Bowl For Kids Sake event raises money for local Big Brothers Big Sisters

More than $17,000 was raised at this year’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters bowling event.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow — A Bowl for Kids Sake tournament was recently held at Meadow Lanes bowling alley in Wellington to raise money for Sumner County Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“This is the only fundraiser they do, and we are in good shape financially now,” said Debi Clark with Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We were in the red, but have remedied that.”

Of the 43 participants, 13 were Argonia Elementary students, who raised $1,436 of the total $17,572 in sponsors and pledges. There were five bowling teams who participated on the day of the event, which had a goal of $30,000.

Five teams were on hand earlier this month for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters event.

“There are several companies involved that help us,” Clark said.

Money raised is used to help recruit and screen people wishing to become a Big Brother or Big Sister, and to match them with children, and to support the matches.

“It costs about $1,000 per year per match,” Clark said. “When we recruit volunteers, we do five background checks, a home visit if they plan on taking the child to their home, and many other screenings.”

Funds raised also help pay for screening interviews, reference checks, screening team reviews for acceptance, and once a month communication between the parent, volunteer, and child.

Currently, there are 36 youth in Sumner County who have requested a one on one relationship with an adult volunteer. With a minimum commitment of one year and 30 minutes a week, anyone can make a child’s future brighter.

Phil White, a radio guy at heart, was there to provide his emcee skills.

Funds raised will remain in Sumner County to continue to recruit, screen and match youth with volunteers. For more information, like their Facebook page, @Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Serving Sumner County.

Harris Interactive conducted a study in 2009 on the program’s success and found that youth involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters are more likely to receive a four year college degree, with 39% more likely to have current household incomes of $75,000 or higher, and 62% perceive themselves to have achieved a higher level of success than their peers not involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. They are also more likely to be engaged in their community, particularly when volunteerism is needed.

Those wishing to become a volunteer must be at least 18 years old and have a GED or high school diploma to apply. Married couples and families are welcome to participate. This type of match allows flexibility so that either spouse or both can spend time with their “little brother” or “little sister.”

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