MO State HS Sports
Columbia businessman John Cleek speaks Saturday in Columbia (April 20, 2024 photo from 939 the Eagle's Brian Hauswirth)

(LISTEN): Columbia bowling for autism tournament raises about $35,000

This weekend’s Cleek family bowling for autism event at Columbia’s AMF Town and Country lanes raised between $30,000 and $35,000, according to businessman John Cleek. Mr. Cleek tells 939 the Eagle that this is the event’s 21st year.

“And a grand total over the 21 years of $575,000, so. I’m really proud of that, and we couldn’t have done it without all of our generous sponsors over the years,” Mr. Cleek says.

Cleek says 32 teams involving 125-150 bowlers participated on Saturday. All of the proceeds benefit Easterseals Midwest, which serves 49 Missouri counties. His son Thomas has autism and has since graduated from Missouri State in Springfield.

“Way back when my son Thomas, he’s 24 now, but when he got diagnosed when he was like three years old, the prevalence rate was more like one in 300 or one in 250 or something, so. A little bit higher in boys than girls but one in 36 if you think about that it’s just an alarming rate,” says Cleek.

Mr. Cleek also thanks the numerous sponsors who donated on Saturday, including Zimmer Communications, ABC-17 and Steve’s Pest Control. Zimmer Radio also fielded a team in Saturday’s bowling event.

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