LAC LA BICHE - Organizers were bowled over by the community support at this year's Big Brothers-Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake.
A day of bowling that started with students in the morning and wrapped up with a corporate challenge at Lac La Biche's Lucky Strike Bowling Lanes last Friday night, raised more than $10,000 for the local Big Brothers office.
"It was a successful Big Brothers - Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake event due to our fantastic community support," said local Big Brothers-Big Sisters coordinator Lori Beniuk, also crediting the agencies volunteer advisory committee for organizing a successful day-long event that raised awareness as well as funds.
Teams of students from four area schools raised pledges and brought sponsor support to Friday's daytime bowling event, raising $4,000 for the local organization. A few hours later, a corporate challenge event with a dozen local teams and local sponsors raised an additional $6,000.
The local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization pairs young students in area schools with older students to offer mentorship and friendship.
Friday' night's corporate challenge pitted local teams against each other for a night of friendly and fast-paced bowling games. When the last headpin was re-set, the Lac La Biche Kinsmen team narrowly edged out the Independent Grocers squad for top-spot honours.
Raffle draws and prize giveaways from dozens of local business sponsors helped organizers reach — and beat — their $10,000 goal.
"Our sponsors, donations, and teams in the event helped surpass our $10,000 goal," said Beniuk, also thanking the local bowling alley for hosting the agency's biggest fundraiser of the year.
Funds raised from the event stay in the community.
"The money will go towards continuing our mentoring programs and facilitating groups within the LLB area schools," she said.
While the student bowling and the corporate challenge went better than expected, a Saturday afternoon community bowling event had to be cancelled because of lower-than-expected registration. Beniuk said it was disappointing to have to cancel part of the weekend plans, but understood it was a busy weekend around the community with several other events taking place.
"I'm happy we had the support we did," she said. "We reached our goal."
The program is always looking for local support, awareness and membership, says Beniuk.
The Lac La Biche Big Brothers Big Sisters agency has information on its social media pages.