Maple Family Centers: Creating Loyal BVL Supporters and Brightening Veterans Lives

With another successful PBA50 Johnny Petraglia/BVL Open in the books at their Farmingdale Lanes location, Maple Family Centers has now raised almost $200,000 (this will change when the 2018 contribution is confirmed) for America’s veterans just since the inception of the tournament four years ago.

As proprietor Joe LaSpina points out “I won’t deny that it wasn’t a lot of work; but the rewards come in spades when we gave our three area veterans facilities – the Long Island State Veterans Home, the St. Albans VA Hospital and the Northport VA Hospital — each a check for $20,000 to Brighten Veterans’ Lives.”

Standing back row, pictured left to right: Susan Pisano, Northport VA Hospital, Teresa LaSpina McCarthy, Maple Family Centers; BVL Executive Director Mary Harrar, John LaSpina, Joe LaSpina, Anita LaSpina, Maple Family Centers; Fred Sganga, Long Island Veterans Home. Seated front: Sarah Stein and Victoria Townes, St. Alban’s VA Hospital.

The tournament, developed by Maple Family Centers, was created to honor proprietor John LaSpina’s lifelong friend, longtime BVL spokesperson, Vietnam Vet, and the only PBA player to win a national PBA Tour title in six different decades – Johnny Petraglia.

The Johnny Petraglia/BVL Open is actually the culmination of a variety of programs that Maple Family Centers runs throughout their five center chain which includes league bowlers, youth leagues, area businesses and other PBA Pros.

The donations this year to the three VA facilities will have life-altering consequences for hundreds, if not thousands, of Veterans in the Long Island area:

  • The Long Island State Veterans Home will be purchasing Virtual Reality headsets for their aging population to “transport” them to locales across the globe and enliven their daily experience, reducing isolation and improving socialization. Tests on elderly patients show that VR usage also helps manage anxiety, chronic pain and depression.
  • Veteran patients at the St. Albans facility will enjoy a variety of uplifting programs thanks to the Maple Family centers contribution, including monthly entertainment experiences of musical performances, puppetry, and comedy; portable DVD players for bed-bound patients to watch movies of their choice; adaptive sports equipment; an ‘art cart’ for arts and crafts supplies; and a new grill for outdoor barbeques.
  • At the Northport VA, art and music therapy clinics will be provided to hundreds of patients each week, and their Long Term Care Community will get a new smart TV and surround sound system and monthly musical entertainment programs.

Humility full on, to hear Joe tell it, the more they “do” for BVL, the more they are rewarded by their customers, area business leaders, and the media. Maple Family Centers received wide media coverage of their generous donations throughout the New York area.

“The LaSpina Family and the Maple Family Centers customers understand the value of supporting our nation’s veterans through BVL,” notes BVL Executive Director Mary Harrar.  “They see for themselves how their efforts truly make a difference.  Moreover, they’ve built a community through their program, and it’s shining a bright spotlight on their business and their commitment to America’s veterans.  Here’s a great example of how doing good can reap great rewards.  We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Maple Family Centers has four locations in the Long Island area, and one in Clearwater, Fla., all of which participate in the annual fund raising efforts for BVL.

“We want our fellow bowling center operators to recognize the value of being involved in BVL,” noted BVL Board Chairman John LaSpina.  “At Maple Family Centers, our customers look forward each year to the BVL Tournament that we’ve created.  They’re proud to be involved in supporting our nation’s veterans and the campaign produces a community of goodwill and high spirits.”