Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 was the Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual General Meeting and Volunteer/Child Awards Night. We were blessed with the attendance of City Councillors Scott McKeen and Mohinder Banga as well as Mayor Don Iveson, who helped us honour the individuals being awarded. Mayor Iveson surprised us with a wonderful proclamation, declaring September 2016 Big Brothers Big Sisters Month in Edmonton.
Click here to read the Message from the President & Executive Director from our Annual Report
Distinguished Merit – Mr. Tom Richards
Tom has been a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the former Boys & Girls Clubs Agency, a supporter at our Golf Tournament and Lobster Lovers Gala for over 25 years and a donor to the agency. He has provided leadership to our agency and continues, to this day, to be an ambassador for our organization to his networks in the community.
President’s Award – Mr Robert Rosen
City Lumber owner Robert Rosen is passionate about the art and about creating hope in our community’s kids. In 2012, Mr. Rosen brought together hundreds of children and the arts community. More than 100 kids from BGCBigs and their families and mentors enjoyed time experiencing the holiday season with art, music and expression and most importantly, caring leaders – who came together to make sure our children could experience the Arts throughout the year and as well during the holiday season.
Little Sister of the Year – Topaz
Topaz has been matched with Amanda since January 2015. Topaz lives in a very loving and supportive foster family and this year lost her biological mom. At the same time, the Big Sister Amanda’s dad has been facing health difficulties. Amanda and Topaz have a caring relationship that allows them to support each other and they together have managed through the difficulties that life can bring.
Little Brother of the Year – Seth
Seth has been matched to his Big Brother, Ryan, since September 2014. Seth lives with his grandmother, who is currently facing health challenges. Seth has been there to care for her and taken responsibility of the home. Seth is a caring and kind youth who doesn’t complain about his situation despite how difficult it is. Seth is a strong and resilient young man who continues to make a positive impact on those he meets.
Club Youth of the Year – Austin
Austin attends our West Club and has been a never-ending source of positivity and a natural leader. He is friendly and welcoming of everyone – from our littlest elementary members, to the teens, he is always polite and makes the Club a more fun place to be. His actions made him a Jr. Staff member during the club’s spring break, and he hasn’t stopped leading since. He currently assists BGCBigs on his Saturday mornings during Kids On Track Play Days.
Club Youth of the Year – Lindsay
Lindsay was born with Spina Bifida and has been in a wheel chair since her birth. She is now seven year old and goes to our Sakaw Club every day. During our weekly Zumba lessons, Lindsay participates enthusiastically and inspires other children. Lindsay’s mom says “She has grown a lot since going to the Club and now she loves school work and enjoys math a lot more. Lindsay is very energetic and outgoing girl. She always welcomes new club members, staff or volunteers without hesitation. Lindsay is a leader and we know she will continue to blossom at the Club.
School/Group Youth of the Year – Joshua
Josh is committed to attending group session, has an openness to try all activities, and most importantly he cares for the other youth as well as staff. Josh consistently thinks of the needs of others, and helps to make sure they succeed. What’s so special about him is that when he helps someone around him, he draws the least attention possible to the fact that they need help, and quietly supports them to succeed.
In-School Mentor of the Year – Alex Crisp
Alex is matched with Juan and has demonstrated consistency, reliability, dedication and enthusiasm and goes above and beyond what is asked of him. The principal and teachers have shared that they love Alex’s presence in the school, the impact he is making in Juan’s life, and said they hope to get more mentors like him. In addition to being an In-School mentor, Alex is also a group mentor in the Hockey HEROS program.
Club Volunteer of the Year – Katz Dawson
Katz has been volunteering for the West Club for over a year now and is a dependable and committed volunteer. We learned early on that Katz enjoys cooking in his free time. He now he runs a weekly cooking club called “Cooking with Katz”. In addition, Katz has on drama activities with the kids as well, and leads different drama games in an effort to get the kids to all know each other more, and feel comfortable with each other.
Big Sister of the Year- Leela Ramaswamy
Leela has been a volunteer with the agency since 2005 and is currently matched with Shaniequa. Leela has to drive 1.5 hours every month to Maskwacis to see her little sister, and has been committed to doing so without fail. She has been always willing to go above and beyond for her Little’s and she has not once given up on her mentee’s because of circumstances. She humbly unscrambles barriers that evolve in her match with kindness and care.
Big Brother of the Year – Matthew Trodden
Matt has been matched to his Little Brother, Jarred, for almost 7 years. Matt meets with Jarred regularly to encourage the importance of school and has been attending meetings with the family to help support Jarred during difficult academic times. In the past, when his Little Brother faced challenging circumstances at home, Matt took it upon himself to ensure that his little brother was safe and returned home to his family. He continues to go over and above to support his little brother.
Teen Volunteer of the Year – Israel
Israel has been a teen mentor at M.E. LaZerte since October 2014, and has shown dedication both as a volunteer with BGCBigs and with his school through his involvement in planning school events and fundraisers. Israel has helped his mentee develop leadership qualities and encouraged him to plan their activities and provide input to the program so that they can both have an enjoyable experience. Through that encouragement, his mentee has shown a great deal of independence and confidence.
Volunteer of the Year – Doug Ingersoll
Doug joined Boys & Girls Club in 1980 when he helped raise money to build the Kinsmen Club as well as helped raise funds for our Big Brothers Big Sisters House in 1985. Doug served on the BGC Board for over 20 years and invented our Lobster Lovers Dinner and Auction Event! This fundraiser raised over $140 000 last year to support the work of our agency. Doug has done it all – painted, removed floors, helped make tough decision…all with one thing in mind – our children.