The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 5, 2014

Bigs, Littles enjoy bowling early

Kala Hammer, case manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermilion County, spends a lot of time with her mentor matches to help them build strong, impactful relationships.

On Feb. 24, she scheduled a bowling event for the community-based matches.

“The events help our matches have a great time without a cost to them,” Kala said.

Carly Tamalunis, who works at Genpact, agreed. “I have been matched with JaTay since December 2013, so we are still getting to know each other and the events help.”

Each time JaTay threw her bowling ball down the alley, she gave Carly a high five, no matter the score. She was just enjoying herself.

JaTay is a ball of energy in the second grade at Pine Crest Elementary in Georgetown. She is a self-professed “gymnast.”

“I haven’t had any classes, I just learned on my own,” she says with a big, smile. She said she really enjoys “hanging out” with Carly. “She seems like she is part of my family. We went to a girls college basketball game. I got a poster, a ball and a high five from some of the players. It was a lot of fun.”

Blake Wells and his little brother Steven met for the first time at the event. Blake is always busy. He has a part-time job, a full-time job, two children, is a village board member in Muncie and a volunteer firefighter in Oakwood.

“I have had it pretty good in my life and I want to share that with others,” he said. “I see a lot of kids out there getting into trouble and I know I can make a difference.”

Steven said he was enjoying himself and was excited about the plans the match has been making.

“Soon we’re going to visit the firehouse, and I get to look at the trucks,” he said.

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