March 2, 2014

Hundreds bowl for Big Brothers Big Sisters

118 teams attend annual event

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — Organizers and attendees said another successful Bowl for Kids’ Sake event benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cass County Saturday.

April Zartman, executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cass County, said 118 teams donating entry fees of $150 each participated in the event at Myers Sport Bowl. The total amount donated will increase after all of the extra donations made throughout the day are calculated.

Last year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake took place with a birthday theme to celebrate Logansport’s 175th birthday. Zartman said the organization decided to continue hosting the event with a theme by incorporating the spirit of a hoedown this year.

“It’s been a great turnout,” Zartman said, adding that more than 600 people had come through. “People have been coming in with hats and boots and it’s been a real good time. People are going above and beyond.”

Lauren Gaumer, program coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cass County, said every bowling lane was filled from when the event began at 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. when the last teams arrived.

Funds raised at the event will go to the organization’s Community-Based program and Local Hero program.

The Community-Based program consists of matching an adult with a child from a single-parent home. The adult spends at least four hours of his or her time a month mentoring the child and taking part in activities like going out to eat, going to movies, studying, talking and playing sports.

The Local Hero program takes place in schools and involves adults and high school students volunteering one hour a week to assist a child with their studies.

“Some of these kids just need that extra friend, that good role model to guide them in life,” Gaumer said.

For 13-year-old Angelina Gunter, that extra friend has been Stacy Cox for the last seven years.

“I just wanted to help children and be a role model they might not have,” Cox said of her desire to get involved with the organization.

The two met when Angelina was in elementary school through the Local Hero program and have both since transitioned into the Community-Based program. In the last seven years, they’ve spent time together bowling at the Bowl for Kids’ Sake event, going to parks, riding the Dentzel Carousel and attending an Indianapolis Colts game.

Seger Mathew, community service representative for WoodBridge Health Campus, came out with several of his coworkers to bowl Saturday.

“We like to reach out to the community and let them know how much we appreciate being a part of the community,” Mathew said.

He added Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cass County is an important organization.

“Youth need guidance,” he said. “They need relationships. A lot of times that doesn’t happen naturally. The community needs to step up.”

A team from Community State Bank participated in the event as well.

Branden Scott, a loan officer at the bank and a youth pastor at Royal Center United Methodist Church, said “anything that helps kids is a good thing.”

With today’s society demanding so many parents work, Scott continued, it’s important to help kids understand “despite the chaos of the world, people do care about them.”

Gaumer said the organization is looking for male mentors and those interested are encouraged to call her at the organization’s office at 574-722-2222.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or Follow him: @PharosMAK