(HELENA) This weekend, dozens of people in Helena hit the bowling lanes to raise money for a good cause.
Sleeping Giant Lanes played host to the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake, one of the biggest fundraisers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Helena and Great Falls. 61 teams took part in the event this year.
“This is just kind of a celebration, really, where they can invite their team and have a couple of games of bowling and pizza and pop,” said BBBS program director Mike Buchanan. “It’s just a fun event.”
On Saturday afternoon, the lights were turned down for “cosmic bowling.” The event’s theme was “Big 80s Prom,” so many of the bowlers came in colorful costumes.
Adele Swaim and several of her teammates have been taking part in Bowl for Kids’ Sake for about five years.
“It’s a good excuse to get together with friends and support a good cause,” she said.
Buchanan said, this year, Big Brothers Big Sisters plans to match about 150 local kids with adult volunteers. About 30 kids are currently waiting to be matched with “Bigs.” Leaders are currently trying to recruit more girls into the program, and also looking for more male mentors.
It takes BBBS about $1,250 per year to fund a match. That includes interviewing and enrolling volunteers and kids, doing background checks and providing ongoing support. Organizers hope this year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake will raise up to $75,000 to help support those programs.
Swaim spent several years as a Big, and said that’s one of the reasons she got involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
“If you can be a Big or support any of the fundraisers, it’s a really great organization,” she said.
Buchanan said BBBS leaders are grateful for all the support they see at events like this.
“It’s just very uplifting,” he said. “Helena’s a very generous community. We do get some grants, but we try not to rely on government grants these days, so thankfully the individuals and the businesses in Helena are just super supportive of us. It’s been great.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters will be holding another Bowl for Kids’ Sake event in Great Falls, Feb. 8 and 9 at Little’s Lanes. You can find out how to register here.