Bowling back to the 80s for Big Brother Big Sister

30th year of Bowl For Kids' Sake at Bennington Lanes

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BENNINGTON — Every child should have someone to look up to — a sibling, parent, relative, celebrity, or a professional, for example.

When they don't have anyone, that's when Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) in the United Counseling Service program come into play.

Every month or every week, children across Bennington County spend a few hours with an adult mentor to gain support, self-confidence and personal growth.

In order for the program to continue making matches in the community, teams will raise money and return to Bennington Lanes on April 1 for the 30th annual Bowl For Kids' Sake.

The event was introduced in 1987 and has raised money through local teams of friends or co-wokers as well as event and lane sponsors.

"Bowl For Kids' Sake brings the whole community together in support of a positive future for our kids," Sue Pierce, BBBS coordinator in the northshire, said in a release. "No matter how someone chooses to be involved — bowler, volunteer or sponsor — each person has a hand in helping to start a child on the right path. Every dollar raised through Bowl For Kids' Sake stays in the local area to help maintain current matches and to build new ones."

Each bowler is encouraged to raise a minimum of $50 in pledges.

In honor of celebrating the '80s and the event's inception, spirit awards will be given out to those with parachute pants, chuck taylors and a hairstyle with too much hair spray. There will also be prizes, giveaways and a silent auction.

Each team can have up to five bowlers. There is a $10 registration fee that includes one game of bowling and shoes.

To date, there are 22 teams or donations listed on the registration site with pledges upwards of $370. A total of $2,630 out of a $50,000 goal has been raised. Creative team name examples include The Bowling Stones, Livin' On A Spare, The Gutterballs, Super Strikers, and Totally Twisted Pinners.

The team that raises the most money could win a cruise for two to the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Lines from Oct. 22 to 29, provided by Global Link Travel.

The Bank of Bennington is the title sponsor and Stewart's Shops is the strike sponsor for the event.

BBBS is always looking for mentors for children ages 5 to 14. There are community and school-based matches in the north and southshires.

Children who participate in BBBS programs nationwide "felt more competent about doing schoolwork" and they "skipped fewer classes than their peers did," according to BBBS of America.

In a 2009 nationwide survey that BBBS of America did through Civic Enterprises, 97 percent of littles said working hard in school is important. Additionally, 94 percent said graduating from college is important and 95 percent said going to school and getting a good education is important.

For more information visit ucsvt.org. To register a team visit crowdrise.com/BBBSVT. The event is on April 1.

Reach staff writer Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471 or @MC_McGeeney.

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