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Big Talk Little Talk


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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
    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 tguthrie@bbbscentraltx.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-

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
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 mwall@bbbscentraltx.org. 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

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
                                   Serving Travis, Williamson, McLennan, Brazos, Hayes and Burnet Counties

                                                                                                         U.S. Postage
                                                                                                        AUSTIN, TEXAS
                                                                                                       PERMIT No. 2617
  1400 Tillery Street
   Austin, TX 78721

    If you no longer wish to
 receive Big Talk Little Talk,
     please call Melanie at
     512.472.5437 or email

 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 kim@bbbscentraltx.org.

                                  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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