By Kathy Schwartzhoff, Mentoring Coordinator |

I am proud to announce the results of the “Strike It Rich” Youth Mentoring Bowl-a-thon held March 5 at Oneota Lanes in Decorah. Approximately 85 bowlers on 22 teams had rich experiences as they enjoyed bowling to support Youth Mentoring. The bowlers, donors, and sponsors raised over $8,500 to support the mission: providing caring adult role models for youth in Allamakee, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties.

It is wonderful to have so many people involved in this fun and exciting event. Many businesses and individuals are quick to say “yes” to support the youth in our communities. Your much needed dollars are important to be able to provide a quality program supporting mentors, youth, and their families.

The event would not have been a success without the generosity of many sponsors. The Winneshiek County Chapter of Thrivent Financial, Bank of the West, and Randy’s CARQUEST Auto Parts all donated $300 or more to the event. Area businesses contributing $100 were Alliant Energy, Benjegerdes Machine, Inc., Decorah Bank and Trust, Decorah Chevrolet-Cadillac, Decorah Physical Therapy-Arnie Larson, Don’s Sales & Service, Gosch’s Inc. Plumbing & Heating, Gundersen Health System, Martin Funeral Home, NAPA Auto Parts of Decorah, T-Bock’s, Inc., Waukon Feed Ranch, Waukon Greenhouse, and Ziegler, Inc.

Several businesses and organizations donated food for the meal served to thank bowlers for their participation. Meat for walking tacos was donated by Fareway of Decorah. Friends of Youth Mentoring provided toppings for the walking tacos and desserts. Sliced apples were purchased by the Winneshiek County Chapter of Thrivent Financial and were sliced by LASO (Luther Athletes Serving Others) students.

A very special thank you goes out to all the bowlers and their donors. Everyone at the event enjoyed sharing high-fives, cheers, and words of encouragement during strikes, spares, and even gutter balls. You can see the smiles on our Facebook Album. Mentor Brian Petersburg shared,

“This day was fun. A & J Petersburg Agency is proud to support a team at the event. Our community’s youth is so important!”

Donations are still coming in. If you would like to financially support this mission, you can. Gifts can be made securely online or can be mailed to P.O Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101.

Youth Mentoring in Allamakee, Howard, and Winneshiek counties provides an adult mentor who spends 4–5 hours a month with a youth ages 5–16. Currently, 42 youth are enjoying time with a mentor, and 17 youth are waiting for a mentor. For information on how you can be part of the excitement of Youth Mentoring at Helping Services, contact me at (563) 387-1720, mentoring@helpingservices.org.

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