Betty Wheeler’s team – Frank and Ronnie’s Cuties – were the top fundraisers of the counties challenge. The team raised $3,039 for Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in the Counties of SDG. Front row, Ronnie Moore; middle row from left, Linda Bernard, Dianna Moffat, Betty Wheeler and Frankie Beaulin; back row from left, new Big Brothers Big Sister Executive Director Ron Graham and fundraising coordinator Jillian Hendry. Sawyer Helmer photo
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
CHESTERVILLE – It was the 40th anniversary for the annual Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters Cornwall and District. The main event which took place in Cornwall on Sat., Feb. 3, had roughly 165 teams. The counties’ challenge, which took place in Chesterville at the Chesterville Bowling Alley concluded the fundraiser on Sun., Feb. 4. The event raised $63,960. Fundraising coordinator Jillian Hendry was thoroughly impressed with the turnout and said when compared to the ratio of teams, the counties raised twice as much per team. The total on Sunday was announced at $6,500, all of which will stay in the counties.
A big part of the counties’ success can be attributed to Betty Wheeler and her team. Wheeler has been involved in the event for the last 32 years with teammate Ronnie Moore. The rest of the team, Dianna Moffat, Linda Bernard and Frankie Beaulin have been with Wheeler and Moore for the last six years.
Wheeler had nine kids of her own and said her generosity and determination to help comes from knowing what it is like. “I’d like to see more Big Brothers and Big Sisters [in the counties],” said Wheeler. Wheeler and her team raised $3,039 for this year’s event. She explained that when they were a few hundred short of $3,000, despite the event being upon them, Wheeler refused to arrive with anything but her goal. “I’m a pusher,” she said with a laugh.
One of Wheeler’s main goals is to raise the awareness that the money raised during the counties’ challenge, stays in those counties. There are currently 12 young matches throughout Chesterville, Morrisburg, Long Sault and Ingleside. The money raised helps mentors schedule fun activities for their matches and also helps support the in-school programs in the county schools.
That message is on new Executive Director Ron Graham’s priority list. Graham has only been in his new position for three weeks but has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters for most of his life. He was even the first Little Brother match in Cornwall when the program started in 1973. “I’m really thankful for all of the staff who put this event together,” said Graham.
By 2022, the organization hopes to have an agency building in the counties, but to help them achieve this goal they need the community to help. That help could come from participating in next year’s bowling fundraiser or even becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister to help support the local kids in the counties.