The Luci is more than a bowling tournament

The annual Storm PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, better known as “The Luci,” is always a special event.

It is the only tournament that brings together the best male and female bowlers in the world to compete for a PBA and PWBA title. It also attracts some of the most compassionate fans in sports.

“This tournament is so much bigger than all of us,” said Donna Conners, who founded the tournament in 2000. “I think that’s what makes it so personal and special.”

The event raises funds to finance the fight against breast cancer. Conners founded the tournament in honor of his late friend, longtime PWBA athlete Luci Bonneau.

“The first year we raised $1,500 in a can of Folgers coffee,” Conners said. “My mom used to walk around and collect money, and then every year it just kept growing and growing.”

The foundation works throughout the year to promote the tournament, add sponsors and raise funds. To manage the influx of donations, the foundation’s team now includes a CPA.

Over two decades of tireless effort is evident. Conners said the foundation crossed the $1 million threshold a few years ago.

“What’s great is that people come together at this event,” Conners said. “It’s like a four-day party. And everyone is looking forward to it. Everyone comes together and helps each other. »

Conners said his goal is to continue to grow the tournament for the players.

“If we don’t have the players, we don’t have Pro-Am. If we don’t have Pro-Am, we don’t have the charity,” she said.

Kyle Sherman challenged various pros at this year’s Pro-Am, donating a total of $550 towards their strikes.

Conners said Shannon O’Keefe and Stefanie Johnson raffled off a #SpareTheGirls spare bullet and raised over $3,000. She said EJ and Natalie Tackett also donated $1,000. These are just a few examples of the generosity of the pros.

“It’s amazing to be here,” said EJ Tackett. “The cause we are here for is greater than any of us. We are all just happy to be part of it.

Proceeds from donations of artwork, crafts and handmade baskets go to the foundation. Bigger prizes are raffled off during the Pro-Am, including this year’s grand prize: a week-long stay at a beach house in North Carolina.

SABC is still counting this year’s total donations, but they have already surpassed the previous year’s total by just under $100,000.

“The most important thing right now is that we need human kindness,” Conners said. “And it is here. It’s in this building.

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