More than a hundred business and community members went bowling Thursday at Interstate Lanes for a special fundraiser that brought in over $12,000 to support area children's programs.
The "Soul Bowl" was organized by the African American Mentoring Council, to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters' African American Mentoring Program.
The program's mission is to increase the number of African American children matched with African American Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Additional support was provided by the African American Chamber of Commerce.
"We're here tonight to support Big Brothers Big Sisters," said Stanley Jackson of fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, "and to show that there are some positive brothers here who want to give back to the community and help out, and inspire some of these young kids and give them hope for the future."
Emcee DJ OG One provided the music, and Big Brothers Big Sisters staff members passed out gifts and to thank participants.
"It's about trying to help out the kids any way we can – and have a little fun," said African American Mentoring Council member Rob Ingram.
Bowl for Kids' Sake, made possible by Regence with additional support from Nike and Umpqua Bank, is the flagship fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Donations are used for volunteer recruitment, background checks, careful matching, continuous monitoring, ongoing match support, and dedicated service to volunteers, families and children to ensure positive outcomes.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven to improve children's odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles. Since 2002 Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest has provided professional support to children matched in a one-to-one relationship with a positive adult role model.
In 2008 Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest supported 2,971 children making it the fastest growing Big Brothers agency nationwide and the largest on the west coast.
To make a contribution in acknowledgment of the African American Mentoring Council's efforts to match more African American children with an African American Big Brother or Big Sister, you can donate online by visiting bbbsnorthwest.org and following the Bowl for Kids' Sake link.