Bowl for Kids’ Sake - Breaking Records for Brighter Futures | Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City

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Bowl for Kids’ Sake - Breaking Records for Brighter Futures

Well BBBS fans, another record breaking Bowl for Kids’ Sake is in the books and I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that our 447 teams raised an astounding $826,928 (and counting) for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. This incredible group blew past our $800,000 goal! Bowl for Kids’ Sake is such a special event because its success is truly driven by our participants and supporters.

It’s embraced by individuals who believe in our mission and want to rally behind our most important annual event to support creating more life-changing friendships in their community. Teams are made up of individuals who are willing to reach out to their own personal and professional networks for donations to support BBBSKC. From March-July you’ll find Bowl for Kids’ Sake teams recruiting teammates, requesting donations on social media, sending emails and texts to their friends and family to spread the news about their fundraising campaign, posting pledge sheets in their office break rooms and planning unique fundraisers to strive to achieve their $1,200 team fundraising goal to support BBBSKC. This event was a success simply because nearly 2,000 people took the time and initiative to get involved, fundraise and celebrate their accomplishment by hitting the lanes with their team at the event in July where they enjoyed free cosmic bowling, beer, pizza and exciting prizes. You guys, I love to talk, especially about BBBS and Bowl for Kids’ Sake but I’m speechless this time around because raising over $826,000 is a really big deal to our agency staff, volunteers and the children and families we serve. Thank you so much to each and every one of you who got involved with this year’s event. It takes a village to raise this kind of money through peer to peer fundraising. Let’s have a big round of applause for: all of the team captains who lead the charge, their teammates who stepped up and got involved, the generous donors and event sponsors, our enthusiastic Prize Patrol and Super Team Concierge volunteers and for the incredibly hard working staff at Park Lanes and BBBSKC. It took each and every one of you to make this happen and more children than ever are going to meet their mentor because you showed how much you care. Lives are changing for the better, forever, because of you. Check out the “formula” for how we reached this monumental goal together and then I’m handing over this blog to some of our incredible Bowl for Kids’ Sake Team Captains to share their thoughts about this year’s event, because they are the true leaders who really made this happen. I’m already looking forward to Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2018 - are you?!

The BBBSKC Bowl for Kids’ Sake Success Formula:

  • 1,133 Pizzas
  • 486 Pancakes
  • 42 Kegs of Beer
  • 159 Companies Signing Up Teams at Work
  • 11 Corporate Event Sponsorships
  • 18 Party Sessions - Taking Place Over 14 Days
  • 447 Teams
  • 1,981 Event Participants
  • 491 Active Bigs & Alumni Bigs Participating as Fundraisers
  • 10,009 Donors
  • 41 Board of Directors & Donation Center Board Members
  • 32 Big Impact Group Junior Board Members
  • 7 Fantastic Bowl for Kids’ Sake Summer Interns
  • 14 Bowl for Kids’ Sake Captain Task Force Members
  • 42 Top Notch BBBSKC Staff Members
  • 90 Amazing Super Teams (Raising $2,400+)

Click here to learn more about this year’s event or visit

Andrea Ricklefs, Team Captain for Parker Pinheads

“This was my second year participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake but my first year serving as a Team Captain. I know what amazing work BBBSKC does for young people right in our community, knowing where the money we raised will go makes this event so worth it. I loved the fun after-hours time spent with my coworkers and we were a Super Team this year which was really exciting!”

Lavender Kunguru, Team Captain for The Wild Turkeys

“I truly enjoy fundraising, it’s easy to draw a line from the money my team is raising to how it’s used in our community. I also enjoy the BBBS staff, everyone is so helpful and jovial and it’s such a well-planned event. I got our company to support our team this year and also, everyone on my team loves that I’m a Big and want to support the cause.”

Lori Barnes, Team Captain for BMO Harris Pro-Cess

“I joined a coworkers team in 2015 and we had such a great time that I decided to select BBBS as the charity for Pro-Cess, the professional development group at BMO Harris. I love that my team worked together for the months leading up to the event, fundraising was so much fun! I loved seeing the video about the friendships formed between Bigs and Littles, it really shows what your fundraising efforts go towards, and it’s incredibly impactful to see the fruits of your labor at the event. Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a positive, fun and meaningful event that’s unlike any other charity fundraiser in KC!”

