PUNXSUTAWNEY — March 26, teams and individuals took part in the annual “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” to enable mentoring for local youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jefferson County (BBBS).
To participate in the bowling event, each member had to raise a minimum of $35. Each individual who raised $50 was rewarded with a T-shirt. Further, the participant who raised the most money was awarded the top prize donated by local businesses. This year, the top prize package consisted of a Sony digital camera.
Attendants enjoyed two games, as well as food, entertainment and prizes.
“Bowl for Kids’ Sake” is BBBS’ largest and most important annual fund-raiser. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will stay in Jefferson County to provide mentoring services for local youth. The overall purpose of the “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” fund-raiser is to help promote local sustainability.
While it is still too early to foresee budget cuts that could be imposed on BBBS, the event may have been more critical for the organization, since Jefferson County will be affected.
In addition, many areas are in need of volunteers, but the Jefferson County area is in the greatest need for “bigs,” or the adults who are paired with youngsters, also known as “littles.”
The county has 39 littles waiting to be matched with bigs. As far as bigs, males are in high demand.
John Adduci, who serves as a big with his wife, enjoys spending time with his little, a 12-year-old boy, who has been raised alone by his mother and did not have a male role model in his life prior to joining the program.
“The program is very rewarding, and I have enjoyed spending time with my little,” Adduci said. “This is a great organization to be a part of.”
He noted that he and his wife are able to play cards, watch movies and go bowling with their little. Together, they also attend the quarterly group events with the organization.
To become a big, a safety process must be performed, which usually takes an hour to complete and consists of filling out an application, submitting references and taking part in an interview. In addition, the big must pass clearances. All costs of the process are covered by BBBS.
Individuals who wish to become bigs are required to be at least 18 years old, have a current and valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
Adduci added, “I am 60 years old and a big. There is no age that is too old. It is just important to be a role model.”
A big will have a time commitment of at least four hours a month for a year with his or her little. After the required time is up, the big is able to maintain his/her relationship and continue to remain in contact with the little.
BBBS is a prevention program that promotes self-confidence through positive decision-making, future focus and exposure to hobbies and activities; caring by encouraging the increase of bonding with family, school and the community; and competence through hands-on opportunities to develop skills.