Bowl a strike for Pleasant Acre

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NATCHEZ — Slick floors, funny shoes and strikes that don’t count against you ­— Leadership Natchez is having a bowling benefit for Pleasant Acre Day School Saturday.

“The idea of the benefit is to raise money for renovations on the school,” said Associate Administrator and Co-chair of Leadership Natchez John Lee. “We are only about $10,000 shy of what we need to do the renovations.”

In the past year leadership Natchez held fundraisers that included a golf tournament, dinner and silent auction, which helped them raise their current funds of $20,000.

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The building the school for the mentally and physically challenged is currently operating in was donated in 1959 and not much has been done to it since, Lee said.

The total amount of money estimated to cover the cost of the renovation is $30,000.

“All the bathrooms need to be updated, because when they were installed the students were children and now they are grown up,” Lee said. “We intend to make the bathrooms handicap accessible.”

The renovation money will also go toward expanding the student activity center where the students make Mardi Gras beads year round.

“The students make and sell the beads to raise money for the school with their beads galore program,” Lee said. “They also run a thrift shop out of the school, the beads and the store are their main sources of funds.”

The bowling benefit begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Rivergate Bowl on John R. Junkin Drive. But participants are advised to arrive early so they can pick out their balls and shoes, Lee said.

Everyone is welcome to participate. Teams must consist of five people and must pay an entry fee of $200 to register. If a team is sponsored and their sponsor would like to hang a banner registration costs an extra $50.

The entry fee donations cover the teams’ ball and shoe rentals for three games. First, second and third place trophies will be awarded to the teams who score the best out of the three games.

“We currently have six teams signed up and there is plenty of room for more,” Lee said.

The benefit will help raise money for the renovation however it may not get the fund to its goal. Donations can be sent AmSouth Bank, Attention of Janifer Robison at 256 D’Evereux Drive, Natchez, MS 39120. Make checks payable to Leadership Natchez.

“By the end of July we hope to have $25,000,” Lee said. “ We are very appreciative to our sponsor organization, without them we wouldn’t be able to do all this.”

Jaki Robinson Leadership Natchez chairwoman said she is excited about the bowling event and she will actually be bowling on one of the teams.

“The event is all about having fun,” Robinson said. “We dedicated ourselves to raising money for the school and that is what we are going to do.”