thought of this idea” of the cupcakes as a means of commemorating Richey, she said. “Felicia fought several different kinds of cancer.”