Supporting mentorship with Bowl For Kids Sake

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Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is giving Airdrie residents the opportunity to go bowling for a cause March 11 with its annual Bowl For Kids Sake event at Shamrock Lanes. According to Stephanie Gillies, program co-ordinator with BBBS for Airdrie, Cochrane and area, all money raised at the event will stay in Airdrie to support the organization’s mentoring programs.

“All our programs are free, and since we are non-profit, fundraising helps us staff our mentoring co-ordinators, organize recruitment efforts and provide supplies for our matches to use,” she said. “This is a big event for us each year.”

Last year’s event raised $11,000 for the organization, and Gillies said BBBS is hoping to meet its $10,000 goal again this year.

Teams of bowlers can sign up for one of two sessions March 11, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., or from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. – and will be able to enjoy free food, drinks, bowling shoes and glow bowling for the duration of their session.

“We’ve had some great luck with sponsorship, and we’ve had some hard-working fundraising teams who have really put a lot of effort in and brought in a lot of money,” Gillies said.

“Currently, we are sitting at a few less teams than last year, so we’re really hoping for some more teams to sign up.”

Each team is comprised of four members – family, friends, coworkers, she said. Each individual is asked to raise $100, or $400 per team.

Once they are registered on the BBBS website, they will have a unique link to share on social media or via email where people can donate to the team.

“We do have prizes for the top fundraising team and for the top fundraising individual, as well as a number of door prizes and other draws,” Gillies said. “Anyone who has met that $100 minimum will be entered into our prize draws.”

All of the money raised at the event will stay within the community, she added, to support the mentorship programs BBBS provides for local youth.

According to Gillies, the organization offers three different kinds of mentoring to suit a variety of needs, including school-based programs and teen mentorship.

“Mentoring really makes a big difference in peoples’ lives – not just for the person being mentored, but for the people doing the mentoring, as well,” she said, noting these individuals are more likely to donate to charities, volunteer, find high-paying employment and complete post-secondary education.

“They’re really important programs, and it gives kids a chance to just chat with and spend time with someone,” Gillies said.

“And this is a fun way to do some fundraising and provide us with a little support.”

Teams have until March 10 to register at bbbsairdrie.com/bowl

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