Fundraise Your Way: California man gathers family and friends to raise funds with beer and bocce ball bash

Our Fundraise Your Way program is one of the best ways you can help create a future without PKD. When you turn your hobbies or passions into creative fundraisers, 100% of the money you raise goes directly to fund PKD research. You can help give hope, like our friend Don. Check out his story:

Don’s parents, Mel and Marge Wasko

My name is Don Bosco Wasko. My Dad, Mel Wasko was sick with PKD for years, going through dialysis and heart issues. He was very sick in 1995 and in February of 1996 he was in the hospital and I was there with him. In the middle of the night, God spoke to me and told me to do something to keep his memory alive because I knew he wasn’t going to leave the hospital alive. I didn’t know yet what I was going to do to help others but I knew it would be something cool.

My dad passed away on Feb. 4, 1996. My youngest son was born 13 days later and he carries Dad’s name as his middle name.

In July of 1996, I held the first annual Mel Wasko Memorial Golf Tourney. The event had a small crowd but we did well. These went on for several years. They were never really intended to be a large event, mostly friends and family in attendance, but we averaged about $3,000 per event.

Participants from the 2018 Beer Bocce Bash

Around 2009 or 2010, the golf tournaments ended up being too cumbersome for me to manage myself, so I decided to switch to bocce. I stole the idea from a close friend who has a bocce tourney every year but just for fun.

The format is very simple: it’s a beer bocce bash. It’s called the Mel and Marge Wasko Beer Bocce Bash. Every player must bring one six pack of good beer and a monetary donation to the PKD Foundation. It’s a two-player/pool play format with the best teams advancing to the finals.

Friends and family at the 2018 Beer Bocce Bash

A large portion of the donations come in the form of court sponsorships. Companies, friends, and families donate to the cause. We also do a raffle and serve lunch. I hold the event at a City of Carlsbad park near my house in Carlsbad, CA. This year’s event is Saturday, July 13 at Laguna Riviera Park, and I can’t wait for it.

Holding a Fundraise Your Way event is super fun. It’s not only a great way to raise money for the PKD Foundation, but also to tell others about my fight against PKD.

Your events, hobbies and celebrations are only one step away from giving hope to the PKD community. Head over to the Fundraise Your Way page to create your fundraising page now and start spreading the word!



  1. How Do I Fundraise for PKD? | PKD Foundation Blog - […] a game for two days and raised over $2,000 for PKD. In honor of Mel and Marge Wasko, the…

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