Alyssa Ballard is a current freshman at Timber Creek High School. In May of 2010, her dad was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. After years of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgeries, Alyssa’s dad was declared “Cancer Free” in August of 2012. The Ballard family had been through a lot, but they knew millions of people from all over have been through worse and they wanted to do something that would make a difference. With lots of brainstorming and butting heads, the “Ballard vs The Big C” charity was born in 2013.
The Ballard family began their yearly bowling fundraising event to raise money for cancer research. Her parents, Del and Carolyn Ballard, are Hall of Fame bowlers, so it was only natural to incorporate the sport of bowling into their event.
“[When the fundraiser started up] I was not really ‘aware’ of it while it was going on,” Del said. “I was undergoing treatments and I was numb to it all.”
This year’s fundraiser will be hosted by Bowlero in Euless, Texas, on Sept. 15. At this event, participants can create their own bowling team with up to five people on it and compete in a tournament against other teams. There are 52 teams total in the competition. The winning team receives a RotoGrip bowling ball. Those who wish to participate need to apply for a team spot at least a year in advance because the wait list fills up quickly. In addition to well-known professional bowlers showing their support, there are silent auction tables and prizes such as televisions, Texas Rangers tickets and Cowboys suite packages that are raffled off. Alyssa even has a booth which has been filled with Ballard vs the Big C bracelets, custom painted canvases, Christmas ornaments, candles, and more to help raise more money.
“You can’t ask for a better day,” Carolyn exclaimed.
Last year the organization raised $80,000. This year, their goal is to raise $100,000. They are one of the biggest supporters of the Baylor Cancer research department, Cancer Care Services, and the North Texas Laryngectomy Society.
This August, the Ballard family will be celebrating six years of being cancer free.
“I hope to give other families who are going through this struggle support, so they know they are not alone,” Alyssa said.