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Bowling tourney to help Big Brothers Big Sisters

March 21, 2001

Bowling tourney to help Big Brothers Big Sisters



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


Big Brothers Big Sisters in Franklin County still needs a few more teams to round out its Bowl For Kids Sake roster later this month.

There are about a dozen slots for four- or five-person teams available, said Carey Nunn, Big Brothers Big Sisters area coordinator.

Bowl For Kids Sake is the primary fund-raiser for the group, which has been matching at-risk children aged 7 to 16 with adult role models since 1997 in Franklin County.

The annual event will be held March 31 at the Nellie Fox Lanes in Chambersburg.

Bowlers solicit sponsors who agree to make a donation for their bowling efforts.

Last year, the event raised $48,000, and Bob Thomas, fund-raising committee chairman, said he hopes this year's event will raise $55,000 - enough to balance the agency's budget.

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About 400 bowlers - 20 teams with five people each bowling at four separate times - are expected to participate.

"The bowling alley has 20 lanes. Our goal is to fill all 20 lanes with teams at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.," Thomas said.

Proceeds will fund the agency's basic costs, including one full-time and one part-time staff person - who match youths with adults - the cost of office space and the administrative fees for its affiliation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, Thomas said.

Nunn encourages anyone interested in participating in the Bowl For Kids Sake event to register as soon as possible.

On average, it takes about an hour-and-a-half for a five-person team to bowl the two allotted games, she said. Prizes are awarded to teams raising certain amounts.

"Bowl For Kids Sake is an opportunity for people who are not bigs or littles (brothers or sisters) to make a difference and make sure our funding continues," Thomas said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has grown significantly since the agency opened in Franklin County.

It has served about 178 youths since the beginning of its fiscal year in July, Nunn said.

There is currently a waiting list of 15 youths - 10 boys and five girls - needing mentors at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

"Boys always have a longer waiting list because it's harder to get male volunteers to come in," Nunn said.

The children come primarily from single-parent families. Mentors meet with the children about three times a month, Nunn said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters also runs a successful program pairing elementary school children with high school students to meet on school time on school grounds.

Juniors and seniors at the county's high schools are paired with third- and fourth-graders in their district.

"That has had an excellent impact," Thomas said. "I remember what it was like when I was a kid and an older person would recognize you exist. It builds self esteem."

For more information on Bowl For Kids Sake, or for information on how to become a volunteer or mentor, call 1-717-261-0094.

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