Brandon O’Halloran, Team Captain for Knights of the Round Table

“I’ve participated in Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the past 3 years because we always have a company competition to see which team can raise the most money. Our company also matches what our employees donate, which is awesome. I always enjoy bowling in the VIP area and attending the Super Team Party. The event is a great experience, I like a little bit of friendly fundraising competition and it’s a lot of fun too.”

Dolly Wood, Team Captain for Dolls with Balls

“I’ve enjoyed participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the past 5 years. I am a former Big Sister and I currently serve on the BBBSKC Board of Directors. This event is a great way to get friends together to raise some money and have a great time. This year we threw little fundraising events at Julep, KC Bier Co and Snow & Co to raise some additional funds, I love that these local businesses stepped up to contribute to BBBSKC with us. I’m also amazed at how quickly you can hit a fundraising goal by sending some emails and posting to social media!”

Shelley Porter, Team Captain for Team Trozzolo

“This was my first year being involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake. The company I work for, Trozzolo, is very involved with local philanthropy and I’m passionate about causes that involve children so this was a natural fit for me. Overall this was just a fun event, the BBBS staff was very organized and made participation easy. We held a raffle at our office to help raise some additional funds, we sold a lot of tickets and had some very happy winners! We also relied on donations from family and friends as well. When I attended the event and saw the impact a Big can have on a child’s future, I was sold on supporting BBBS and Bowl for Kids’ Sake.”

Jessica Marsh, Team Captain for MHJM MC

“I got involved with this event four years ago. A friend of mine asked me to be on their team and from there, participating has just became an annual thing for me. Once you start, it sort of becomes hard to stop (in a good way of course). I know how silly it might sound to some, but I stay involved with the event because this crazy, wonderful organization, BBBS, has changed my life. I know that sounds selfish, but it’s true. The people I have met, the programs I have been exposed to, the weird influence the kids in the heartwarming promo videos have on a person to be a better version of themselves…WHEW, it’s overwhelming in a beautiful kind of way. BBBS makes me want to be a better person and that’s a really good feeling. Participating this year was a bit different for our team. We were bowling in honor of my late father, John Marsh. My teammates are some of my closest friends and when I expressed to them what I wanted to do this year, man oh man did they deliver! We told people our personal stories and shared how having a positive role model impacted our lives. We explained that BBBS matched up youth with their own positive role model. Our team thinks that every child deserves several people in their corner, people who will cheer them on day and night. If the “fundraising,” is what is stopping you from getting involved in Bowl for Kids’ Sake – get over it! You’d be surprised how many people in your inner circle would be happy to donate $5 or $10 dollars to a cause like this one. You just need to ask them! I am pretty sure there is some fancy statistic about how the majority of people don’t donate, not because they don’t want to, but because no-one ever asks them to!! If you don’t want to ask your inner circle then put a blast on social media…strangers will come to your aid. I know it sounds crazy, but I promise it’s the truth.”

Eric Kelting, Team Captain for The Complete Legal Team

“We’ve participated the past two years and plan to stay involved for years to come. Our company has a program called Complete Legal Cares and the goal of this initiative is to give our staff an opportunity in which they can donate their time, money and resources to local organizations in KC. We also use this event as an excuse to get together outside of the office and have some fun together. We always host a staff happy hour after the event to celebrate such a great night. It’s a ton of fun and all for a great cause. If you have an office that enjoys spending time together and helping a great organization, then this is a great event to get involved in. The bowling, music, prizes, free drinks and pizza – it’s a party!”

