Bowling event helps kids at Tampa General Hospital, report ranked TGH number one in Florida

TAMPA - Like many young boys, Jake Depagter enjoys to bowl.

But Jake Depagter's family wasn't sure they would see this day he would be back on a lane. Jake was diagnosed with cancer: "It was wrapped around my cortoid artery and I had to go through chemo," Jake said.

A scary time for anyone, especially when you are only nine years old.

Like any parent, his mother said, watching him brings her, "tears, tears of joy that he survived this hard time," said Dolly Depagter.

A year later Jake is cancer free.

It's why the Depargters devoted their free time to bowl for a cause. Dave Picca, the Founder and President of the Tower Foundation, a non profit, organized the the event in its fourth year at Pinchasers in Tampa.

"Our mission since we started in 2009 is to raise funds for local Tampa Bay charities and organizations," said Picca.

And this year mission is to help children like Jake. Proceeds benefit the Children's Medical Center at Tampa General Hospital. Recently, US News and Word Report named TGH Florida's number one hospital and also ranked it among the top 50 in the nation in nine medical specialties.

For Tampa Mayor Bob Buchorn, who served at the main King Pin, the event also touched him personally. His wife is an OBGYN at Tampa General Hospital.

"They are saving lives everyday. Everyday. The unheralded hero's are these healthcare hero's," said the Mayor. "But there is a larger mission for this and that is to help to fund some programs at Tampa General Hospital."

And that's why Andrew, Captain Al, and myself joined a dozen other celebrities. And while our bowling may not have made a lasting impression, hopefully Jake's message will.
"Hold on tight. You can make it. Have self confidence," said Jake.

To see pictures of the event you can head to my ABC ACTION NEWS Facebook fan page, just search Sarina Fazan journalist and click the 'like" button

And to learn more about the Tower Foundation head to  the organization's website at


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