Doris Cajigas could use a new car.
‘‘My car is 19 years old,’’ said Cajigas, who works at a pharmacy. ‘‘It is a little rusted out. The last part I needed came from Philadelphia. I have to warm it up for about three minutes, but it runs. I just can’t start it and take off.’’
Contest week for the 54th Beat the Champions, a charity bowling event co-sponsored by the Sun-Times and the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association, took off Sunday and runs through Saturday. The top prize for the women’s and men’s champions, who will be crowned in March, is a 2015 Ford Fiesta from Local Ford Stores.
Cajigas will have two chances to qualify for sectionals in February. She bowls for the Diva Shots in Carl’s Ladies league on Tuesdays and in the Southside Nisei league on Fridays at Habetler Bowl on the Northwest Side. Both leagues are 100 percent entered in BTC.
‘‘It is for charity, you know,’’ said Cajigas, who once reached the BTC finals and finished 17th. ‘‘It is $3.’’
Those entry fees add up. In the first 53 years of BTC, more than 5.7 million entries raised $2,793,600.36 for charity, including $34,451.32 in 2013-14.
Bowling means a lot to Cajigas. She has been on the board of the Chicagoland chapter of the U.S. Bowling Congress for more than a decade and a vice president for the last two years.
‘‘Bowling is a way of keeping in touch,’’ she said. ‘‘It is social, fun.’’
Cajigas is struggling with a couple of injuries this year, and her average is down in the 150s and 160s.
‘‘But I have been bowling better, so I am getting back into the swing of things,’’ Cajigas said.
Comcast SportsNet will broadcast the setting of the target scores, which will be rolled by Shannon Pluhowsky and Sean Rash, at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 1 instead of on the traditional Dec. 25.