Step up. Fill the shoes. Inspire others.
Look around - there may be someone standing next to you in the grocery line or Starbucks with unusual shoes to be wearing outside of a bowling alley. The 25 community leaders are hoping people will ask them about their curious footwear.
This week, Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters kicks off its biggest fundraiser of the year - the 31st annual Bowl for Kids' Sake - by garnering support for bowling teams and events at Antelope Lanes in Prescott Valley and Plaza Bowl in Prescott later this month.
This past year, teams raised $200,000 through BFKS, one of the organization's biggest fundraisers. One hundred percent of the donations raised at the BFKS event goes toward making new matches.
It takes $1,000 per year to bring together and support a Big and a Little in a successful match. The money raised with the BFKS is used all year long for the necessary tasks involved with matches, including home visits for Bigs, Littles and their parents; background fingerprint and reference checks for potential Bigs; insurance; and activities.
This past year, 17 teams from Humboldt Unified School District - teachers, staff and administrators - participated in the BFKS and raised $8,500. For their efforts, the district received a large stand-up display banner acknowledging its support and participation.
Teams of five to six members elicit pledges from donors prior to their bowling date. BBBS organization does the collecting. Not only are the games free, but pizza, drinks, team photos, and prizes come with participation. For those members raising $125, a BFKS T-shirt is thrown in. This year's logo includes a super hero design with the words "Big Heroes. Big Reward. More Matches."
Be on the lookout this month for BBBS supporters and sponsors wearing bowling shoes - school district superintendents, bank vice presidents, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce presidents, attorneys, business and restaurant owners, mayors, county supervisors, and of course, Kathleen Murphy, president and chief executive officer for Yavapai Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Next year, 25 more supporters will join them.
Because bowling shoes are traditionally flat, some women requested "heels." To make that happen, American Boot and Shoe in Prescott offered to add an inch to their shoes for free.
To get involved with BFKS or YBBBS, call 928-778-5135 or visit www.azbigs.org.