Bowl for Kids Sake is the signature fundraiser for the national organization of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and this weekend the Livingston County affiliate will host its annual event at Striking Lanes in Hartland.
Bowl for Kids Sake has been happening in Livingston County since the early 1980’s and for the past few years, has hosted the event for the charity.
“They’re (Striking Lanes are) great,” said Shari Davis-Schoech, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Livingston County. “They bend over backwards to help make our event successful.”
Chet Singh, owner of Striking Lanes, says that helping organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters is something he learned from his own parents.
“It goes back to my mom and dad and what we were taught that you always try to reach out and give a helping hand, if you can,” Singh said. “This is such a good cause. …There’s so many kids who need a parental guidance in some fashion and this is what Big Brother and Big Sisters is all about. To help find responsible people to guide them, to help give them hope for the future.”
Singh says that the community is always very supportive of the event and with 700 bowlers coming over a three-day period, Big Brother Big Sisters is hoping to raise $100,000.
In teams of five, with each bowler raising a minimum of $50, participants will have two hours to bowl while enjoying refreshments and their chance of winning door prizes. Awards will also be awarded, every two hours, to the individual who raised the most money as well as the team who raised the most.
“People are like, 'oh, I don’t bowl very well,' and we’re like, we don’t care,” Davis-Schoech said. “We don’t reward your bowling score, we reward the behavior we want which is raising money for our kids.”
One hundred percent of the profits raised from the event will go to the local Big Brother Big Sisters program where Davis-Schoech says they currently have 389 active matches with approximately 30 children on a waiting list.
Finding the right mentor to match with the waiting children is a process according to Davis-Schoech of finding the right personalities while respecting people’s requested preferences and choices.
“You have to be tolerant of people’s needs and wishes,” she said. “Sporting events may be fun for one kid and not so big in another. …When I was a big sister, my favorite line from the little girl I ended up being matched with was, “I don’t care what we do as long as she takes me away from my brothers.””
Davis-Schoech also says that mentors should be patient as well as good people who are choosing to become Bigs for the right reasons.
“It’s a relationship that turns into friendship based on mutual trust and respect and it is long lasting,” Davis-Schoech said. “My oldest match was 12 years together and that was probably 15 years ago and they’re still friends to this day.”
Bowl for Kids Sake starts on Friday from 6 pm until 10:30 pm, Sat. 9:30 am – 6 pm and Sun. 12:30 pm – 4 pm. To donate, call Big Brother Big Sisters at 517-546-1140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are also being accepted at Striking Lanes this weekend.