Big Brothers Big Sisters thank their super heroes

Published 10:00 pm Monday, December 1, 2014

The Unbowlievables team included, front: Little Sister Vicky, Little Sister Allie, Han  Jun and back, Katie Byrd Kent, Big Sister Helen Byrd and Big Sister Monica Jones.

The Unbowlievables team included, front: Little Sister Vicky, Little Sister Allie, Han
Jun and back, Katie Byrd Kent, Big Sister Helen Byrd and Big Sister Monica Jones.

Big Brothers Big Sisters depends on the generosity of local citizens and businesses to support their youth mentoring programs in area schools and communities in Polk County and Landrum, and they were not disappointed with the results of their latest fundraising event.

Teams of bowlers came together to celebrate these “Super Heroes” at the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake at Autumn Lanes in Forest City. Team members included representatives from CooperRiis, Polk County Democratic Women, Kiwanis Club of Tryon, St. Luke’s Hospital’s Rehabilitative Center and Morning Glory Farm.

Also many volunteer “Bigs” and their youth “Littles” had the opportunity to join the fun through additional sponsorships provided by Terry Ackerman, Larry and Gretchen Boyd, Digit and Beth Laughridge, Lichty Guitars, Bailey and Elizabeth Nager, No Problem Builders, David and Patty Slater, Roger and Jennifer Smith, and the Tryon Daily Bulletin.

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The sponsors create a dependable base for the event and cover all expenses. This allows 100 percent of the funds raised by bowlers to go toward supporting the services of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Bowlers are encouraged to create their own teams and raise pledges. All contributions, no matter how large or small, are significant and tax-deductible. Donors should consider themselves partners with BBBS in making a positive impact on children.

For her exceptional commitment and success at raising funds for Bowl for Kids’ Sake, Big Brothers Big Sisters again recognized Becky Kennedy. Kennedy, captain for the Polk County Democratic Women’s “The Bowled and the Beautiful” team, took this role seriously and approached legions of people to request pledges. Year after year her achievement is unparalleled and the generosity of her friends is impressive, with Kennedy this time accumulating three pages full of pledges equaling nearly $3,000. Kennedy was presented with a porcelain vase donated by area potter Doug Dacey and a generous gift certificate from Larkin’s Carolina Grill.

Michael and Sheila Veatch took a different approach to their pledge-gathering. Their online “virtual” bowling team featured their horses Windchester and Meara, much to the delight of their friends and family who “ponied up” big-time for Big Brothers Big Sisters. This creative approach nudged the Veatches into second place for which they were awarded gift certificates to the Purple Onion and Panache Boutique.

Dan Dworkin earned a gift certificate donated by Southern Manners for his fund drive. He bowled with his Little Brother Aaron and Dianne Poague from the Carolina Keglers, who ended the games with the highest score of the day. Blake Smyth and Steve Brady from the Kiwanis team also had impressive scores.

Special mention goes to Robin Edgar, Pat Strother and Jim Peterman, Kiwanis members Ernie Giannini and Blake Smyth for their fundraising contributions.

While those who went the extra mile to generate funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters were awarded special gifts, no one went home empty-handed. Already having plenty to smile about while having fun bowling and eating pizza, each bowler also won a great door prize donated for the event by area artists, friends and businesses.

The contributions by all who so generously give make such a difference in the lives of area children who are paired with volunteer mentors. Littles are given opportunities that broaden their perspectives and help them learn how to make good choices. Imagine if there was a caring, supportive adult mentor in the lives of all children who would benefit from having a Big Brother or Big Sister, what a difference that would make to us all.

Having the broad support of so many in the community who understand the needs of youth gives more children opportunities for a better future and helps strengthen our community. For more information about BBBS, call 828-859-9230.

–Submitted by Karen Dacey