The first Saturday in April brought the 34th annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake, a community-wide Youth Services event at Brattleboro Bowl that raises money for its Windham County Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program.
More than 500 individuals of all ages participated in the event, which is the primary fundraiser for BBBS. According to organizers, Bowl for Kids’ Sake attracted people from all walks of life; ranging from friends and colleagues who formed teams to entire families and many area businesses. Teams from local schools made an impressive sight, filling 20 lanes throughout the day.
Last year, the event took in about $60,000. This year, they had raised more than half of the $55,000 goal just in the first hour, and surpassed it by the end of the day.
Bill Penniman (a Big Brother) and Linda Thurber were the top two individual fundraisers of the day, raising more than $1,100 each from friends and colleagues in pledges, followed by David Twombly (also a Big Brother) who has raised more than $800 to date. All three are residents of Brattleboro.
About 100 children in Windham County and nearby New Hampshire benefit from the program each year and are matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. A similar number of youngsters, from all towns in the county, are eagerly waiting to be matched with an adult mentor.
The raffles and silent auction at Bowl for Kids’ Sake raised more than $1,000 for the program’s coffers, thanks to donations from many local businesses.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is still collecting donations. Learn how you can get involved by calling Youth Services at 802-257-0361, or donate by visiting www.firstgiving.com/youthservices/bowl-for-kids-sake-2015 or by stopping by their office on 32 Walnut St. in Brattleboro.
Spring gymnastics classes
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department starts its next session of gymnastics classes on the week of April 13 at the Gibson Aiken Canter, 207 Main St.
Classes will run for a six weeks and end on May 30. The cost of the six-week program will be $49 for Brattleboro residents and $64 for non-residents. Late registrations will be pro-rated. Classes are run Mondays through Saturdays for ages 18 months and up. Pick up a copy of the current brochure for a complete listing of class times.
Amanda Montgomery will direct the gymnastics program. There is also an Open Gym time available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for ages 1-5 with parent for $4, or Saturdays for ages 6 and up for $7. For more information, or if any special needs are required, call the Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808.
Seen any bears?
• Now that it’s April, it’s time to keep an eye out for black bears coming out of their winter dens in search of an early spring meal.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recommends taking down your bird feeders now, for bears are attracted to suet and sunflower seed this time of year.
Bird feeders are just one of the things that can attract hungry bears. Other sources of food that bears love to get into include pet food, barbecue grills, garbage, household trash containers, open dumpsters, and campsites with accessible food and food wastes.
Vermont law states that residents must take reasonable measures to protect their property from bears before lethal force can be taken.
Some of these measures include keeping chickens and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure, never feeding bears, deliberately or accidentally (purposely feeding bears is illegal, and bad for the bears), feeding your pets indoors, and storing trash in a secure place.
More information on how to peacefully coexist with bears can be found at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/wildlife_living_with_bears.cfm.
Derby Damez roll into another season
• The Elm City Derby Damez take on the Upper Valley Vixens in their first roller derby bout of the season on Saturday, April 18, at Withington Rink at Living Memorial Park. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.. First whistle at 6 p/m. Admission is by donation.
Women’s roller derby is a full contact, aggressive, competitive sport played on traditional quad skates. The Elm City Derby Damez is a skater-owned and operated roller derby league formed in Keene, N.H. in 2009.
The Damez say they are devoted “to making a positive impact in our community and skaters through outreach and participation in local events and activities as well as promoting the sport of roller derby,” and “to advance our organization through sisterhood, dedication, and the common desire to advance the skills and talents of all our skaters.”
State parks present Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge
• The Vermont State Parks invite you to participate in their 2015 Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge, which will run through Oct. 15. The program involves an outdoor scavenger hunt for children and adults alike, and includes activities such as identifying amphibians, mapping GPS coordinates, and making camp supplies out of found materials.
Participants will rack up points by completing activities, marking them on a scorecard, and taking photographs. Those who reach 250 points will win day entry free of charge into all Vermont State Parks for the rest of the 2015 season and the entire 2016 season, as well as a VIP Gold Medal.
For more information, visit www.vtstateparks.com/venturevermont.