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BBBSG News for Summer 2016

This year's Big Little Run event enjoyed not only its best turnout in its four-year history, but also its most successful fundraising result as more than 140 participants hit the trails in the University of Guelph Arboretum on Sunday, June 26th in support of BBBSG.

BLR 1000wSurpassing the 100-participant mark for the first time, attendees included a mix of competitive runners, casual joggers, walkers, bigs & littles, and dogs too, as eager supporters trekked 2.5km or 5km through the beautiful Arboretum trails, in what has become a favourite location for BBBSG's trademark summer event. Once again, BrokerLink put its name on the presenting sponsorship for the run, with secondary sponsorships coming in from the Health & Performance Centre, Compusense, Nelson Watson LLP and West End Family Chiropractic. The Running Room provided ongoing support for the event too, with chip timing once again handled by Speed River Timing.

The hot and sticky conditions challenged the participants, who sought shade wherever possible on the course, knowing that the beating sun was just around the next corner. First across the line was Sarah Cranmer-Byng in a time of 19 minutes, three seconds. She was followed close behind by Claire Couper and Mary Catherine Stewart, rounding out the top three, each just one second apart. Daniel Finnigan, David Cameron and Jason Gresel were the top three male finishers not far behind, with all of the top six overall runners completing the 5km run in less than 20 minutes.

Through a combination of registration fees, pledges, sponsorships and the silent auction, more than $15,000 was raised for BBBSG and the 625 children currently enrolled in our mentoring programs. A big thank you goes out to all participants, sponsors, donors and volunteers for making this the most successful Big Little Run event yet! Click here to view more pictures from what was a truly wonderful day. 


For the third time in the past four years, a mentee enrolled in the BBBSG programs has been awarded the prestigious and highly competitive CIBC YouthVision scholarship. Natasha E. was one of thirty grade 10 students across Canada to be honoured with the scholarship, valued at more than $38,000, to assist with her post-secondary education.

natasha-mychal annNatasha first joined the BBBSG program in May 2011 and has been matched with four
different Big Sisters in the past five years, each having a remarkably positive impact on her life. Current Big Sisters Mychal-Ann Hayhoe spoke glowingly of her Little Sister.

"Natasha has been a great mentee. She genuinely seems to appreciate the time we spend together," said Hayhoe. "This scholarship is an amazing start to help Natasha fund her post-secondary school program. We were both truly ecstatic to get the news that she'd been awarded the scholarship."

The CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program is a unique partnership between CIBC, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and YMCA Canada that encourages youth involved in a mentoring program to pursue a post-secondary education. By combining resources, financial, mentoring and internship support is provided to ensure the scholarship recipients are equipped to succeed academically.

Each year, between 140-200 Grade 10 students enrolled in a mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada or the YMCA apply for the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship Program and 30 new scholarships are offered. The winners receive six summer internships through the YMCA that begin after Grade 10, and a $4,000 annual contribution towards tuition for up to four years. 

Wrapping up what has been a busy fundraising season, more than 125 golfers hit the links at Guelph Lakes Golf & Country Club on June 21st for Golf Fore Kids' Sake, BBBSG's annual charity tournament. As in past years, results were strong, with more than $45,000 raised via contributions from golfers, sponsors and donors.

GFKS_400x360Sunny skies welcomed this year's participants as they arrived at Guelph Lakes, this year's gracious hosts. The weather remained warm, but comfortable throughout the day, with impressive scores recorded by a number of groups who were playing the bestball scramble format. The team of John Sanvido, Mark DeNardis, Doug Barclay and Fred Booth submitted an impressive score of 14 under par to win the event. 

As in past years, this event featured a unique live auction, which alone raised over $4,000 with bidders eager to take home experiences that included a private dinner at the Waterloo Fire Hall, an all-inclusive suite night with the Guelph Storm and a private chef's table experience at Cutten Fields. Golfers also participated in the grand prize raffle of two roundtrip tickets which were donated by WestJet. This raffle alone raised more than $3,000. The evening wrapped up with BBBSG Executive Director Heather Fowler recognizing and presenting plaques to all of the agency's 2016 corporate partners, a group of 20 local and regional companies who lent their names and support to all of the charity's special events throughout 2016. 

We Need Your Nomination: The Oak Tree Project

After a successful inaugural campaign in 2014, BBBSG is once again participating in the Oak Tree Project, a community-based initiative organized by the Mactaggart Family. For this year's competition, local non-profit organizations seek nominations from stakeholders and community members, competing against one another to see who can receive the most 


number of votes. The top five agencies will move to a final round with various grants being awarded based on quantity of nominations, creativity of submissions and statements from agencies how the money will be spent.

As of July 8, BBBSG is currently in second place overall and we need your help to get us into the premier spot to secure the top $5,000 prize. Your words of support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and we'd love if you'd provide a nomination in support of us before the July 17 deadline. To show your support, visit www.oaktreeguelph.ca/big-brothers-big-sisters-of-guelph-2016, scroll to the bottom and submit your nomination. We look forward to sharing the results with you after the votes have been counted!


Be on the lookout for Big Brothers Big Sisters logos across the city of Guelph this summer, as local businesses participate in our newest campaign, a Little Change for BIG Change. Customers at various local businesses will be presented with the opportunity to purchase a $2 paper icon at the checkout counter, where their name will be written on the icon and posted on location. Stay tuned for details regarding the location of businesses who are participating in this campaign.

