It turns out that the combination of bowling pro and BVL Spokesman Johnny Petraglia with the customer-oriented, personal touch of staff and management at Howell Lanes in Howell, NJ is a good mix for BVL and our nation’s veterans.
That’s because for the past few years, they’ve teamed up to create a fun, social event that attracts a crowd and raises money for BVL.
This year, Johnny led off the event with a 20 minute trick shot demonstration, which delighted attendees. Then, Howell Lanes offered half price “everything” from bowling to shoes to drinks at the bar. The center also puts out free coffee and donuts. Comments Manager Charles Anderson, “It’s a real social event, people just mill about and have a great time.”
Howell Lanes Owner Neil Feingold starts the event off big by throwing in a $250 contribution. Then donated bowling balls courtesy of Brunswick Corporation are raffled off, along with gift baskets prepared by the center. This year, Johnny’s daughter Jamie and her friend Erica were on hand to get those raffle tickets sold. The center also offers BVL’s “Support The Troops” wristbands, for which they ask for a donation.
Johnny also helps out attendance by inviting his entire residential community of South Knolls. “They are just a great group of people, they come out to support the veterans and I know I can count on them to help make the event a success,” says Johnny.
This year, one of their special attendees was Bob Hodges, a Past President of Monmouth County USBC and a member of the board for 24 years. He is also a veteran of WWII, the Korean War and the Viet Nam Wars and is currently American Legion Monmouth County Commander.
“We start promoting the event about two months out,” explains Charles. “Our other manager Mark Gold helps and we hand flyers out throughout adult and senior leagues. We target it to the right groups and then we go one-on-one. We push it because it’s a great cause, and we push it for Johnny because we know how important it is to him.”
Charles also promotes the event on their Facebook page about once a week.
“We’re going to try and add something new every year,” says Charles. Next year, they plan to sponsor Johnny on a pin total. “We’ve already set our sights higher for next year — If you have the right thing to sell, you can sell it. And this is a good cause.”