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BVL and US!

BVL, Helen Duval, and my mom…

The year was 1946. The place, one of the bowling centers in the SF Bay Area. The people – Helen Duval and Jane Robb, two young bowlers – one accomplished, one a beginner. The accomplished bowler, Helen, took Jane under her wing, and helped her master the game. Along the way, they became fast friends. And that’s where the story gets interesting.

In 1944, Duval started bowling professionally and joined the Women's International Bowling Congress, becoming known throughout the United States for her talent. During WWII, Helen had founded the Bowlers Victory Legion, to raise money for recreational items for soldiers recovering from injuries, and even helped purchase three C47 planes and several ambulances. After the war, Helen and her team were left with a fundraising network, and no place for the funds.

Jane Robb (Johnson) was a registered nurse, who had returned the previous year from a long stint with the US Army. She served in the Army Nurse Corps, and earned 3 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for her service. She served in the mobile front line tent hospitals of the European theater. As a nurse anesthescist she assisted in saving many lives deplorable medical conditions.

These two ladies put their heads together, and changed the mission of the BVL to fully support the veterans in the homes and hospitals. Helen spent a tremendous amount of time on the road working with residents of these homes, teaching them to bowl despite handicaps and injury. Through the work of countless individuals and organizations, the BVL is now bowling’s oldest charitable organization, and has raised over $35 million dollars to aid in making a better life for those fine Americans – our soldiers. I’m extremely proud of what they’ve done.

Remember – when a soldier steps up to defend your freedom, they are writing a blank check to the American people – payable up to the price of their life. Thank a soldier today – and generously donate when that envelope comes around your league this November!