Big Brothers to hold Bowl for Kids fundraiser

An organization focused on giving youngsters a helping hand through the support of mentors has experienced great success in Rimbey

An organization focused on giving youngsters a helping hand through the support of mentors has experienced great success in Rimbey and has plans to continue to expand in 2013.

In celebration of Big Brothers Big Sisters Centennial Celebration, Big Brothers Big Sisters in Rimbey will hold its 2013 Bowl for Kids Sake on March 17 at Strikers Alley.

The Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser is open to any community member, service club, business or group who want to support Big Brothers Big Sisters in Rimbey. Registered teams will receive a pledge book to collect pledges on behalf of BBBS of Rimbey. Team and individual prizes will be awarded and teams are invited to dress up in costumes depicting their favorite decade. Individual and group prizes will be awarded.

Last year more than $14,000 was raised through the fundraiser.

Beth Reitz, executive director of Ponoka and Rimbey Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Annette Peck, case worker and fundraiser for Rimbey Big Brothers Big Sisters, made a presentation to council at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Reitz, whose request for $3,000 has been deferred to budget deliberations, said the program has proven to be valuable to the community. She noted there were 27 mentoring matches last year, including in school, traditional and teen mentors.

In 2012, Big Brothers Big Sisters worked with all Rimbey schools. Bluffton School came on board this year.

Businesses partners with BBBS include Keyera, ATB Financial, Rimbey Co-op, Rimbey Review, Servus Credit Union and Bonavista Energy.

During 2012 more than $20,000 was raised for BBBS through fundraising.

“The businesses and people of Rimbey were very supportive to our agency in our first full year of operating,” said Reitz.

This year is the 100th anniversary of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the organization has several events planned to raise public awareness.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Summit in Ottawa in April will be an opportunity for 100 youth ambassadors drawn from the ranks of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs to express their ideas.

A five-year research project tracking the experience of almost 1,000 children and teenagers registered with Big Brother agencies shows those children in the study with a mentor are significantly more confident in their academic abilities an considerably less likely to develop behavioral problems.

The research showed that girls with a Big Sister were four times less likely to bully, fight, lie or express anger than girls without a mentor.

“This ground-breaking research confirms that mentoring changes the trajectory of young lives,” says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. “The findings will have a profoundly beneficial impact on our mentoring programs.”