Our Pledge To You


Kidney donation on hold: Richard Pollack to bowl Beat the Champions sectional


Beat the Champions poster for 2018-19.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Richard Pollack will be bowling his first sectional in Beat the Champions after all.

The retired postal worker from Elmhurst thought he would miss it because he was scheduled to be in the hospital Thursday donating a kidney to a daughter, Melanie Mavec of Plainfield.

But a final test came up negative for a successful match. So Pollack will bowl Sunday evening in the Section 2 sectional at Rolling Lanes in Countryside.

Sectionals for the 58th BTC, the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association’s charity event, are this weekend and next. Bowlers advancing to the sectionals were notified.

“I qualified [for the kidney donation, originally], I was the only donor around,” Pollack said earlier this week. “I am in really good health apparently. I passed all the tests.”

Until the final test. Pollack will still donate a kidney, but now it will be in a cross match to someone else while Mavec awaits another match.

Andy Harvey, who was second highest man during contest week in the Old Timers league at Stardust Bowl in Addison, was going to take Pollack’s spot at the sectional. When Pollack could bowl after all, Harvey gave the spot back.

“I would love the chance to at least win a TV,” said Pollack, who said he has upped his average to around 183. “I can use a new television in the basement.”

New televisions are among the top prizes in the finals of BTC. The top prize for both the 32 men and 32 women finalists is $$7,500.

The biggest prize in BTC is the $2,872,914.93 raised for charity in BTC’s first 57 years by 5,789,515 entries. The Sun-Times is the BTC media sponsor.