Annual event raises money for local organization

Participants in Bowl for Kids Sake 2015 bowl at Lauderdale Lanes to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals.  This year’s event is March 11 ­— 13. “All the money raised goes directly to our program services and matching a child with a mentor,” said CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals Gina Mashburn.

by RSO Beat Writer Chelsea Yarber

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals’ annual Bowl for Kids Sake event is March 11-13. The event takes place at Lauderdale Lanes on Florence Boulevard.

Bowl for Kids Sake is a fundraiser that benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals, and it is important that the community gets involved, said CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals Gina Mashburn.

Individuals get teams of at least four to six people together and register online for the event, she said.

There is no registration fee, but the organization appreciates donations, she said.

“All the money raised goes directly to our program services and matching a child with a mentor,” Mashburn said.

Participants bowl for free and have the chance to win door prizes and a grand prize, she said.

“To get a free T-shirt, we ask each bowler to raise at least $25,” she said. “We won’t turn you away if you only come in with $15, but we hope that each team can raise $250.”

The individual raising the most money wins a custom bowling ball, bag and shoes, she said.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of adolescents across the Shoals community,” Mashburn said. “BBBS seeks to provide adolescents with a Big Brother or a Big Sister that will spend quality time with a child they are partnered with on a weekly basis.”

Supporting these children comes with a cost, and every dollar amount helps.

“It costs around $800 a year to sponsor one child with Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Mashburn said. “The more money we have supporting our program, the more we will be able to financially support these children and able to match them with a mentor.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is Alpha Tau Omega’s philanthropy, and the fraternity has participated in the event since the beginning, said junior and ATO President Josh Sanderson.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has always been great to us, so giving back is the least we can do,” he said.

All greek organizations should join the event, said senior and Alpha Delta Pi alumna Kathryn Smith.

“As a secondary education major, I have a huge heart for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and everything it stands for,” Smith said.

Sanderson said the event makes an impact on the lives of the children involved with BBBS.

“I encourage any organization or individual who is seeking a service opportunity to start making plans to attend this event,” he said.

University students often take part in Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals events, and the organization invites students to serve as mentors during their time at UNA.

“UNA students have been involved with BBBS for years,” Mashburn said. “Our students love spending time with UNA football players and older students that have a special way of changing their lives for the better.”

Mentoring the children of BBBS is an excellent way for students to intermingle with the local community, said senior Brooke Chamblee.

“I think this event is a great way to promote community involvement that far extends strengthening the bonds of friendship,” Chamblee said. “It will provide the funds to give resources to deserving children who may often feel forgotten.”