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Wildcat Lanes is hosting the Seventh Semi-Annual Rick Lilly Open Bowling Tournament to raise money for the National Kidney
Foundation Team USA. All proceeds raised helps send Team USA to compete in the World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa.
The World Transplant Games is an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of transplant patients through physical exercise. Every athlete competing in the games has had a life-saving organ transplant. The World Transplant Games are split into winter and summer games and hosted every other year.
“Most people know someone or have got some contact with someone who’s had an organ transplant. The work that this organization is doing is making sure that people get these life-saving things,” said Rick Lilly, student bowling coordinator at Wildcat Lanes and a bowling and billiards instructor. “I think that it’s a good cause and I have such a great connection to it.”
Lilly had a life-saving kidney transplant 16 years ago. He hosts his Rick Lilly Open Bowling Tournament twice a year to raise money for Team USA.
“The whole idea behind this is to try and get one person who may not be able to go a chance to go,” Lilly said. “I’ve been to three, and we’re trying to send someone else this year along with myself. We also have three from Team Utah-Idaho that qualified for Team USA.”
Lilly has competed in the World Transplant Games multiple times. He has two gold medals he won at the games from when they were hosted in Australia and Sweden. In Sweden, athletes from more than 48 different countries, 1,500-1,600 athletes, competed in a multitude of different sports.
“This will be my third chance at a triple kit for a gold medal in the bowling event,” Lilly said. “So I’m just really excited about it.”
Since Lilly has hosted events sponsoring Team USA for the National Kidney Foundation, he has raised more than $8,000 over the course of six events. Lilly has received awards from the National Kidney Foundation for his philanthropic efforts and has been given the chance to speak at different events for the foundation.
Storm Products Inc., a bowling company based out of Brigham City, sponsors the event every year. Storm manufactures bowling balls and accessories and provides a high performance for the bowling tournament.
“If you think about it, one of the local bowling alleys is $7.25 for just your first game, and we’re giving you three games and a drink, and a chance to win a Storm bowling ball,” Lilly said. “(Storm) give us a bowling ball for the tournament every year.”
The Weber State University Bowling Club is also involved with the Rick Lilly Open Tournament and with helping Team USA.
“The club helps with fundraising by advertising and promoting and by participating in tournaments to raise money for Team USA,” said Shaun Reeve, president of the bowling club.
Starting on Feb. 25 and going until March 9, Wildcat Lanes will provide three games, free shoe rental and a free drink for only $12. The hours are 4 p.m. to closing Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to closing on Fridays and Saturdays. More information about the event can be found at http://www.weber.edu/wildcatlanes/. More information about the World Transplant Games is available at http://www.wtgf.org/.