More than 80 Littles are on a waiting list needing a Big.
And, the program that that matches adult mentors with children across Reno County is in need of funding.
I’ve been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Reno County for more than three years. I’m matched with a boy at Allen grade school as part of the Bigs in Schools program. I help him with his homework. I listen to his fascination with classic rockers like the Beatles. He tells me of his favorite television show, Doctor Who, rattling off with no problem every actor who has ever played the great British doctor.
I see first hand the impact such programs have on our local kids and the need to support the organization.
However, in the past year, it hasn’t been easy for program coordinator Tomi Foust, whose biggest fundraiser is centered on a bowling alley that closed more than a year ago. She admits it was a struggle to raise funds during the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake without a bowling alley. It left the organization nearly $10,000 short of its $90,000 goal, which makes up 38 percent of Reno County agency’s budget.
In the grand scheme of things, it is not really about bowling. Nevertheless, Foust, concerned that this year’s Bowl For Kids Sake event could be down 50 percent this year because there is still no bowling alley, said her board is trying something different.
They are calling it Bat for Kids’ Sake.
“It’s most definitely to supplement Bowl for Kids Sake,” she said.
The coed softball tournament will be June 29 at Stremmel Field in Carey Park. Other fundraisers include concessions and possibly a silent auction.
The championship team will get T-shirts, she said.
Cost is $200 per team, with registration ending Wednesday.
“It’s not annual yet,” she said. “But it is our inaugural event. We would like to make it a year event, and we think it will be a lot of fun.”
There still will be a Bowl for Kids’ Sake event July 20 at the Morton Building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, Foust said. It will again be alternative bowling, including Wii bowling and possibly using frozen turkeys.
For more information on the tournament, bowling or how to become a Big, visit reno.kansasbigs.org or call (620) 662-8161