Greg Fendler & Alan Lankford, Team Captains for Lankford Fendler Team Greg & Team Alan

“This is our third year participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake and we’ve found it to be a great way to facilitate a fun night out for employees where we get to relax and enjoy a little friendly competition, while also supporting a charity that we’ve been championing for many years now. Our staff looks forward to it every year, so it’s a great way to reward them for all of their hard work. This was the first year we entered two teams, captained by two of our three principals (Alan Lankford and Greg Fendler). So the theme for the night was Lankford vs. Fendler – it made for a fun, competitive edge on the evening. As business owners and corporate sponsors of BBBSKC, this event is a great way to bring attention to a cause we’re passionate about and it also gets everyone out of the office and out on the town for a fun evening. It’s rare to find an event that ticks so many boxes – corporate social responsibility, team building and employee appreciation. The months of fundraising culminating in a great night out makes for a very rewarding journey. It’s all about the ask. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so our team made sure to spread the word about the good work BBBSKC is doing and that was more than enough to get the donations rolling in.”

Andrea Johnson, Team Captain of Legends

“My employer, Morgan Hunter, has participated in this event for five years now and back when I was new to the company I was nominated to be the Team Captain. Each year, I enjoy thinking of creative, new ideas on how our company can raise more money. We are a very driven group of people so when I set a goal for the company to hit, everyone joins in to help achieve that goal! I felt so much pride when we were announced as the Top Fundraising Team at our party session and we loved winning the cute bowling pin decorated by a Little. We’ve now won three of those awesome pins! Dan Hilboldt is a rock star fundraiser on our team, he has very creative ways of pushing his donation page through social media. We also hold jeans days, potluck lunches, put out a change jar, etc. to raise additional funds at the office. We also start fundraising in January to get ahead of the game. I encourage other companies to get involved, it’s a great distraction from the day to day stressors of your job and your time and effort does not go unnoticed by BBBS. Plus it goes to a great cause!”

Jessica Seipel, Team Captain of Pig Pins

“Bowl for Kids’ Sake is by far my favorite event of the year; 2013 was the first year I put together a team and my friends Carrie and Tracie have joined my team every year since then! I’ve been a Big for five years now, matched with my Little Sister, Monica. I love to participate in the event because I know what a great impact it has on the program. My favorite part is the bowling party! Every year we have so much fun and this year was by far the best. We ended up winning the Team Spirit Award for the 2nd year in a row, we were also the Top Fundraising Team at our bowling session and we qualified as a Super Team for the very first time! My favorite memory from this year’s event, hands down, has to be qualifying as a Super Team. I was so overjoyed to win that great honor! My coworkers from Seaboard have also formed teams for this event as well, they know how much the program means to me and we are all so happy to be a part of it!”

Kevin Kalish, Team Captain for Big Dogs

“Believe it or not, I first got involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake in 2000 as a substitution for a team member who could no longer make it to the event. Right away I liked the cause and learned that the BBBSKC staff are top notch. They are a truly impressive group and they have an infectious level of caring about their community and this event. One of my best memories from the event was when I flew over the foul line and landed in the lane and all my team could say was, ‘you did that on purpose’. Ha! The key to raising money through Bowl for Kids’ Sake is sending out a TON of emails and commit to following up with each person. The thing is, people want to give and they love to support their friends efforts.”

Brittany Davis- Team Captain for House BOWLton

"I’ve participated in Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the past 5 years, the first year I participated my team raised $900 and this year we raised more than $8,000! I get involved every year because it’s an easy way to give back in a big way. I was a first generation college student so I understand first-hand the importance of having a mentor in your life. This is my way of giving back in hopes of helping other children find a mentor. As a BBBSKC staff member, my favorite part of this event is seeing the amount of people who get involved. It’s really powerful to look around the bowling alley and see 30 other teams who have all worked hard to fundraise for BBBS. It’s empowering to see so many people in KC come together to support their community. Imagine what we could do for the community if even more teams stepped up and got involved next year! I also really enjoyed getting my team behind winning the team spirit award. We picked a Game of Thrones theme this year and we had a blast dressing up.”

Michelle Doebele- Team Captain for The KBP Investments Team

“This was our first year participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake and our team had an absolute blast! The event is a fun way to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City, and also serves as a great team building exercise for employees. We look forward to participating again next year and continuing to strengthen our partnership with BBBSKC.”

