WILKES-BARRE — The Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Bridge, based in the city, sponsored its annual “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” fundraiser at Stanton Lane on Saturday to a packed house.
About 250 teams, involving more than 1,100 participants, enjoyed the bowling, refreshments and fun atmosphere while raising money for the region’s Big Brothers Big Sisters network. Frankie Warren, of Magic 93, and Tom and Noreen Clark, of WNEP-TV, were the community chairpersons for this years’ fundraiser.
“This is our largest fundraiser each year,” said Big Brothers program director Tanya Olaviany. “We raised a little over $94,000 last year, and we hope to raise as much today.”
The money raised by the bowlers will help facilitate a major portion of the organization’s youth mentoring work throughout the coming year, which helps more than 400 children in Northeast Pennsylvania, she said.
“I started volunteering as a Big Brother a few months ago,” said Tony Matreselva of Wilkes-Barre, who attended the event with his 10-year-old “little brother” John. “I spent some time in social work, so this was a natural extension. I wanted to volunteer in something that would be personally rewarding. And it has been.”
Organizers said all levels of bowlers are welcome at the event and each team must collect donations before it registers to bowl.
“I really have a lot of fun with Big Brothers,” said one young bowler. “Since I’ve been a little brother, I’m much happier than I was before all this. It’s really great.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters staffers expressed their gratitude to area sponsors who donated time and money to make the event successful.