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Big Talk Little Talk WINTER 2008 Bowl for Kids’ Sake Strikes Again “Those who bring Imagine a bowling center filled with chance to win door prizes. What makes it sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep people there to support the mission of Big fun is the camaraderie, networking, and it from themselves.” Brothers Big Sisters. Many are dressed the prizes: Best Dressed, Most Team up — women wearing blue eye shadow Spirit, and the Gutterball Award for worst - James M. Barrie and old prom dresses with huge bows, bowling score. and guys who look like they just stepped Of course, this event is not really about out of Miami Vice. What’s going on? The bowling, it’s about the kids. The mission of 25th anniversary of the largest annual BBBS is to help children reach their fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters – potential through professionally supported, Bowl for Kids’ Sake! We are going “Back one-to-one relationships. To do this, we to the Future” by celebrating our past (the have a staff who screens volunteers, 80’s) and our future (the children), so we makes matches between a child and are inviting participants to come dressed volunteer with similar interests, and in their best 80’s attire. ensures that each child, family, and Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a fun, exciting, and volunteer in the program is getting the contagious event that keeps participants most out of their relationship. We couldn’t coming back year after year. The basic have helped 1,728 children in 2007 idea is to form a team composed of five without the support of the more than 700 members. Participants then ask friends, participants, 2,500 donors, and event family, co-workers, and even their sponsors who collectively raised companies to sponsor the team. The $180,000. money raised supports the Big Brothers This year, our goal is to raise $230,000 Big Sisters mission. To thank the throughout our service area and we are participants for raising money, we host expecting more than 1,200 participants. bowling parties at Highland Lanes in Austin the weekend of February 22-24; (continued on page 6) Grand Station Bowl in College Station on Saturday, March 1; and Sunset Lanes in San Marcos on Saturday, April 12. People participate because it helps children in the community. Enjoying the bowling party is why people keep coming back. On the day of the event, participants arrive at their bowling center where they check in, turn in money they have collected, receive a free BFKS t-shirt, and find their bowling lane. Each bowling party includes free food, free bowling, and a Visit us online at www.bbbscentraltx.org Page 2 Big Talk Little Talk From Our Executive Director As you may already Just as I am committed to children we serve, know, I recently decided continuing my support of expand to other to step down from my role our mission, I ask that you communities, and as the Executive Director do the same so that more continue to further our for BBBS of Central Central Texas children mission of helping Texas. It has been an will have brighter children reach their honor to serve BBBS for futures. We have big potential through the past 12 years, and plans for 2008 and professionally supported especially the past three beyond and look forward one-to-one relationships. years in Austin. Within to sharing in those Thanks and take care! that time period, we have successes with you. Kenny Taylor, Executive Director BBBS of Central Texas taken many steps forward; steps that could Please remember you not have happened play an integral role as we without your support. grow in the number of Regional Round-up Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas is making great strides throughout our region. Our various branches are all in different stages of their development, with each one making important contributions to its community. In Brazos Valley, we continue to provide quality mentoring services to more youth and volunteers than ever before. We are currently serving 120 active matches in the Bryan/College Station area, and are working to support and sustain these matches while also building new partnerships to assist us in pairing more youth with mentors. Under the guidance of our local Director, Sharon Zambrzycki, we are furthering our mission by strengthening our advisory board and becoming even more integrated into the community. In Burnet County, we’ve just made our very first match. This major milestone follows many months of planning and preparation and signals the true launch of our program in that area. We will be identifying additional youth, community volunteers and supporters to create more mentoring matches throughout 2008. Our goal is to establish a mentoring community with 50 youth in active mentoring relationships by the end of this year. In Hays County, we’re pleased to announce that we have made 13 matches in