Crowds turn out to Bowl for Kids' Sake

April 18, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION
  • Chylle Toms uses a two-handed delivery Sunday while bowling during a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters at Turner's Dual Lanes.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer,

HAGERSTOWN -- About 250 local children each year depend on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County to help them with self-esteem and character building, and there are not enough adult mentors to meet that need, officials with the organization said Sunday.

To help the local Big Brothers Big Sisters fund its programs, bowlers turned out at Turner's Dual Lanes for an annual fundraiser.

Bowl for Kids' Sake is one of the biggest fundraisers for the organization, and the event -- part of a national program -- has been held in Washington County for 26 years, organizers said Sunday.

Seventy-one teams bowled this year, and participants raised money through pledges, said Phil Bennett, the organization's executive director.

Ralph Mauriello, president of the board of directors for the organization, said more than $39,000 was raised Sunday.

The fundraiser was held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Money also was raised through drawings for supermarket gift cards and other items.


Big Brothers Big Sisters offers community- and school-based programs, Bennett said.

In its school-based programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters depends on help from teachers to identify students who need help in building their character or self-esteem, Bennett said.

As part of its programs, the local organization holds about six to eight events each year for youths, and the money raised Sunday helps pay for them, Bennett and Mauriello said.

"It's an event we count on. It's very important," Mauriello said of Sunday's fundraiser.

The event had corporate sponsors, some of which recruited bowlers to participate, Bennett said. Ads sold to businesses for an event program also raised money, he said.

Eric Jones was one of about 70 employees from the local Lehigh Phoenix plant who bowled Sunday.

Jones, who prints book covers at the plant, said the event was a fun way to get employees out of the work environment and enjoy something different.

"It's a good cause," Jones said.

Brian Bloom, who runs a printing press at Lehigh Phoenix, said he worked with employee Jenna Kulp to recruit plant workers for the fundraiser.

Bloom, who was participating in the event for the first time, said he was surprised at the amount of money raised.

Mauriello said another fundraiser is planned for Sept. 19. That event will be a Harley-Davidson motorcycle ride, in which a $26,000 Harley-Davidson will be raffled for $20 per chance, Mauriello said.

To become a mentor

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County needs adult mentors to work with youths. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor may call the organization at 301-739-4711 or learn more by going to

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