Next Door gets ready for annual fundraiser

Registration is open for this year’s Buddy Bowl, scheduled for March 2 at Orchard Lanes.

It’s that time of year again.

Buddy Bowl, The Next Door, Inc.’s annual fundraiser for youth mentoring programs—now in its second year, and formerly called Bowl for Kids Sake—is scheduled for March 2 at Orchard Lanes in Hood River.

That’s a week earlier than usual, said Next Door Development Officer Justine Ziegler.

And that’s not the only change for this year’s event.

“We’ve extended bowling times and lane time,” she said. “It used to be an hour and a half, and it’s two hours now … It will feel a little less rushed and participants will be able to enjoy it more.”

That means instead of the usual five “flight” times, there will be four: At 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Ziegler said participant feedback contributed to the change; most felt that past lane times were too short.

While it may seem that the fundraiser is going towards a different goal— the newly formed Gorge Youth Mentoring (GYM)—it is really the same as in years past.

“Last year, it benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters and Mentors for Success,” Ziegler said. “This year, it’s the same groups who are benefiting,” they just go by a different, all-encompassing name.

Also new this year is the option to bowl as a “Phantom Bowler”—those who fundraise for the event and receive the custom t-shirt, but skip the bowling, another request from years’ past.

Online registration is currently open.

“With fewer lane times, we can accommodate fewer teams—48 instead of 60,” she said.

Those who participate pay a $20 registration fee, which goes towards the recommended $100 fundraising goal total.

“We’ve gone digital,” Ziegler said. Registration is at bit.ly/2LTfnaV (there is also a link on the Next Door’s webpage, nextdoorinc.org.)

Once completed, an email confirmation will be sent back with a link to create a personalized Buddy Bowl fundraising page that includes the person’s name and photo (optional), which can be shared via social media.

Teams should have each member register.

“People can pay via credit card through your page, and you can keep track of where you are with your fundraising goal,” Ziegler said. Cash and checks are also accepted.

“…All of the money raised at Buddy Bowl helps children and teens right here in the Gorge,” said Ziegler in a press release. “Gorge Youth Mentoring can’t survive without local support!”

This year’s presenting sponsor is A Kidz Dental Zone. Sponsorships of $250, $500 and $750 are still available.

“Beneventi’s Pizza will be there with their pizza oven, cranking out pizza and sandwiches all day,” she said.

Another highlight: Four bowling pins have been painted by high school artists, and the top fundraising team from each flight will take one home as a trophy.

For more information, contact Ziegler at 541-436-0304 or justinez@nextdoorinc.org.

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