TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- "Go Big or Go Home"
That's the message from KU's Bill Self, Kansas State's Bruce Weber, and Wichita State's Gregg Marshall. The state's three NCAA Division 1 Basketball Head Coaches are teaming up to co-chair Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake Mentoring Campaign.
“I was shocked to hear that 61% of these kids come from families with substance abuse backgrounds and 25% have had or has a parent who has been incarcerated," said Marshall.
"I’m happy to be working with Coaches Self and Weber to make a positive impact on the future of our most vulnerable Kansas kids,” he added.
Everyone from across the state can join the "Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraising campaign by going to kansasbowl.org. There, they can form teams and raise pledges to support the mentoring programs.
“When I learned that 80% of these kids served come from families living at or below the poverty line, I knew it was a priority for me to get involved and help make a difference,” says Coach Self.
Participants can pick the coach or school they back for the "Go Big or Go Home" competition. The organization will keep track of which coach or school accumulates the most pledges and volunteers. A traveling trophy will then be awarded to the winning coach.
KSBBBS says all of the funds raised will go to provide area kids facing adversity with positive mentoring relationships.
“Having 4,000 Kansas children waiting for a mentor is simply unacceptable," said Coach Weber. "I’m proud to join as a co-chair of this campaign and help put a major dent in that number."
After the campaign ends, participants from all over the state will come together for bowling celebration parties from February to April.
“The bowling is the reward, not the mechanism to raise volunteers or funds,” says Tammy Bouchér, Development Associate, BBBS. “But it’s certainly important to celebrate the additional number of kids served as we partner together with community members and businesses.”