Sunday, March 19 was a memorable day for Hannah’s Hope as they held their fifth annual Shamrock Shootout Bowling Tournament at the Inman's Fun and Party Center in Valparaiso. Families and friends were all invited to a day full of friendly competition while supporting a great cause.
“Hannah’s Hope is a non-for-profit that benefits kids with special needs, yet a lot of our events aren’t geared towards kids,” Mike Martinez, executive director of Hannah’s Hope, said. “This is the one event where kids of all abilities [and] families of all abilities can come and bowl. There’s a tournament side and a family side. I love the fact that we have so many families and kids show up. Our little niche is kids with special needs so the tournament side doesn't mind seeing that there’s a bunch of families here with kids. It’s relatively inexpensive [and] it’s a great way for everyone to connect.”
The Shamrock Shootout Tournament is one of the many fundraisers that Hannah’s Hope’s has to support their cause. The goal that started this non-for-profit organization is what has kept sponsors excited about their loyal involvement with Hannah’s Hope.
“I’ve been involved with Hannah’s Hope since the beginning. Mike and I have been very close since we were ten; we’re all in our late thirties so we go back a long time,” Joe Hall, long time family friend and sponsor, said. “The goal for this event is to make it a family fun event. We want to make sure all of our families are included as much as we can. Also, we want to be able to contribute to helping Hannah help others. By our events, we’re collecting money and sponsorships and donations and we’re using that money to help Hannah do what Mike and Mary [Martinez] set out to do years ago. Everything that we do to help Mike and Mary and to contribute to Hannah’s Hope, is very near and dear to our hearts. Being able to contribute to that, that means the world to all of us.”
Hannah’s Hope also has a new project in the works. Recently, they have started to raise money for a park specifically for special needs children.
“Now they’re trying to build the park, a special needs park. Most of the money that they have been raising the last few fundraisers goes directly to the special needs park,” Cindy Mastey, friend and attendee, said.
The Shamrock Shootout Tournament has become a favorite to many, and Mastey still remains in awe at everything that Hannah’s Hope does.
“This [event] actually has become very popular over the years; they’ve actually sold out so it’s an awesome thing what they do. They don’t take any of [the money] for themselves, everything goes straight to help children in need. It’s awesome,” Mastey said.