Community bowls strikes for one of their own

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The Soulful Softball Sunday organization held its 5th Annual Bowling for Breast Cancer Experience at Pinole Valley Lanes on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (All photos by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

While in line at the Lucky’s supermarket at El Cerrito Plaza, Antwon Cloird caught the attention of a woman behind him in line. She wanted to know why Cloird, co-founder of the popular annual community gathering Soulful Softball Sunday in Richmond, was buying such large quantities of fried chicken. After he told her, she reached into her pocket and gave him $10.

That contribution was added to $1,150 that was raised that night in just five minutes to benefit of local community member’s battle against cancer.

It’s part of the Soulful Softball Sunday organization’s 5th Annual Bowling for Breast Cancer Experience, held at Pinole Valley Lanes in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Organized by Cloird and Rodney Alamo Brown, the event drew about 120 attendees who enjoyed free bowling and food.

Donations were encouraged, and every year proceeds go to help a community member in need. And it doesn’t always mean someone suffering specifically from breast cancer.

While last year’s event pulled together $1,200 for a breast cancer survivor, this year’s event will benefit Danny Jeffreys, 56, of Richmond, who is currently battling pancreatic cancer.

“Soulful Softball Sunday is based on love,” Antwon told Jeffreys at the event. “And Soulful Softball Sunday loves you, the way God loves you.”

In a Facebook post following the event, Brown said it warmed his hear to see the outpouring of love for a community member in need.

“Everyone chipped in a wonderful love offering to him as he battles pancreatic cancer,” Brown said. “He was overjoyed and very grateful for his blessing from the community at large.”

The annual event featured a raffle that included gift cards and highly-sought after Golden State Warrior tickets valued at $400. Cancer survivor Kristin Lobos, won the tickets.

“Yes indeed, this is the Richmond I remember, people showing love!” Brown said.