In 2010, when Teri Haugh started Jazzy Ape Custom Apparel, she did it with the intent to provide youth bowlers across the nation, “special” jerseys for bowling events. Every year, for Junior Gold, she creates a unique jersey, which is funded by various donations throughout the state. However, Teri takes it one step further — asking for input from her bowlers on a cause they would like to promote.
“My kids are always encouraged to design a jersey with a cause attached to it,” explains Teri. “I truly believe if we are going to put this many youth bowlers on the ground at a major event, why not have the focus of the jersey be a cause that needs attention? Jazzy printed nearly 100 Junior Gold jerseys this year with BVL as the focus of our design.”
Teri and her youth bowlers learned about BVL in 2014 on their way back from Junior Gold in Buffalo when they stopped at the Women’s All Star Tournament at Cherry Bowl, Rockford, Ill. There, Teri ran into one of the center proprietors, Brad Sommer, they talked about what cause her Minnesota bowlers should promote for the 2015 event. Brad’s response? BVL! Coincidentally, Brad introduced Teri to former BVL Board Chair Darlene Baker, and the vision began. Darlene filled Teri in on the BVL history and its mission.
Continues Teri, “When I returned to my office, I researched BVL and I started to educate our Minnesota youth bowlers. We put together a jersey containing inspirational messages and changed the colors a bit to appeal to youth bowlers — we let a group of the youth bowlers pick the loud colors and we were off!”
The jerseys were a huge hit at the 2015 National Junior Gold event and were the main focus in social media the entire week. The Jersey has since been picked up by youth bowlers in Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Says Teri, “This is what it’s all about –the youth of our nation uniting for the greater good.”
The 2015 jerseys were funded by the Minnesota State USBC, the Bowling Proprietors Association of Minnesota and Island Xtreme Bowl.
Teri says she’ll continue to promote the sport of bowling’s commitment to Brightening Veterans’ Lives with her youth bowlers and help spread the message about the good work accomplished by BVL for America’s veterans.
“Thanks to Teri and the commitment of her junior bowlers, they have a unique opportunity to help our young bowlers understand the importance of giving back to America’s veterans. We are all free to enjoy this sport we love because of our veterans who served our nation and ensured our freedoms,” noted BVL Chair John LaSpina. “We applaud the Minnesota Junior Bowlers for their support of BVL.”