Summer Gold

Wii bowling fills fundraising gap for Big Brothers/Big Sisters

What do you do when one of your organization’s largest and most popular fundraisers involves bowling, yet your city has no alley?

Turn we into Wii, says Big Brothers and Big Sisters Victoria events and special services supervisor Lori Munoz.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake has been running for years across Canada as a way for BBBS supporters to raise funds proactively. But with the nearest bowling alley in Sidney since Town and Country Lanes were torn down to make way for the Uptown centre, the event has been off the radar for the Victoria chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“We heard talk of (a bowling alley being built) up in Langford, (but) we knew that wouldn’t be up in time to coincide for this year,” Munoz says. “So we thought maybe we can just do Wii bowling instead.”

Starting this week, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Victoria is facilitating private Wii bowling fundraiser parties at offices, schools, seniors centres, anywhere a screen can be set up.

The organziation has a list of potential sites for private events, but a public tournament is planned for March 12 at Mayfair Shopping Centre, site of the grand finale tourney May 14.

“We’re promoting it as a real community event, one that all walks of life and age can participate in,” Munoz says.

BBBS hopes to raise $35,000 overall through personal pledges for players, as well as donations. To get a sense of what that will provide, the organization estimates it takes about $1,000 to match a child with an adult volunteer and put that person through screening and training. “That’s another 35 children off the wait list,” Munoz says.

There are currently 100 children on the list. For boys, it’s tougher, she says – they take up to two years to be matched due to a shortage of male ‘bigs.’

Volunteers are welcome for various positions. To see what’s available, or to inquire about hosting a bowling tournament, call 250-475-1117 or visit www.bbbsvictoria.com.

editor@oakbaynews.com

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