Bowl For Kids Sake

  • Photo/Elcrow Photography
Team Members Peggy Westerfield,  Rachyl Springer, Randy Springer (back row) Jeff Westerfield, David Hoots, Bri Ballard, Josh Cummings, Jamie Byus, Justin Kleinschmidt, Heather Cook At Bowl For Kids’ Sake on March 6.
  • Photo/Elcrow Photography
Megan Smith and her son participating in Bowl For Kids’ Sake.
  • Photo/Elcrow Photography
(Left to right) Friends Noah Heinemann, Alivia Heinemann, Claire Bonjean, Adalyn Heinemann and Ian Heinemann support the Bowl For Kids’ Sake.
  • Rachel Kesler, Kelly Hager and Casey.
  • Photo/Elcrow Photography
Participants at Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake gather for a group photo earlier this month.

Photos by ElCrow Photography

A long time fundraiser was restored for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Morgan County. Bowl For Kids Sake was held in Jacksonville at the Bowl Inn earlier this month. Program Director, Brian Ganz “I thought the event was a great success! It seemed that everyone in attendance had a great time. Almost everyone has said they can’t wait until next year’s event.” The event still has some additional funds coming from corporations and some from matching funds so an exact amount is not known. Ganz believes the event raised around $25,000 (when all of the donations are in). “Considering the event wasn’t held last year, and we had no record of previous participants, I think we did quite well to get over 200 bowlers to participate. “I would like to thank our Major Sponsors, Ameren, International Eye Care, Fortunes, The Source, WEAI/WLDS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Diversified Services, DTE Technologies, Town and Country Bank. I would also like to thank our food sponsors, Papa John’s, Pepsi for food the days of the event, and Buffalo Wild Wings for providing lane prizes. A special Thanks to David and Vicky from the Bowl Inn for their hospitality and great venue!”

“The plan was to focus our efforts to begin enrolling and matching children at Washington School after Bowl For Kids Sake.” Said Ganz. “Obviously COVID-19 has halted new matches at this point and time. We can have received approval to still do orientations and enrollment interviews via Video chat. So if anyone wants to get involved, we can still move individuals through the enrollment process. Please call BBBS at 217-602-0023 or email b.ganz@bbbscil.org to get involved.

OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM BBBS CEO

This week has brought challenges for all of us, across the country and right here in Central Illinois.  Yet, as I learn more than I ever imagined about pandemic protocols and terms like social distancing — I have never been more proud to be part of the talented team at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois, and part of our supportive communities.  Over the next few months, this agency—much like many nonprofits here and across the country—will be faced with tough decisions. But, with unique problems, we have the opportunity to craft unique approaches.  Starting this week, for the first time ever, we will interview volunteers and lead orientations via videoconferencing software to finish up volunteers in-progress.  And, our team who is currently working remotely, will interview youth in need of a mentor on calls and video.  Perhaps most importantly, our Match Support Specialists will continue to serve as a hub for hundreds of families—providing resources for those who may be affected by loss of income, food insecurity, lack of healthcare, and anxiety due to the uncertainties related to COVID-19

Now, perhaps more than ever, the mission and the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters are evident and urgent.  And as we continue to navigate the myriad of challenges we anticipate (and many we haven’t yet anticipated) in the coming months, I want to reassure you that will be guided by a purpose and a plan:

·       If you’re a donor, know that your funds will be used responsibly as we continue to serve hundreds of youth and their families during this time of need.

·       If you’re an event registrant, we’ll prioritize your safety, and we will keep you up to speed on the latest developments on Bowl for Kids’ Sake and other events.

·       If you’re a mentor, we’ll provide resources for your Little and his/her/their family, as well as information to help you stay connected during this time of limited social interactions.

·       And, if you’re in the process of becoming a mentor—though we’ve put a temporary halt on Match meetings, we’ll continue providing orientations, processing applications, and conducting background checks.

Currently rescheduled events:

Golf for Kids’ Sake (Morgan County) – postponed until further notice

Finally, I want to say thank you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for believing in the kids we serve. And thank you for standing beside us for the last forty years, and now—as we face the challenges ahead.

Jeanne Stahlheber

CEO BBBS of Central Illinois

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