Recent Press Releases

Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2013 Raises $40,000 for a Great Cause

Big Money Kids: Riley and Lucy Dierker, and Melanie and Elana Glatter of the Eastside Rollers  raised a combine total of $991 by emailing friends and relatives asking for support. It was that easy.

Big Money Kids: Riley and Lucy Dierker, and Melanie and Elana Glatter of the Eastside Rollers raised a combine total of $991 by emailing friends and relatives asking for support. It was that easy.

Big bowlers, Little bowlers and bowlers in between made a difference at Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2013 on Saturday, March 9th.  A good time was had by all as more than 300 bowlers and spectators celebrated in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge (BBBSCG). Teams from The Dalles, Hood River, White Salmon and around the region collected donations from family, friends and coworkers in support of BBBSCG’s mentoring programs. They celebrated their efforts with a bowling party complete with cake, pizza and prizes.  In all, the event grossed more than $40,000, almost ½ of the BBBSCG program’s annual budget.

“Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a fun way to raise money and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters,” according to Joella Dethman, Hood River County Commission on Children and Families Director. “Bowlers have the opportunity to spread the word about the program when they ask community members for donations and celebrate with other supporters. It’s the liveliest fund raiser around”, she smiled, “We raise money to help kids and have fun at the same time!”

Dozens of businesses, agencies and individuals participated in the annual event as sponsors and bowling teams. New teams participating in this year’s event included Northwest Graphicworks, Hood River Fire and EMS, Gorge Roller Girls and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue. Returning teams such as The Dalles Kiwanis, Beneventi’s Pizza, Hood River County Commission on Children and Families and the United Way’s Hood River Council have participated for years. “I only bowl once a year,” said David Meriwether, of the United Way – Hood River Council, “and it’s at Bowl for Kids’ Sake. It’s my opportunity to have fun while making a difference!”

The team from Beneventi’s Pizza took top fundraising honors with a total contribution of $7,000, followed by Hood River Construction’s team, captained by Tim Sweeney, which raised $4,540. Sweeney, owner of Hood River Construction, was the top individual fundraiser with $3515 all from local contractors and suppliers.

High school students with the Hood River Valley Leos had four teams as did Insitu. Innovative Composite Engineering was new to Bowl for Kids’ Sake this year with three teams. The company is matching the donations collected by employees for double the impact.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge currently serves 76 children in Hood River, Wasco and Klickitat Counties matched with caring, screened and trained volunteer mentors.  To find out more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact Kristin Reese at 541.436.0305.

Biking Workshops for Bigs and Littles

Biking Workshop

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge participants braved windy conditions on Friday, September 21st and Saturday, September 22nd for their first ever road and mountain biking workshops.

The events were held at two separate locations in Hood River: the Mark O. Hatfield trailhead and Family Man stunt progression area on Post Canyon. Wes Swearingen of Mt. View Cycles in Hood River hosted the workshops.

While Jacob Mekediak, who participated in the mountain biking workshop, was justifiably wary of the “drop off” obstacle at Family Man, he successfully conquered several others. He wound skillfully around trees and hairpin turns, up and down hills, and across wooden beams. Swearingen, with his years of experience in the biking field, was extraordinarily impressed with the courageous 12-year-old.

Approximately ten Bigs and Littles from Hood River, Klickitat, and Wasco counties participated in the workshops, where they learned basic bike maintenance, including how to change a flat tire and how to repair a broken chain. The pairs then rode at the two locations on bikes of their own and bikes provided by Mt. View Cycles.

Big Winds Hosts Paddlers

Hood River, Oregon (August 7, 2012), Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge was blessed with beautiful weather on Sunday, August 5th for their first ever Stand Up Paddling Clinic in Nichols Basin, hosted by the Big Winds SUP Junior Elite Team

Though the sun was hot and the water was warm, one Little Sister begged her Big Sister, “Don’t let me fall in!” Despite her uncertainty, she went from sitting on her Big Sister’s board to standing and paddling on her own board within minutes.

Approximately 20 Bigs and Littles from Hood River, Wasco, and Klickitat counties participated in the clinic where they learned the basics of Stand Up Paddling. By the end of the class, Big Winds’ volunteers  looked on as participants put  their skills to the test in a head-to-head relay race.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, a program of The Next Door, provides children between the ages of 6 and 14 with one-to-one mentoring relationships with adult volunteers. More than 15 boys and girls in the three county service area are waiting for mentors. To become a volunteer mentor or to refer a child, contact Justine Ziegler at (541)490-9979.

The Next Door in The Dalles is Relocating

July First Move Planned for All Programs

Friday, June 8, 2012, The Dalles, Oregon

Local social service nonprofit, The Next Door, home of Families First and Big Brothers Big Sisters, is relocating to the former Visiting Health Services building between The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce and Montira’s Thai Cuisine.

The agency has been housed on West 6th Street for almost nine years, and desperately needed more space and better handicap access.

Staff searched for the right new space to lease in The Dalles for well over a year. According to Supervisor Julie Ryan, “We had a long list of needs for both employees and program participants, and we are very happy that all our needs will be met at the new building.”

The more central location near downtown The Dalles has easier access and parking is readily available. Before the agency moves in early July, the interior of the building is being painted and internet connection speeds will be improved.

The new space will house all of the The Next Door’s programs in The Dalles, including Families First, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Independent Living, Oregon Trail Transitional Housing, and Community Attention Home.

Annual Report for 2011 Released

The Next Door has released a concise Annual Report for the 2011 Calendar Year. The report highlights the number of participants served by each program area and gives a brief overview of finances. More extensive financial documents are available by request.