the past two months. We are striving to hit our initial goal of 20 matches within the next month and once we’ve accomplished this, we’ll set our sights higher with hopes of serving 100 youth by year’s end. Be on the lookout for our signature Bowl for Kids’ Sake event at Sunset Lanes in San Marcos on April 12. We again thank Texas State University for being a wonderful partner as we expand the BBBS program in Hays County. In McLennan County, we are currently serving 63 active matches. We are continuing to build our local advisory board to assist us with strategic plans for the Waco area. One common thread runs through our efforts in all of these communities, and that is our focus on providing mentoring to those youth with incarcerated parents or family members. This initiative is an important project for us as we partner with other BBBS chapters across the state to reach as many youth within this high-risk population as we can. We look forward to the many exiting developments ahead for us in each local community we serve across the region in 2008. Page 3 THE LATEST NEWS Marble Falls Office Makes Magic BBBS of Burnet County recently made its first match. Big Sister Jackie and seven-year-old Little Brother Walker made history at the local Dairy Queen around 6 p.m. as they went on their first outing ever in Burnet County. A bit shy at first, Walker warmed up to his new Big Sister in a matter of minutes. Word has it that both Big and Little “Can’t wait for their next outing!” Jackie decided to get involved in BBBS to help out in the local community and thinks Walker is the perfect Little Brother for her. Walker thinks the world of his new Big Sister as well. Keep your eyes and ears open to hear about more new matches in this area. United Way Capital Area Funds New Middle School Mentoring Project Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas (BBBS), in collaboration with Communities in Schools (CIS) was recently awarded $240,000 to fund a new Middle School Mentoring Project in the Austin Independent School District. The funds, which will be split among the two agencies, were awarded as part of the new United Way Capital Area funding model within the education impact area. BBBS and CIS plan to transition a small number of existing matches into the collaboration later this spring, with an official kick-off date at the beginning of the 2008 fall semester. County Line Hosts Annual Holiday Party On Sunday, December 2, 2007, The County Line on the Hill closed their doors to the public and opened their hearts to create holiday magic for more than 300 Little Brothers and Little Sisters. For more than 20 years, the restaurant has hosted this annual holiday party for the children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. County Line employees and their families volunteer their time to staff the event each year, and vendors donate lunch. Through the generosity of AMERIGROUP and individual donors who hosted toy drives, each child in attendance received a gift. Another highlight of the event was a drawing for 22 new bicycles and helmets donated by the County Line. Pulte Homes Hosts BIGS Golf Tournament Pulte Homes of Austin recently hosted its 3rd Annual BIGS Golf Tournament, the proceeds of which bene- fited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. The tournament was held at Grey Rock Golf Club (formerly Circle C) located in southwest Austin. Nearly two dozen Pulte Trade Partners participated in the event which raised $10,500 to support BBBS’ local mentoring programs. Break the Chain Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas is honored to be a part of the Amachi-Texas program, a statewide initiative aimed at pairing children of incarcerated parents with volunteer mentors. While many programs reach out to those incarcerated, very few address the specific needs of the children affected by this situa- tion. The Amachi-Texas program is designed to address these needs and alter the potentially negative di- rection of these children’s lives. BBBS is currently recruiting children who have an incarcerated parent for their community-based mentoring program. Interested parents, guardians or children should contact the BBBS office at 512-472-5437 for an application. Amachi-Texas is a joint initiative between the Office of the Governor, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Workforce Commission, OneStar Founda- tion and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas. Austin Young Lawyer’s Association and BBBS Join Forces Are you a BIG? Are you a LAWYER? Are you a member of AYLA? Did you know BBBS and AYLA have a partnership? BBBS would like to identify the Big Brothers and Big Sisters in our program with membership in AYLA to hear about the experiences you have had with your Little, and what being a Big means to you. There is also an opportunity to take part in our “Bowl For Kids Sake Legal Bowl 2008.” Please contact Tracy