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A place to stay informed about upcoming activities, events, and our general press releases.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Honors John P. Mahowald, Announces New Board Members

ST. CLOUD, MN (July 11, 2018) –

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota honored former board member John P. Mahowald for his exemplary service to the agency. Mahowald served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters board for the past 9 years, taking on several leadership roles including secretary, vice president, president, and past-president.

 

During his time with the agency, Mahowald went above and beyond his duties as a board member to help strengthen and expand the local mentoring program. He served on several agency committees including: Executive, Sponsorships, Advancement/Fund Development, and Board Development. Mahowald has helped Big Brothers Big Sisters develop partnerships, secure new donors, and recruit more mentors. With his guidance and determination, the agency’s annual revenue doubled during his time on the board.

 

The Board of Directors is comprised of 19 local professionals. Big Brothers Big Sisters has announced new additions to the Board of Directors.

 

Newly-appointed members of the board include:

  • Courtney Kunkel, Capital One
  • Bill Martin-Chaffee, Community Volunteer

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Executive Director, Jackie Johnson, states “We are thrilled to welcome outstanding new members to our board. We are confident that our board’s strategic guidance and thoughtful counsel will ensure Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota continues to grow our program while providing safe, high-quality mentoring services to youth in our community.”

 

John P. Mahowald is Honored for Service to BBBS

Big Brothers Big Sisters Board President Marie Schmitz presents John P. Mahowald with service award

 

Courtney Kunkel

Courtney Kunkel

 

Bill Martin-Chaffee

Bill Martin-Chaffee


Energy & Electronics gives lesson on robotics

April 24, 2018 Written by Kate Wallace

On April 19, the SCTCC Energy and Electronics program hosted 14 youth and their mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Students and instructor Aaron Barker taught the BBBS kids how to program a robot to pick up a water bottle. After that, the kids got a tour and the chance to operate industrial robots and automated production lines.

“The activity was awesome! Especially how we got to control the industrial claw and we got a chance to build a robot,” said Little Brother JT.

BBBS comes to SCTCC for various activities, and the kids enjoy hands-on activities and seeing what career opportunities are out there.

“Aaron Barker and his students did a great job sharing their knowledge and passion for the robotics field with our youth,” said Ann Matvick, program director.


Magic Moments Gala Raises Over $190,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Ixayana Gonzales- BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award recipient, Tami Kruzel, Randy Kruzel

 

ST. CLOUD, MN (April 25, 2018) –

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota hosted its annual Magic Moments Gala on Friday April 13, 2018 at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center. Over 600 guests were registered to attend the event, but due to the unanticipated record-breaking weather, not everyone was able to make it. A mighty 492 guests braved the spring blizzard and helped raise over $190,000 for the local mentoring program.

 

In addition to being the agency’s largest annual fundraiser, the Magic Moments Gala also raises awareness of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the community’s need for mentors.

 

The evening began with a social hour, followed by a welcome greeting from the event’s co-chairs: Renee Regel and Monica Voth. The event’s emcee, Janelle Kendall, also performed two songs alongside Dan Witte in their acoustic pairing “Wheelhouse Duo”. One of their performances was a cover of the 1984 Bonnie Tyler hit “Holding Out for a Hero” which paralleled the event’s theme “Celebrating the Superhero in All of Us.”

  

Ixayana Gonzales accepted the 2018 BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award, which honors BriAnna Kruzel, a former Litter Sister and High School Big Sister who passed away unexpectedly in September of 2013. BriAnna’s mother, Tami Kruzel, was in attendance to present the award. Ixayana was a Little Sister in the program for six years. Ixayana’s work to develop mental health education and training for the Latino community epitomizes the spirit of the award, which is to carry on the legacy of kindness and generosity BriAnna exemplified in her short but rewarding life.

 

The event’s presenting sponsors were Vince & Lori Mohs and Marco. Federated Insurance, Traut Wells, and Capital One serve as "Biggest" agency sponsors, offering support throughout the year.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota provides mentoring services at no cost to families, youth, and mentors. All proceeds from the Magic Moments Gala help fund Big Brothers Big Sisters’ youth mentoring program benefiting local children who are facing unique challenges.   

 

Currently, there are over 100 children in central Minnesota who are waiting for a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple, or Big Family.  To learn more about becoming a friend to a child in need, call (320) 253-1616 or visit www.bbbscentralmn.org. 


