Families bowl for a great cause in 2017 : supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon to match youth with mentors who help them develop into healthy young paeople and face life’s adversities. PHOTO: Angela Krueger

 

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon 27th Bowl for Kids Sake, this year dubbed the 2018 Rock’n’Bowl, takes place on Sunday, April 29 at the at the Canada Games Centre on the ATCO surface

When we think of bowling most of us can feel the weight of the bowling ball in our hands as we release it down the lane, crossing our fingers that it doesn’t end up in the gutter. Some skilled (or lucky) bowlers might even recall the sound the pins make when they are knocked over by a perfectly bowled ball. Others might remember the comfort – or not – of wearing bowling shoes.

Supporters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon (BBBS Yukon) have been sporting their bowling shoes for the past 26 years to support the mentoring programs the organization offers. The tradition continues on April 29 with the 27th annual Bowl for Kids Sake, except that this year the event won’t be at Mad Trappers Alley, the bowling alley in town.

“We’ve been very fortunate that Mad Trappers Alley has sponsored our event for over a decade and their support has been an invaluable contribution to our biggest annual fundraiser,” said Becky Johnson, BBBS Yukon board president.

However, the alley needs repairs to the roof and the annual Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser could not be booked ahead of time in case it rains the day before or on the day of the event. So BBBS Yukon decided to brainstorm other options.

In the fall that BBBS Yukon learned that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lloydminster has been holding their Bowl for Kids Sake event in a school gym for the past few years because of renovations to their local bowling alley.

Brenda Olynyk, who transferred to work in Whitehorse from Lloydminster, mentioned that she participated with her colleagues in the annual event.

“In Lloydminster we bowled in the school gym as the bowling alley had closed,” Olynyk said.

“They had a theme every year and the teams would dress up, we all had a good time supporting such a great cause. CIBC has put a team in for the past three years there and it’s exciting to see Whitehorse Bowl for Kids Sake Yukon style. I’m looking forward to the event this year.”

As luck would have it, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lloydminster did not need their weighted pins and bowling balls any longer as their bowling alley was reopening, so BBBS Yukon was able to purchase their equipment.

“The challenge was how to get the equipment from Lloydminster to Whitehorse. Luckily, PNW Group was able to help us out,” Johnson said. “Then we needed to find an alternate venue. Re/Max Action Realty has generously stepped up to sponsor the rental of (the ATCO dry floor).”

The event, which has made between $15,000 and $25,000 over the past five years, covers about 20 per cent of the organization’s operating budget. BBBS Yukon supported more than 20 Big/Little matches over the past year and several more youth through group mentoring programs in the schools.

The fundraising goal for the the 2018 Rock’n’Bowl is $30,000 so that even more Yukon children and youth can be matched with a mentor.

This year’s event has a rock band theme so participants are encouraged to represent their rock’n’roll spirit through costumes and team names. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes and top fundraisers.

“Yukoners are terrific community supporters and we are sure that we’ll see a great response to bowl again this year. We’re excited about the changes this year and we’re sure Yukoners will be, too.” Johnson said.

As in years past, corporate challenges are planned so local organizations can bowl against each other for bragging rights.

Even though a few things about the event are changing, the popular 50/50 draw and silent auction will continue, as well as free snacks for participants.

The 27th Bowl for Kids Sake in the Yukon will be taking place on Sunday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Canada Games Centre and is open to everyone to participate.

Call or email the BBBS Yukon office to have a pledge package dropped off and to book a “lane time.” For more information on sponsoring or participating in this year’s Bowl for Kids Sake, call 668-7911 or e-mail BBBSYukon@gmail.com.