The Southwest Florida Council of the Blind is hoping to raise some funds and share the fun this Saturday at the "Lights Out!" Blind Bowl-A-Thon and Dance.
The event, which is open to the sighted, visually impaired and blind, will be held at Headpinz Family Entertainment Center, at 1899 Del Prado Blvd., S., in Cape Coral. The bowl-a-thon will run from 5-7 p.m., followed by the dance from 7-10 p.m.
"It is a fund-raiser," said Mike Ulrich, president of the local council. "But more importantly, it's a way to get blind people out to have fun."
Ulrich lost his sight about eight years ago from diabetes. He explained that events like the bowl-a-thon - or the council's annual fishing tournament, or the White Cane Safety Day Walk - help to open the lines of communication.
"Just so they know, 'We're just like you. We just can't see,'" he said.
For $15 a person, participants get two games, plus a shoe rental. Sign up in advance at the bowling alley or before the start of the fund-raiser day of.
Headpinz will offer a hamburger or hot dog, a drink and chips for $5.
Performing live at the dance is the band Lemongrass, which plays regularly in the Cape. According to Ulrich, the two-man show involves bongos and guitar.
"I live in downtown Cape Coral and I frequent several watering hole establishments," he said. "They (Lemongrass) just sounded real good, so I had several of my members meet me. We asked if they would play."
A $5 donation is suggested, which goes directly to the council.
There will be several raffles Saturday, with more than a dozen prizes that include gift certificates to the Twisted Conch, Leapin' Lizard and Sweetbay, and some rounds of golf at the Coral Oaks Golf Course, among other items.
"We've got a whole boatload of raffle prizes," Ulrich said.
Tickets are $1 a piece or six for $5. The winners will be drawn at 9 p.m.
"Starting Thursday, the bowling alley will be doing a 50/50 drawing every day for us until Saturday," he added Wednesday.
Tickets for the 50/50 are available at the Headpinz registration desk.
This is the council's second bowl-a-thon this year. The first fund-raiser was held in February in North Fort Myers. Approximately $2,800 was collected.
"We figured we'd do one in the fall," Ulrich said, adding that the first event was a big success. "I'm really looking forward to doing some more."
Southwest Florida Council of the Blind is involved in the community.
Last year, it created the Lois Kilgore Memorial Scholarship and awarded $1,000 to the first recipient. The annual award is open to visually impaired or blind high school graduates to further their education or vocational training.
The council also recently donated about $900 to the Lee County School District to provide visually impaired teaching aids, like Braille boards and magnifiers, to students in a program for the visually impaired and blind.
For more information, contact Headpinz at 574-3611.