Bowl for Kids' Sake raises more than $26K for Big Brothers Big Sisters

April 22, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • Kris McGee rolls Sunday during the Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser at Turner's Dual Lanes in Hagerstown. She was part of a team from Bester Elementary School.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Shoulders were shrugged in indifference, arms were thrown up in the air in excitement and fists were pumped in joy Sunday as dozens of people bowled to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.

After rolling a tenpin ball down a lane at Turner’s Dual Lanes, Kathryn Rodenburg threw her arms wide in anticipation, smiled and spun around in frustration even though she’d only left one or two pins standing.

Explaining her frustration, Rodenburg said her teammates were scoring strikes and spares, but she’d had neither. After the final frame of one game, she looked up at the screen to see she bowled a 72.

“Definitely not the best, but it’s for a good cause,” said Rodenburg, 19, of Hagerstown.

Sunday’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake raised an unofficial $26,550 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, said Phil Bennett, the nonprofit group’s chief executive officer.

Last year’s event raised about $31,000, according to Herald-Mail archives.

Bennett said he was thankful for the community’s support.

The nonprofit will use the money to help pay for operating expenses, which include special events for its young members. Last year, the youths went to a Baltimore Orioles game, Bennett said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has 77 matches and about another 40 kids waiting for mentors, Bennett said.

“We’re in dire need of male volunteers,” said Bennett, who said female mentors also are needed.

The group has a school-based program, in which mentors spend 45 to 60 minutes a week with their little brothers or sisters in school; and a community-based program in which mentors spend four to five hours a week with their little brothers or sisters, Bennett said.

Youths ages 6 to 14 can join the group, and if they join before their 14th birthday, they can stay until they are 18 years old, Bennett said.

Several of the group’s youths were expected to bowl for fun Sunday afternoon, but early on it was about bowling to help those kids, and about having fun.

Ben Seifarth was team captain for the Best Buy team. The retailer pledged $2,000 to the cause between last year and this year, Seifarth said.

“It was pretty fun,” Seifarth said of the event.

Best Buy team member Billy Huffer won an Arby’s sandwich by bowling a strike on demand.

“It was some serious pressure, but I’ll do anything for food,” said Huffer, 24, of Hagerstown.

Huffer said he ended up with about four strikes and a score of 139.

Alissa Stottlemyer, 11, of Smithsburg, was heaving the big tenpin ball up and, occasionally, kind of pushing it onto the lane.

Her sister, Adison, 11 months, was sitting or standing on a chair, cheering for her family, including mom, Nicole, who was participating in a bowling fundraiser for the first time.

“It was rough to start, but I’m getting there,” said Nicole Stottlemyer, who teaches second grade at Bester Elementary School in Hagerstown’s South End.

“I think it’s fun. I think it’s a good way to raise money,” Stottlemyer said.

Adults interested in becoming mentors can call 301-739-4711 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, Bennett said.

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