WILKES-BARRE — Over 300 people gathered for the “Bowl for a Cause” fundraiser at Chacko’s Family Bowling Center Sunday. All proceeds from the event, which was organized by the Relay for Life team of R.J. Financial Services, will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Wyoming Valley.
“I had a co-worker who was battling cancer and that motivated me to start the team three years ago,” said Ron Davis, owner of R.J. Financial Services. “She unfortunately passed away, but I know she’s looking down on us today.”
The event, which was held in two separate three-hour sessions, included a bake sale, raffle baskets and a raffle ticket sale. “We certainly appreciate everyone’s support,” said Davis.
Minutes before the start of the first session, Davis led the participants in the singing of “The Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. The lyrics scrolled on monitors over each lane to help those who didn’t know the words.
“These are the heroes we should all be looking up to,” Davis said of the survivors. “This is in honor of those individuals afflicted with cancer.”
Frank Tarselli, 69, of Sugarloaf was one of the several cancer survivors at the event who each tossed a ceremonial bowling ball down the lanes to signal the start of the games. Tarselli’s wife, Marie, and their daughters, Regina, also of Sugarloaf, and Maria Johnson, of Mocanaqua, along with her husband, Adrian, cheered him on.
Tarselli participated in the team’s first Relay for Life at Chacko’s in 2014 before he was diagnosed with brain cancer, but had to miss the event last year. “That’s when I had my brain operation,” he said. “It’s very humbling when you get sick and people take the time out of their day to do this.”
Sara Klinges, event chairperson, said she became involved with the team three years ago to honor her uncle, who lost his battle with cancer. Since then, her grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but is still alive. “I’m honoring them both now,” she said. “It’s just amazing to see everyone come together like this. It’s really something to see.”