Ben Fundraising – Not Kidding Around
It is springtime and time for BBBS’ Annual Bowl for Kids fundraiser which takes place this weekend. This year, a long-time Bowl for Kids participant is knocking it out of the park with his fundraising efforts… and he’s only 11-years-old!
Ben, the son of long-time BBBS supporters Stefan Sinclair and Robbi Crockett, has been coming to Bowl for Kids since he was a toddler. He cheered his parents on while they bowled, dressed in costume for the event, and simply became a huge fan of Bowl for Kids over the years.
Ben’s dad, Stefan, got involved in BFK soon after he moved to the area. Stefan was invited by another video game developer to participate and the rest, as they say, is history. Their family has only missed one event since Stefan became involved 12 years ago.
In fact, they are all-around supporters of BBBS. Stefan served as a Big, chaired the Bowl for Kids Host Committee in 2021, is a member of the Big Impact Group, and their family also participates in BBBS’ Ice Ball. As a family they simply walk the talk, exemplifying the dedication of so many of our long-time Bowl for Kids supporters who care deeply about BBBS’ mission and our kids. People we feel fortunate to call a part of our BBBS team.
At first, Ben played around the bowling lanes and enjoyed the fun atmosphere. Now, he is making his own contribution to helping kids in Central Texas, this being his second year to fundraise. “I had a fundraising page last year,” said Ben. “I did very good and wanted to do it again this year. “
The big question on Ben’s mind, “Why are there not more kids my age at Bowl for Kids? There needs to be more. They could have fun and get better at bowling.”
You see Ben is serious about his bowling skills. “I started bowling when I was 4,” he said matter-of-factly. “I practice my bowling every Saturday.”
“He got a 358 this past Saturday at Youth League Bowling,” said Stefan. “He got 3 strikes in a row.”
One of Ben’s friends may also join the team. “He’s someone Ben met at youth bowling, and he is a really good bowler also. I would have two ringers on my team,” said Stefan.
Robbi, Ben’s mom, explains that many of the youth bowlers see BBBS’ Bowl for Kids banners and flyers at the bowling alley when they attend practice. “They ask about it and Ben says, ‘Oh, that’s my dad’s bowling party,’ said Robbi. “And the kids get excited and ask, ‘Why am I not going to the party?’ And then we get to talk about Bowl for Kids and explain how everyone who helps fundraise gets to be a part of the event.”
While kids love the bowling portion of the event, they are thrilled with the photo props, the decorations, and the costumes participants wear to Bowl for Kids. Robbi, Stefan, and Ben always “bring it” when creating their costumes, even dressing as zombies one year. “There was a superhero Ben, a pirate Ben,” said Stefan. “One year he was a hatching dinosaur egg.”
“We love the event and how it helps kids in our community,” said Robbi. “We also enjoy reconnecting with people we haven’t seen in a while.” One of those is Mike McShaffry, a long-time BFK bowler who originally got Stefan involved in the event.
“When I first arrived in Austin, I got an email out of the blue (from another video game developer) – I’d never met Mike before – and he said he was trying to get more folks involved with BFK,” said Stefan. “Now, all these years later, Mike and I are on teams together. In fact, this year my team is made up of people I’ve worked with before and, we all happen to have been Big Brothers.”
Of course, the big question of the day, is Ben going to beat his dad bowling? “Probably… actually, yes,” laughed Stefan.
Ben will then be able to add to his trophy collection. “Ben has every single one of the bowling pin trophies we’ve won for either costumes or fundraising at Bowl for Kids through the years,” said Robbi. “Even though y’all paint them according to the theme every year, so they’re all different, he lines them up and plays with them.”
“I say, ‘Don’t we want to downsize and get rid of some of these?’ And he’s like, ‘No, we’re keeping them,’” laughs Robbi.
It’s all part of the fun of participating in Bowl for Kids. As so many past participants have said, Bowl for Kids is a great way to have fun and help others. Now, the next generation is discovering that fact, that kids can have fun making a difference in the lives of other kids.
Well done, Ben.