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Bowling for a cause
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

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The 16th annual Strike Out Hunger is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, as more than 150 will converge at River Rand Bowl in Des Plaines for the 9 To 12 Bowling League's fundraiser for Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Care, a program of Heartland Health Outreach.

Organizers are hoping to raise at least $5,000 as the event pushes toward $100,000 raised over the years.

"It's a fun, exciting event that I absolutely love," said Jack Marunde, president of the predominantly gay suburban bowling league. He has bowled in the league for seven years and participated in this annual fundraiser for the past four years.

"It's a great time to hang out with friends and help a worthwhile cause."

The event features three fun games of bowling, food, music, and a raffle—and the bowling alley usage fee is donated by River Rand Bowl. Plus, Wapaghetti's, a local restaurant, donates pizza, and a local DJ donates his time and equipment, Marunde said.

One of the raffle highlights is a three-night trip to Belize.

Still, "the highlight is the bowling," said Marunde, 44, who lives in East Village and carries a bowling average of 131.

"This is the primary charity that [the league] really cares about."

Heartland Health Outreach is a subsidiary of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest.

For nearly 25 years, Vital Bridges has helped men, women, and children impacted by HIV and AIDS. Vital Bridges has three food pantries in the city of Chicago and one in Elk Grove Village. They also have a home-delivered grocery service, and continue the home delivered meal service.

Sports shorts

Bank of America Chicago Marathon officials say online registration will remain closed until at least Feb. 28, according to . Officials are working with to resolve the technical problems that muddled the first few hours of sign-ups Feb. 19. The group will announce an "equitable plan" at 3 p.m. Central Time on Feb. 28 about how and when it will reopen registration.

Ronda Rousey won the first women's bout in UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) history Feb. 23, beating openly lesbian Liz Carmouche on an armbar with 11 seconds left in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at UFC 157, according to . Rousey (7-0) defended her belt with her signature move, forcing Carmouche to tap out after bending back her arm.

Danica Patrick, who made history by becoming the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole and to lead a lap in the Daytona 500, finished eighth in the race, USA Today reported. "Only 13 people including me have led Daytona and Indy. That's a cool stat for me," Patrick said. Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500 as cars ran single-file the last two laps.

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