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.