Bowl for kids sake raises money for area children area news emporiagazette.com j gastroenterology impact factor

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Twelve teams of bowlers from local businesses and organizations helped raise money for more than 130 kids in Lyon County and the surrounding areas as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills hosted its 36th annual Super Bowl for Kids Sake event. The event featured free games, pizza, and prize drawings for those in attendance as well as a chance to go home with a new Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite Grill donated by Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply. Custom trophies were also handed out to the top individual and team fundraisers in addition to the top individual and team scorers.

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and actually Big Brothers Big Sisters of America does a Bowl for Kids sake as well, so a lot of other agencies throw similar events,” BBBSFH Fund Developer Hilary Becker said. “For us, this is our biggest event because it’s become a household name. We’ve just been doing it for so long that that’s what people associate us with. All of the money goes back to supporting the children in the community that we serve in Lyon, Coffey, Chase and Morris counties.”

Because of upcoming budget demands, BBBSFH wanted to ensure this year’s event was especially successful. The E.L. and Z. Irene Hopkins Foundation helped with that goal by promising a matching grant of up to $5,000, and raffle ticket sales from those hoping to win the grill also served to boost donations.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has put some goals in place for affiliated agencies for 2019, and so we’re trying to mock that budget this year, which is actually a pretty hefty increase to our bottom line,” BBBSFH Board of Directors President Clint Shown said. “The event is bigger and better this year because of that. As far as overall needs go for the year, our number one is probably in our budget. The second is that we need volunteers just as bad. There are still around 60 kids that don’t have matches, and that takes someone willing to volunteer. We ask a minimum of four hours a month of just spending time with a child and being a mentor to them. We really need the community members to step up and be a part of that.”

“I had a good game my first game tonight, but not so much now,” said Joe Pientka who was there to represent the Kansas Gas Service. “That’s not what the night is really about, though. I’m here because of the kids and because of the great things Big Brothers Big Sisters does in Emporia. It’s a special event.”

“It’s just so fun,” BBBSFH Board of Directors Vice President Amanda Meek said. “We’re raising money, but we also have this time to come and celebrate how much we’ve raised. It’s a way to give back, but also to have fun and come together as a community. We’ve had a lot of community support this year, and we really, really appreciate that.”

“Our goal in hosting this is simply to raise money for the kids,” employee Theresa Dobson said. “I have three kids that are littles in the program and they enjoy it a lot. Not only do they enjoy it, but I see it helping them out in their lives, too. Who wouldn’t want to bowl, eat, drink and have a blast for a good cause?”

“We’ve got our Adopt-a-Match Program, which is just another way to donate,” Becker said. “For $20 a month, you get named to your own match along with some pictures of them, and throughout a six-month period, I will send updates on what your match has been up to and any achievements they’ve had. The program is cool because it puts a face on what you’re giving toward. Of course, we always, always, always need volunteers, and I don’t think that will ever change. We need big brothers and we need big sisters. There’s a lot of easy ways to get involved as a volunteer, and we have a lot of different programs that are really flexible that can fit with a person’s schedule. If you’re thinking you may not have a lot of time to donate, some programs only require an hour a week. That one hour can really make a difference in the lives of the children we serve.”