Hendrickson 2018 Big Brother of the Year

by Nick Lenz '11 https://today.stcloudstate.edu/hendrickson-2018-big-brother-of-the-year/

 

Ten years ago, Kenny Hendrickson ’89 was matched with his Little Brother, Spencer, though the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Through the years, Hendrickson has been a caring, positive friend in his Spencer’s life, helping him navigate life’s challenges.

 

Hendrickson’s outstanding efforts as both a mentor and advocate has led him to earning the 2018 Big Brother of the Year from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota.

 

“I am truly humbled and honored to be chosen for the Big Brother award for Central Minnesota.  Spencer and I truly call ourselves brothers and always tell each other how much we love and respect one another,” Hendrickson said.

 

When Spencer’s mother died unexpectedly in 2012, Hendrickson was by his side throughout the entire process.

 

The two spend their time together attending St. Cloud State events, fishing, swimming, going to the movies, bowling, playing tennis and spending time with Hendrickson’s extended family.  

“He and I still keep our weekly commitment of getting together,” Hendrickson said. “It was almost as if we were meant to be together through this whole ordeal. He is part of my family now.”

 

Spencer is a senior in high school and Hendrickson has been integral in helping him navigate his post-high school options. When Spencer expressed interest in becoming a police officer, Hendrickson introduced him to a few of his friends that work in the profession. Spencer is now enrolled in a community college and plans to study law enforcement in the fall.

 

Hendrickson, along with other local awardees, will represent Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota in a statewide competition held later this year.

 

There is a great need for mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program with currently more than 100 kids on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ waiting list. Some kids wait more than a year to be matched.

 

“While Spencer may credit me for helping to change his life, mine has changed as well.  I truly love and respect him as if he was my own. He is part of the Hendrickson family,” Hendrickson said.


Big Brothers Big Sisters Awards Tama Theis as Legislator of the Year

ST. CLOUD, MN (January 19, 2018) –

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota recently recognized Representative Tama Theis as Legislator of the Year. Representative Theis’ dedication and tireless work has benefited the local mentoring agency.

 

Tama Theis was the chief author of a DEED Bill that secured $30,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. The funding will be used to help youth with college and career readiness. Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children facing unique challenges with caring, qualified mentors.

 

There is a great need for mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Currently, there are over 100 kids on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ waiting list. Youth mentoring is a unique, rewarding volunteer opportunity. For as little as one hour a week, you can chance a child’s life for the better, forever. 

 

To learn more about becoming a mentor, please visit bbbscentralmn.org or call (320) 253-1616.


Beaver Island Brewing Company’s Tending for a Cause Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters

 ST. CLOUD, MN (January 5, 2018) –

Please join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota for a fundraising event at Beaver Island Brewing Company on Wednesday January 31st from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Beaver Island’s “Tending for a Cause” will donate $1 per pint of beer to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Food will be catered by Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

This philanthropic social event will feature local celebrity bartenders: Renee Regel (U.S. Bank) and Janelle Kendall (Walter's Wheelhouse).

 

Both celebrity bartenders play an important role in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ upcoming Magic Moments Gala, which will be held at the River’s Edge Convention Center on Friday April 13th. Renee Regel is serving as an event co-chair and Janelle Kendall is the event’s emcee and will be performing with her band, Walter's Wheelhouse.


BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award

growing up big logoBig Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota established the BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award to honor BriAnna Kruzel, a former Little Sister and High School Big Sister, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in September 2013.BriAnna’s experience with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program was quite unique. When her father was deployed in Iraq, BriAnna began as a Little Sister in the program. Years later, BriAnna decided to become a High School Big Sister as a way to provide the same experience to another child. BriAnna was matched with a Little Sister whose father was deployed overseas, which helped them form an instant bond. BriAnna was able to relate to her Little Sister and provide advice and support. BriAnna was a dedicated friend and mentor for over two years. She was selected as the 2013 High School Big Sister of the Year for her outstanding commitment to the program and her Little Sister. She was also honored by the St. Cloud Optimist Club with the “Youth Appreciation Award” for her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota is accepting nominations for a deserving participant, either a former Little Brother/Sister or former High School Big Brother/Sister, who demonstrates service to the community, character, and integrity.

Eligibility Requirements:


1. The nominee must be a former Little Brother/Sister or former High School Big Brother/Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN program.
2. The nominee must be 18 years of age or older.
3. The nominee must have been matched thru Big Brothers Big Sisters for at least 18 months.