Kellie Cram, Team Captain for Bob’s Bowlers

“This was my fourth year participating, and my third serving as a team captain for Bowl for Kids’ Sake. I was introduced to the event through our company, Burns & McDonnell. Our division President challenged us to create a team and compete to raise the most money amongst the teams at Burns & McDonnell. We had such a great time that first year that we’ve looked forward to it every year since. One of my favorite things about the event is the team spirit award. Even though its typically just for bragging rights, my team looks forward to this part of our session every year. We have fun coming up with our team “theme” and picking out costumes to go with it. This year we were “Bob’s Bowlers” and we dressed up like the characters from the TV Show “Bob’s Burgers”. We’ve now won the team spirit award two years in a row and we take it prrrrreeetty seriously. We’ve already started planning our theme for next year. My team gets very competitive about fundraising. We try to come up with a fun sale to raise money every year as a team. This year we set up a lemonade stand in the hallway at work and we sold lemonade and freshly popped popcorn. It worked well because the popcorn smell filled the hallways and people started seeking us out. We also worked hard to be the top fundraiser of all the Burns & Mac teams. We checked the leaderboard every week to make sure nobody was close to raising more than us. There was a lot of friendly smack talk too. It was fun to compete as a company against other companies, but we enjoy the face to face competition with our coworkers the best. Last year was the first year made it to Super Team status. We had so much fun on our special VIP lanes with our personal team concierge! We also really enjoyed the extra opportunities to hang out as a team at the exclusive Super Team Party. Now it’s our goal to be a Super Team every year. If you are looking for a way to help the KC Metro kids, but you’re not quite ready to take the dive as a Big, BFKS is a great way to get involved. Not to mention, BBBS throws some seriously great parties. Great parties make for great memories. I encourage anyone who loves to have a good time to join the BFKS campaign! It’s for the kids!”

Ian Finch, Team Captain of Bowling Stones V3

“In my opinion, Bowl for Kids’ Sake is just the biggest, most fun fundraiser which also happens to be a great team building exercise for the workplace. I’ve participated for three years now and my favorite thing about this event is that it brings people together and culminates in a fun event with free pizza and beer. Who doesn't like free pizza and beer?! The event is rewarding, fun and your donation and time really does make a difference to the children in our community.”

Katasha Kumar, Team Captain of Split Happens - Dimensional Innovations

“This was my first year participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake through my company, Dimensional Innovations. It was a really great experience to rally with colleagues for a great cause in our hometown of KC! The best part was bowling with the team who worked so hard to raise over $400 each. We could not have reached our fundraising goals without support from our friends, family, and coworkers. We can't wait to be a part of this event next year!”

Rex Jeffries, Team Captain of CRB Team 2

“We have a young professional group at work and we like to incorporate a couple philanthropic events throughout the year in place of happy hours. This event lets us do both and it’s a great organization that everyone can get behind! We come up with various ways to raise money within the office for the couple months leading up to the event. It is fun brainstorming new ways to get the office involved while raising money for a good cause. This year we did penny wars, a bake sale, an ice cream sale, a pie-in-the-face contest and cooked breakfast for the office!”

Jenny Duld, Team Captain of Soft Vue OG’s

“BBBS supported SoftVu this year so we were excited to return the favor by participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the first time! We had 5 teams that participated and we raised over $9,000 as a company! We had a blast at the event and it’s fun to work towards a goal to raise money for such a worthy cause. My son was a substitute bowler this year and he got such a kick out of attending. I loved the idea of showing him that kids can help kids! BBBS is a great cause and this event is so much fun, it’s something everyone can get behind!”

Elle Dummermuth, Team Captain of The Real House Moms of JoCo

“We love supporting BBBSKC, their staff is so good at what they do. We also enjoy watching the program evolve as they continue to match more Bigs and Littles and grow the program in KC. Our team was backed by our community, our kids’ baseball team family and by our friends and family members- everyone was happy to chip in. We had so much fun making it a girls night out while supporting a great local cause. We can't wait to do it again next year and invite even more friends to participate. I liked the VIP treatment we got as a Super Team, we had a blast. Congratulations to all of the teams and BBBS staff on surpassing the fundraising goal, see you again next year!”

