Bowling event raises $40K for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Bowling event raises $40K for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Youth-mentoring program still seeks donations

BRATTLEBORO — Bowl for Kids' Sake, a community-wide Youth Services event which raises money for its Windham County Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program, grossed close to $40,000 on Saturday, May 7.

BBBS is still collecting pledges and donations.

According to a news release, Bowl for Kids' Sake attracted people from all walks of life. More than 150 friends and colleagues formed teams that included entire families and many area businesses. This year's theme was “crazy hats” and prizes were given to everyone who came with a crazy hat.

The top fundraising teams included Ray Massucco's Gutter Kings from Bellows Falls, Linda Thurber's Big Bucks team from Brattleboro, and the Vermont Country Store team from Rockingham. Each of the top teams raised more than $1,000 from friends and colleagues in pledges. Swiss Precision and the County Mounties were close behind in terms of money raised.

“We'd like to thank all our corporate sponsors, prize donors, our bowlers and those who sponsored a bowler,” said Kimberley Diemond, Youth Services' director of mentoring, in a news release. “It really takes all four groups to pull off our successful bowl-a-thon. We're very grateful for the importance this community places on the work we do matching youth in need of a one-to-one relationship with a caring adult volunteer.”

Bowl for Kids' Sake is the primary fundraiser for BBBS, a Youth Services program that provides children facing adversity in Windham County with strong, enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.

The raffles at Bowl for Kids' Sake raised more than $800 for the program, thanks to donations from many businesses.

National research demonstrates that “mentoring” - pairing a caring adult volunteer with a young person for a mutually rewarding friendship - is an effective method of addressing all sorts of youth-related issues, from combating drug and alcohol use and violence to getting along better with families and peers. This translates into higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, educational success, and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors.

More than 80 families in Windham County and nearby New Hampshire currently benefit from the program and are matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. Half as many youngsters, from all towns in the county, are on the waiting list to be matched with an adult mentor.

The children on the wait list for a mentor are boys or girls between the ages of 5 and 15. BBBS offers two flexible options for volunteers who want to mentor a child.

The school-based program offers volunteers the opportunity to visit with a child during lunch or recess at least once a week in Wilmington, Bellows Falls, or Brattleboro. This option is for people who prefer the structure of meeting on their lunch hour at the child's school.

The community-based program, in contrast, allows volunteers to meet with a child during their own time and play sports, take a walk, or just hang out for at least four hours a month.

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