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Big Brothers Big Sisters raises record $35,000 at annual bowling event

  • Jennifer Webster, front, and Ericka Almeida bowl in Star Wars attire during the fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County on Saturday at the French King Bowling Center in Erving. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Stephen Miller, from Greenfield Cooperative Bank, bowls during the fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County on Saturday, April, 14, 2018 at the French King Bowling Center in Erving. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • The fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County on Saturday, April, 14, 2018 at the French King Bowling Center in Erving. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • The fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County on Saturday bested its own record. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • The French King Bowling Center in Erving on Saturday, April, 14, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little



Recorder Staff
Monday, April 16, 2018

ERVING — “This is all about community,” said Ericka Almeida.

Almeida had just seen the final tally of money raised through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County signature event.

The Bowl for Kids’ Sake event raked in $35,000 dollars for the organization, which Almeida, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County’s development director, said helps 150 to 160 children each year.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters changes the lives of children through mentoring,” Almeida said.

This year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake in Franklin County — the 41st annual — took place on Friday at Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley and finished up on Saturday at French King Bowling Center, 55 French King Highway, Erving.

Groups of 4 to 6 people made donations in order to use a bowling lane for an hour. Over 200 people filtered through the Erving event Saturday, according to Almeida.

Many gave more than the minimum donation of $75, and others raised money through online fundraising campaigns for the group.

Organizations like the WHAI radio station and Bear Country Radio, as well as Deerfield Academy’s girls’ rowing team and several local banks rented lanes or supported the event.

The community support, said Almeida, dressed in Jedi knight robes, is why this year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake in Franklin County had a Star Wars theme called “Be the force for us.”

“Franklin County is the force for us,” Almeida said.

Last year, the Bowl for Kids’ Sake event raised $32,000 in Franklin County, which was the all-time record at the time, Almeida said.

“They made a lot of money,” said Dick Colgan, a retired member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County’s Board of Directors.

“You’ve got the board here, you’ve got the people here, you’ve got the community here,” said Colgan, before tossing a bowling ball down his group’s lane.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake took place all across the country, hosted by different areas’ Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations.

The organization uses the money to support its programs, which pair children with an adult role model in order to increase the chance the child will live a successful and healthy life.

According to Almeida, about 10 percent of the mentors in the organization, called “bigs,” were once children enrolled in the program, called “littles.”

“It has a trickle effect,” Almeida said.

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.