Chris Rosburg, Team Captain of CR Team

“I have been raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters through Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the past 5 years. I've been a part of the program as a Big, to my little, Darrion for 8 years. When I heard I could help raise money to help make more relationships like the one I have - I was all in. My team spent a lot of time emailing, posting on Facebook, calling people we do business with and talking about the difference BBBS was making in the community to fundraise. It was a no brainer for my friends and family to open their wallets and contribute. I love the event every year because of the amazing SWAG. BBBS always has the coolest and softest t-shirts and, on top of that, every year the giveaways and prizes get better and better. I can't wait to see what they come up with for next year. It seems like everyone who bowls walks away with a bag full of awesome BBBS merch! Not only is it a real feel-good event but it’s easy to raise money for such a great cause! I have learned over the years that people WANT to give, they want to be a part of something, they just want a simple, hasslefree way to do it and donating to Bowl for Kids Sake is an easy way to do it.”

Mary Luber, Team Captain of Team Bowly McBowlface

“This was my team’s first year participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake, and it was an absolute blast! I’ve been a Big for about a year and a half now, and when I asked my friends to join in, they were so gracious and enthusiastic. They worked incredibly hard and came up with a ton of creative ideas to reach our fundraising goal. This crew has some truly enviable event planning skills and took the lead on hosting a beach-themed house party complete with a donation cash bar with a giant paper mache shark tip jar, used the leftover party supplies to make cocktails for a drink delivery service the following weekend, made compelling personal asks of their family members and colleagues, and served breakfast (avocado toast, what else) in their office kitchen. And one even agreed to let me pie him in the face if my Snapchat followers helped me reach our next goal before my Story expired. Spoiler alert: they came through. And then to top it all off, we got to celebrate in true BBBS style during our event night. The staff was super organized and thought of every little detail (including have a GOLF CART to drive us to the front door). They led us through each step of the process of finalizing our donations, learning about upcoming events to further support and party with the organization, and get all set up on our lane. The night was chock full of inspiring content, a ton of pizza, and some really groovy dance music; plus, you can’t beat being surrounded by a bunch of people who care a whole heck of alot about making matches in their community. We had a blast and seriously can’t wait for next year. Just know that we’ll definitely be gunning for the Spirit Award again at our event night, so look out, any team that doesn’t bring their own kazoos with them. We’re bringing our A game again in 2018.”

Michael Colbert, Team Captain of Pinheads

“Bowl for Kids’ Sake is an easy and fun way to contribute to a great cause, I’ve been participating for 20 years now! I’ve been lucky that I’ve had a lot of people jump in and donate to my team each and every year. The company I work for has been especially generous in matching donations. I was a Big for 17 years to 2 great Littles Ben and Nick, who both are on my bowling team. They are both grown up now and I’m proud to see them contribute back to the organization that helped them when they were younger. My oldest Little even brings his child and that even makes it more fun and special. I look forward to our Bowl for Kids’ Sake party session every year. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a wonderful organization run by special people who really care about helping kids so if you’d like to give back to the community and are looking for a way to do it that’s fun then I’d highly recommend putting together a team.”

Jalaire Musgrave, Team Captain of Bishop McCann Gutter Gang

“I got involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake for the first time this year because my company backs the event and I quickly learned that I love BBBS, the culture and the great people. My favorite part was the party at Park Lanes, I know the Bishop McCann crew had a great time! BBBSKC really knows how to throw a party. The energy throughout the night was amazing. From the friendly smiles that greeted us as we checked in to the celebration outside the doors at the end of the night, it was really the highlight of the entire experience. I continue to share with my friends and family about what a great organization BBBS is. I know my time and money is being put towards a good cause and I’m proud to say we’re neighbors in the Crossroads Art District. The free pizza and drinks just happens to be an added bonus.”

