From Joey Gavrilovich. Follow him on Twitter @joeygDC, email him at joey[AT]borderstan.com.
Thursday nights in Logan Circle are about to get a familiar splash of color. As the Stonewall Bocce league begins its fourth season, more than 190 registered players of the lawn game on 20 teams will be sporting their brightly colored t-shirts and filling the circle each Thursday from now until Memorial Day.
This will be the league’s biggest season in terms of both membership and charitable funds raised since Melvin Thomas and Lucy Cunningham co-founded Stonewall Bocce in 2011.
“We are now in a position to donate more than $5,000 to the winning charities,” said Thomas. Registered members pay $40 in dues at the start of the season, most of which the league collects for charitable donations at the end of the season to the top three teams’ chosen organizations. This season, Thomas reports that the teams are playing for 13 different nonprofit organizations including Food & Friends, Active Minds, Mautner Project, N Street Village and PFLAG (Metro DC).
“When Lucy and I started Stonewall Bocce we wanted to create an inclusive, low-cost, high-fun league with a philanthropic heart. We were thrilled in the first season to be able to donate $2,000 between two local LGBT and Ally friendly non-profits, Whitman Walker Clinic and SMYAL,” said Thomas.
He says word of mouth among players has helped grow the league since then, and with that, the size of charitable contributions made each year: “We feel a strong connection these non-profits and the impact they make on our community. They serve as inspirations to us as we build an inclusive and fun bocce league.”
Stonewall Bocce teams meet during the spring and fall in Logan Circle. For more information about the league, game times, and membership, please visit their website.