Buddy Bowl: new spin on old fundraiser

Mentor programs merge


TEAMS are forming for the March 10 Buddy Bowl, a fundraiser for The Next Door’s Big Brothers Big Sisters and Mentor for Success programs. Above, a team poses for one of the advertised “whacky photos;” pizza, cake, music and prizes round out the event.

Photo courtesy of Ray Perkins Photography
TEAMS are forming for the March 10 Buddy Bowl, a fundraiser for The Next Door’s Big Brothers Big Sisters and Mentor for Success programs. Above, a team poses for one of the advertised “whacky photos;” pizza, cake, music and prizes round out the event.



Bowl for Kids Sake, an annual bowling fundraiser of The Next Door, Inc., is getting a reboot, starting with its name.

The newly christened Buddy Bowl aims to raise money for both Next Door programs Big Brothers Big Sisters and Mentors for Success. Between the two, the programs serve more than 100 youth ranging in age from 6-21.

The reason for the reboot: Next Door is disaffiliating with Big Brothers Big Sisters at the end of this year. The decision was based on the expenses associated with the brand “Big Brothers Big Sisters” and a desire to keep money local, said Next Door Development Officer Justine Ziegler.

“This gives us more money for our budget, and all money raised will stay right here, not go to Florida to the national headquarters,” she said.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, Big Brothers Big Sisters will merge with Mentors for Success.

“The programs will stay the same, but will combine under one name for all youth ages 6-21,” said Ziegler.

Currently, BBBS serves youth ages 6-15, and Mentors for Success ages 14-21. The merger will make it easier for mentors and families, said Development Coordinator Anna Granados. The programs now have two different mentor screening processes, and families must reapply when their children reach a certain age.

The name has not been decided, but three possibilities will be voted on by teams participating in this year’s Buddy Bowl, said Ziegler.

To help advertise the event, 20 used bowling pins will be decorated by BBBS matches in the art studio at Bend in the Road (formerly Good Karma). These will be distributed to local businesses in Hood River, White Salmon and The Dalles with an informational flyer about the matches who created them, said Ziegler. All decorated pins will be on display at Buddy Bowl.

What isn’t changing: Buddy Bowl will take place on March 10 at Orchard Lanes, just as in past years, with Beneventi's again providing pizza and sandwiches to participants. Teams of five are asked to each raise a minimum of $75, with those raising $100 or more receiving a Buddy Bowl t-shirt. Lanes times are 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Individuals may also register by contacting the office (information below), and sponsorship opportunities are available at $200, $500 and $800 levels.

Events such as Buddy Bowl are important to both BBBS and Mentors for Success, as neither receive state or federal funding, but rely on local fundraisers, grants and donations — with proceeds from this one event making up 45 percent of the programs’ annual budget.

For more information, to register a team or inquire about sponsorships, contact Granados at 541-436-0319 or annag@nextdoorinc.org. Additional information may also be found at nextdoorinc.org.



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