How to Nominate:

1. Submit the nomination form by January 12th, 2018. The nomination can be completed and submitted on-line or can be printed and emailed, faxed or mailed to:

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Attention: Ann Matvick
203 Cooper Avenue North Suite 162
St. Cloud, MN 56303

Fax: (320) 253-1702
Email: amatvick@bbbscentralmn.org

2. Big Brothers Big Sisters will then contact the nominee to obtain additional information.
3. The winner will be notified by February 28th, 2018 and will receive the award at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Gala on April 13th, 2018. The winner will receive four tickets to the event.

Nomination Form


Federated Challenge Donates $425,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN

Federated Challenge Check Presentation 2017
Big Brothers Big Sisters board & staff members are presented with a check for $425,000 from Federated Insurance

ST. CLOUD, MN (October 20, 2017) –

The Federated Challenge for Kids of Minnesota, headed by Federated Insurance, has a long-standing relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. They have a demonstrated commitment of supporting the organization and helping them carry out their mission of providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, in conjunction with the two other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in Minnesota, serve approximately 4,000 children annually, with several hundred more waiting to be matched with a caring adult.

On the morning of October 19, Federated Insurance presented Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota with $425,000. The support came in the form of two investments; $412,500 to support the general operations of the mentoring program and $12,500 to be used for participant scholarships.

Federated Challenge Scholarships will support qualified “Littles” and high-school "Bigs" who have participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and are accepted in a non-four-year-program focused on apprenticeship, certificate, trade school, technical or community college.

“We are only able to provide our kids with life-changing mentors and opportunities because of the leadership from Federated Insurance and everyone who contributes to the Federated Challenge for Kids. We extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Federated Insurance for this extremely important partnership. They are partners in believing that a mentor changes the life of a child and changes the trajectory of future generations. The Federated Challenge, led by Jeff and Marty Fetters, who themselves have been a Big Couple in the program, understand the importance and incredible impact of our work. Because of their leadership, thousands of children and their families are positively impacted each year, forever” noted Jackie Johnson, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota.

Nominate a Big or Little of the Year

Each year we have the opportunity to select an Adult Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year (which includes Big Couples & Big Families), a High School Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year and a Little Brother and Little Sister of the Year. We have so many amazing Bigs (mentors) and Littles (mentees) and would love your help in nominating those that you feel are deserving.

We accept nominations year round but the deadline for the 2018 Bigs of the Year is November 13th 2017. Nominations are reviewed and selected in November/December and announced in January. The winners will receive their awards at our Big Celebration (which typically takes place in March).

To nominate an Adult Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple or Big Family:
https://docs.google.com/a/bbbscentralmn.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZamIoOLd_VeLqVP4Gc6JBm3eF-CsTOJkAep0v4aNtGDC-SQ/viewform

To nominate a High School Big Brother or Big Sister:
https://docs.google.com/a/bbbscentralmn.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjthTIIatQ_jXE708K-Suj_WGrJG-qT5E6pc58j2ch1bgWvw/viewform

To nominate a Little Brother or Little Sister:
https://docs.google.com/a/bbbscentralmn.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfI9hx27hF94JHgvuyAD1Fjd5eay8KAErPYVs_LdNxaoA9IqA/viewform

Nominate a Big or Little of the Year

Each year we have the opportunity to select an Adult Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year (which includes Big Couples & Big Families), a High School Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year and a Little Brother and Little Sister of the Year. We have so many amazing Bigs (mentors) and Littles (mentees) and would love your help in nominating those that you feel are deserving.

We accept nominations year round but ask that they are submitted by November 1st to be selected for the next year. Nominations are reviewed and selected in November/December and announced in January. The winners will receive their awards at our Big Celebration (which typically takes place in March).

To nominate an Adult Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple or Big Family:
https://docs.google.com/a/bbbscentralmn.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZamIoOLd_VeLqVP4Gc6JBm3eF-CsTOJkAep0v4aNtGDC-SQ/viewform

To nominate a High School Big Brother or Big Sister:
https://docs.google.com/a/bbbscentralmn.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjthTIIatQ_jXE708K-Suj_WGrJG-qT5E6pc58j2ch1bgWvw/viewform

To nominate a Little Brother or Little Sister:
https://docs.google.com/a/bbbscentralmn.org/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfI9hx27hF94JHgvuyAD1Fjd5eay8KAErPYVs_LdNxaoA9IqA/viewform

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