The sounds of happy talk and bowling balls clattering down the lanes before striking pins filled the Bowl and Barrel on Thursday, April 4. But the noisy, carefree evening had a serious purpose: raising money for Readers 2 Leaders, a literacy program that provides underserved Dallas kindergarten and elementary students ages 3-12 with high-quality tutoring.
The third annual fundraiser, dubbed Lanes 2 Literacy, attracted about 225 guests to the entertainment venue in the Shops at Park Lane. Among them: Shonn and Clarence Brown, Charmaine and George Tang, Tanya and Ken McDonald, Aimee and David Sheahan, Tori and Ross Mulford and Readers 2 Leaders Board Chair Michael Kleiman. Besides bowling, attendees enjoyed outdoor games, a photo booth, and a raffle whose grand prize was a cool $1,000 in NorthPark cash.
Between frames, Readers 2 Leaders Executive Director Norma Nelson told the crowd that the Dallas organization is launching a coaching program and partnering with other nonprofits to serve more tutoring sites. Then featured speaker Jamie Cisneros, a Readers 2 Leaders “Reading Buddy” volunteer, reminded guests that students helped by the program are truly motivated to improve their literacy skills.
Signs placed around the bowling alley encouraged supporters to vote online for Readers 2 Leaders in the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Social Innovation Competition, whose live “pitch” night was scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, following a week of online voting. “Help us win $75,000 and serve thousands more children,” the signs said.
Meantime, the Bowl and Barrel crowd knew that Event Co-Chairs/Readers 2 Leaders founders Stephanie and Ted Schweinfurth had pledged a $10,000 matching gift for the evening. The guests responded by fulfilling the entire match.
With gifts still rolling in, Lanes 2 Leaders said they’d netted at least $50,000 in donations via donations, raffle-ticket and wine-pull contributions, and sponsorships. Event sponsors included TSP, Energy Transfer, Locke Lord LLP, Baker McKenzie LLP, Texas Capital Bank and Istation.