Bowling for good cause in annual PAWS fundraiser

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – I know, it’s not a combination you’d usually expect. Bowling and animals? But for this event it just makes sense. Helping to give back to those in our area who need it most.

You’re gonna have to spare Richard Williams, he’s not much of a bowler.

“I might be a little sore today so I might not hit all of the pins,” said Williams.

Instead you’ll usually find him on a long hike with a little guy, Oscar Meyer.

They do just about everything together.

“Oscar is very special to me. We’re bound at the hip is what I say. Whenever I’m not around, he’s looking at the window for me to come home,” said Williams.

Richard is able to take care of his four-legged friend thanks to Paws, a program with the Albany Damien Center.

It helps those living with HIV to continue to take care of their pets.

“Living with AIDS can be very isolating. For a lot of our people, their pet is the only one who unconditionally loves them,” said Perry Junjulas.

Executive Director Perry Junjulas says the program is crucial to helping those in need.

“Having a pet will improve your health, will improve your mental health,” said Junjulas.

Events like today, help raise money and provide support, for over 100 people in our region alone, people like Richard.

“I’ve been living with HIV for almost 30 years,” said Williams.

Because of PAWS, he won’t have to worry about paying for vet bills or medicine that Oscar Meyer may need.

“When Oscar is healthy, I’m healthy because he keeps me out and keeps me moving,” said Williams.

And instead the pair can continue to roll, at the bowling alley and in life.

“I love him very much, he loves me very much,” said Williams.

Oh and as for the bowling itself?

Only one thing left to, let’s rock and bowl.

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