Bowling for dollars


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sherry Harbel of St. Thomas bowled with a very special teammate Saturday, her "little sister," Ashley, 10.

Harbel, a secretary, has been a "big sister" since November, and meets with Ashley once a week to go bowling, shopping or out to eat.

Ashley, a Chambersburg fourth-grader, said she likes to go to Harbel's house and go shopping.

Harbel and Ashley were matched up through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program of Franklin County. They bowled with two other teammates at Nellie Fox Bowl at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake fund-raiser.

Carey Nunn, director of the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter, said both the chapter and the fund-raiser are in their sixth year. The local program is a division of the Harrisburg Big Brothers/Big Sisters office, which has been in existence for 22 years.


The organization matches high school students, college students and adults with local children.

The mentors "incorporate the kid into their lives," Nunn said. "They might go to the mall or the movies, do some gardening or bake cookies."

Seventy-nine teams, with four or five members to a team, participated in the fund-raiser. Team members were sponsored by friends, family and coworkers. Each team bowled two games at the bowling alley on Route 11 south of Chambersburg.

Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas of Chambersburg, a member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors, was chairman of Bowl for Kids' Sake.

The 10 a.m. teams raised $10,423, Thomas said, adding that he hoped to raise $50,000 in the one-day event.

"We've been over that the last two years," he said. "A lot of effort goes into this. This program gives back to the community in a big, big, way."

One of the programs of the local chapter matches high school juniors and seniors with third- and fourth-graders. Chambersburg resident Connie Kaiser, a guidance counselor with the Chambersburg Area School District, coordinates the program.

"The kids really enjoy it," Kaiser said. "They love the interaction."

The "bigs" and "littles" meet regularly at one of the schools to play games, celebrate holidays and participate in various planned activities.

Kaiser and three teammates raised $650 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Nellie Fox's widow, Joanne Fox of Chambersburg, has been a strong supporter of Bowl for Kids' Sake, Thomas said.

Nellie Fox, a Franklin County native who was second baseman for the Chicago White Sox, spent 20 years in Major League Baseball. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously in 1997.

Joanne Fox donated two prizes to the fund-raiser, a decoupage plaque of Nellie Fox and his baseball cards from the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society, and a patch of Fox. She said the plaque had been used as a fund-raiser for the St. Thomas baseball field where Fox got his start in baseball at age 16. He died of cancer in 1975 at age 47.

The bowlers cheered, clapped and gave each other high-fives. Some were obviously skilled at the game, while others threw gutter balls.

"It doesn't matter how well you can bowl," Thomas said. "It matters how much you care."

The Herald-Mail Articles