A “dino-mite” fundraiser

This year’s Bowl2Build event featured a T-Rex named Elvis and other dinosaurs.

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Posted January 13, 2023 | By Joanne Black, Habitat for Humanity of Marion County
Photos courtesy of Julie Mancini Photography

The Bowl2Build bowling event was created 12 years ago to bring awareness about Habitat for Humanity of Marion County at a family fun event and raise funds to build affordable homes. Event proceeds go to benefit the Habitat Homeownership Program, which helps low-to-moderate-income families own a home.

This year’s event, held Jan. 5 at the AMF Galaxy West Bowling Alley, had a Jurassic Bowl theme and was a roaring success.

We had a “dino-mite” time. We had a packed house and every lane was reserved. Habitat staffers transformed the bowling alley into a “Jurassic Park” setting with the Jurassic Park Gate, Jurassic Jeep with a T-Rex backdrop, photo op with film character Dennis Nedry, several other photo ops and a nest filled with cracked dinosaur eggs.

Staffers dressed and acted like many characters from the “Jurassic” movies. There was a special appearance from Tri-Sarah, a baby triceratops; Dolly, a young stegosaurus; and other baby dinosaurs. The guest star was Elvis, the T-Rex, who stood 7-feet tall and was 10-feet long in length.

The emcee, Casey from KC Webb Entertainment, asked the bowlers to stop bowling as he heard the sound of heavy footprints in the distance. He role-played as if he was at Jurassic Park. Elvis entered Jurassic Bowl as the T-Rex in the “Jurassic Park” movie appeared on the video screens. People yelled and screamed with excitement as Elvis roamed the bowling alley looking for his next “friend” as his handler guided him through the crowd. Teams and individuals took pictures with Elvis, who appeared to be very friendly. He roared as he walked up and down the bowling alley, stopping to look at the nest eggs, wondering if someone stole his babies. His handler quickly guided him to another area to meet more fans.

The event was a huge success and we could not have done it without the support of our bowlers, sponsors, staff and family partners. We are grateful to Suncoast Dinosaurs for helping bring the event to life.

Our next bowling event will be held in November. Anyone want to guess what the theme might be?

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, go to habitatocala.org