DALLAS – Employees Credit Union has issued a challenge: Just try and unseat us for the “Most Original Theme” prize at this year’s Children’s Miracle Network Bowl-A-Thon to be held May 14 at the AMF Richardson Bowling Lanes. The credit union has won the prize two years running. Last year, its “Holy Bowlers” team dressed as monks and nuns, and in 2003, its “Raisin’ Money” team dressed as raisins. “Bring it on,” said ECU bowling team member Vonda Burkhart. “We don’t consider ourselves the best bowlers. We consider it fortunate if we don’t gutter in front of our peers. But we will be tough to beat in the theme category.” In its third year, the Bowl-A-Thon is for the first time being sponsored by the Dallas Chapter of Credit Unions as one of its two primary CMN fundraisers. In 2004, the event raised $2,800 for CMN, but organizers believe it will easily surpass that marker this year. “We had 19 teams last year,” said Jim Maness, Dallas Chapter secretary, “but we have committed to and thoroughly anticipate filling 30 lanes for this year’s event. The chapter is paying for the use of the facility in place of our usual May meeting, so 100 percent of the money raised from entry fees and lane sponsorships goes to CMN.” Any Dallas area credit union is welcome to enter one or more teams in the Bowl-A-Thon. Billed as a “family event,” teams of four bowlers strut their stuff for two hours, followed by an awards ceremony. In addition to the “most original theme” already secretly being strategized by ECU, prizes are also given to “serious bowlers” for 1st through 3rd place teams, men’s and women’s high series, and men’s and women’s high game, and for best effort (low score), best dressed team and most participants. Adding to the festivity, credit unions and credit union vendors donate door prizes that are awarded throughout the event. “These are premium gifts,” said Burkhart. “Gift cards are donated from Home Depot, Best Buy, Olive Garden and for vendor services. There are so many gift cards, it works out to one handed about every 20 minutes.” “Children’s Miracle Network is such a worthy cause,” Burkhart continued. “I can’t tell you what a great time each credit union has had participating in this event. And once you take part, you’re hooked!” -

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