The Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley invite students to the 25th annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser March 29. This is the first time the event will take place on the University of Tennessee campus.
The Down Under Recreation Center will be holding bowling games as part of the fundraiser from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Crest Lanes, located in Maryville, Tenn., will host games on March 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Also, Strike & Spare, located at 5700 Western Ave., will hold games April 12 and 13 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and April 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This fundraiser is a lot of fun, and we raise money for our matches at the same time,” Crystal Hopwood, a Big Brothers Big Sisters representative, said.
All the proceeds go toward providing mentors for children who want to be a part of the program. The event is organized to allow bowlers to promote their teams.
“You get a team together and register online, and then you get your own Web page. You can even decorate it however you want,” Hopwood said.
Each bowler must raise a minimum of $25, and anything beyond that will help further. There will be refreshments for the bowlers and prizes according to how much money each participant raises.
A lot of time and dedication are invested into Bowl For Kids’ Sake because the people of BBBS care a great deal about the children’s lives in which they are investing. This fundraiser is not only about money, but also about making people aware of the program and everything for which it stands, event organizers said.
BBBS has 438 matches of mentors with children in the Knoxville area and has a waiting list of almost 200 children desiring a big brother or sister.
Raising money with Bowl For Kids’ Sake is not the only way people in Knoxville can help. BBBS needs more big brothers and sisters, a press release for the event said.
Past studies say that 83 percent of children in the BBBS program showed improved self-confidence, 90 percent exhibited improved competence in school and life and 90 percent improved in caring toward others.
“I’m a senior and I have been a big sister since the beginning of my sophomore year,” said Kara Finger, a senior in Child and Family Studies. “I heard about the program when I was in sixth grade and I always said I would be a part when I was old enough.”
She said the learning experience is not one-way, and it usually awakens childhood memories.
“I’ve learned a lot from my younger sister, and it’s fun to be protective over someone and see how she is around her friends…how she’s different from how I was when I was her age,” Finger added.
Whether a student wants to simply raise some money or get more involved with BBBS, Hopwood said every participant makes a difference.
To create a bowling team for Bowl For Kids’ Sake, visit http://bfks.bbbstnvalley.org. For more information on participating or volunteering at this year’s fundraiser, contact Sharon Moore at 523-2179 ext. 21.