Tammy Helmer-Bergen (center) goes over the details of the third annual Tom Bergen Memorial Autism Awareness Bowling Tournament with volunteers.
by Dave Warner
The Tom Bergen Memorial Autism Awareness Bowling Tournament was held Saturday and Sunday at RD’s Gorge View Lanes on Burwell Street.
This was the third year for the fundraising event and it included not just a chance to bowl, but a bake sale, prizes, a 50-50 raffle, Chinese auction and t-shirts that were on sale.
According to Tom’s mother and organizer of the event Tammy Helmer-Bergen “This bowling tournament is in memory of my son Tom. Tom had Autism and he died suddenly in October of 2016. We do this in memory of him as he loved to bowl and this is his home bowling alley.”
“He started bowling in youth bowling and went right up, bowling on the high school team and when he got out of school, we did a Sunday night league,” Helmer-Bergen said. “He loved to bowl.”
She went on to say that the support from the community has been incredible and that this year there are more people participating than last.
“Tom was diagnosed with Autism when he was two. But, it didn’t stop him and he was an Eagle Scout with his other brother Billie. He went on to college in graphics arts technology and small business management and he worked at All Events Engraving doing the things that he loved,” she said.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support. Tom really touched a lot of lives and we can see that when we have this by the amount of people that come. It’s a wonderful event,” stated Helmer-Bergen.
Proceeds from the benefit will benefit the Autism Program at ARC Herkimer.