The PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament, sponsored by Storm kicks off this weekend. Bowlers from all around the world will travel to Houston, Texas to compete in the 19th Annual Event.
The story of, “The Luci,” as fans call it starts many years ago. Donna Conners and Luci Bonneau met through bowling and became travel partners on the LPBT. In 1999, Bonneau was battling breast cancer and Conners never left her side. They dreamed of creating a bowling tournament to raise funds for breast cancer research when her treatment was complete. When Bonneau passed away, Conners knew she had to build the event they dreamed about.
“It’s about people coming together for a dreadful disease,” Conners said. “When you think about it, breast cancer doesn’t ask any questions. It doesn’t care if you a mother, if you a father, or who you are. Breast cancer hits everybody.”
Storm Bowling Products have been proud sponsors of the event since 2002 and supports the event in every way possible. It’s an event that our team looks forward to each year.
“Not only do we sponsor the event, all of our pro staff and Storm employees participate in the tournament,” Leanne Hulsenberg, Marketing Coordinator at Storm Products said. Donna Conners and her staff of volunteers do an incredible job all year to prepare for this weekend and we appreciate all of their efforts to make this special tournament happen each year.”
The tournament fills up quickly. Entry blanks are posted live on the website on January 1 and she starts receiving entries that same day. Although the players are competing for a title and a $16,000 top prize they all know that this event means more than just that. In 2017, the event raised $87,000 to help fund breast cancer research and Conners is excited to expand the field and continue growing the event this year. All of the funds raised are donated to The Rose, a Houston-based organization that helps women who can’t afford breast care treatment or mammograms, and the Huntsman Group, a cancer research based in Utah.
“There’s nobody in that building that hasn’t come in contact with somebody that has cancer.” Conners said. “I am very grateful that the PBA & PWBA have come together and given me a title for the players because they deserve it. The players would come here anyway and I know that, but I needed that title to help these players and their careers. I’m very grateful to Tom Clark and Chad Murphy and all the people involved for allowing me to award a title. I’m also grateful that people can watch the players compete live on FloBowling.”
Conners and all of her volunteers try to make sure that the players who participate in the event know how grateful she is for their presence and support. They have stayed with her and helped the event grow year after year.
“I want every person to come and have a fun weekend at the event,” Conners said.
“I do everything that I possibly can to make the players feel like they are rock stars. They are rock stars. They deserve everything I can possibly give them. If I can find a way to give them more then I’m going to find a way. I want them to remember that when they leave here that they are worth everything that I can possible give them. They deserve to be recognized as the greatest players in the world.”
A new addition to the event this year is the special “Beauties vs. Beasts” match. The top bowlers from last year’s qualifying will bowl in a five-game baker match to kick off the weekend. The event will be aired on PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling on Thursday at 4 pm Central.
Conners usually starts preparing for the next event the day after the current year wraps up. We know she’ll have some surprises up her sleeve for the 20thAnniversary Event in 2019! We’ll have some special announcements all weekend long.