Bowl 4 Kids

To participate in Bowl for Kids’ Sake, teams raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley. Held in March, the event is a way for BBBS to say thank you to these donors.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a thank you from Big Brothers Big Sisters to those who have contributed to helping children in the program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national mentoring organization with branches throughout the country. During the year, the organization holds fundraising events to ensure that it can continue supporting local young people. Among these is Bowl For Kids’ Sake, a bowling event that will take place on March 7 at Grand Station Entertainment.

Terry Dougherty, the program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley, said Bowl For Kids’ Sake itself doesn’t raise money and is meant instead to be a celebration of those who have contributed funds to the program.

“Basically, we get teams of five to raise $500,” Dougherty said. “We mainly do that through social media. The event is more of a thank you and a celebration, as it itself raises no money. To be a part of a team, you don’t necessarily have to come bowl if you don’t want. This is our way of thanking you.”

Dougherty said organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and events like Bowl For Kids’ Sake are important because of the kids they serve and impact. Dougherty said the event is also a ton of fun and can give friends things to compete over.

“The more money we are able to raise, the more kids we will be able to serve,” Dougherty said. “It costs about $1,000 to make and support a new match for the first year. We usually have 100 door prizes to give out at these events. … If there is a student group, you can find another one and have some sort of [rivalry game between one another].”

In its work throughout the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to foster positive relationships between the participating children and their mentors. Terry Hay, the workplace program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley, said this is one of the best things about working for the program.

“It’s really neat to see a relationship grow between a mentor and a child or a youth — to see that youth gain in confidence and opening themselves up to something new and working towards reaching their potential,” Hay said.

For anyone who is thinking about joining, Hay said Big Brothers Big Sisters can provide experiences people may not be able to get elsewhere and can open them up to new types of people.

“As a mentor, I would say it is something that really can expand your experience,” Hay said. “You can grow to know a person who is maybe different than you or a different age. You can bridge that gap together and make that connection. It makes our world stronger when people come together and get to know each other.”

Although the program has been able to help hundreds of kids, Dougherty said they are still facing some challenges in helping as many as they would like.

“This year we have served about 300 kids,” Dougherty said. “The challenging news is that we have more than 80 kids on the waitlist. When people hear that, they think we need to recruit more mentors, but it’s critical we raise money at our fundraising events so we can be helped in serving kids.”

Doughterty said the number of kids they are able to serve is a product of funding, not willingness.

“The number of staff is driven by our income, and so the more staff hours we can support, the more kids we can serve,” Dougherty said. “The limited number of kids we serve is not due to a lack of interest, it’s due to a lack of finances.”

To get more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact Terry Dougherty at: tdougherty@bigmentor.org

To join a team, donate or become a sponsor, visit bit.ly/aggiebfks.

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