Bowl-A-Thon Raises Money for Spirits of Those Adapting to Physical Challenges

October 03, 2023

Approximately 500 bowlers, many whose lives have improved through participation in sports adapted to meet their physical needs, helped raise more than $37,000 at the 7th Annual Adaptive Sports Bowl-A-Thon. The event, co-hosted by the Memorial Foundation and Memorial Rehabilitation Institute at SpareZ in Davie, will help underwrite the cost of sports/recreation programming and equipment for the physically-challenged community.

Memorial Sharks adaptive sports basketball team at 2023 Bowl-a-ThonExercise and athletic opportunities - including wheelchair basketball and tennis, cycling, water aerobics, chair yoga, and scuba - are a key part of the physical and mental recovery program for those with disabilities, but the lack of available programs and necessary equipment makes participation difficult for those who would benefit most.

The goal of the Adaptive Sports & Recreation Program at Memorial Regional Hospital South is to help individuals overcome these hardships.

“Getting back involved in sports was a life-changing event for me,” said Sherrod Nelson, an adaptive athlete who coaches the Memorial Rebab Sharks basketball team. “I was going through a lot of depression, but once I found wheelchair basketball, it gave me something to look forward to each day. It gave me comradery, competitiveness, and everything I was looking for as a human being.”

While the Bowl-A-Thon was just a one-day event, organizers say its impact lasts throughout the year.

“We’re all about providing opportunities. We want individuals to understand it’s possible to partake in physical activities, exceed expectations, and improve their quality of life by staying active,” said Paolo Stanchi, a specialist at the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute that oversees the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program.

The event was organized, in large part, by the Memorial Foundation, which raises funds philanthropically to assist patients, families, and to underwrite the cost of programs, facilities, and equipment within the Memorial Healthcare System.