Lyons: Donate or roll for Kids’ Sake

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There is no shortage of things to fight about. Gun control. Abortion. Immigration. How traumatized will Johnny be today by the sound of a starter pistol fired in school right before that trigonometry exam?

Some things traumatized me in high school. Mostly trigonometry.

Fighting is the nature of politics, the news, social media. Heck, it’s human nature. Spend a few hours with my kids. They invent things to fight about. If my hope for their future was reality television, I’d be planning my early retirement.

When you’re tired of fighting, there are plenty of things to agree on, such as the terrific work that many local charities perform. The difference between complaints and action is akin to the difference between texting a sports radio station and leading a team to the Super Bowl.

So here’s an easy point of agreement: Does anyone disagree that kids who need a positive, adult role model to influence their lives should have access to one?

That’s the simple premise behind the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. As a new member of the McHenry County BBBS Board of Directors, I’m still learning the ins and outs, but the local chapter served 540 kids last year through both the traditional match program and school-based programs.

If you’re familiar with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you know it’s a terrific program. If not, you can find out just about everything you’d need to know at www.bbbsmchenrycounty.org.

While volunteers are a huge part of the organization, it takes qualified staff and donations to run the program. If you’ve ever met Executive Director Robyn Ostrem, you’ve met as dedicated and talented of a nonprofit leader as you can find.

So the rest of this column, actually all of it, is little more than a shameless plug for McHenry County BBBS’s big fundraiser – Bowl for Kids’ Sake. It starts next month and goes into early March, although registration already is under way.

The Lyons family plans to take our Slow Your Roll team to Crystal Bowl, 4504 E. Terra Cotta, Crystal Lake, on Feb. 24. We are to bowling what the Kardashians are to discretion. It takes the 4-year-old roughly 45 minutes to propel a 6-pound sphere across an oiled, wood surface until the pins even flinch.

But if you’re not a bowling purist and want to contribute to BBBS through our family’s team, you can do so here.

If you’re not a big fan of this column, thanks for sticking through this far and no hard feelings. You could instead donate to a nice Northwest Herald reporter team at The Newsies' page.

Even better, start your own team or persuade your co-workers or company to sponsor or form a team – maybe several teams. Each team member is asked to raise at least $75 in donations for the events held in late February and early March. There’s also flexibility with the dates, and you can structure your own event.

So check out www.bbbsmchenry.org/bowl or call BBBS at 815-385-3855 for information on the 2013 Bowl or Kids’ Sake event.

Help pick up a spare for a local kid.

• Kevin Lyons is news editor of the Northwest Herald. Reach him at 815-526-4505 or email him at kelyons@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinLyonsNWH.

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