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Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks bowlers for annual fund-raiser

February 18, 2002

Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks bowlers for annual fund-raiser



By STACEY DANZUSO
chbbureau@innernet.net


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - It doesn't matter if you bowl a strike every trip to the lanes or if your ball always bypasses the pins and heads straight for the gutters - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County needs help from bowlers of all abilities.

Registration for this year's Bowl For Kids Sake, the primary fund-raiser for the nonprofit agency, is way behind other years, coordinators of the event said.

Only 31 teams had registered by the end of last week, said Carey Nunn, Big Brothers Big Sisters area coordinator. Normally, the agency has 50 teams or more on its roster by this point.

"The next two weeks will be critical to the event," said Bob Thomas, co-chairman of Bowl For Kids Sake. "No doubt the economy has something to do with it."

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Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes to raise $50,000, about 80 percent of its annual budget, through the event, Thomas said.

Last year, 72 teams raised $52,000 for the group, which has been matching at-risk children ages 7 to 16 with an adult role model since 1997 in Franklin County.

There is room for about 400 bowlers - 20 teams with five people each bowling at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Thomas said.

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

Participants bowl two games and receive a T-shirt. Shoes and bowling balls are provided. Prizes are awarded to the top fund-raisers.

The annual event will be at Nellie Fox Lanes in Chambersburg on March 23.

Thomas also emphasized Bowl For Kids Sake is a recreational event.

"We're not looking for people who are great bowlers, just people who care about kids and will ask their neighbors for monetary support," he said.

April Rhone of Chambersburg has no problem hitting up her friends, family and co-workers for support.

For the last two years, Rhone raised the most money - $1,050 in 2000 and more than $1,300 in 2001.

Rhone first participated in 1999 after hearing about the fund-raiser on the radio.

"I work nights and don't have time for a little brother or sister, and this is my way of showing support for Big Brothers Big Sisters," she said.

Thomas said corporate giving, which sponsors the event, is also down 40 percent from 2001.

"Last year we had over $14,000, and we have only $8,000 right now. Companies have said they had to cut back," he said.

Thomas said this year is an aberration from other years.

"Bowl For Kids Sake is something that's been extremely successful from the beginning," he said. "If for some reason we fall flat, we will have to figure out some other way" to raise funds.

The proceeds will fund the agency's basic costs, including one full-time and two part-time staff members, the cost of office space and the administrative fees for its affiliation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, Thomas said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has served about 200 youths since the start of its fiscal year last July, matching youths with adults, Shippensburg University students and high school students, Nunn said.

There is currently a waiting list of 12 children who need sponsors, she said.

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

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

Bowl For Kids Sake registration forms are also available in Chambersburg at Wal-Mart, Hoss's Steak and Sea House and the Franklin County Courthouse; and in Greencastle, Pa., at Thomas Auto Care Center.

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