VINTON–Geek Mob Roanoke is holding a Bowl-a-thon at the Vinton Bowling Center on Saturday, December 10, to raise “Pennies for Piper.”
Piper Moore passed away at the end of October from complications due to cystic fibrosis. She was only 15 and a student at Liberty High School in Bedford County. Her family described her as “indomitable” despite her disease. They say she was a “self-professed geek,” and an avid reader. They estimate that she spent more than two years of her life over the course of 15 years, in a 10 x 12 foot hospital room. She was a patient at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, where she dearly loved her doctors, nurses, other medical personnel, housekeepers, and staff.
Piper was a fan of Geek Mob Roanoke, described by co-founder Brenda McGuire, as a geeky event held every year in Roanoke, similar in concept to a ComicCon, but smaller and more local. They have vendors, storm troopers, robots, music, and magicians. They do a costume contest and give out prizes. Their purpose is to raise awareness about comic books for literacy. They accept donations which go to local organizations and raise funds for the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center.
Geek Mob is associated with and promoted by the “Roanoke Doesn’t Suck” group formed to keep people in-formed about events and businesses in the Roanoke Valley which make this a “cool place to live.”
Piper’s mother, Amanda Moore, told Geek Mob how disappointed Piper was that she was going to be “stuck in the hospital at UVA with complications related to her disease” and wouldn’t be able to attend last summer’s Geek Mob 2016.
Geek Mob was “touched” and sent her a package of things to cheer her up—a Geek Mob VIP badge, cards, gifts, and tickets to Geek Mob 2017.
When Piper passed away unexpectedly, Geek Mob was heartbroken and wanted to do something in her memory. Her mother told them that Piper’s tablet was a vital link for her to the outside world as cystic fibrosis patients need to be very careful about coming into contact with germs. Piper really relied on hers to get her through the long days of isolation faced by children with weak/sensitive immune systems related to their situations.
Mrs. Moore thought Piper would be pleased for Geek Mob to raise funds to make sure all the other children in the ward at UVA could have access to iPads or Android tablets to maintain a connection to the outside world.
That’s how the idea of the Bowl-a-thon at the Vinton Bowling Center came about. Geek Mob wanted an event that was fun–like Piper–and more personal than much fundraising.
“We just thought it would be a quirky and fun twist on an otherwise somber reason,” said McGuire. “Vinton Bowling Center is close to Bedford where Piper and her mom are from. I thought maybe her friends and family would like to participate.”
Right now, the focus is on forming teams for the Bowl-a-thon. McGuire says that anyone can form a team to raise funds for the technology donation to the Child Life Program at UVA Children’s Hospital.
“Please form a team at your place of business, club or other group of friends and gather some pledges and come have fun with us,” asks McGuire. “We plan to deliver the tablets sometime around Christmas and welcome others to accompany us.”
Teams just need to register at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain pledge forms to be guaranteed a lane. “This allows me to reserve their lane, give them the sponsor sheet and give them more details. Also, to answer any questions they may have,” says McGuire.
The Vinton Bowling Center will have their mascot on hand that day, “Vinny the Pin.” The Bowl-a-thon will last from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
More information can also be found on the Geek Mob Roanoke Facebook page.