Children bring joy to life, but sometimes joy can become loss and the pain of suffering. An upcoming event, called "Bowling for Babies"-a family friendly fundraising activity at the Rutland Bowlerama-will help benefit grieving families in southern Vermont who suffer the loss of a pregnancy, difficult decisions, stillborn baby, or infant in the first year of life.
Sponsored by Share Southern Vermont, the event, set to start at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, will be a celebration of family and you need not have suffered a loss to join in the fun.
"When I started Share Southern Vermont, I knew there was a need" said Cara Tyrrell, founding director and Share board president. "And yet I was unprepared for the volume of support requested. Loss redefines you in the world, so whether your's was last week, last year, five, 10, or 20 years ago, finding a group of people who really get it is a powerful experience. Our group continues to grow because it is a safe place for grieving parents to explore their feelings."
Originally a Springfield-based organization, Share Southern Vermont is now expanding its services to other areas in Windsor and Rutland counties and beyond. SSV is now affiliated with the Rutland Region Medical Center hospital's women's and children's unit providing on-site support to families and educational training for the medical staff.
Share Southern Vermont invites families to attend support meetings the second Wednesday of each month, at 7 p.m., in the Leahey Center Conference Room at RRMC.
In addition to bowling fun for a good cause on Sept. 26, the "Bowling for Babies" event will include a complimentary lunch and free ice cream.
Admission for the day is $10 per person with a maximum family cost of $30. Children are especially welcome as are drop in bowlers. Bowlers will be placed in two time slots, slot 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and slot 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Attendees are asked to pre-register for a time slot and may register as either an individual, family or team.
If you or someone you love has been touched by loss, consider reaching out to your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to raise funds before the event. Several special prizes for top fundraisers will be awarded in various categories.
Raffle tickets are available to win a 15-inch angel bear from the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
According to Share, all proceeds from "Bowling for Babies" will fund local efforts as well as send two board members for comprehensive on-site training.
Regarding the Sept. 26 bowling event, Cara Tyrrell said there are two goals Share hopes to accomplish.
"We want to reach every suffering family regardless of how long ago their loss occurred and to ensure that no family is forced to live their tragedy alone from now on," she said. "and SSV needs to raise $4,000 to meet its training goal. We have faith this goal will be met, due in large part to the financial generosity of the communities we serve and the loving care provided by the staff at the RRMC Women's and Children's Center."
Check It Out: To learn more about "Bowling for Babies" to be held at Rutland Bowlerama, 158 S. Main St., Rutland, Sept. 26, as well as services provided by Share Southern Vermont, visit the organizations's website at www.sharesv.org or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are tax deductible with a 501c3 receipt from SSV.