Guthrie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-472-5437 for more information. Page 4 Big Talk Little Talk Calendar of Upcoming Events Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2008 We’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of our largest annual fundraiser! Leading up to this event, representa- tive from all facets of the community form teams of five and raise money to help BBBS match more kids with caring, committed mentors. To thank participants for their hard work, we are hosting 80’s themed bowling parties across Central Texas. Join in the fun and register your team today. Friday – Sunday, February 22 – 24 (Austin) Highland Lanes, 8909 Burnet Road, Austin Register at http://austinbowl.kintera.org Questions? Call Meghan at 442-4646, ext. 204. Saturday, March 1 (Brazos Valley) Grand Station Bowl, 2400 Earl Rudder Freeway South, College Station Register at http://brazosbowl.kintera.org Questions? Call Sharon at 979-268-5814. Saturday, April 12 (Hays County) Sunset Lanes, 1304 Highway 123, San Marcos Register at http://haysbowl.kintera.org Questions? Call Meghan at 442-4646, ext. 204. BBBS Presents Volunteer Training Program BBBS has developed a training program to better prepare our volunteers for their match. The trainings are held on the 2nd Saturday, 10 a.m. – noon and the 4th Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. of each month. If you are a newly matched Big, a veteran Big who feels that your match could benefit from extra support, or would like to offer support and guidance to others, please join us. RSVP to any Match Support Specialist at 512- 472-5437. Austin Toros - 2008 Basketball Season BBBS has been given four free tickets to each game. We also have one parking pass per game and vouch- ers worth $10 towards an upgrade for your ticket. To get tickets please contact any Match Support Special- ist at 512-472-5437. Longhorn Athletics - Baseball, Softball and Basketball Hey Longhorn fans! Be sure to check out Bevo’s Bargains at www.TexasSports.com for up-to-date ticket discounts, autograph days, and promotions going on at Texas Athletic events for the upcoming spring ath- letic season. All matches get the group discount rate of $6 per person for home baseball games, $4 per person for home softball games, $6 per person for men’s home basketball games and $5 per per- son for women’s home basketball games when ordering in advance and mentioning BBBS. To order your group tickets to Texas Men’s and Women’s Basketball games, Texas Baseball, or Texas Softball, con- tact the UT Event Sales and Services office at 512-232-3865 or email GroupTickets@athletics.utexas.edu. For those in the Brazos, McLennan, Hays and Burnet counties, please visit www.bbbscentraltx.org and click on your respective county website for a list of upcoming activities. Page 5 Having Fun, Knocking Down Pins, and Creating Memories with Highland Lanes For more than 10 enjoys working at Highland Lanes, because it feels years, first Dart Bowl, like an extended family. and most recently Highland Lanes, lo- So it’s no wonder that Highland Lanes is the setting cated at 8909 Burnet for the largest annual fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Road, has played host Sisters. “The staff at Highland is so wonderful, not to BBBS’ largest an- only with the BBBS staff, but all of our participants nual fundraiser, Bowl and volunteers. They are really accommodating for Kids’ Sake. Work- with everything that we need, and are always willing ing together, both to help. We truly could not have such a successful John, the owner of event without them,” says Meghan Jones, the coor- John and Jacy Donovan dinator of BFKS. Highland Lanes, and Manager Sue Barry along with BBBS Bowl for Kids’ John is very proud to support BBBS, because he Sake staff ensure a successful event which has seen believes that as a successful business, it is their wonderful growth through the years. responsibility to give back to the community, and it According to Sue, “Each year, the Bowl for Kids’ Sake always feels good to support a worthy cause. At the event is so much fun, and each squad is just a great same time, BFKS also gives back to Highland, as party. Every participant has such a good time; and the the event brings people through the door that might BBBS staff/volunteers create an awesome event to be not otherwise come in. As a matter of fact, quite a involved with.” Not only does Highland Lanes offer the few teams that participated in Bowl for Kids’ Sake bowling center on weekends, one of their busiest had so much fun that they decided to join a league. times, but they also heavily discount fees specifically For both BBBS and Highland Lanes, this has been for this event. Their continued in-kind contributions a very positive partnership, and one that will hope- allow BBBS to use their resources on serving more fully continue for years to come. children in the community. Sue believes in the BBBS tagline “Little