Big Brothers Big Sisters of Union County hopes to raise $20,000 at its annual Bowl for Kids' Sake tournament April 20.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Union County hopes to raise $20,000 at its annual Bowl for Kids' Sake tournament April 20.

The annual event is one of the organization's top fundraisers, according to David Schirner, executive vice president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. Its proceeds and contributions from United Way "account for about two-thirds of the budget to operate the program in Union County. The difference is made up from fundraisers in central Ohio," he said.

Bowl for Kids' Sake is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Marysville Lanes, 1189 Columbus Ave., Marysville.

"Bowl for Kids' Sake is actually a national event for Big Brothers Big Sisters," Schirner said. "There's one held in Columbus in early March which benefits the total central Ohio agency, of which Union County is part."

Other fundraisers will be held in Delaware in June and in Springfield in the fall.

"All the funds that are raised in Union County stay in Union County," Schirner said.

He said Bowl for Kids' Sake has been an annual event in Union County for about 20 years.

"This event here has raised anywhere between $14,000 and $25,000 over the course of the years," he said.

Mark Kehr, Union County coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, said different levels of corporate sponsorships are in place for the event. Sponsors include Honda of Marysville, Home Depot and Nestle's. Local restaurants have also offered gift cards for a raffle, he said.

Schirner and Kehr expect about 20 teams to bowl April 20.

"If each of those teams raises a hundred or couple hundred dollars, we could generate $5,000 or $6,000 just off the teams and I think we have that in sponsorships already," Schirner said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches adults with children in need of a mentor.

Schirner said Union County is an "overachieving county" when it comes to mentor matches.

"We have about 50 matches in Union County, which is pretty strong for a small county," he said. "We also have 44 school-based matches."

School-based matches allow adult volunteers to go into area elementary schools and work with students who are identified by a guidance counselor, teacher or a principal as needing mentors.

"The whole goal is to provide a relationship for the child, be that friend and be a good positive role model," Schirner said. "The average match nationally lasts about 27 months. In central Ohio, it's 30 months, so we're ahead of the curve on that."

The money raised at Bowl for Kids' Sake goes toward activities such as screening and training potential mentors and case management.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the event can sign up online at www.emarysville. com/bbbs/index/php.