Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairfield County Inc. will bring its annual bowling event Pickerington next month to raise money to provide mentors and other programs to youths throughout the city and Fairfield County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fairfield County Inc. will bring its annual bowling event Pickerington next month to raise money to provide mentors and other programs to youths throughout the city and Fairfield County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters' annual "Bowl for Kids' Sake" will be held May 5 and 6 at Rule(3), 650 Windmiller Drive.

The event is a major fundraiser for the organization, which seeks to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, one-to-one mentoring relationships, after-school programs and other services. Generally, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves children from age 6 to seniors in high school.

Money raised from the event goes to fund such Big Brothers Big Sisters activities as background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety and ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships.

"Big Brothers Big Sisters relies on this fundraiser to help support our programming," said Anna Tobin, Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director. "It's about one-third of our funding for the year."

The Pickerington Bowl for Kids' Sake event will follow one being held April 21 and 22 at Tiki Lanes, 1521 Tiki Lane, Lancaster.

Registration for both events can be made at online at www.bbbs-fairfieldoh.org, or by calling (740) 687-9477.

To participate, entrants must have teams of five to six bowlers. The cost is a minimum of $30 per person, and bowlers can either pay the fee themselves or collect donations of $30 or more, which then will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

At the Lancaster event, sessions will be held at noon and 2 p.m. both days.

On May 5 in Pickerington, teams will compete during a 9 a.m. session or at 11 a.m.

On May 6, a single session will be held at 11 a.m.

"They each raise a minimum of $30 and we have an online fundraising tool on our website that allows people to pay for their registrations on our website," Tobin said. "Even if you don't want to or can't participate in the bowling, you can go to the website and make a donation."

In addition to assisting Big Brothers Big Sisters, Tobin said the event allows bowlers to compete for trophies, and door prizes will be awarded. There also will be a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the organization.

Tobin said the need for Big Brothers Big Sisters' services continues to grow throughout Fairfield County and the Pickerington and Violet Township areas.

In addition to donations, Big Brothers Big Sisters constantly seeks volunteers to mentor children on everything from schoolwork to making good decisions, such as staying away from substance abuse and other crimes.

"We continue to grow each year, so we continue to have challenges to raise money," Tobin said. "We served 275 kids last year countywide, with an increasing number in the north and northwest quadrants of the county.

"We're getting an increasing number of children living with grandparents now, because a number of parents are incarcerated - usually with issues related to drugs. It's very sad to see in the county, and we're just trying to raise good, healthy kids."