For the fifth consecutive year, Upchurch Watson White & Max will sponsor the major fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida: Bowl for Kids' Sake. Only five lanes remain for teams who want to participate from 2 to 8 p.m. this Saturday (April 29, 2017). Bowl America Mandarin, 10333 San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville, is the venue for this year's event.
Jacksonville-based shareholder and mediator Robert A. "Bob" Cole is a 13-year member of the organization's board of directors and has solidified the relationship between Upchurch Watson White & Max and the local Big Brothers Big Sisters. Nationally, BBBS has a longtime association with the legal community and was founded in 1904 by a court clerk. His New York courtroom had seen a growing influx of boys. "He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement." Simultaneously, the Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who also had come through the New York Children’s Court. The group they formed later became Catholic Big Sisters. The two groups merged in 1977.
Shortly after Bob joined UWWM in 2012, he spoke with Jacksonville's Financial News & Daily Record about his observations concerning Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Our biggest need is African-American males" for Big Brothers, he said. "We just don’t have enough volunteers to match up with the kids who want to be in the program.” That need still must be addressed.
Along with UWWM, he encourages continued support for the organization, beginning with Bowl for Kids' Sake. For more information, please visit https://online.bbbsnefl.org/sa_events__home?id=70136000000gctpAAA. This year's fund-raising goal is $95,000, and supports the BBBS mssion of coming to the rescue of "more than 100 local youth on our wait list who are looking forward to being matched with a dedicated adult mentor." If you can't turn out in person on Saturday, BBBS suggests signing up as a virtual bowler.