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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Spare a Little Love, Bowl For Kids’ Sake


Bowling for Kids’ Sake has their pins set up for an event this coming Saturday. The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program will be holding its 10th annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraising event at the Bowladrome, located at 915 State St. The event will be this year’s culminating fundraiser for the BBBS program, which has helped children in the Grinnell area for over 10 years. A broad range of sponsors, partners, participants and donors will be in attendance, all dedicated to bringing supportive friendships to children in need.

For over a century, BBBS has been actively working with young children to help them reach their full potential. BBBS pairs older students or adults, “Bigs,” with young kids, or “Littles,” typically in kindergarten to fourth grade.

Bowling Alley - Matt Huck
Bowl For Kids Sake will take place this Saturday at the Bowladrome, located at 915 State Street.

“The Bigs have made such a connection that they will be part of the kids’ life forever, [the Bigs] never know how much of a role they play in the [Littles’ lives],” said Connie Gause, Mentor Coordinator for the Grinnell area.

Gause is one of the two area Mentor Coordinators who work diligently to pair Littles and Bigs for one-on-one mentoring and friendship. A core value of every BBBS volunteer is that, inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. BBBS provides children facing hardships with strong relationships that have a direct impact on their lives, hopefully forever.

“I think so far I have helped [my Little] a lot with his confidence,” said John Gallagher ’17, who became involved with BBBS this semester. “From what it sounds like, his teacher and his counselor have seen the impact has helped him socially.”

The Grinnell BBBS program is part of a nationally recognized mentoring program and currently has around 40 Bigs working with Littles in Grinnell area schools.

Littles often face problems with school attendance, family issues and lack of encouragement. Therefore, Bigs are encouraged to step in and demonstrate not only the merits of an education, but also in living a healthy and productive lifestyle. According to Gause, Bigs frequently visit their Littles during their lunch and recess to hang out, talk or work on homework.

“The Littles have someone to talk to and confide in and that is part of our program, so the Littles have someone in their life that they are comfortable with, can trust and can confide in,” said Gause, who described a sense of mutual attachment between Bigs and their Littles.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a national initiative started by BBBS over 40 years ago to thank their volunteers and community partners, while raising the funds needed to pair Bigs with Littles. BBBS could not function without the generosity of its sponsors. The organizations and businesses that sponsor Bowl for Kids’ Sake, such as the Ahrens Foundation, the Grinnell Herald-Register and Hy-Vee, underwrite the costs associated with hosting the event, transportation costs for Bigs to visit with their Littles and the salaries of Mentor Coordinators.

The event on Saturday will consist of 30 five-person teams playing in friendly competition. Teams consist of a combination of Littles and Bigs, Grinnell locals and teams sponsored by the Grinnell College Student Government Association. Prizes include free sub sandwiches from Subway, tickets to the Strand Theatre and full turkeys provided by Grinnell Mutual for anyone who bowls three strikes in a row, or a ‘Turkey’ in bowling lingo.

“I think it has been really good for Grinnell, having seen and worked with the kids in the program,” Gause said. “I know the Bigs get a lot out of it as well.”

The Bowl for Kids’ Sake event will be divided into three sessions: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grinnell or how to get involved, visit or call Connie Gause at 641-792-4077.


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