LEWISTON — On April 9 Denise Blanchette of Lewiston participated in Bowl For Kids’ Sake, the annual fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She participates in Bowl For Kids’ Sake in memory of her sister, Doris Blanchette, who was a Big Sister to a local Lewiston youth in the mid 1980s. “I bowl for Big Brothers Big Sisters because it helps the kids in the program, but I also do it because my sister would be proud of me for doing this,” Denise said.

In 1992 Doris Blanchette was only 32 years old when she died of bacterial meningitis. She joined Big Brothers Big Sisters when she worked at Country Kitchen in Lewiston. The program was looking for kind, caring individuals to serve as mentors to area youth and one of her coworkers suggested that she join the program. Doris looked into it and was soon matched with a little sister. Denise recalls that Doris took her Little Sister everywhere with her.

Denise works in the family business, Blanchette’s Variety Store and Blanchette’s Rainbow Coffee Shop. Denise has been a Bowl For Kids’ Sake bowler off and on for many years, but more recently she has become a consistent supporter of the event having raised more than $2,000 in the last three years.

This year Denise had a personal goal of raising $300, but it quickly went to $400, then $500 and beyond. “I finally said that $600 would be my goal, but then I raised over that amount, so I decided that I would just continue to collect as much pledge money as I could,” Denise said. “And now I am up to $700 exactly, so that makes me very happy.”

While Denise is not a Big Sister herself, she keeps the memory of her sister alive by supporting something Doris loved. Denise says that her family is very close and it is her hope that next year she can create a family team called “The Doe-Doe Birds” that will bowl in memory of her sister.

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