Big Brothers Big Sisters invites students to bowl for kids

Amye Buckley

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Inc. will host Bowl for Kids [time] March 3 [place] to raise money for its local programs. Flyers inviting student groups to participate in the bowl-a-thon were distributed across campus earlier this month and a few students signed up.

Tish Vickers, case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters, organized this year’s event. She says there is still time for students to be involved.

“Teams can sign up all the way to that day,” Vickers said. Teams that register early will have more time to collect signatures and sponsors for the event.

Participants get to bowl two games and will receive a free T-shirt, pizza, and a drink. Each bowler is asked to raise $50 in pledges.

“This is our biggest fundraising event of the year,” Vickers said. “The majority of our budget comes from this event.”

The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization matches children with individual mentors and also places children in site-based after school programs.

This year, the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter is looking to expand its program. The board of directors has approved local involvement in the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ AMACHI program. The Joplin AMACHI program will place mentors with children who have an incarcerated parent. Vickers is currently looking for a church and community host for the program.

Vickers says involvement in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program can make a difference, one child at a time. Recently, when she arrived at one of the after-school programs, one of the little boys looked sad and alone.

In a few minutes, he was laughing and shooting hoops with his “big sister.”

Adult involvement is a real “pick-me-up” for children in the program. “[It] lifts their spirits,” Vickers said.

And for a child wondering if anyone cares, Vickers believes adult involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters proves that someone really does.

For more information or to request a registration packet, please contact Tish Vickers at 417-626-9244.