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Catholic Charities Features

Young adult professionals go bowling for Catholic Charities


Balls rolled, pins dropped and people received help thanks to Buffalo – Young Adult Professionals.

Leah Merlo and Maria Chomicka talk to some other young adult professionals as they wait for their turn to bowl. YAP sponsored a bowl-a-thon to help Catholic Charities on June 11. (Photo hy Patrick J. Buechi)

The Catholic professional development group held a bowl-a-thon to raise money for Catholic Charities. The June 11 event saw 45 people gather at Classic Lanes in Tonawanda for fun and fellowship. They raised $2,250.

The idea came from Andrew Pitisi who felt a bit nostalgic for the days when his parish youth group at St. Lawrence would bowl for Catholic Charities. Last year, he planned a small gathering with some friends.

“It turned into something much bigger,” he said. “We got people in from St. Leo, St. Benedict, our YAP group, people from the Newman Center, people from all across the Western New York area. So, this year we decided to do it again and advertise it to more parishes. Going into the family model makes us need to come together more.”

For a $15 donation, bowlers got two games, pizza, pop and doughnuts.

“Catholic Charities has such a reach and helps everybody in all of Western New York,” Pitisi said.

Founded by Pitisi and Maria Chomicka, both pastoral associates at St. Benedict Parish in Eggertsville and St. Leo the Great Parish in Amherst, YAP integrates professional development and spiritual growth.

Andrew Pitisi smiles as he prepares his aims for a strike at the Young Adult Professionals – Buffalo sponsored bowl-a-thon to help Catholic Charities on June 11. (Photo by Patrick J. Buechi)

“It’s basically young adults in the Catholic community that want to get together,” explained Anna Cappello, a member. “We focus on professional development as well as spirituality. We meet about once a month with different speakers and different organizations, fundraising.”

The organization was one of the first groups Leah Merlo interacted with when she came to Buffalo from Florida with her husband.

“YAP has welcomed me into Buffalo. I’ve only lived here for just under three years. It’s given me a group of people that I can get to know Buffalo with, get to grow in my faith with,” she said. “Since we don’t have any family in the area, the Young Adults have become a family for my husband and my son and I.”


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