Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) struck gold at their annual bowl-a-thon fundraiser.
The goal was to raise $20,000 at the Mardi Gras Soiree Bowl for Kids Friday, March 4 at Leisure Lanes but support from Ponoka residents and businesses topped the donations at $21,250.
This is their biggest fundraiser of the year that benefits the mentoring programs at BBBS, explained executive director Beth Reitz. Bowling started in the afternoon and by 5 p.m. they were already halfway to their goal.
Programs such as traditional mentoring, in-school, teen mentoring and the Go Girls and Game On programs will be able to benefit from the funds raised. Go Girls and Game On are examples of what BBBS offers. They are held in gender specific groups for students in Grade 6 to 8 hosted once a week in schools.
“We talk about self-esteem, body image, bullying, all those types of things that help them be stronger personally as well as in relationships,” said Reitz.
Andrew Heinrichs, teen program co-ordinator said the Game On program is developing into a fun environment for boys. “We try to sneak in a little body image, talking about self-esteem, talking about stress in your life,” said Heinrichs.
Short term goals for the programs are to give the boys and girls the ability to think for themselves in a positive light. The program is intended to make it a comfortable environment to talk about a positive body image.
Go Girls ialso brings discussion of self-esteem, explained BBBS program co-ordinator Morgen Chernick. The goal with both programs is to have kids be more accepting of themselves and others, explained Chernick.
Pledge collection prize winners:
First place team: PSC Broncs
Second place team: ATB
Individual: Sean and Becky Folkert
Teen: Allie Wynnychuk
Online: Susan Whitecotton
First: Ponoka Elementary School
Second: Little Treasures Day Home