The first annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake was a rousing success Saturday at Rim Country Lanes, as 18 teams raised $7,400 to support the local agency.
Sandy Buckner of the Wal-Mart Deli Dawgs team won the grand prize of two round-trip tickets to Anaheim plus $300 spending money by raising more than $2,000. Her total included a $1,000 matching contribution by Mazatzal Casino.
The Gila County Sheriffs Department trounced the Payson Police Department and, in the process, took the team trophy with an overall two-game total of 1,413 pins. Individual honors went to Jamie Hoffman of the Pine post office team, who rolled games of 199 and 166, and Bob Birgam of the Sheriffs Department, who posted scores of 135 and 197.
In addition to five teams from Wal-Mart, two from ERA Young Realty, and the two law enforcement teams, entries included the Payson and Pine post offices, Rim District Modified Motorcycle Association, Sav-Mor Foods, Hale Accounting, Gila County Attorneys Office, Optimist Club of Payson, Rotary Club of Payson and Rim Guidance.
The new owners of Rim Country Lanes, Bob and Julie Baker, provided free food for the bowlers. The event was co-sponsored by Wal-Mart.
Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, screened adult volunteers serve as friends and mentors to children from single parent homes. The local agency began taking in volunteers and children in September and already has 22 children matched with screened adult volunteer "Bigs," director Bob Zimmerman said.
"We have set a goal to have over 25 children matched in our first year," Zimmerman said. "Lacking major industries in the Payson area, we are really dependent on generous individuals and the smaller businesses of the area to keep the program going."
Big Brothers Big Sisters was established in 1905 and has more than 500 agencies nationwide. The Payson area agency was initially established with a grant from the Holbrook Pyle Foundation which is part of the Arizona Communities Foundation.
Contributions can be sent to Big Brother Big Sisters, PO Box 2956, Payson, AZ 85547. For volunteer information, call 468-8375.