Bowling for kids strikes again'Bowl for Kids' Sake' fundraiser is March 8
Haywood County Big Brothers Big Sisters will host a Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2014 bowl-athon all day Saturday, March 8, at Sky Lanes located at 1477 Patton Avenue, Asheville. As its main fundraiser for the year, participants must raise $50 minimum in pledges from family, friends, coworkers and etc. before the event.
“The funds raised by Bowl For Kids’ Sake are used to recruit and enroll appropriate volunteers and to professionally support every child-adult match relationship,” said Robin Myer, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. “In 2012-2013, we served 61 children in Haywood County. Our goal for 2013-2014 is to serve 70 children.”
“We have 30 teams registered for the event so far,” said Kip Rollins, program coordinator.
Registered teams include the Waynesville Police Department, Waynesville Fire Department, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, Home Trust Bank, BB&T, Taylor Motor Company, Longs Chapel and First United Methodist Church.
“This is a big deal for the Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Rollins. “This helps raise funds for the county so that we can recruit volunteers to mentor our children who need positive role models in their life.”
Frank Wolfe is one such mentor.
Wolfe, 77, retired from the banking industry in Florida and now volunteers with the organization.
“I have a little brother who I see twice a month,” said Wolfe. “I spend time with him and try to improve his life.”
Wolfe and his little brother, a 15-year old high school student, go swimming, participate in community service projects like Wading in the Creek, go horseback riding, eat together and shop.
“It is one of the very encouraging things that I do,” said Wolfe. “It means a lot to me. My mom died when I was six and my dad didn’t remarry. I was the youngest of five children and my four siblings were all girls. Growing up with them was not the easiest thing in the world. My situation is very much like my little brother’s. We were poor, is what we were. This gives me the opportunity to do things for him that I wished had been done for me at his age.”
The Friends Program of Haywood/Jackson County started providing mentoring services in 1984, as a part of Project SOAR. From 1984 until 2001, this program only served youth referred from Juvenile Court as a component of the Governor’s One-on-One Volunteer Program, a program of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
In 2001, The Friends Advisory Board approached Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC to become the sponsoring agency, as they had identified the need to serve more children than only court-referred youth. In July 2001, Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC assumed the sponsorship of the Friends Program and it became the Haywood County Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“Our primary service is to provide children, ages 6-15, who are facing adversity in their life, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-on-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better,” said Myer.
A positive, mentoring relationship with an at-risk youth helps in three ways: First, there is educational success. Youths tend to stay in school, perform better and are more likely to graduate. Second, attitudes and competencies are improved. Youths have higher aspirations and gain confidence to overcome challenges and improve relationships. And third, risky behavior is discouraged. Youths learn conflict resolution skills and about the dangers of tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
“Sometimes it takes quite a bit to get children pointed in the right direction,” said Wolfe.
“The funds raised by Bowl For Kids’ Sake are used to recruit and enroll appropriate volunteers and to professionally support every child-adult match relationship,” said Myer. “In 2012-2013, we served 61 children in Haywood County. Our goal for 2013-2014 is to serve 70 children.”
Last year, $18,261 was raised in Haywood County, with expenses of $1,745.
“We are very proud of this level of efficiency for a large fundraising event,” said Myer.
For more information about the Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser or to learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Haywood County, visit www.bbbswnc.org/branch-offices/haywood/ or call 356-2148.