BRATTLEBORO — Bowl for Kids' Sake, a community-wide Youth Services event which raises money for its Windham County Big Brothers Big Sisters program, grossed close to $40,000 on Saturday, May 7. Big Brothers Big Sisters is still collecting pledges and donations.
According to organizers, Bowl for Kids' Sake attracted people from all walks of life; more than 150 friends and colleagues who formed teams to 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 over $1,000 each from friends and colleagues in pledges. Swiss Precision and the County Mounties were close behind in terms of money raised.
The raffles at Bowl for Kids' Sake raised over $800 for the program's coffers, thanks to donations from many businesses.
TransCanada, The Richards Group, Brattleboro Ford Subaru and GS Precision are the Pacesetter Sponsors for all Youth Services events in 2016. People's United Bank continued as the presenting sponsor.
Corporate Sustainers for Bowl for Kids' Sake are Brattleboro Savings & Loan; Chroma Technology; Edward Jones; David Manning, Inc.; H & R Block; River Valley Credit Union; Swiss Precision Turning; Twombly Wealth Management; and Vermont Country Deli. Corporate Patrons include Barrows & Fisher Oil Co.; C & S Wholesale Grocer; Friends of the Sun; Hotel Pharmacy; Members First Credit Union; New Chapter; VSECU; and World Learning. Corporate Associates for Bowl for Kids' Sake are A.L. Tyler & Sons; Brattleboro Bowl; Durand Toyota Ford; Golub Foundation of Price Chopper; and Park Place Financial Advisors.
"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. "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 Big Brothers Big Sisters, a Youth Services program which provides children facing adversity in Windham County with strong, and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. National research demonstrates that "mentoring" — pairing a carefully screened volunteer with a young person for a mutually rewarding friendship – produces measurable outcomes, such as higher aspirations; greater confidence and better relationships; educational success; and avoidance of delinquency and other risky behaviors.
More than eighty families Windham County and nearby New Hampshire currently benefit from the program and are matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. Presently, half as many youngsters, from all towns in the county, are on the waiting list, eagerly waiting to be matched with an adult mentor.
The children on the waiting list for a mentor are boys or girls between the ages of 5 and 15. Big Brothers Big Sisters 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 either 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.
Call Youth Services at 802-257-0361 for more information about how you can become involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters or visit youthservicesinc.org/bbbs Donations can be made on-line, or in person or by mail at Youth Services, 32 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301.