Single Paper IconPhase one of Little Change for Big Change wrapped up with the end of the 2015-16 school year, with more than a dozen local schools making paper icons available to students, collectively raising more than $2,500 for BBBSG in just a few short months. St. James Catholic High School lead the way raising $639.50, with eight other schools raising more than $100 each. The Upper Grand District School Board also made a $3,000 donation on behalf of the entire local area, demonstrating their clear support for BBBSG, while understanding the importance that our mentoring programs have in local schools. We look forward to seeing this campaign continue to grow and prosper in local businesses throughout the summer and again in the school board in September.


The Guelph Police demonstrated their ongoing commitment to BBBSG on Saturday,
Fishing Day_250x200
 June 18th, hosting the 6th annual Kids & Cops Fishing Derby, with more than 25 Big & Littles joining our local heroes for a fun day of fishing and a barbecue lunch. The Guelph Police have hosted this event for a number of years at a local private pond, with young anglers reeling in large and small-mouth bass, rainbow trout and sunfish. Incredibly, every single Big and Little that attended this year's event caught a fish -- some of which were event bigger than what the police officers managed to hook!

We would like to thank the Guelph Police, specifically event organizer Sgt. David Doxey, for his ongoing support for this event and our organization. This is truly one of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated outings of the year!


It has been a busy few months around the offices of Big Brothers Big Sisters with new additions to our staff team, board of directors and annual Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) work placement program.

Joining our full-time staff is new Fund Development Coordinator Jennifer Tremaine, as well as Development Interns Paige Bromby and Lee Hepburn. On the casework side, Brigitta Martin will be with us for eight weeks on the CSJ program, having also recently completed her school placement with us as well. These four amazing additions to our staff team will make for a busy summer in the offices at 285 Woolwich.

We're also pleased to welcome Brittany Nasso, Brent Lang and Karen Wilson-West to our board of directors, each of whom bring a unique set of skills and areas of expertise. Brent and his wife Jill Clemes just recently completed a Couples for Kids match, and he has been involved with the agency in various capacities for more than ten years.

Of course, with new additions to our team, there are also goodbyes that we must say as well. From our staff, longtime volunteer coordinator Vivian Patterson has moved on to a new position, as has our development intern Kersten Dupuis, and caseworkers Melody Lippert and Mangla Shandal. Leaving our board of directors are longtime members Jane Hudson, Dean Bridges and Karen Henrikso, each of whom made incredibly generous and selfless contributions to the agency in their time with us. We will miss them tremendously and could not be more appreciative of their commitments.


jordanWrapping up the busy school year, our Mentor of the Month for June is Jordan Piken. Jordan is an awesome mentor who has developed a really cool relationship with his mentee. They both love spending time together when they do anything from playing sports to reading books to watching funny YouTube videos. 

Jordan's mentee is a great kid who really needed someone to take the time and invest the energy into developing a positive and healthy relationship with him. This child has so much potential that simply wasn't being harnessed in the right ways. With Jordan's encouragement and guidance, this student has improved in so many ways. For example, Jordan's mentee now looks forward to going to school on the days Jordan will be visiting. He also makes sure to get all of his work done in class before Jordan arrives -- he student really wants to impress Jordan! 

Jordan's dedication and commitment has made an amazing impact on his mentee. Jordan is truly skilled at being cool, calm, relaxed, and fun with his mentee while still maintaining high expectations and firm boundaries! This is no easy feat! Thanks, Jordan, for all you do!


One of the greatest individual gifts you can give to an organization is becoming a monthly donor. Your monthly contribution is an easy and cost-effective way to have a small amount of money go a long way and by becoming a donor at this level, you are ensuring that a steady flow of resources are being provided to the organization, allowing for smooth operations throughout the entire year. Monthly giving is simple -- let us show you how to get started!

For as little as $12.50 per month, you can join our exclusive group of monthly donors who have chosen to make Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph a part of their philanthropic goals. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all just forego one purchased lunch per month to ensure that local children are provided with a role model, a mentor and a friend? Transactions are processed automatically once a month, debited from your bank account, and can become an easy part of your regular budgeting. To get started on becoming a monthly donor, click here to fill out the initial form and we'll be in touch with you shortly. To speak to us about other forms of planned giving (bequests, legacies, gifts of life insurance), please contact us at your earliest convenience. 

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph, we love facilitating new matches and providing a local child with the opportunity to gain life-changing mentoring from our incredible "Big" volunteers. Through our One-to-One Program and our In-School Mentoring Program, we've successfully matched many new kids in the past few months and we can't wait to see the results!


New One-to-One Matches

Heli & Tricia
Cecilley & Kiara
Sonya & Piath
Bryanna & Chantel
Kim & Madison
Kyle/Sarah & Conrad (Couples Match)
David & Quentin


Match Anniversaries for March-June 2016
There is something so rewarding about watching a "Big" and "Little" grow together over the years. At BBBSG, we're all about facilitating life-long friendships through our various mentoring programs. We love to celebrate our match anniversaries and reflect on how far some of these kids have come over the past years. Thank you so much for your commitment to this agency and the children we serve.

Dave & Thomas - 9 years
Laura/Keith & Haylee (Couples Match) - 8 years
Justin & Henry - 3 years
Kyle & Nickolas - 2 years
Paige & Silvia - 1 year
Ryne & George - 1 year
Deb & Mya - 7 years
Scott & Ruai - 3 years
Elayne & Lily - 2 years
Simon & Aidan - 7 years
Christine & Corbinne - 6 years
Nancy & Emma - 2 years
Martyna & Jasmine - 1 year
Kirsten & Jasmine - 1 year
Julia & Christine - 5 years
Stuart & Jason - 1 year

Robert & Garrett - 1 year

Big Bunch Leader Anniversaries for March-June 2016

Jonathan - 1 year

Frank - 13 years
Deanna - 9 years
Dustin - 2 years