ABOUT US

 ⋆  Who We Are 

BVL is bowling’s own and oldest charity, raising more than $57 million since 1942 to fund recreation therapy programs that address the emotional and physical needs of veterans and active-duty military, including sports, music, crafts, technology, and adaptive equipment for rehabilitation activities. BVL is a national nonprofit 501 (c) (3) charity that is consistently acknowledged for efficient and effective programming delivered with extremely low overhead. BVL has been recognized as one of “America’s Best Charities” by Independent Charities of America, earned a “Top-Rated” Nonprofit distinction from GreatNonprofits, and is also a member of the Combined Federal Campaign (#93325).

Mission

The mission of BVL is to brighten the lives of America’s veterans and active-duty men and women through recreational and therapeutic programs and services.

History

BVL was founded in 1942 (known then as the Bowlers Victory Legion) as a campaign from the entire bowling industry to support the U.S. troops. Those first projects during World War II focused on improving morale for troops overseas and insuring that wounded servicemen receive appropriate and timely healthcare. That mission continues today as the Bowlers to Veterans Link is bowling’s oldest and own charity, raising more than $1 million annually and more than $57 million since BVL was founded.

Benefitting

BVL is supported by fundraising events and donations from thousands of bowling associations, bowling centers, industry partners and bowlers throughout the U.S.

Leadership

The BVL Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA). Bowling proprietor John LaSpina of Long Beach, N.Y., is the current Board Chair. The Executive Director is Mary Harrar (mary@bvl.org) – PH: 703.934.6039.

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Recent Highlights

2024: In October 2023, BVL reaches an agreement with the Professional Bowlers Association to become the Official Charity of the PBA Tour beginning with the 2024 season.

2023: BVL’s fundraising efforts salute PBA Legend and Vietnam Veteran Johnny Petraglia, who has served as a BVL Ambassador for 50 years.

2022: More than $1.3 million was raised during BVL’s 80th anniversary celebrations as associations and centers were asked to “Go the Extra Mile for Veterans”.

2022: BVL’s largest ever donation – $500,000 – funds virtual reality therapy programs as well as community-based counseling centers that help veterans transition from military to civilian life.

2020: BVL’s $100,000 grant supports two new programs that allow veterans to keep a virtual personal connection during the pandemic – Compassionate Contact Corps and Tele-yoga therapy.