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Benevolent Bulldog Bowling Tournament Raises $2800 for St. Jude’s

During a year when the University of Redlands football program is celebrating “100 years of pride and tradition”, its student-athletes are cultivating a long-lasting and impactful expression of those values within the community through the Benevolent Bulldog program.

One such event took place on Saturday, Aug. 29 as senior wide receiver Brenden Barkate stretched the largest gain of his career with an unselfish display of giving and sharing. As one of two organizers of the Benevolent Bulldog Bowling Tournament—senior defensive back Jared Fink also put in significant time planning the event—Barkate improbably turned an $800 investment into a $2,800 net profit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This project stemmed from the Benevolent Bulldog program that was started last fall and challenges students to best use $100 for the sake of those in need.

“I chose to host a bowling tournament because bowling is something that you do not have to be great at to enjoy,” Barkate said. “I knew I could host the event during training camp and would be able to receive a lot of support from teammates. It would be a nice night off during the dog days of football camp.”

Combining monies from seven teammates, Barkate rented out Empire Bowl in Redlands for $800 and charged teams $100 per lane. Over the summer, he sent out an e-mail to all of the graduate assistants and coaches within the athletic department and posted flyers around campus.

His publicity efforts worked as all 24 lanes were put to use. Among those in attendance were the football team, Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez and family, various coaches, the Redlands women’s soccer team, the family of senior wide receiver Brian Putnam and many alumni, among others.

The Benevolent Bulldog Bowling Tournament was one of various community service events that developed from the Benevolent Bulldog program, which is financially supported by various people within the University community.

“This was the brain child of Dr. Chris Walker,” Maynard said in a recent article that appeared in the Redlands Daily Facts. “It’s kind of a derivative of the Kingdom assignment through churches, and we thought, ‘Why can’t we do something like that through the Bulldogs?’ And so we started it last year, and it has been terrific.”

The student-athletes are encouraged to complete a project over the summer. When they return to campus in September they present their project and reflect on what they learned.

“When you are given $100 and are charged with the responsibility to make it grow,” Barkate said, “you have an obligation to give your best effort.”

Although Barkate wraps up his football career this fall, he looks forward to hearing about future Benevolent Bulldog events.

“I hope the bowling tournament is something that will be continued by one of my teammates,” he added. “We all had a great time for a great cause.”

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