BVL Celebrates Veterans Day

BVL Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns: (L to R) Karen Jost, Frank Wilkinson, John LaSpina and Glenn Carano.

BVL’s gift of more than one million dollars to provide recreational and therapeutic programs and services to America’s hospitalized inpatient and outpatient veterans was recognized today by Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery celebrating Veteran’s Day.  BVL Executive Director Mary Harrar and the BVL Board of Directors were in attendance to make the presentation to the Secretary. With this most recent gift, the total raised by the sport’s own, oldest, and most successful charity was brought to an excess of $50 million.

Prior to the facsimile check presentation ceremonies, BVL representatives played a variety of roles at the national celebration to honor our nation’s veterans.   The morning began with BVL Board Member Libbi Fletcher and USBC President Frank Wilkinson joining with national Veterans Service Organizations at a breakfast hosted by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

BVL representatives Anita LaSpina and Robbie Thomas also participated in the national color guard, marching the US and BVL flags into the Amphitheatre on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery to open and close the official ceremonies.

National Color Guard Members and BVL representatives Robbie Thomas and Anita LaSpina.

As a member of the National Veterans Day Organizing Committee, BVL representatives are afforded the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.  This year, that honor was held by BVL Board of Directors Chairman John LaSpina, with Board members Karen Jost and Glenn Carano, and USBC President Frank Wilkinson.

At the ceremony, Secretary Shulkin expressed his gratitude for BVL’s 75 years of support for America’s veterans. “We are so appreciative that our friends at BVL have remained committed to America’s veterans,” noted Shulkin.  “Thank you all so very much.”

Through BVL, veterans in care at VA facilities across the country take part in sports and arts programs, enjoy a variety of activities from nature walks to gardening and pet therapy, and attend cultural events.

Adds Harrar, “We encourage every member of our bowling family to join with us in the 2017-2018 season to make next year even better!”