Local residents raising funds to support Big/Little mentoring friendships
ALLEGAN, MI – January 5, 2016 – Snowden’s Sunset Lanes will be the site of two terrific celebrations on February 27 and you’re invited. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Allegan County Bowl for Kids’ Sake bowling parties will bring together local supporters to celebrate their successful fundraising for Littles and Bigs (mentees and mentors) in Allegan County. Organizers hope to raise $8,200 in Allegan County by the day of the celebrations.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters is serving a growing number of children in Allegan County but they need the help of the community in order to best support them and those who mentor them,” says Nicole Richmond, a member of the Allegan County Bowl for Kids’ Sake advisory committee which is helping to plan the event.
“I’ve learned that in 2015 the agency served 142 Littles in Allegan County. Also, I’ve learned that it takes about $1,000 to support a Big/Little match through the first year,” Richmond says. “So, in order to help the kids who are currently Littles, and maybe grow that number, the agency needs to fundraise. Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a really fun way to do that.”
Richmond explains that Bowl for Kids’ Sake participants raise money prior to the event either online through the agency’s fundraising page or in person. Each participant is asked to collect at least $60 and then come to the event to celebrate their fundraising.
“Supporters on the Allegan County advisory committee are the force behind Bowl for Kids’ Sake,” says Kathy Praedel, Big Brothers Big Sisters partnership manager and lead for the event. “They are local people helping local children. They care a lot about the kids and want to help all local children succeed.”
Children who have positive role models are more likely to succeed than those who do not. Research shows that:
•96.6% of Littles (mentees) showed improved self-confidence;
•90% of Littles performed better in school; and
•91% of Littles were less likely to engage in activities that could limit future success.
All funds raised through Allegan County Bowl for Kids’ Sake will go towards supporting Bigs and Littles already matched in the county and towards finding mentors for Allegan County children on the agency’s waiting list.
Getting involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake is easy: Form a five- or six-person team, register online at www.bbbsmi.org/allegan, have each team member collect at least $60 in donations, and then come to the February 27 event at Snowden’s Sunset Lanes and enjoy a two-hour bowling party. Participants may also register by contacting Kathy Praedel at 269-382-6800.
Teams are encouraged to come dressed in costume and compete in the team costume contest. Each team can pick their own theme for the contest.
Not available on February 27? You can still support the kids by being a “virtual bowler.” Virtual bowlers register online and take advantage of the electronic fundraising avenues available to all registrants (pre-written but customizable emails and social media posts) and raise money to support Allegan County Big/Little matches.
In total, 15 Bowl for Kids’ Sake events will be held throughout Big Brothers Big Sisters’ five-county service area (Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, and Van Buren counties).
Allegan County Bowl for Kids’ Sake information:
Saturday, February 27
Snowden’s Sunset Lanes
12:30PM (Perrigo employees) & 3PM
Register online at www.bbbsmi.org/allegan or call 269-382-6800 and ask for Kathy.
Cutline 1: Members of the Hollywood Starrs, two teams from Plainwell’s Starr Elementary School, pose with Balldo, the Bowl for Kids’ Sake mascot, during the 2015 Allegan County Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
Cutline 2: “Lichen The Fun Guys,” a Perrigo team, received a “Wacky Award” for their creativity and long-time support at the 2015 Allegan County Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
For more than 100 years Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles).
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a system of ongoing support and evaluation which is proven by independent studies to help families by improving the odds that Littles will perform better in school, avoid violence and illegal activities, and have stronger relationships with their parents and others. Big Brothers Big Sisters, A Community of Caring serves nearly 1,250 children annually in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, and Van Buren Counties. Learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer at www.ThinkBigToday.org.