Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County (BBBS) continues its mission to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. The organization’s vision is for all youth to achieve their full potential. After a change in leadership early last year, BBBS has continued to create and grow their mentoring programs to meet the ever growing demand for mentors for the youth in our community.
Executive Director Katie Prices has submitted the following report:
The core Community-based program is the most known program for the agency. In this program, adult “Bigs” are matched with youth “Littles” from the community to provide a mentoring relationship. Matches are asked to meet twice a month and are assigned to a Match Support Specialist who connects with them on a regular basis to offer assistance with building a safe, mentoring relationship. BBBS currently has 46 Shelby County matches, and eight Darke County matches with a growing waiting list for both counties.
After a successful recruitment campaign, BBBS hit 94% of their goal to recruit 50 new prospective Bigs in 30 days. The agency rang in the new year with a whopping 28 new matches made in 2022 and celebrated their first match of 2023 on Friday, Jan. 6. Welcome Big Sister Tami and Little Sister Maddie!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County has announced they were selected to be the recipient of a $5,000 grant award from Emerson’s Women’s Impact Network. The Women’s Impact Network is one of many employee resource groups that Emerson provides to their employees in effort to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
By supporting female employees in the STEM field, the Women’s Impact Network works to increase the number of women in leadership, attract a new generation of women through their many networking partnerships, and empower all women in their workforce.
Volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters and their “Littles” recently enjoyed a Youth Day Fishing Derby. The Fishing Derby was sponsored by the Shelby County BassMasters with over 40 volunteers and Littles in attendance. This annual event was held on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the home of Mike Meyer in Fort Loramie. The outing included a cookout for all BassMaster members, their children, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers and Littles. The fishing event concluded with an award ceremony for the top fishermen in several age categories.
The Shelby County BassMasters were able to put on this event as a result of local fishermen participating in bass tournaments throughout the year with a modest portion of the entry fee going toward the purchase of individual poles for each child. Other donations were received by Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Hartzel Industries, Sons of the American Legion Piqua, Dannon Corporation, Davis Meats, Spillway Bait and Tackle, Vanderhorst’s wax worms, Mike Meyer, Russ Michaels, and Viki Tipps.
Thousands of rubber ducks are dumped into Mesquito Creek in Tawawa Park during the annual Big Brothers/Big Sisters Duck Derby on Thursday, June 16 night. People purchased ducks and the first duck to cross the finish line won its owner a prize. After the duck race was a 5K human race for runners/walkers.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has announced their 2022 scholarship recipients. The “Big Buddies” Scholarship is a $500 scholarship that could be awarded to up to four Shelby County and four Darke County students for the 2022/2023 college academic year.
To qualify for this scholarship, students must have maintained at least a 2.5 GPA throughout high school, they must be a high-school senior enrolled in a Shelby County or Darke County school, and they had to have been involved as a volunteer for with at least a 60% attendance participation with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Buddies program in the last two years. Applicants must also have plans to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or Certificate in any field of study at an accredited two-or four-year college or university, technical school, or trade school. The scholarship also required students complete an application, submit references and write an essay or create a speech about why volunteering is important in the community and the impact volunteering has had on them.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County will again be racing ducks down the river for great prizes.
The Annual Duck Derby & Duck-N-Run 5K will take place on Thursday, June 16, at Tawawa Park in Sidney. It’s not too late to adopt your ducks or register for the 5K event, but time is running out. By “adopting” a duck you not only have a chance to win $1,000 and other prizes, but you will help make a difference in a child’s life by providing financial support for local youth mentoring programs. The Duck Derby and 5K are a fun and exciting way to support children within the Shelby and Darke County communities.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County’s annual Bowling for Kids’ Sake fundraiser pulled in just over $40,000 this year.
This year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake was held on Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, at Bel-Mar Lanes in Sidney and McBo’s Lanes in Versailles, and was supported by 50 local businesses and individuals who sponsored, made general donations, and/or donated prizes for the event. The two-day event brought together 271 bowlers to make up 55 participating teams. Preliminary figures show that Bowl for Kids’ Sake has raised $40,067.10 for the Shelby and Darke County agency, which was $2,932.90 shy of their $43,000 goal.
Prize levels were determined by the amount each individual fundraised. Participants who raised at least $50 — $25 for those under 18 — were awarded with an event t-shirt. Those who fundraised up to $75 were entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift Card, and this year’s winner was Vicki Cost.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County Board of Trustees has named Katie Price as the new executive director for the agency.
Former Executive Director Jennifer Bruns has stepped down from the position she held for the past nine years, and has chosen to go on a new career adventure after 23 years with the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency.
“It has been an honor and privilege to work for Big Brothers Big Sisters these past 23 years. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been a big part of mine and my family’s life,” said Bruns. “The connections that I have made over the years through this organization has been a true blessing to me. I continue to be blown away by the support the communities we serve provide. Not only monetarily through events like Match Day or Bowl for Kids Sake, but also through the volunteer hours that are provided in our mentoring programs. Big Brothers Big Sisters will stay forever near and dear to my heart. I would like to thank the Shelby & Darke County community for embracing me in my role as the Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters and for always making me feel welcomed and our programs valued.”
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County Career Quest program is up and running.
The Career Quest program meets once a week throughout the school year where the BBBS screened volunteers work with, and mentor, students at the MRESC Opportunity School held at Sidney High School. During the weekly volunteer-scheduled sessions, the volunteers assist students with their coursework, as well as participate in quarterly group activities.
This year’s current program volunteers are Jenny Bruns, Mandi Croft, Ashley Steinke, Keith Thomas, Tonya McLain, Bridget Steed, Dona Furrow, Hilary Davis, Doug Barhorst, Paul Hohlbein and Harry Clendenin. The agency is also still seeking additional volunteers for the program.