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Peer support is key for Big Brothers Big Sisters Barrie & District

Bowling For Kids' Sake is their biggest annual fundraiser, held this year from March 21-28, 2024

The Big Brothers Big Sisters in Barrie & District Ontario has been providing youth support for over 50 years, and it’s community support that keeps things running.

“We are fully community-funded, and we work to serve youth through mentorship programs. Working through developmental means can help them reach their full potential,” said Executive Director Bre LeFeuvre.

Though many may be familiar with the one-on-one community-based matches that Big Brothers Big Sisters is known for, LeFeuvre says there’s so much more to what they do.

“Mentor training and developing a relationship between a Big and Little through a peer relationship is what’s best-known. It’s amazing to see Bigs step alongside their youth to help. But there’s more to it,” she said.

“There is a vast variety of programming, including in-school mentoring, groups for boys, girls and non-gendered youth, and doing matching in groups. We help the needs of youths and their families. It’s become about coming to where folks are at and seeing what’s practical for them.”

She says that giving youth someone with more life experience to look up to and talk to can help their development a great deal.

“Through those relationships, they can find new social connections and make an impact. Research shows a $1 invested in youth today is worth $23 later in their lives,” she said.

“This prevents youth from having to go to other services, and lowers the frequency of them becoming involved in gangs, being part of a lower socioeconomic status, experiencing houselessness, and more. Those who go through this program have more self-confidence and relationship stability. Support this organization helps youth today become better people tomorrow.”


The upcoming Bowling For Kids’ Sake is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Barrie & District location, and they’re pushing for a $130,000 fundraising goal.

 “This inaugural event is part of a national movement that local agencies participate in. It runs from March 21st, 2024, to the 28th, and there are eight different challenges over that time. It’s held at the Bowlarama here, and the challenges are split into sectors, which creates competition,” she said.

“For instance, there’s a realtor challenge that invites agents, brokers, house stagers and others in the sector to compete. Every challenge is open to anyone, but businesses also get really involved.”


She said participation is key, and would love people to register a team, join a team, or pledge and support someone else.

“We have radio station MCs, prize giveaways, ad it’s also a great, friendly competition with a networking component. We talk to people and remind them what the funds do. It’s such an important event,” she said.

“The theme is “Colour”, and it will hopefully engage a sense of playfulness in people. We want to see happiness and enthusiasm shine through, and a sense of connection is what Big Brothers Big Sisters is about.”

The event has been going more than 30 years in the Barrie area, and is community-funded and volunteer-run. She is thankful for the sponsors and people that keep things going.

“To see the synergy and momentum when people join together for a cause is amazing. Many hands make light work, and this event really makes an impact for youth,” she said.

“People can get a team together, sponsor, give gifts or prizes for giveaways, and so much more. There are more than 1,500 people involved, and we always need more help. We would just love to see as many people come out and support as possible.


For more information on Bowling For Kids’ Sake – held at the Barrie Bowlarama between March 21-28, 2024 – visit them online here.