Need a little motivation to make a difference? Meet Alexander Eby, an 11-year-old youth bowler from Southwest Michigan whose heart is even bigger than his game (and he’s got a pretty big bowling game).
After this rising star learned about BVL last summer at Junior Gold, Alexander decided he wanted to help raise money for veterans through BVL. The motivation for Alexander, who has family members who are veterans, was simple — “I wanted to help veterans in need… It makes me proud to know there are people in my family who served our country.”
Alexander is just as determined off the lanes as he is on. He asked friends, family and other bowlers for pledges and donations, including a donation from a tournament based on his scores. In just a short time, Alexander raised more than $1,000 for BVL.
Josh Eby, Alexander’s father, credits their local and state bowling associations with laying the groundwork due to their ongoing support of BVL. “Our local association does a collection each November for BVL and the state association does them at the state tournaments so most bowlers in our area are aware of BVL and what they do. So that made it easier when he was explaining what he was raising money for.
“Everyone he talked to was very supportive and a number of those that contributed were veterans or family of veterans. While the majority of the donations were from local bowlers and family here in Michigan, because of social media we were able to collect pledges and donations from family, friends and others all across the country, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and Washington. It was pretty neat to see how far it reached.”
Last week, Alexander received a Johnny Petraglia BVL bowling ball in appreciation of his efforts to bring awareness and raise money for veterans. He’s already thinking of ways to use that ball to help collect donations again this fall. Thank you Alexander for your commitment and support of BVL and America’s veterans.
Follow Alexander and his bowling adventures (and BVL fundraising) on his Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/AlexanderEbyBowling
Learn more about Alexander Eby – one of BVL’s youngest fundraisers.
Q: When did you start bowling?
Alexander: I started bowling league when I was 3 years old. It was so long ago that I can’t remember it.
Q: What is your favorite thing about bowling?
Alexander: My favorite thing about bowling is making new friends at the different bowling centers and tournaments and meeting lots of new people.
Q: There were two names on the Stand Up for Veterans placard in your picture – can you tell us about who those veterans are and what they mean to you?
Alexander: Jesse Davis is my great grandpa and he served in the Army and fought in the Korean War. Unfortunately, I was a baby when he passed away so I don’t really remember him. Dan Hoffman is my great uncle who retired from the Army as a Sergeant First Class E-7. He was an instructor and a wheel mechanic and later a recruiter. He works for the Coast Guard now as a civilian. It makes me proud to know there are people in my family who served our country.
Q: What would you say to other kids your age about supporting BVL/veterans?
Alexander: It was fun to talk to new people to raise the money. But it was also good to do something good for people who did something good for me.
Q: Do you have plans to do this again next year?
Alexander: Sure! It was a great way to help people by doing something I love.
JOSHUA EBY, Alexander’s father
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about Alexander’s commitment to raise funds for BVL – how he did it and why it was important to him and your family?
JOSHUA: I had been trying to come up with a service project that Alexander could do that in some way involved bowling. Over the summer at Junior Gold in Grand Rapids, we visited the BVL booth at the trade show. The person working the booth had asked him if he had any veterans in his family and if he would like to write their names down on one of the cards and he did. We snapped a picture and talked about veterans and the BVL.
Later in the fall I had stumbled across that picture and thought it might be a good opportunity for him to use his talents in bowling to help others and learn why it is important to show respect and support for our veterans along the way. So, I talked to him about it when he got home from school about my idea of doing it as a bowl-a-thon. We watched a couple of videos on the BVL website and I showed him some of the things the BVL does for our veterans (his favorite was the lane kits for the troops, of course) and he decided it would be a fun way to raise some money to help support those efforts.