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390 bowl for sake of children

April 19, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- After his father died, J.D. Pearl's mother turned to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County to fill the void in her young son's life.

Pearl, now 43, needed a father figure and found one in his "big brother" -- a successful local businessman. Pearl was a "little" from 1979 to 1983, and on Sunday took time to raise money for the mentor program that gave him so much as a child.

Pearl and his co-workers from Orrstown Bank were some of the 390 bowlers from 78 teams participating in the 25th annual Bowl for Kids' Sake -- the only fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.

The all-day event was at Turner's Dual Lanes in Hagerstown.

Verna Brown, chairwoman for the event, said the organization hoped the event would raise $35,000 to $40,000. Businesses and individuals donate a minimum of $25 to bowl, and some sought donations per pin they knocked down.

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"The money goes to events and activities," said Alecha Sanbower, executive director. "All of the money goes right back into the organization. All of it stays in Washington County."

The Washington County chapter is serving about 100 children between the ages of 6 and 17 who are matched with mentors from the community.

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.

Jesscoyia Kline, 10, of Hagerstown, said she enjoys going to the movies with her "big sister" Robin Shusko of Hagerstown, who has been her mentor for more than one year. The last movie they saw was "Monsters vs. Aliens."

The two also go to the library and have gone to Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa.

Ralph Mauriello, president of the Washington County chapter's board of directors, said $750,000 has been raised for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program through Bowl For Kids' Sake in 25 years.

Jim Hoffer, 69, of Smithsburg, was one of several Review and Herald Publishing employees bowling Sunday. Hoffer said he does freelance copy editing for the company and was the high scorer after completing about six frames Sunday.

"I love bowling and I love the fun that we have," Hoffer said.

Ray Hickman of Hagerstown, who works in the Review and Herald's finance department, said the company has been participating in the fundraiser for about five years.

Rachel Grimm of Greencastle, Pa., the branch manager of Orrstown Bank's South Cleveland Avenue branch, said the company has been participating for at least three years.

"We work in the community and we wanted to give back to the community," she said.

Grimm said the bank employees bowling Sunday raised about $200 for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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