WATERVILLE, Maine — Students and staff from Colby College, Kennebec Valley Community College, Thomas College and University of Maine at Augusta came together Feb. 26 to knock down pins and raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine in the agency’s first ever “College Bowl.”
The event, held at Sparetime Recreation Center in Waterville, was part of Bowl for Kids’ Sake, a community-wide fundraising effort that changes hundreds of local kids’ lives through one-to-one youth mentoring.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake is the agency’s largest fundraising event, involving more than 500 teams participating in events in three regions: Penobscot, Midcoast and Kennebec Valley. The goal is to raise $200,000 in support of mentoring programs for children facing adversity in Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset and Waldo Counties. Monica Charette, BBBS special events manager, said the idea to add a separate “College Bowl” in Kennebec Valley was to engage a younger population in learning about mentoring area youth and providing college students with a unique and fun opportunity to “give back.”
“Community service is part of the culture on each of our college campuses,” Charette said. “All four colleges enthusiastically embraced the College Bowl idea, recognizing the value and experience it offered to their students.” A winter storm postponed the originally scheduled date, reducing the scheduled teams from 16 to nine on bowl night, but Charette said it didn’t dampen the energy and spirit brought by each college campus. “Students intermingled, learned how becoming a mentor can have a significant impact on a young life, and several students signed up to learn more about becoming “Bigs” themselves. It was a great night together.”
The three-hour event, sponsored by New Balance, raised $2,500. The declared “winner” of College Bowl 2014 was Thomas College, whose 20 students raised over $500 and took back to campus the coveted College Bowl trophy for the first year. All proceeds from the event help fund Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs in Kennebec and Somerset counties, including school-based programs matching high school students and “Littles” in Augusta, Gardiner and Skowhegan and community-based matches throughout Kennebec Valley.
According to Alex Gaeth, CEO, it costs about $1,000 to screen, train and professionally support each match made between a Big and a Little.
“The collective efforts of everyone involved in College Bowl just helped change the lives of six area youth in our school-based programs. I’d call that a huge success.”
Additional support for the event was provided by Sparetime Recreation, American Awards, Waterville DQ, Domino’s and Capzaa’s Pizza. The Kennebec Valley Bowl for Kids’ Sake, involving nearly 200 teams throughout the business community, is slated May 1 -10 in Waterville, Skowhegan and Augusta. To register a team, become a sponsor, or volunteer at Bowl for Kids’ Sake, contact Monica Charette at email@example.com.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine changes the lives of 530 youth in Penobscot, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Somerset and Waldo Counties facing adversity for the better, forever by providing strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships. By partnering with parents, volunteers and organizations, children in the program have higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships, avoid risky behaviors and achieve educational success. To find out how you can start something great for a child today by volunteering or donating please call 236-BBBS (2227) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Cutline: Thomas College students take back to campus the coveted trophy after being declared the “winners” in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ College Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Students and staff from Thomas College, Colby College, Kennebec Valley Community College and University of Maine Augusta, with support from the event’s major sponsor, New Balance, netted $2,500 in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ youth mentoring programs in Kennebec Valley.