Athletes raise funds for children

The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s swim, hockey and track and field teams raised over $2,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County during a two day charity bowl-a-thon in Northampton.

Hockey Captain Mike Kostka orchestrated the charity event in cooperation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County alongside other enthusiastic athletes from the three participating UMass teams.

“I was thrilled with the turnout of the bowl-a-thon and the amount of money we raised.” said Kostka. “Once I gathered enough information and pitched the idea to the teams, I received a lot of support.”

The lucrative two day charity bowl-a-thon consisted of over three bowling teams in which all members were required to raise at least $75 in order to participate. There were eleven actual UMass athlete bowlers among the teams.

However, even more team members took advantage of spring break by using the vacation time to collect donations from family members and also from their own communities.

“The community looks up to our athletes and we want to foster a great relationship,” said Assistant Athletic Director Jason Yellin. “Not only do we want them to be good athletes but we also want to facilitate good students and good people.”

“I’ve always wanted to give back to this community as I’ve done before back home,” said Josh Boone, a track athlete and representative of the team. “By bowling for a couple of hours and collecting donations we’ve been able to help kids who may not have the best family life or the friends that they could turn to.”

The Big brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County program works to match children from the community who could use another adult in their life once a week to spend one on one quality time with the volunteers.

“Our program works closely with children and families to make great matches that offer guidance and encouragement to the kids,” said Renee Moss, director of Big Brothers Big sisters of Hampshire County. “The money we have raised is going to be used to support our staff of social workers and professionals who train the volunteers to be great matches for the kids.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County is always looking for more volunteers. They require a one year minimum commitment and provide training and follow up assistance throughout the venture. Though almost deceivingly, according to Moss, their motto happens to be, “While we ask for a one year commitment our secret agenda is a life long friendship.”

Amara Anosike can be reached at [email protected]