Bowling event set to lend a helping hand

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013



LAPLACE – David Lowry has spent his life helping young local athletes become successful and notable. But after a string of unthinkable personal tragedy, Lowry is now the one who needs help.

It’s why the communities he’s given so much to over the years are gathering together to give assistance.

This Sunday, “An Afternoon with Dave Lowry” will be held at Rock-N-Bowl in New Orleans from 1 to 4 p.m., planned as a day of great fun and celebration.

A lifelong resident of the River Parishes, Lowry was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, a cancer of the kidney, in July of 2012 and has been undergoing treatment since.

Not long after his diagnosis, Lowry, his wife Tricia and their six children were one of the many who lost their home due to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Issac.

Sunday’s event will raise funds to help the Lowry family pay for their new home, which is currently under construction in LaPlace.

“I’m just very touched that so many people have come forward to help and to offer their thoughts and prayers,” said Lowry. “It’s been truly humbling. When you go through something like this, only then is it that you really understand how much people care.”

The event will boast live music, celebrity guests, a silent auction, food, drinks and, of course, a fun day of bowling for all.

Lowry was St. Charles Catholic’s athletic director and softball coach before moving on to become the Director of Athletic Equipment at Tulane University, a position he’s held since 2006.

He guided the Lady Comets to two state runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2006.

“On the high school level, you’re dealing with so much more than what goes on out on the field,” said Don Fernandez, SCC’s former Director of Admissions and a lifelong friend of Lowry’s. “To accomplish what he did, you really have to make a connection with people.”

Fernandez helps to form a committee of Lowry’s friends and colleagues who planned this event and also establish “The Lowry Family Fund” at Community Bank in LaPlace.

“When Issac happened, you start hearing about the different people it’s affected. And when you hear about David and now the second life-changing event he’s endured over a matter of weeks … you just really shake your head and say, ‘It just can’t be true,’” said Fernandez.

He said that the hope is that the event generates enough to afford him the opportunity to spend more time with his family and less time concerning himself with ways to make ends meet.

“Let him be a dad and a husband,” said Fernandez. “Everyone’s going to come out and have a good time. It’ll be the first chance in awhile for many people to see him and vice versa.”

Said Lowry, “I never had to ask (Fernandez). This has just been them showing their love and support,” said Lowry. “You can choose to be prideful and say, ‘no, no, we don’t need the help.’ But the truth is, we’re not expected to handle something like this alone. And you don’t go through it alone.

“The people around you may not be experiencing the same physical pain that you are, but they’re going through the emotional part of it.”

One thing he’s made clear for Sunday is that he doesn’t want it to resemble a “goodbye” gathering.

“It’s a celebration,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so, so many good people over my lifetime. Bad things happen, but it just brings into focus how many people you’ve connected with.”

Chris Eichhorn is also part of the committee – he knew Lowry well from his time with St. Charles as a former Quarterbacks Club president and because his two children, Lindsay and Robbie, each attended St. Charles.

“Robbie and Lindsay have both been blessed to have been around so many very good people at St. Charles, strong community leaders who lead by example,” said Eichhorn. “The kind of people you’d want your children to emulate. David’s been one of those, and at the moment, he happens to be the one who needs our help.”

Tickets to the event are available at Community Bank in LaPlace, St. Charles Catholic High School, Ascension of Our Lord School, Allyson Supply in Harahan, or Liberto Cleaners in New Orleans. Tickets are $150 and admit two adults Students are admitted free. Donations are being accepted for silent auction items and food and lane sponsorships at Rock-N-Bowl are available for $500. Contact Chris Eichhorn at 504-481-7410 or Don Fernandez at 985-210-7609 to donate items or lane sponsorships.

If one would like to donate to the “The Lowry Family Fund,” donations can be made in person or mailed to Community Bank, 590 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace, LA, 70068. Checks should be made payable to “The Lowry Family Fund.”

As he continues his battle against his illness, Lowry has refused to let his circumstances ruin his spirit.

“I believe God doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” he said. “When things get harder, you can’t let go of your faith. You have to hold onto it stronger.”