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Bowl for Kids' Sake begins Saturday

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By Gina Clear, Landmark News Service

 Starting this weekend, bowlers clad in rock ‘n’ roll costumes will descend on an Elizabethtown bowling alley to raise money and, more importantly, have fun.

The Hardin County office of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana hosts its annual Bowl For Kids Sake at Dix-E-Town Lanes beginning Saturday and continuing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until March 23.

“Our matches between bigs and littles are fun relationships, so we try to give that premise in the fundraisers we do,” said Kevin Clark, BBBS community engagement branch manager.

The popular bowl-a-thon is a signature event for BBBS and has a history in the area, he said. The local organization serves Hardin, LaRue, Grayson, Nelson and Marion counties and Fort Knox.

The theme is Rock, Roll and Raise and Clark says he’s seen bowlers in poodle skirts, dressed as the band KISS and as Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose. An Elvis impersonator even made an appearance last year to pose for photos.

The goal is to register 150 to 200 teams and raise $65,000 – a quarter of the organization’s operating budget. Each bowler is asked to raise at least $80 and receives two games of bowling, free shoe rental and an official T-shirt for the donation.

“There’s excitement out there and our sponsorships are up this year,” Clark said. “When it comes down to it, every dollar we make goes back to help those kids.”

More than 120 teams are registered so far, Clark said, and added it’s not too late to organize a team or participate individually.

“People still have basically a month to fundraise before the final weekend and still come bowl with us,” he said.

For a second year, an additional weekend, April 12-13, takes place at Fort Knox.

Clarksaid bowlers don’t have to be good to participate and if they don’t want to bowl there still are volunteer opportunities.

“It doesn’t matter how bad of a bowler you are – we give out prizes for gutter balls,” he said. “The score is not the important part.”

The event also helps recruit volunteers for the organization’s goal of sponsoring meaningful, monitored matches between adults, called Bigs, and children ages 7 through 16, known as Littles.

When participants come to bowl, they may consider volunteering further with the organization just because they had fun at the event, Clark said. Volunteers don’t have to be good at math, for instance, because the program is not a tutoring program.

“We match on preference, so that we can make an impactful and long-lasting relationship,” Clark said.

But when it comes down to it, Clark said the event is successful each year because ultimately, it’s fun.

“It’s just a lot of fun and really helps a lot of kids,” he said. “If we can get that point across, the kids win.”

LEARN MORE

For more information on Bowl For Kids Sake or Big Brothers Big Sisters, call 270-351-2220.

To register or donate, go to http://kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1091218 or call 270-351-2220.