HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (4/29/13)—While the definition of “community” refers to a group of people living in or near the same area, most would agree that a genuine sense of the word is defined by how well that same group of people can collaborate and what they can achieve when they pull together toward a common, benevolent goal.
This past Saturday, April 27th, this sense of regional unity was on display in Madisonville’s Melody Lanes bowling alley as approximately 80 teams composed of over 400 local business owners, industry employees, regional officials, law enforcement agencies, and a host of other compassionate area residents raised over $100,000 for our local Big Brothers Big Sisters’ (BBBS) annual “Bowl For Kids’ Sake” fundraiser.
Held for over 25 years, the organization’s yearly event has become a cherished staple of our community—and for good reason. Not only do area residents get to show their support for a nationally recognized cause, but they also get to have a great time doing it.
Whereas companies and organizations such as Carhartt, Warrior Coal, Armstrong Coal, and G.E. were among the top donators this year, contributing a very generous combined total of well over $40,000, the fundraiser’s still-growing sum was made possible by many quite literally “smaller” hands as well.
In particular, my daughter, Lucy Short, 6 (see main photo), chose to support BBBS of her own accord this year—a fact that I’m very proud of.
While she could have easily chose to spend money she’d been saving from her last birthday and from the holidays on a new toy or game, she asked me if it was okay to give it to a charity. As you can imagine, I was more than willing to tell her about the organizations she could support. In the end, though, she really liked what BBBS is all about: working with children and teens.
As we were already in the process of forming a Sugg Street Post team for the 2013 fundraiser, we asked if Lucy could be a member. After BBBS gave us the green light, telling us that her age was not a factor, the “Sugg Street Strikers” were born.
Though three of our team members couldn’t make it to this past weekend’s bowling event due to time constraints, we had some much appreciated assistance from another “small” helper: Jessica Dockrey’s daughter, Veda Cook, 3, whose unique “technique” was captured by photographer Jim Pearson on the front page of The Messenger newspaper’s Sunday edition.
And while the “Strikers” all bowled right at (or under) 100, it wasn’t all about the points for us—or for anyone else it seemed. It was about the cause the fundraiser supported and the pleasant sense of community we were able to share.
“This year’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser was very exciting and it was organized very well thanks to the army of volunteers who helped out,” said 14-year BBBS member and local director, Sandra Aiken. “It takes a lot of people to make the event a success year after year, and this time was no exception. I’m very thankful for all the support we have received.”
Other than the top four donators listed above, other participants that received awards and prizes at the event included G.E. member and BBBS board member, Gary Wheat (individual who raised the most); Wayne Fuller (iPad winner); Pam Wheat (television winner); Eugene Summers (winner of a black diamond necklace donated by Rogers Jewelers); Teresa Lambdin (Gutter Ball winner); and Ray Baumeister (Strike Winner). Other awards will be announced by BBBS in the very near future.
To learn more about our local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, which serves both Hopkins and Muhlenberg Counties, check out two past Sugg Street Post articles listed below:
You may also visit our area’s BBBS website for additional donation info by clicking here.
Additional photos by Sugg Street photographer Jessi Smith taken during the 2013 Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser can be found below.
Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Jessi Smith