Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates 100 years

A century of mentorship. At its Lacombe annual general meeting on May 23, Big Brothers Big Sisters highlighted

A century of mentorship.

At its Lacombe annual general meeting on May 23, Big Brothers Big Sisters highlighted that 2013 marks the centennial of the organization in Canada.

Crystal Zens, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe and District, said there will be a number of local events and happenings taking place this year to help celebrate that accomplishment.

“We have some tricks up our sleeves,” said Zens. “Any local event we are going to try to splash our centennial.”

Events planned include Big Brothers Big Sisters 100 Days of Summer and the dedication of a flowerbed by the City of Lacombe, said Zens. She added that further details on both those celebrations will be available in the near future.

Some annual events that Big Brothers Big Sisters regularly put on will be altered slightly to fit the centennial theme as well, said Zens.

For example, the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters picnic will include old-fashioned picnic games, like the three-legged race and adopt the moniker ‘Centennial Picnic.’

Of course, Lacombe is not alone in celebrating this centennial.

Canada Post recently released a stamp commemorating Big Brothers Big Sisters century of mentorship.

“That’s pretty significant and cool for us to be on a stamp,” said Zens. “I didn’t really like stamps until we were on one,” she added with a laugh.

For Zens, who has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters for five years now, reaching the organization’s centennial is an amazing testament to what can be accomplished by people with good intentions.

She said it reflects on the passion of those who believe it is a worthwhile cause.

Mentorship is something that is even more important today than it was when Big Brothers Big Sisters first started, said Zens. Families today are busier and have less time for everything. Issues like bullying are also putting more pressure on today’s youth.

“Kids nowadays definitely have way worse pressures; way more serious pressures than what I did when I was growing up.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides much more than mentorship, said Zens. It creates bonds that are mutually beneficial for both mentors and children.

Bonds like the one between Big Brother Andy Pawlyk and his match Chris Sellathamby, who have remained in contact for over 35 years.

During his guest speech at the annual general meeting, Pawlyk spoke of how his friendship with Sellathamby went above and beyond the expectations of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“We broke the one hour a week rule,” Pawlyk said in his speech.

That friendship is still strong today and has transcended generations, as Pawlyk’s granddaughter is now friends with Sellathamby’s daughter.

Big Sister Marti Ingram, another guest speaking at the meeting, also spoke of the bond that developed between herself and her match, saying that she has gotten just as much, if not more, from being a Big Sister than her match has, 10-year-old Ally Cameron.

“It has been really worthwhile to see this shy, nine-year-old girl become this silly, funny, confident young lady,” said Ingram.

Zens said that these mutual bonds are a big factor to why Big Brothers Big Sisters has been around for 100 years.

“I think because, if the mentors are getting gratification out of it then that’s going to make them 10 times the mentor,” said Zens. She added that this leads to a cycle where many of the ‘littles’ of Big Brothers Big Sisters grow up to become ‘bigs’ in the program.

“It does go full circle.”

One great example of this is local country music star Gord Bamford.

Zens said that while Bamford is not directly involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, it is a cause that he strongly supports because of the experience he had in it as a child. This past year in fact, Bamford donated $100,000 to Lacombe Big Brothers Big Sisters through the Gord Bamford Foundation.

news@lacombeexpress.com

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Photo Courtesy: Echo Lacombe Association logo.
Lacombe City Council supports Echo Lacombe with location for pilot program

Echo Lacombe Association will run a pilot propgram on food rescue until November, 1, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

File Photo
Blackfalds RCMP seeking suspects in traffic collision

RCMP are asking the public for help identifing two suspects wanted for multiple offences

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Most Read