Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks teams to Bowl For Kids’ Sake

Jan 28, 2014

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine is inviting businesses, organizations and individuals to participate in its annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake event.

Bowlers on each team raise pledge money to support youth mentoring in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset and Waldo counties.

Once again, the agency will hold three separate BFKS events throughout the six counties they serve. The first event will be held in Penobscot County from March 26-29 at Bangor-Brewer Lanes, Brewer and Family Fun Entertainment Center, Bangor. From April 1-12, the second event will be held in the Midcoast at All-Play Family Entertainment Center in Waldoboro, Point Lookout Lanes in Northport, and Oakland Park Lanes in Rockport. The final event will take place May 1-10 in Kennebec and Somerset counties at Central Maine Family Fun Center in Skowhegan and Sparetime Recreation Center in Waterville and Augusta. Both weeknight and weekend dates and times are available in all three regions.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is the agency’s largest fundraising event of the year and involves hundreds of teams raising pledges to support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ one-to-one youth mentoring program.

Event coordinator Cathy Hardy said the goal this year is to raise more than $200,000 from the event, and to have more than 500 teams participate. “This year, we’ve simplified the sign-up process by adding an online registration form. Team captains can go to our website (bbbsmidmaine.org), select their bowling date and time, and create their team roster sheet. They can also set up an online pledge page so friends and supporters can make pledges for them right online,” she said. “We’ve made it as easy as possible to sign up and raise pledges.”

Another focus this year will be to have more local high schools and colleges create bowling teams. On Feb. 13, a College Bowl is being held in Kennebec Valley, with teams from Colby, Thomas College, Kennebec Valley Community College, and the University of Maine at Augusta participating.

“We’re encouraging sports teams, school clubs, class officers, teachers, and any students who want to form teams with their friends to join us.” Service clubs are another major component. “We hope local Lions, Elks, Kiwanians, Rotarians, and other service organizations will form teams. Many of them support youth programs, and this event is a fun way to do that.”

Local businesses can support the event by becoming event and lane sponsors, donating prizes for the top fundraisers, and encouraging their employees to participate as Team Captains and team members. Bowlers then raise money by soliciting pledges from people they know. Each team is encouraged to raise a minimum of $300 in pledges; individual bowlers who raise $100 or more are automatically entered in raffle drawings to win prizes. Teams that reach the $300 goal will also receive Bowl For Kids’ Sake T-shirts.

Costumes, clever team names, and friendly competition are also encouraged. Business teams will be joined by teams of Big/Little matches who participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring program.

Alex Gaeth, CEO for BBBSMM said, “It’s important to have our matches there bowling so people understand what the money they raised is used for. Every Big/Little match our agency creates and supports costs about $1,000 annually, so money raised from this event plays a huge role in supporting these matches. Last year, we served 532 youth through our 1-to-1 mentoring program.”

Gaeth encourages anyone who wants to learn more about the event to call Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine at 236-BBBS (2227) to receive the necessary forms to sign up and select their bowling date.

Volunteers are also needed for the event.

The major sponsors for this year’s event are Hannaford Supermarkets, Camden National Bank, and Emera Maine. New Balance is sponsoring the College Bowl in Kennebec Valley.

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