Moments… Highland Lanes is all about family. The alleys, which Big Magic” because she vividly remembers her ex- include Highland Lanes, Dart Bowl and Westgate periences from bowling in youth leagues as a child, Lanes have been in John’s family for 50 years, with which is one reason she enjoys supporting Bowl for the original Dart Bowl opening in 1958. John says Kids’ Sake. “I still bowl today because those experi- that as a child, he was never interested in working ences were such great fun,” she says. After all, in the business but as he grew older, he couldn’t there really is nothing better than Sue’s philosophy: imagine doing anything else. This is also why Sue Have Fun, Knock Down Pins, Create Memories. Please clip and mail to: Name: BBBS of Central Texas Address: 1400 Tillery Street Austin, Texas 78721 Phone: Home Work Email I would like to make a tax deductible donation to BBBS of Central Texas. Does your employer Check enclosed. have a matching gift pro- Visa/Mastercard/AmEx $ gram so that your contri- Card # Exp: bution may be doubled? Signature (required): Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas serves Travis, Williamson, McLennan, Brazos, Hays and Burnet Counties. Unless otherwise noted by the donor, donations received from regional areas Yes No are restricted for use to support programs in those areas. Page 6 Big Talk Little Talk An Eye Toward Educational Services The BBBS-CT Educational Services Department works with students of all levels to encourage them to think about their futures and to help them create a plan to get there. Keep your eyes open for this new column in each of our quarterly newsletters for updates and important information related to Educational Services. You can also visit the Educational Services portion of our website for updates as well — www.bbbscentraltx.org. On March 29, from noon to 2 p.m. we are hosting a seminar for Bigs whose Littles are in 7th through 12th grades. If you are a Big who wants to talk to your Little about post-secondary educational options, who hopes your Little goes to college but doesn’t know how to start the conversation, who doesn’t want to nag and pes- ter your Little about grades and studying, then this workshop is for you. Director of Educational Services De- one Wilhite and Educational Services Specialist Marisa Wall will give you information about colleges, junior colleges, and technical schools, so you know what’s available for your Little; teach you about the financial aid process so you have realistic and hopeful conversations with your Little about how to pay for post-secondary education; and provide you with models of how to have effective dialogue about future options with your Little and even your Little’s family so you don’t feel nervous about starting the conversation. To RSVP, contact Marisa Wall at 512-472-5437, ext. 224 or by email at email@example.com. Leave a message with your name and phone number, and Marisa will be in touch with you regarding details. The Educational Services staff are also working on identifying Job Shadowing and Internship opportuni- ties for Littles. If you have any ideas for summer internships or job shadowing opportunities that would benefit our Littles, please contact Marisa. Bowl for Kids’ Sake (continued from page 1) Bowl for Kids’ Sake has grown tremendously the past couple of years because of the support of local busi- nesses participating in “Industry Bowls.” An Industry Bowl is when a group from the same industry form teams and bowl at the same time. Participants have the opportunity to network and challenge each other for bragging rights. Our 2008 Industry Bowls include Architecture, Engineering, and Construction companies (sponsored by SMPS), Austin Society of Civil Engineers, Austin Young Execs, Austin Media, Leadership Austin, Legal Bowl, Banker’s Bowl, and Gamers and Designers Bowl. We also have company bowls, and want to thank Hoover’s Online for their continuous support. Registration is available for the Austin, Brazos Valley and San Marcos events. Once you have registered, please call to schedule your bowling time. In Austin call Meghan at 512-442-4646, ext. 204 or visit http://austinbowl.kintera.org. In Brazos call Sharon at 979-268-5814 or visit http://brazosbowl.kintera.org. In San Marcos call Meghan 512-442-4646, ext. 204 or visit http://haysbowl.kintera.org. