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Kaneland Connection: Bowling Against Bullying event draws big crowd

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo provided)
Among those who participated in the Bowling Against Bullying event are Brandie Kottmeyer (from left), Darlyne Dwyer, Tracy Gardner, Anna Dembroski, Mario Arindaeng, Nadya Reusche and Matt Reusche (who is holding the smile sign).

A night of bowling, trivia, raffles and an auction drew 175 participants for an event, Bowling Against Bullying, hosted by the Kindness Campaign, the NEH Foundation and PEAK for Kids.

Organizer Renee Dee said she was thrilled about the turnout as the event took place “in the middle of a snowstorm.” It was at Parkside Lanes in Aurora.

“It was pretty amazing,” Dee said.

The event was the latest staged by the organizations formed to promote kindness and combat bullying in the Kaneland area.

The Kindness Campaign was launched in the summer of 2013 and has been growing. Its logo, a green circle featuring the words “Be Nice. Be Happy,” includes a smile. PEAK for Kids stands for promoting enrichment and kindness.

Dee said she didn’t know what to expect, but said the event “was more informative and more fun than I could have even imagined.” She said those present included parents, school board representatives and administrators. She said there were nine teachers from Harter Middle School.

She said something that made her especially happy was the reaction to the speaker, Jeff Bean from Act on Bullying. Bean is a former police officer who speaks on the dangers of cyber bullying. Dee said she heard that some were dreading having to sit through the speaker, but by the end of the talk, those people were among the most engaged.

“It was truly enlightening,” she said. “They got it.”

Dee has plans for next year’s event, set for Feb. 7, 2015, and will feature Jarrett Payton, son of NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton. And she has big plans.

“I am 100 percent certain that we can fill that room,” Dee said.

What’s next

An event, “Empowering Girls to be Super,” is set from 2 to 4 p.m. April 6 at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 S. Main St., Sugar Grove. The event will be presented by PEAK for Kids and the Kindness Campaign.

The event will feature author Amy Logan, who wrote “A Girl with a Cape.” There will be a book discussion, as well as a talk by Logan about the CAPE Campaign.

Mothers and daughters are invited to the event. The cost is $5 per mom. There is no charge for the daughters. The cost for a book and cape will be $25, but those who register in advance will get the book and cape and admission for $25.

There will be a play session for the girls, and a presentation for moms. There will be a self-defense demonstration, a karaoke event, juice and fruit.

For information, visit www.peakforkids.org.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at alagattolla@shawmedia.com.

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