Bowl for Jason’s Friends Raises Over $375K for Families Battling Pediatric Cancer
It was an event for the ages.
The 25th annual Bowl for Jason's Friends event, held at El Mark-O Lanes on Saturday, March 4, not only had a record turnout - it yielded record profits as well!
That's according to Lisa Eades, the founder of the Jason's Friends Foundation, who told K2 Radio News that due to the community's support, Bowl for Jason's Friends earned even more than originally expected.
"We exceeded what we brought in last year," Eades told K2 Radio News. "After a few minor expenses, it looks like we raised OVER $375,000. And it will likely go up a little more in the upcoming days as a few more donations trickle in."
For more than 25 years, the Jason's Friends Foundation has provided financial and emotional support to Wyoming families with children battling pediatric cancer. And, for 25 years, the Bowl for Jason's Friends event has allowed the community to help be a part of it.
Eades previously told K2 Radio News that she and her compatriots hoped to at least match what they made last year, which was approximately $360,000. She said that family expenses totaled approximately $800,000 last year. The Jason's Friends Foundation relies on this event each year to help assist numerous families in their battle against pediatric cancer.
In fact, Eades said that currently the Jason's Friends Foundation is offering support to 155 families throughout Wyoming.
"It's hard to believe we've been doing this for 25 years," said Lisa Eades, the Founder and Director of the Jason's Friends Foundation. "Jason's Friends has actually been here for 26 years but this is the 25th anniversary for the event. It's grown every year, as have our families' needs."
Those needs are vast and varied and depend on the family. But the Jason's Friends Foundation covers everything from medical expenses, to mortgage payments, groceries, and so much more.
"Jason's Friends is different than anything else we've ever experienced," Shantae Tennant said. "I was nervous because I thought we were going to lost our house. But they paid all of our bills and they still pay all of our bills. If I don't have money for groceries, they buy us groceries. Basically, with them, we go without...nothing. We have everything we could ever want."
The reason that families like Tennant's don't have to go without is because of the community support that the Jason's Friends Foundation receives each and every year.
"It's always humbling to see how many people from this community, and this state, come out to support one another," Eades said. "I think that this is what we envisioned Jason's Friends was going to be 26 years ago. Back then, we didn't really have the money to offer what we can offer to families today. Now, when we get a family, we're with them for the long haul."
With them for the long haul. That's the pledge that the Jason's Friends Foundation makes when a family comes to them for help. They're saying "You don't have to go through this alone." They're saying "We're with you." They're saying "You're safe here."
They're saying "You're ours, now."
And the only reason they can do that is because, with every dollar raised - every dollar donated- the community is, similarly, telling the foundation 'You're ours, too."
The Bowl for Jason's Friends event is proof of that.
"I think this shows - once again - the incredible support in our community and in our state, for a great cause like Jason's Friends," Eades said.