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas also sends out a big thanks to our wonderful event sponsors. Page 7 Belynda and Ryan - A Perfect Match Though it has Ryan’s mom, Leslie wanted him to be involved in been almost eight BBBS because she wanted the best for her son. As years since their a single mom who worked two jobs, Leslie sought match introduc- out the program to give her son another positive, tio n, Belynda happy and caring person to influence him. “I hoped Barkley Montgom- for him to have a true, unconditional friend,” Leslie ery remembers it says. “I wanted him to have a chance to go places quite well because he has never gone and experience things he has her Little Brother never experienced. Belynda and Ryan have been a Ryan “didn’t really great match from day one. She is Ryan’s friend, seem to want a Big Sister.” As a matter of fact, Be- sunshine, magic and joy.” lynda did not quite expect a Little Brother either. On her application, she said that she wanted to be Though Belynda hopes she has made an impact on matched with a six-year-old Little Sister because Ryan, she also feels that the greatest impact in his she had fond memories of growing up with her own life has come from his parents who have done a little sister and thought it would be fun to do again. great job of caring for him, especially his mom who Fortunately, she also noted that she would be inter- has tirelessly strived to get him great care at home ested in being matched with any child in a wheel- and school. chair. And, that is where their story begins. Belynda has learned a lot from Ryan over the past When BBBS staff called and gave her the option of eight years. “Ryan has taught me a lot about how to choosing a Little Sister or Ryan, a wheelchair-bound live,” she says. “You can get up everyday and com- youth, she was excited at the prospect of mentoring plain about your circumstances or you can get up him. “I knew that having a Little Brother would be and live life.” Ask Ryan the same thing and he says fun even if I had to convince him that I would be a he has learned “how to have fun, laugh a lot, and good Big Sister.” According to Belynda, Ryan was what it means to be a true friend.” Both Belynda and “very leery” about having her as a Big Sister at first Ryan take those words to heart as they continue to but once they got together a few times, he soon re- build their very special relationship. alized that she was not the typical “girly girl” and thus they got along just fine. Belynda and Ryan get together regularly for their favorite activities - talking, eating, IMAX movies and shopping. Ryan loves “any meat that is still attached to the bone and shopping for school clothes,” Be- lynda says. While Belynda describes herself as more of a plain Jane type of gal, Ryan loves bling and accessories. Every time they get together, there is another accessory on his wheelchair or van whether it is a new sound system, new rims or new earrings. They have experienced other adventures as well, “You can get up everyday and com- including fishing trips, getting on a sailboat at BBBS’ annual Hobie Day on Lake Travis and going to all plain about your circumstances or sorts of places that “wheelchairs are not supposed you can get up everyday and enjoy to go. Ryan is always up for the challenge,” she life…” - Belynda says. Serving Travis, Williamson, McLennan, Brazos, Hayes and Burnet Counties NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. Postage PAID AUSTIN, TEXAS PERMIT No. 2617 1400 Tillery Street Austin, TX 78721 www.bbbscentraltx.org If you no longer wish to receive Big Talk Little Talk, please call Melanie at 512.472.5437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. BBBS of Central Texas 1400 Tillery St. Austin, TX 78721 (512) 472-5437 BBBS of the Heart of Texas 1905 Washington Ave. Calling Board Alumni... Waco, TX 76701 (254) 776-2824 We have lost touch over the years with many of our former Board Members. As part BBBS of the Brazos Valley of the myriad of changes taking place at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, 315 Tauber St. we are looking to re-connect with you. As our most knowledgeable advocates, we College Station, TX 78740 want to hear about your experience with the agency to not only get a better under- (979) 268-5814 standing of our history, but also the people who helped shape it. This year, as BBBS of Central Texas celebrates 36 years of serving children in Cen- BBBS of Hays County tral Texas, there has never been a better time to reconnect. Over the course of the BBBS-LBJ Student Center 601 University Drive year, there will be various opportunities for board alumni to get together and share San Marcos, Texas 78666 their stories. All former Board Members are encouraged to contact Kim Brown by (512) 753-9346 calling 512-442-4646, ext. 205 or by emailing email@example.com. We want to make sure that you continue to be connected to the agency you had so BBBS of Burnet County 2342 N. Wirtz Dam Road much impact on. Thank you for all the work you put into Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marble Falls, Texas 78654 Central Texas in the past. We want to show you how far we have come, and where (512) 909-3346 we are going in the future. The BBBS Mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships. The BBBS Vision is successful mentoring relationships for all children who need and want them, contributing to brighter futures, better schools, and stronger communities for all.
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