Nearly 40 kids looking for mentors

By Geoff Lee

January 14, 2016 9:47 AM

Jacqueline Weed, Bowl for Kids Sake coordinator at Big Brothers, Big Sisters Lloyminster, shows off the plastic bowling balls and pins to be used at the April 8 fundraiser at Jack Kemp School.

Big Brother, Big Sisters Lloydminster is looking for a few good men and women to volunteer as mentors for the 75 to 100 children they serve at any given time.
“Right now we have 39 kids on the waiting list,” Brenda Robinson, executive director of the local charitable agency, told a group at a Rotary Club of Lloydminster function earlier this month.
“That number changes every second day.”
Robinson said there is a need for Big Brothers and Big Sisters individuals and volunteer couples as well.
Mentors teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and for having respect for family, peers and community.
Robinson said what holds people back the most from becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister is a lack of time.
“More than anything else time and ‘what am I going to do for activities with this child?’ ” said Robinson.
“Those are the two main reasons, so right now we have lots of people who have lots of time.”
Robinson said those who can’t commit to becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister are welcome to volunteer with the organization on the board of directors or by offering their expertise.
Lots of volunteers are needed for the 2016 Bowl for Kids Sake that will take place this year at Jack Kemp School April 8 using plastic bowling balls and pins.
In past years, the event has raised about $40,000 for programming.
The closure of Border Bowl last May prompted a remake of the popular event until a new bowling alley is built.
Robinson brought a bag full of plastic pins and balls to Rotary to explain how it will work this year to raise funds.
“Generally when you say you’re going to have Bowl for Kids and the community knows you don’t have a bowling alley, then they kind of wonder what you’re doing,” said Robinson.
She said despite some raised eyebrows, support for a just for fun indoor version of bowling is good.
“People kind of look at you a bit funny and then they kind of laugh and go ‘really? And we go yes we’ve got pins and balls,’” she said with a laugh.
“It’s been pretty positive actually because people like to get out every once in a while.”
The plan calls for a 10-lane set up inside Jack Kemp gymnasium.
The event will feature a retro blast from the past theme with volunteers serving root beer and orange floats.
“We’ll be eating popcorn and having conversation and some fun,” said Robinson.
Despite the improvised format Robinson said their core sponsors are sticking with them knowing it’s more about the cause than bowling with real equipment this year.
Newcap broadcasting is the $5,000 Kingpin sponsor with other available sponsorships ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Businesses can also get involved as lane sponsors and encouraging their employees to enter teams and collect a minimum $50 in pledges per person.                                              Companies can can also donate prizes.
Robinson said the event raises money for their core Big Brother, Big Sisters matches with children or mentoring activities such as in-School Mentoring.
Contact the agency to learn about the process of how become matched with a child for mutually agreeable activities.
Robinson said if a Big Brother and a child chose skating as a shared activity, the agency would contact KidSport to make sure the child had skates and they would go from there.

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