Justin Axtell, Team Captain of Team Ax

“Our company is a very active supporter of BBBSKC and we love helping Bowl for Kids’ Sake continue to grow! The most important part of the event to me is where all of our donations end up going. I’ve been around BBBS and for a while with friends participating as Bigs and I think it’s really great for the community. The staff and the families they serve are so grateful for the support from Bowl for Kids’ Sake participants. We get pretty creative in our fundraising approach at work. The first part is a competition because we have two teams here at AWL. Matt Curran and myself both hate to lose so we always have a friendly competition to see whose team can get all of their teammates to their goal, who can raise the most money, who can do the most creative thing to get a donation. That goes a really long way in getting the rest of our team members active and looking for ways to get donations. The second part is that our company matches any donations provided by an AWL employee. Because of that – we hold an annual fundraiser BBQ with donated food and drink where anyone who purchases a ticket gets a meal and their ticket purchase goes into a pot to get matched by our company. We also hold random raffles within the company for other donated items. This year we had a flight donated that our employees could buy raffle tickets for, PTO days, a Chiefs tailgate package and so on. That helps generate the majority of our donations. Don’t be afraid to ask your company to get involved – more often than not they are very willing to do so! Beyond the obvious point that doing something to help others is reason enough – the BBBS staff does an amazing job to make sure anyone doing something to help fundraise is truly appreciated. Not many charities go out of their way to say thank you so much. That means a lot.”

Steve Stewman, Team Captain of Alley Pirates

Simply put Bowl for Kids’ Sake is an amazing event put on by a top notch organization! The amount of effort, dedication, and planning put in by the BBBS staff really shines through. From the get go participants are treated to a fun experience from the Summer Bowl 101 Kick Off Party in May to the actual bowling party in July and finally, the incredible Super Team Party in August! I have been participating for over 15 years and each year keeps getting better! It is definitely one of the highlight events of summer and something we look forward to every year!”

Brian Stewart, Team Captain of Team Bowling BeStewarts

“Having a Little really gives you an opportunity to see the impact that the BBBS program can make on not only the child, but the child’s family. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to be a part of Ke’Ron’s life, so anything we can do to support him and BBBS is a must. Besides the fact that the event is truly a celebration---who doesn’t like bowling? Even if you’re a bad bowler, a night bowling is still pretty cool. It’s also a great opportunity for us to get together with some of our best friends that assist in the fundraising efforts. I really enjoy some of the personal emails that I receive back from people that donate to our team. It makes me appreciate how much KC really cares about supporting strong organizations that are making an impact. These kids deserve a shot. Many come from circumstances, beyond their control that puts them in a position of “digging out” all the time. Supporting BBBS is the right thing to do because it gives many of these kids the chance they deserve to meet a positive role model, a brother/sister or friend, that will likely have a tremendous influence on the men and women that these kids will become. It’s the right thing to do----period.”

Cassie Sandidge, Team Captain of Gutter Slingers

“For the past 3 years I’ve loved getting my friends involved with this event. My favorite part is sending out my weekly emails to my teammates to report on our fundraising progress and brainstorm new fundraising ideas. I push them to make that $2,400 Super Team goal! This event is always fun for my team, it gives us a chance to get together, relax and have a fantastic time. We will call, we will email, we will deliver donuts- anything to help our fundraising efforts for BBBS!”

Gene Willis, Team Captain of Friday Night Strikes

“Bowl for Kids’ Sake allows and reminds Kansas City to see what's great about our community. We come together to give our time and resources toward helping kids to live more impactful lives. I've participated in the event for more than 10 years and love that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City continues to expand its reach through the generosity displayed through this program.”

Let’s end this love-filled celebration blog with a BIG shout out to our BBBSKC Special Events and Development team along with our Bowl for Kids’ Sake part-time seasonal staff who helped out tremendously this summer. Your heart for the BBBS mission and passion for ensuring that we meet our fundraising goals is unparalleled. What a team, what an event, what a summer - congrats team!

Pictured from left to right: Katie Wells, Elizabeth Freeman, Tiffany Bruce, Veronica Roberts, Erica Ostroski, Mohamed Dia, Paige Engle, Brittany Davis, Hannah Neel, Brenna Scott, Taylor Burke and Brooke Wilbur (not pictured Lauren Mohatt).

Thank you to this year’s incredible Bowl for Kids’ Sake corporate and in-kind sponsors!

We couldn’t pull off this event without your continued support.

Thank you to Jason Johannes and his hardworking staff who served as our our gracious Bowl for Kids’ Sake host!