COVID-19 derailed plans for Team RPCS (Roswell Park Cessation Services) to host a second annual bowling tournament to raise funds toward the Ride for Roswell. In response, the team members exercised their creativity and turned to celebrity connections to help reach their fundraising goals.
Starting Saturday, July 18, the Team RPCS “Celebrity Speaker Series” will bring recognizable names to Zoom for fun conversation and Q&A with fans. Registration is free for each event and attendees are encouraged to donate toward Team RPCS’ fundraising efforts. Team RPCS will also co-promote each speaker’s favorite charity upon request.
Most events will take place on upcoming Wednesdays or Thursdays at 7 p.m. The kickoff event on Saturday, July 18 launches at a special start-time of 11 a.m. with legendary restaurateur Russell J. Salvatore. One lucky random attendee will win an overnight stay at Salvatore’s Grand Hotel and dinner for two at Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More.
Each speaker has a connection to bowling. Russell J. Salvatore was the namesake of last year’s Team RPCS bowling fundraiser and generously matched all donations for a grand total raised of $8,000. Actress Vanessa Angel, who will participate live from Malibu, California on Wednesday, July 22, played “Claudia” in the 1996 bowling cult-classic “Kingpin” alongside Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid and Bill Murray. Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who will participate Wednesday, July 29, attended last year’s fundraiser and conducts bowling fundraisers of his own to benefit his nonprofit ACES Foundation.
More information is available on the Team RPCS Facebook page and registration for each event is online through Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com) – easily found by entering RPCS in the search box. The current line-up includes (all times 7 p.m. unless indicated):
- Saturday, July 18 (at 11 a.m.): Russell J. Salvatore
- Wednesday, July 22: Vanessa Angel
- Wednesday, July 29: Lorenzo Alexander
- Thursday, August 6: “Salute to WNY Businesses” (start of online auction fundraiser)
- Wednesday, August 12: “Bowling Talk”
The small but mighty Team RPCS raised nearly $12,000 for the 2019 Ride for Roswell. The team hopes to eclipse that total in 2020 – even with the challenges of 2020 and physical distancing.
RPCS provides evidence-based, best-practice tobacco cessation services to employees of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, state quitlines, health plans and employer-sponsored programs. More information is available at https://rpcs.roswellpark.org.