Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana (BBBSKY) has officially kicked off the group’s largest fundraising event of the year, and asks local businesses, groups and individuals to get ready to “Rock, Roll and Raise.”
The Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser has been an opportunity for Grayson Countians to benefit local kids and have fun in the process for years, and the funds raised during the event make up about a quarter of the non-profit’s annual operating budget.
The donations go toward creating matches between Grayson County children who need mentors and adults who are willing to help make a difference in the children’s’ lives.
“The more we make, the more ‘matches’ we can put together,” explained BBBSKY Manager Kevin Clark, who said that it takes $1,200 to put together a child and mentor and to sustain that match for one year.
Participants in the organization’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser help to create these long-lasting mentoring relationships, and get to participate in what Clark has called a “festive thank-you” for fundraisers. On Saturday, Feb. 15, the group will host a bowling event for groups which brought in donations.
Food and drinks will be provided, along with two games of bowling and shoe rental. Participants receive a Bowl for Kids’ Sake t-shirt and a chance at a variety of additional prizes to be given throughout the event.
Teams can choose one of three time slots to bowl on Saturday afternoon, and Clark said that additional times can be added if necessary.
In order to participate, each person in your four- to six-person team needs to raise a minimum of $80, but is encouraged to raise more.
Clark recommended some ways to raise funds, including the use of social media tools like facebook and twitter or offering services to friends in exchange for donations. “The more fun you have doing it, the more you will raise,” he said.
The organization has also added a Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraising ap.
Businesses who are interested in raising funds and/or hosting a team may sell $1 pin-ups, which are available by contacting Clark.
Last year’s event raised a total of approximately $10,000 for BBBSKY’s Grayson County program.
All of the fundraising efforts go toward Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Clark said it is all about “changing lives for the better, forever. And the ‘forever’ is the big part of that.”
Polling results have shown that of the kids who participate in the program, 90 percent reported that their mentor, called a ‘Big,’ helped them to make better choices. 77 percent said they are doing better in school as a result of their Big’s presence, and 76 percent said their Big helped them to learn right from wrong.
Clark said that many of these kids grow up to become volunteers themselves, and that this cycle helps the entire community, not just the children who participate.
These types of positive, enriching relationships are made possible through funds raised at events like Bowl for Kids’ Sake, Clark said, adding that in addition to raising money, he hopes people will be encouraged through this event to volunteer as a Big themselves.
“We will always have a waiting list [of kids],” he said, “It’s unfortunate, but true. My goal is to keep that list as short as possible.”
For more information about the Bowl for Kids’ Sake Rock, Roll and Raise event, contact Clark at 270-259-0492 or Erika Chester at 270-351-2220.