Judy van Puyvelde loves to stay active, whether it’s with her family, community or the people she assists through volunteer work. When her husband, Gary, decided to turn one of their favorite pastimes, bowling, into a fundraising event for the Widows & Orphans charity, she was more than happy to jump on board.
“In 2002, Gary had a fireman’s bowling league at Corbin Bowl and he came up with the idea,” Judy explains. “I helped out the first year and we’ve been volunteering ever since.”
But Judy didn’t stop with the tournament. She also began volunteering for the LAFD Invitational golf event and she has no intention of stopping any time soon. Her passion to give back comes from a daily commitment to assisting others in need.
For the past 22 years, Judy has managed a bowling league for the mentally disabled called New Horizons. She often organizes special events to help others coping with disabilities. She also dedicated a lot of her time to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
“There’s joy in the giving,” she insists with glee. “You just feel like you’re really giving! You feel like you’re needed.”
When it comes to the Widows & Orphans charity, Judy is simply happy to help out wherever she’s needed. From staging to collecting donations to directing golfers, Judy enjoys floating from task to task, staying in the thick of the action because that’s where she has the most fun.
“Last year at the golf tournament, I was assigned to hole #7 and it’s just fun! Everyone is in good spirits and you just chat with any of the competitors and answer their questions,” she says. “It’s not hard to give back when it’s so enjoyable.”
After 12 years of volunteering with the charity, Judy’s enthusiasm hasn’t waned and she’s more aware now more than ever how her much her dedication is appreciated. “Gary and I took over the bowling tournament when their budget was cut. We couldn’t stand the idea that all those people wouldn’t be able to come together and help keep the tradition going, so we decided to do something about it,” she explains. For Judy, giving back is always best when you can do it with friends and family.
By Candace Nicholson