Bowl for Kids’ Sake will honor teens killed in motorcycle accident

By Nick Kovatch on February 7 at 1:39pm

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From left to right: Paula Stewart, Antonia Alfano, Cindy McKinnon and Cindy Denby talk about the Leo Alfano and Morgan McKinnon Memorial Bowl for Kids' Sake on WLDS' tri-weekly program "What's On Your Mind?" today.

An annual fundraiser for an organization that provides support for local youth is honoring two teenagers whose lives and deaths impacted so many in the community.

The Leo Alfano and Morgan McKinnon Memorial Bowl for Kids’ Sake is April 11th and 12th. Proceeds support Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Illinois.

Leo Alfano and Morgan McKinnon were mentors with Big Brothers Big Sisters before the couple’s tragic death in a motorcycle accident in July. Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Cindy Denby says the not-for-profit organization was looking for a way to honor the teenagers before Leo and Morgan’s moms came to her.

“They gave us a $3,000 grant for a scholarship that we’re going to award $300 a year to the outstanding Big senior at JHS,” says Denby. “So, we’re all standing there and we ask them how they’d feel about us honoring Leo and Morgan, and that’s how it came about.”

T-shirts and wristbands featuring Leo and Morgan’s favorite quotes are available for pre-sale at Leo’s Pizza, Inner Harmony Day Spa, On the Clip Side, the Big Brothers Big Sisters office, Precious Jewelers, SafeCo and the Murrayville Fast Stop.

T-shirts are $15. Wristbands are $2 each.

Paula Stewart is program director at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“For me this is an even more special Bowl For Kids’ Sake than it ever has been in the past because I have a personal connection,” says Stewart. “The fact that Cindy said ‘Let’s do something from the office’ made it just a great thing for me because I get to marry the two together. My personal grief for these two and trying to celebrate their life, and also what I get to do at work which is trying make a difference in the life of a child.”

Morgan’s mother, Cindy McKinnon, says Morgan and Leo worked closely with children in the organization.

“The kids were so outgoing and just so loving,” says Cindy McKinnon. “They loved to participate in everything and, trust me, both of them would be [at Bowl for Kids’ Sake] having a good time. They’d be dressed insanely, laughing, cutting it up and we just want as many people there in their honor. Go have a good time. It’s not a down thing, it’s an up thing and the money goes to a good cause.”

Leo’s mother, Antonia Alfano, says even after their death, Leo and Morgan continue to have a positive effect on the community.

“I’ve just seen such a ripple effect since their deaths that’s helped so many other people in different ways,” says Antonia Alfano. “I really feel like this was something that was meant to be. I want everybody – Leo’s friends, families, parents – to get on board with this and help because it does help a lot of kids. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters people will help by buying the t-shirts, bracelets and participate in the bowling because it is going to help a lot of kids.”

The sponsorship deadline for the Leo Alfano and Morgan McKinnon Memorial Bowl for Kids’ Sake is March 1st. Teams consist of up to six members. A donation of $50 is required from each bowler.

For more information call 243-3821 or visit bigmagic.org.