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Six figures for some of the most important figures in the world: children.
That’s an apt summary of Saturday’s 30th annual Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bartholomew County. The gathering raises money so staff can make and maintain mentoring relationships between volunteering adults and youngsters needing role models.
Organizers are aiming for a goal of $100,000 at Columbus Bowling Center, near the intersection of State Street and Marr Road. The record is $105,000 set several years ago.
Last year, bowlers turning in donations from sponsors raised $98,000.
This year’s theme is “A Good Friend Can Make a World of Difference.”
Event chairman Dave Genter said he needs more teams to have a realistic chance of hitting the goal, which is linked with the cost of matching mentors with children.
Laura Moses, Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director, said each community match requires about $1,000 worth of staff time, background checks and the like. School-based matches, in which mentors come and eat lunch or spend time with the children at school, cost about $1,200 apiece.
“We know that our mentoring changes lives for the better forever,” Moses said. “We seek to put children on a path to lifelong success and change the trajectories of their lives in positive ways.”
Pica Saddler, resource development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, said having a special friendship works wonders for youth.
“Studies show children participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program do better in school, get along better with siblings and family members and are less likely to start using drugs and alcohol,” Saddler said.
A change in this year’s event will help Big Brothers Big Sisters save money in alley rental.
The agency, which had expanded to two days in recent years to allow for more teams and funds, has trimmed the fundraiser to Saturday only.
“It was very challenging to fill the lanes on Sunday,” Saddler said.
Teams will begin bowling earlier in the day to make better use of time, Genter said.
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