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Bowling benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters

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POLSON — Last year Bowl for Kids Sake raised $15,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Not a small feat for the two-day event, in which businesses form teams for a friendly bowling competition.

This year, Executive Director Julie Williams hopes they can raise a similar amount to help fund the non-profit organization, despite a depressed economy.

On Sunday at the first Bowl For Kids’ Sake, 10 bowling teams signed-up to support Big Brothers Big Sisters. The event was held in Polson at Sportspage and the next Bowl For Kids’ Sake will be held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Ronan.

With the help of master of ceremonies and disc jockey Wayne Fuchs, local businesses rocked the bowling alley and spent the sunny Sunday inside eating pizza and supporting the organization. 

The Odd Fellows, an organization that supports widows and children of widows raised over $1,000. Other businesses that raised money and bowled on Sunday were salons Bella Vita, Shear Madness, First Interstate Bank and two teams from Century 21. 

Board member Tina Begay was also present at the event. Formerly a little sister herself, Begay noted how the organization made a positive difference in her life.

“My world was so small,” Begay said. 

In 1978, Begay had a big sister in Ronan who she remembers only as Wendy. Begay spent many days with her “big,” learning how to write calligraphy, eating fresh vegetables, riding bikes and doing community service.

“It was the first time I felt good about doing something for the community,” Begay said. 

Community service is naturally part of the organization, which now helps at-risk youth by pairing them with a high school student.

“People need to know that when we have these littles, you are really building positive community members,” Williams said.

The commitment for most pairs is not as time consuming as Begay and her big sister, Wendy. Williams noted that the commitment is only an hour a week, and because high school students graduate and move away, the organization is now seeking adults to step up as big brothers or sisters.

“I really praise the parents that sign their kids up,” Williams said. “As a parent we feel that we are supposed to provide everything for our children.”

Williams said that it’s impossible for parents to give their children everything they need and that’s one of the reasons Big Brothers and Big Sisters is so important in building future community members.

The next Bowl for Kids’ Sake will be held in Ronan at Lucky Strikes Lane on April 11. To register for the event, call 883-2150 or stop in at 49518 U.S. Highway 93, Suite A. 

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