A few years ago, Jerry Branski approached Gina Daroszewski about hosting a fundraiser for Donate Life at Classic Lanes, the Greenfield bowling alley she has owned for 15 years.
Obviously, Daroszewski’s reputation of being a business owner who enjoys giving back to the community preceded the visit.
Over the years, Daroszewski has helped organize, run or host – or often all three – events that have benefited Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia – Lymphoma Society, St. Mary’s Burn Center and Katrina flood victims.
“I try to do some things with everybody, no matter what the benefit,” Daroszewski said.
Before long, with some help from Daroszewski, Branski, who had received heart and kidney transplants in 2007, was forming his own foundation, Two Lives One Heart, an organization that provides services for heart transplant patients who can no longer accomplish everyday tasks due to heart failure, such as snow removal, lawn care and housekeeping. The organization also arranges the installation of wheelchair ramps and provides rehabilitation equipment.
Daroszewski, who herself has a nephew in his late 30s that had open-heart surgery when he was just 2 years old, joined the six-person board of directors as the senior vice president of marketing.
“That’s why I’m a lot closer with that one,” Daroszewski explained.
“The gentleman that started it, Jerry Branski, has become a friend,” Daroszewski added. “I have him bowling on a team with me, getting involved with other people. I just love to help people. I like watching people enjoy themselves and get together and have a good time and obviously all for a good cause. … It’s good for me to not only promote (the bowling center) but to also be involved in something that’s good.”
On Saturday, Daroszewski will open the doors of her bowling alley for the second annual Two Lives One Heart fundraiser, a fun-filled 9-tap bowling tournament with 100 percent of the net proceeds benefitting the foundation.
Individuals or teams (as many as five bowlers) can still register by calling 414-333-8811. The cost is $30, and includes three games of bowling, shoe rental and a buffet dinner provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
Not a bowler? No problem. You can order the buffet dinner for just $20, or stop in and bid on auction items or participate in a raffle.
Another benefit at Classic Lanes later this month
Daroszewski and Classic Lanes will also host a 9-pin bowling event to benefit the LeRoy Butler Foundation on Friday, Feb. 24.
Much like Saturday's event, there will be two shifts of bowling at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Teams will consist of six players bowling three games.
The cost is $420 per team and each team member receives a catered lunch, event bowling shirt and a team photo with the Green Bay Packers legend himself.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the foundation, which helps women going through breast cancer treatment. Bowlers can also buy raffle tickets from the foundation for a chance to win prizes or bid on silent auction prizes.
To sign up or for more information, call Daroszewski at 414-282-6400.