PEI

Lawn bowling charity keeps cystic fibrosis research rolling

More Islanders are taking the opportunity to get active and raise money cystic fibrosis research this July. 

'Residents of that community they can hear us having fun, singing along, laughing'

This year's Lawn Summer Nights has had its best turnout so far on P.E.I. (Jazlyn MacLeod)

More Islanders are taking the opportunity to get active and raise money for cystic fibrosis research this July. 

Every Thursday this month means Lawn Summer Nights for bowlers. It's a charity event centred around lawn bowling, to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis (CF) research.

CF is a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time — it also affects the pancreas and other organs.

There are 18 events in cities across Canada participating in Lawn Summer Nights this year, including Charlottetown. 

This year the city had its highest participation in the event since it started on P.E.I. in 2017, said Sarah Riehl, Charlottetown city lead for Lawn Summer Nights. It now has 17 teams, up from the usual 14.

"With those 17 teams we also have some people who come over just to be social as well," she said.

Growing support

Lawn Summer Nights only has space for 18 teams of four and this year Riehl said she was happy to see support increase.

But, "we have one more space left and they can snag it if they want," she added.

The Charlottetown events take place at the Sherwood Lawn Bowling Club on Juniper Drive, and go from 6-9 p.m. Riehl said people in the area are always curious about the event.

Heather Martin, left, Stephanie McQuaid and Stephanie Dewar show off lawn bowling balls at Lawn Summer Nights in Charlottetown. (Jazlyn MacLeod)

"The residents of that community they can hear us having fun, singing along, laughing and they are interested in what is going on because typically lawn bowling is a quieter event," she said.

The bowling events are "spiced up" a little, she said, and draw a younger crowd.

"We have food and live music. There's washer toss and that is all included with the lawn bowling," Riehl said, adding the event is for those legal drinking age and over.

How it all started

Riehl said Lawn Summer Nights started in 2009 as a way to honour and remember Eva Markvoort of British Columbia. She spent her life with cystic fibrosis and was committed to finding a cure.

She used lawn bowling as a way to get out, be social and see friends while battling her disorder. 

She died in 2010 at the age of 25 — but Lawn Summer Nights continues to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis research.

Since the first Lawn Summer Nights in 2009 the events have raised $3,400,000.

For more information on Lawn Summer Nights visit the organization's website.

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About the Author

Tony Davis grew up on P.E.I. and studied journalism at Holland College. He now works with CBC P.E.I. he can be contacted at anthony.davis@cbc.ca

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