BIBLE HILL - Helping people is just what Doug Nelson does.
The 74-year-old Bible Hill resident can't imagine not lending a helping hand whenever he can. One of the projects he's well known for is organizing an annual bowling tournament in the village. The event, which was previously called the Truckers IWK Bowling Tournament, donates proceeds to charities, most notably the IWK in Halifax.
This is Nelson's 30th, and last year, organizing the event, which traditionally brings out about 130 people. The fundraiser takes place this Saturday at the Bible Hill Bowlacade beginning at 10:30 a.m.
"It never feels like work. I enjoy it ... and I've learned people depend on me to do it. I've always organized something somewhere. I started organizing a ball tournament in Halifax years ago and then someone suggested me organizing the bowling tournament," said Nelson, who's been bowling since his mid-20s.
"And I like helping people. It's just what you do - help people."
The tournament certainly has done that. In the past 12 years an estimated $21,900 has been fundraised for the IWK through the tournament.
"My grandson was there in 2000 and I am so grateful to them," explained Nelson as to why the IWK has been the chosen recipient for the past number of years. Other Nelson family members have also been at the IWK.
Other beneficiaries of the bowling tournament have been Special Olympics, the Humane Society and youth bowling initiatives, to name a few. It's also become an event people wait for on a regular basis.
"Every year people come and ask me, ‘when's the tournament?' And some of (the bowlers) are close to 90 years old," said Nelson, who also bowls a few times a week.
Nelson's dedication to the tournament is impressive. Although he retired as a truck driver in the fall, he still makes occasional runs in addition to the 12 to 14 hours a week, for the past month, organizing the tournament.
Nelson said he won't miss organizing the event in the future because his family will take over and he will still be involved.
Peggy Nelson, Doug's daughter, said her father has been an inspiration.
"He taught me that you think about others before you think about yourself. He raised nine of us with mom and he always made time for us even when he was busy or tired from work," said Peggy.
South Branch resident Karl Dash has participated in the tournament for about 10 years. He said Nelson's dedication has been vital to its success.
"Doug puts a lot into it. Doug has a good personality and everybody knows him ... it probably wouldn't have been as successful in the past without him," said Dash, adding it's a fun event he looks forward to.
"It's for a good cause and you meet all types of bowlers (who are) out to have fun."
The event this weekend is open to everybody.
What: Annual charity bowling tournament
When: Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon
Where: Bible Hill Bowlacade
Number of teams signed up: 22
Desired number of teams: 24
Participants have come from: Colchester County, Halifax and area, Moncton, Sydney, etc.
Last year raised: An estimated $2,800 for the IWK
This year's goal: At least $3,000
Cost to play: $25 per person; $125 per team
In addition: Businesses have donated various prizes for the day and 50/50s will be drawn.
To participate: Call the bowling ally at 893-1522