United Way of Santa Barbara County’s (UWSBC) Young Leaders Society donned their goofiest get-ups and hit the lanes for their biggest United We Bowl fundraiser, raising more than $6,000 in support of youth education.

More than 120 attended the eighth annual event at Zodo’s Bowling and Beyond in Goleta. All proceeds raised will support Young Leader Society’s upcoming eighth annual United We Read event and other community programs.

“It’s not just giving money; it’s very personal,” said Ian Monsma, YLS executive committee co-chair.

“I love that I am able to give back to my community in a meaningful way and be part of that,” Monsma said. “And the people involved are all so great. It doesn’t feel like work at all.”

Participants signed up as teams and individually to compete in the lively bowl-a-thon, filling up 21 lanes. The event featured costumes, raffle prizes and more.

“United We Bowl has been successful each year, but I was overwhelmed to see the crowd and their enthusiasm this year in particular,” said Steve Ortiz, president/CEO of United Way of Santa Barbara County.

“It was an amazing evening, but the best part is that it is all in support of the children we serve,” he said.

United We Read is part of a larger effort spearheaded by United Way of Santa Barbara County focusing on reaching community-driven education goals.

United We Read matches young professional volunteers with a class at a local elementary school to read a storybook together to improve students’ reading abilities and foster a greater enjoyment for books.

For more information, visit unitedwaysb.org and http://www.unitedwelead.org/.

— Angel Pacheco for United Way of Santa Barbara County.