Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area will be holding its signature fundraising event, Bowl For Kids’ Sake, at the end of the month to help support its mentorship program.
“This is our seventh year doing it,” said Hannah Putnam, the fundraising event coordinator.
The event features three days of bowling at Langford Lanes. Teams can sign up for 1.5 hours of bowling on one of the three days. Leading up to the event, teams fundraise a minimum of $100 per member to go towards Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria.
There will also be a silent auction, a raffle, door prizes and a spirit award encouraging teams to dress up and be goofy together.
The main goal for Big Brothers Big Sisters is to support and facilitate mentor relationships for children and youth that are more vulnerable and facing adversity.
“We try to build up their confidence and their life skills by pairing them with people who are older,” said Taylor Watson, community development coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
There are in-school programs as well as community mentoring programs with mentors aged 18 and older.
About 600 kids per year request support from the organization. There are about 132 kids waiting to be matched with a mentor right now. The organization has about 250 to 300 volunteers and is always looking for more.
Mentors and their matches participate in a range of activities from hiking to attending hockey games and meet about once a week depending on their schedules.
Watson said the mentoring program helps kids, many who might be overlooked, reach their full potential.
“Having someone on their side really helps,” Watson said. “It gives them someone to talk to and someone who’s giving them one on one attention. It really just increases their confidence and allows them to connect with the community.”
On top of finding a positive role model in their lives, the kids are also able to find more community resources through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area.
Watson said many mentorship matches also continue to be friends outside of the program.
“We have one match that just hit their 35-year anniversary and they’re still hanging out,” Watson said.
So far, the Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser has raised $25,602 dollars of its $79,000 goal.
The fundraiser runs from April 26 to 28 at Langford Lanes.
Those interested in donating or creating a bowling team can do so at classy.org/campaign/bowl-for-kids-sake-2019/c209373.
General inquiries about the event can also be sent to Hannah Putnam at email@example.com.