UPDATE: Great Big Christmas Dinner honours contributions to Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe

Annual dinner honours volunteers, businesses and organizations

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District (BBBS) recently held their Great Big Christmas Dinner and Awards Night to honour the families, volunteers, organizations and businesses that have made 2018 a success.

“Vermilion Energy is our title sponsor and they allow all of our families and volunteers to enjoy a turkey dinner for free,” Executive Director Crystal Zens said. “We also recognized some outstanding organizations, volunteers and businesses that support Big Brothers Big Sisters throughout the year.”

This year BBBS awarded: Travis Marcott as Big Brother of the Year; Sheila McIlwain as Big Sister of the Year; Kristin MacKenzie and Cary Shelstad as In School Mentors of the Year; Skylar Allarie and Emily Mueller as Teen Mentors of the Year; East Side Eatery as Business of the Year and Lacombe Oilmen’s as Organization of the Year.

BBBS also got to honour Andy Pawlyk and his little brother Chris Sellathamby for a 40-year match.

“That match was started in 1978 in Red Deer and the volunteer lives in Lacombe,” Zens said. “He volunteers a lot for our agency and his little brother flew the whole family down from Victoria.

“It goes to show that our program is about long-term impact and long-term difference. It was really neat and we don’t get to do that very often.”

The Christmas dinner started around nine years ago as a modest hot dog lunch with Santa, before growing into the 300 person gala it is now.

The growth of the gala shows the widespread impact that BBBS has in Lacombe.

“We are always very busy and have a lot of stuff going on all the time,” Zens said. “Our 40 Mentors in 40 Days is always very successful and we had 32 new applicants this year which was awesome to get our kids off the wait list and matched.

“A lot of them came to our Christmas dinner for the first time which is special to have.”

Additionally, BBBS is also launching their Festival of Wreaths which allows community members to bid on decorated wreaths and the organization is also looking for donations for their Adopt-a-Family program.

“We match donors to families that fit the given criteria and we have about 20 families matched with local donors to make sure their Christmas is extra special this year,” she said.

If you would like to get involved with BBBS, you can phone 403-782-7870 or contact them through their website or social media.

“December is always our hardest month,” Zens said. “It has the most need and is the least financed so donations are always appreciated. We are a not-for-profit that is a registered charity so we can provide tax receipts.”

With the 30th anniversary of BBBS approaching, Zens is also hoping to expand their ‘Landlord of the Month’ program, which helps them pay down their mortgage.

“We are really hoping to burn the whole mortgage. There is $149,000 still left on the mortgage so we want to get some new initiatives to get rid of the mortgage to serve more kids in more ways,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Lacombe Generals march back into the win column against Rosetown

Generals end three game losing streak with 4-1, 6-5 wins over Red Wings

UPDATE: Lacombe, Red Deer snubbed from new ambulance list

Lacombe Councillor Chris Ross continues to advocate for added care in Central Alberta

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Central Alberta Woodworkers showcase craft at Lacombe Memorial Centre

Guild is the latest to showcase their work at the LMC’s art exhibit

Man wearing bandanna with knife robs Lacombe Circle K

5’3” white male stole cash, cigarettes early on Dec. 4th

VIDEO: Light Up the Night Santa Klaus Parade brings festive joy to Lacombe

The Tim Horton’s Santa Klaus Parade in Lacombe brought thousands to the streets

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read