Katelyn Ravasini, 14, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., an eighth-grader at Bernard C. Campbell Middle School, organized a bowl-a-thon last year to raise money for multiple sclerosis research at an area hospital. When her English teacher challenged each member of her class to do something to make a positive impact on the world, Katelyn thought about her aunt, who had recently been diagnosed with MS. “I had heard my family talk a lot about her recent diagnosis, but I didn’t really know what it meant,” said Katelyn. So she began researching MS and learned how serious the disease is. She decided she needed to do something to raise awareness of MS and support the quest for a cure.
After brainstorming fundraising ideas with her parents, Katelyn decided to hold a bowl-a-thon. She contacted the owner of a local bowling alley, who was enthusiastic and even suggested adding a raffle to the event. Katelyn set the date and time, arranged to have T-shirts made, got help designing a website where people could make reservations and order shirts, distributed an event flyer throughout the community, and spent weeks visiting local businesses to solicit prizes for the raffle. More than 100 bowlers participated in Katelyn’s bowl-a-thon and another 25 gave cash donations, allowing Katelyn to present $2,200 to the KU Medical MS Achievement Center, where her aunt is undergoing treatment.