10th-annual Johnnie Mae Hooker Bowl-a-Thon is this Saturday

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Local bowlers are getting ready to strike out cancer.

The 10th-annual Johnnie Mae Hooker Bowl-a-Thon is this Saturday.

Hooker was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and passed away in 2008.

“She loved bowling and that's why we do a bowl-a-thon in her memory,” said Coley Hooker, Johnnie Mae’s husband.

Hooker reached out to Johnnie Mae’s friends, Loretta Bigelow and Clarice Crite, to form a bowling committee that would use the bowl-a-thon as a way to help cancer patients.

All the proceeds support patients of the Cone Health Cancer Center at Wesley Long through the patient support fund.

The money helps with services that aren’t covered by health insurance, including emergency assistance and support activities.

“We have no idea who is receiving the money. Our goal is to help somebody with cancer, whoever it is,” Hooker said.

The cause has personal meaning to the bowlers.

Not only did Bigelow and Crite lose Johnnie Mae to cancer, both of their husbands passed away from cancer about a month apart.

Bob Marino, general manager at Triad Lanes in Greensboro, partnered with Hooker to use the bowling alley as the host location.

He also understands the importance of helping families as they go through a cancer journey.

“My father passed away with breast cancer,” he said.

Marino hopes the event will help spread breast cancer awareness among men.

“I really want men to know that they can get it,” he said.

Last year, the event raised $12,000.

The bowl-a-thon has raised $63,000 for Cone Health’s patient support fund since it began.

The 10th-annual Johnnie Mae Hooker Bowl-a-Thon is Saturday at Triad Lanes.

Sign-in begins at 11 a.m.

Teams will start bowling at noon.

It’s $25 per person or $100 per team.