REALTORS “Bowling for Freedom” Events Raises Funds For Veterans
The Edmond Board of REALTORS® (EBR) was looking for a way to do something to support veterans in 2016 when Tonya Coffman, then the Chair of the Board’s Public Relations Committee, had an idea.
She had developed a friendship with Major Ed Pulido, a director with the Folds of Honor, an organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.
“In talking with Major Ed I learned that the Folds of Honor had other events that were being held in other states that were mostly golf events,” Coffman said. “But we did find a couple that were bowling events and I thought that would be a great idea here in Edmond.”
Bowling for Freedom
So, Coffman presented the idea to EBR, and an event was planned called “Bowling for Freedom.” The Bowling for Freedom Task Force was created and working in tandem with Folds of Honor and Warriors for Freedom, another local veterans group, the event went off without a hitch.
Thus, there was no surprise that Bowling for Freedom returned for an encore in March, 2018.
This time, they invited area veterans to also take part in the festivities.
More than 20 veterans were on hand, and at least half of them bowled in the event, including some of those who were on organization-assisted scholarships at the University of Central Oklahoma.
“The organizations do wonderful work and we were proud to partner with them for this event and hopefully many more to come,” said EBR president Mike Cassidy.
Area veterans participated in the festivities.
Lane sponsorships were sold to local REALTOR® offices, lenders, and title companies. and teams of bowlers who wanted to take part and bowl three games could rent a lane for $250.
And it wasn’t just bowling. The event was catered with food and beverages and there were plenty of donated door prizes and a 50/50 raffle that split $1,200.
In the two combined events, more than 400 people participated and roughly $26,000 was raised for the two veteran organizations.
A Growing Relationship
“Our support of Veterans goes back several years,” said Coffman, who now serves as Chair of the Bowling for Freedom Task Force. “We have done different things with them. They participate with us in our Liberty Fest parade on the 4th of July. I also work with Vets through the Edmond Chamber of Commerce.”
According to Coffman, the EBR not only supports veterans financially, but also allows for great networking opportunities with local heroes.
As for the possibility of a third Bowling for Freedom event in Edmond?
“Oh you can bet on that,” Coffman said. “Everybody had such a good time that I think we might even be able to make this an annual event, not just a bi-annual one.”