A big fundraiser to benefit ‘littles’ Big Brothers Big Sisters is hosting its annual Bowl for Kids’ Sakes fundraiser March 18-19 and March 25-26

Quinnasia King and Chantell Scriven have been “sisters” for three years.

They do activities together -- bowling, shopping, going to the movies or swimming. Chantell helps Quinnasia with her homework and Quinnasia went to Chantell’s college graduation.

“When we first started, she was pretty young, so she was sweet and nice. Now we’re going through teenage stuff,” Chantell jokes.

Chantell and Quinnasia participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley, a program that matches local children with adult mentors. “Bigs” and “Littles” spend time together a few days every month.

“I would say it’s a good thing to do,” Chantell, a band teacher at Arnold Magnet Academy said. “It’s like you have a real sister.”

Bowl for Kids

To raise money for the program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley is holding its annual fundraiser, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, March 18-19 and March 25-26 at AMF Peach Lanes on Bradley Park Drive.

For $30, bowlers receive two games, a shoe rental and a Bowl for Kids Sake T-shirt. There will also be kid-friendly activities throughout the event, including push-up contests and scavenger hunts.

All of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to help the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, said Jamie Williams, the recruitment and marketing director.

Williams said it costs approximately $1,000 to match a mentor with a child.

The money raised will also help pay for quarterly trips for children not yet matched with mentors.

Becoming a mentor

Scott Chandler, a teacher at St. Elmo’s School, and Austin James, a sixth-grader at Arnold Magnet Academy, have been a match for three years.

Scott said he wanted to get involved in the program after he started teaching.

“I saw the absence of mentors,” Scott said.

“We go to the movies, the museum. Every time after the movies we come here to eat,” Austin said, as they sat in Chick-fil-A enjoying a meal after Austin got out of school.

Scott said they usually pick one day out of the week to spend together, and that it’s a small commitment that can make a big impact.

“They’re always looking for people to volunteer,” Scott said.

Chantell began volunteering with the program as a student at Columbus State University, looking for a community service opportunity. But the program has changed the way she looks at the students she teaches, she said.

“Because I’m a teacher, I see her age. I see how annoying they can be in class, but then I see her and can see the reasons behind it,” she said.

Chantell and Quinnasia have also learned some things about each other since they were first paired up.

“She’s intelligent,” King says of her Big Sister and Chantell pats her on the back. Chantell returns the compliment.

“She’s pretty smart,” she says of King. “She’s smarter than she lets on.”

Sara Pauff, 706-320-4469