Big Brothers, Sisters bowling leaves fun to spare

On Sunday, Livingston Lanes was brimming with bowlers all collectively dedicated to make a difference as part of the Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser sponsored by Geneseo's Big Brothers Big Sisters.

BBBS matches children ages 6 to 16 in Livingston County with college students. After a match is made, "bigs" spend three hours a week with their designated "little," acting as a positive role model and doing whichever activities are best for the big and little. They also attend scheduled Big Brothers Big Sisters events such as the bowling event on Sunday.

One of the main goals for the fundraiser was to "have fun and raise money for a good cause," said Dan Friedenberg, senior and fundraising coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters. "Ideally, we wanted to get as many littles as possible to participate."

Friedenberg added that the turnout was large, with 10 to 13 teams signed up and four to five people per team.

Jeff Newland, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester, explained that the fundraiser's goals aimed to provide those who donated with a good time.

"People who are bowling are asked to raise between 50 and 100 dollars either online or in person, and their support for doing that is they get to come to the party, listen to great music, bowl, and win some prizes which include an mp3 player, leather bags and sunglasses, all with the Big Brothers Big Sisters emblem," he said.

Newland said that most of the money raised at the fundraiser would be rerouted back to Geneseo's BBBS.

Friedenberg added that "the money is allocated back to us so families and bigs don't have to pay out of pocket. It is also for the monthly activities, so littles can go for free."

Newland explained that the funds raised would benefit the program by giving support for monthly events and the mentors.

"Our mentors match coordinators who interview volunteers, and children within the program," he said. "They understand the type of child they are interviewing and make a match. [Mentors] provide ongoing support, which is productive and yields a positive impact for the child."

"Being a '89 Geneseo alum, I'm proud of the fact that Geneseo has the longest tradition of supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters," Newland raved. "They are role models for a half dozen of the other colleges in the area who are starting to do the same stuff."