Saturday November 29, 2014

Big dough for big bros


Representatives of Big Brothers Big Sisters Yorkton and Area along with staff from Welcome Home Crafts celebrate a successful Friendship Day fundraiser that garnered $2,500 from the sale of 12,000 roses. Rear: (L-R) Lauren Doupe, Welcome Home staff; Brian Rosenmeyer, Big Brother. Middle: Kerry Geddes, Welcome Home owner; Irma VanDebon, BBBS executive director; Carrie Olson, Welcome Home staff; Amanda Ring, BBBS match consultant; Abhinov Bhargav, BBBS event coordinator. Front: Jesslyn Geddes, Welcome Home staff; Darla Ivanochko, Welcome Home staff; Kailee Trost, BBBS summer program coordinator.

The 10th annual Friendship Day put on by Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Yorkton and Area and Welcome Home Crafts yielded $2,500 for the mentoring organization.

Welcome Home Crafts provided a thousand dozen roses, which were sold out in just an hour and a half Thursday, August 23. Irma VanDebon, executive director of BBBS Yorkton credited media coverage and community spirit for the rousing success of the fundraiser.

The monies will be used to support both one-to-one and group mentoring activities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters serves 250 children in Yorkton and area annually with upward of 175 volunteers, a phenomenal per capita achievement for the area served. Vandebon says that’s just typical of the region.

“It’s the community-minded spirit of the people,” she explained. “I think they recognize that mentoring makes a difference in a child’s life. And it’s fun!”

BBBS Yorkton offers volunteer opportunities for  a wide range of people. Most chapters of the organization in Canada have a minimum age of 18 to volunteer (21 in the United States). VanDebon says many of the local organization’s volunteers are high school students and it even ran a program in Langenburg in which Grade 8 students were paired with first graders.

“It’s a real win-win situation,” VanDebon said explaining the older kids get to learn leadership skills among many other benefits.

Prospective mentors can apply to volunteer by visiting the website at



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