On Saturday March 11th, over 33 friends and supporters of PWA gathered at Bowlerama West , all to bowl in support of PWA’s Dreaming and Engagement programs. Some came in their best 60’s outfits to garner the theme for the Peace & Love bowl. This dedicated group put their best bowling shoes forward and helped raise over $13,000 for PWA.
The day stared at the Churchmouse & Firkin on Church Street, a brunch for participants and supporters, to help boost energy and enthusiasm! The bowlers then boarded the “fun” bus to take participants to the venue and the start of what was sure to be a fun day. Greeted by PWA event staff, a few minutes to get registered, off to choose the perfect ball , and the bowling began!
After three rounds of strikes, spares, inevitable gutter balls, and lots of laughs prizes were awarded. We rewarded the top Fundraisers, top scores, and Top Teams. Of course what would a themed event be without awarding someone the honour of Best Costume? A mini runaway set the stage for a parade of the best 60’s wear our participants could find and what a show it was!
Our event provided a chance for people to have fun, set fundraising goals and discover how much fun fundraising can be. We would not have been able to produce such a wonderful event without the support of our incredible sponsors – Corporate Specialty Services, Microsoft, Steam Whistle, Highlander Brew Co., The Churchmouse & Firkin Pub, Churchill Cellars Wine, Fairmont Royal York Hotel, DavidsTea, The Body Shop, Black Sheep Hair Salon, The Roy Pub, Courtyard Marriot Downtown Hotel, The Old Spaghetti factory Restaurant, and our long -time partner the Toronto Historical Bowling Society.
All funds raised go toward PWA’s Dreaming & Engagement programs as well provide an opportunity to create awareness. The funds help facilitate dreaming and opportunities for people living with HIV/AIDS (PHA’s). The programs recruit, place, and support volunteers so they are able to connect with others and meaningfully contribute to positive change, reflect on their personal journey, learn new skills, and access resources to support their goals and dreams, and ultimately live in to their dreams.
The programs support PHA’s through leadership roles in HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention programs. Through their involvement, they help to foster social change and uphold the rights of PHAs to live healthy, dignified, sex-positive lives through access to information, resources and supports. Peer teams include the PHA engagement programs -Speakers Bureau, Poz Prevention, Outreach Peers, and Health Champion Program’s Peer Educators. Speakers go through an extensive training program at PWA that provide them with skills to speak about their own personal experiences and journey with HIV at public schools, colleges, universities, and businesses. Through telling their stories, they help to reduce the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS.
Volunteers are a key component in the success of creating a safe and welcoming space at PWA for all. These opportunities give our volunteers an inner voice and a place where they belong and enable individuals to move forward in their life stories to find jobs, other opportunities, and to achieve their life’s dreams. With an active volunteer pool of over 140 individuals PWA is able to support the programs that nourish the mind, body, heart, and spirit of our clients.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”