Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns in March

Little Brother Kaiydon and Big Brother Keith at the 2014 Bowl for Kids’ Sake event. Contributed photo

Bowl for Kids’ Sake (BFKS), Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge’s largest fundraiser of the year, takes place March 12, and Hood River Match Coordinator Justine Ziegler says now is the time to form teams and commit to sponsorships.

The program, which covers Hood River, Klickitat and Wasco counties, makes half of its annual budget during the event each year. Because Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) does not receive state or federal funding, it relies on fundraisers, grants and donations.

And the best part is, everyone can help — and have a great time doing so.

“It’s just fun,” said Ziegler. “You bowl, and there’s pizza, sandwiches, and cake. Ray Perkins (Photography) is there for team photos, and we have raffle prizes.”

Ziegler says there are usually about 60 teams participating throughout the day — bowling times are 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., with each “flight” lasting an hour and a half.

“Anybody can participate,” Ziegler said. “Kids, adults, bowlers and non-bowlers. I hear from folks, ‘I suck at bowling!’ But it’s still fun. I even have teams of adults who have the guardrails put up so they don't throw gutter balls.”

There are two ways to help: By becoming a team captain and/or participating on a team, and through sponsorships.

Team captains are what Ziegler describes as the “point person” and organize their group. Each team member is asked to raise a minimum $60 — those raising $100 or more receive a free t-shirt — and bring their collected donations with them on the day of the event. Sometimes businesses support a team, or match a team’s contributions. Other times, employees take it upon themselves to form a team and collect funds. Teams need to be formed and registered with Ziegler by March 1.

Ziegler, who is planning Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the first time, is also seeking lane sponsors ($175), flight sponsors ($325) and major sponsors ($650); those interested should contact her (information below) by the first week of February.

Title sponsors have already been secured: A Kidz Dental Zone, James West Orthodontics, Hood River Construction and Northwest Natural.

The BFKS fundraiser happens all over the country in support of BBBS — it’s the program’s signature event.

“Most of the Big Brothers Big Sisters programs have it,” she said. “Each do it a little differently, but it’s the same concept.

“Your role in this effort to help local children cannot be overstated: We need your help to raise community awareness of the challenges faced by local children and ask for the financial support needed to help change the trajectory of a child’s life,” she said.

For more information on Bowl for Kids’ Sake or Hood River or Klickitat County BBBS matches, contact Ziegler at 541-490-9979 or email justinez@nextdoorinc.org.

For more information on Wasco County BBBS matches, contact Kateel Muhs at 541-399-0259 or email kateelm@nextdoorinc.org.

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