Hagerstown bowlers on a roll for Kids' Sake

April 07, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Whether it's watching a movie and eating popcorn or talking about her homework, 10-year-old Alyssa House said she enjoys spending time with her adult mentor, Verna Brown.

Brown was matched with Alyssa through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County about two years ago. On Sunday, Alyssa was by Brown's side during the organization's annual fundraiser, Bowl for Kids' Sake. The all-day event was at Turner's Dual Lanes in Hagerstown.

Brown, chairwoman of the fundraiser, said it was the 24th annual event, and each year $35,000 to $45,000 is raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County. On Sunday, 80 teams bowled, including teams from about 25 local companies.

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches adult mentors with children growing up in primarily single-parent families who need friendship and the guidance of an adult in the community-based and school-based mentoring program, according to a press release.


"This is a combination of a major fundraiser and community awareness," said Ken Graber, treasurer of the organization's board of directors.

He said the bowling event is an opportunity to raise funds for the agency's services to children in the program, and for recruiting efforts to find mentors for children waiting to be matched with big brothers, big sisters and big couples.

Last year, 258 children benefited from the organization. There are 59 children waiting to be matched with a mentor.

Hagemeyer - the former Tri-State Electrical Supply Co. - has participated in the fundraiser each year since the event began, said JoAnn Plum. Plum retired in 2001 after working there for 28 years, but continues to bowl for the company each year.

Plum also is on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

"I think over the years they've just continued to give to an important community organization," she said.

Best Buy in Hagerstown brought 13 employees to bowl Sunday.

Johnny Arias, of Hagerstown, the business' general manager, said this was not the first time Best Buy has donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

When the business opened its Hagerstown store last October, it donated $5,000 to the organization, he said.

"Anytime we go into a community, we like to be very involved," Arias said.

He said Best Buy donated $1,300 Sunday - $100 for each of the 13 employees who bowled.

Dave Griffiths, of Hagerstown, is director of operations for Review and Herald Publishing, and said this is the fourth year the company has participated in the fundraiser.

"It's certainly a worthy case," he said.

Griffiths said 38 employees participated Sunday, and the group usually raised $2,000.

Brenda Page, a desktop technician at Review and Herald Publishing, and her husband, Randall Page, raised $1,012 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Last year, the couple raised $1,000 for the organization.

"My boss gave $200 because at one time, he needed a big brother, big sister in his life," Randall said.


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