Bowl for Kids' Sake helps raise funds for one-on-one mentoring
Justin Anderson is psyched for this year’s 34th annual Bowl of Kids’ Sake set for Sunday, April 22, at Turner’s Dual Lanes in Hagerstown.
“Big Brothers Brother Big Sisters will be throwing the biggest party of the year, Bowl for Kids’ Sake Hollywood style,” Anderson said. “All of the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown is coming out in full effect. The lights will be on bright right here at Turner’s Dual Lane.”
Anderson is a Big Brothers Big Sisters board member and also serves as chairman for Bowl for Kids’ Sake. The event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for people who want to support the mentoring organization. For a minimum pledge of $30, bowlers get a fountain drink or coffee and shoe rentals, with proof of pledge sheet. Teams may register online at www.bbswcmd.org.
Teams — up to six people — schedule one-hour time slots to bowl at Turner’s Lanes. Anderson said because the event has a Hollywood theme, participants are encouraged to come dressed up as his or her favorite Tinseltown character.
“We’re shooting for 100 teams this year. Of course, we will take as many as we can get,” he said.
Tom Kline, BBBS CEO, said Bowl for Kids’ Sake “is an amazing opportunity for the agency. This is our 34th year of our Bowl for Kids’ Sake. It’s our oldest and largest fundraiser. It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise funds for a really important program.”
Anderson, who became part of the board in July, said he’s looking forward to the event.
“I love the energy and the excitement in the room,” he said.
Jim Zuna, president of BBBS board of directors, said Bowl for Kids’ Sake “is one of my absolute favorite days of the year — bar none.”
“It’s crazy, it’s hustle and bustle. Every year we have a different theme. The teams that come in they really embrace those themes over the years. There’s a lot of zaniness,” he said. “But more importantly, as our biggest fundraiser of the year this is the best opportunity for our community to come together as a whole to really benefit our youth.”
Over the years he’s been involved, Zuna said he’s seen a real support from the community — from businesses and as well as individuals.
“Every dollar that we raise stays in the community, stays in the organization, funds our operations and funds the programs we provide for our kids,” he said. “Without those funds, without the awareness that is raised by the event, at the end of the day we wouldn’t have a program. Everything that’s raised, everything that is generated from this, goes to one-on-one mentoring to help our kids have the best opportunity they can growing up.”
Kline said over the last couple years BBBS has raised nearly $50,000, “which is incredible and is testament to the generosity to our community. We rely heavily upon business sponsorships and then the bowlers who come do their own fundraiser for the event.”
That means, Kline said, “It allows us to continue to provide services for kids in our community, to provide one-to-one mentoring.”
Over the course of a year, BBBS serves about 120 kids, Kline said.
“We serve as many as we can but that’s dictated the number of volunteers we can recruit,” he said. “At any even given time there are between 20 and 30 kids on our waiting list. But the reality is we know that if all the kids who could benefit from a one-on-one mentorship were to apply that our waiting list would be much, much greater. We’re doing the best that we can to serve as many kids as possible.”
For Zuna, it all comes down to serving the youth of the community.
“At the end of the day the success and growth of any community, begins and ends with our kids. There is nothing more important than to give our youth, and particularly our at-risk youth, every opportunity that they can have in life to succeed and grow and be positive influences in our community,” he said. “This is really that ground level of that idea. At the end of the day of the day, nothing is more important than the kids, and this is one of the best opportunity a person can have to be in support of those kids.”
Top photo: Stephanie Straw celebrates picking up a spare while bowling during last year's Bowl For Kids' Sake at Turner's Dual Lanes. 1950s attire was the theme for last year's event. (File photo)