A lot of people, young and old, have benefited from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Children gain mentors and role models while adults have the chance to positively impact a young person’s life.
In Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties, almost 100 pairings of young people and adults have reaped the benefits of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. To ensure these matches continue, the Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Big Brothers Big Sisters organization needs the community’s help.
The organization is hosting a “Drive for Matches” Golf Tournament 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 26 at the Los Alamos Golf Course. The cost is $100 for individuals or $400 for a team of four. The cost includes green fees, driving range access and range balls, golf carts, dinner and awards. There also will be an opportunity to win a hole-in-one vehicle courtesy of Desert Sun Auto and Henry Valencia, Inc.
Regional Director Dawn Brown told the Los Alamos Daily Post that spots are still available in the golf tournament; however, the deadline to register is Thursday. To register for the event, call 505.614.4231 or go to www.bbbsnorthernnm.org/laragolf .
Brown explained this year’s tournament is the third annual event. Every year, each regional board of Big Brothers Big Sisters is responsible for raising funds. Three years ago, the local board originated the idea for a golf tournament because “we had golfers on the board,” Brown said.
The money raised through the tournament “will go to support our youth and volunteers in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba,” she added. The adult and child meet eight hours a month. They can meet at any time during the week or weekends. Locally, popular activities include watching a movie at the Reel Deal and purchasing bread at the grocery store to feed the ducks at Ashley Pond.
In addition, Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers a lunch buddy program, which is held at all five elementary schools in the Los Alamos Public Schools district. In this program, the adult and child each bring their lunch to a designated area to eat, play games, talk, read or other activities.
In order to create successful matches, Big Brothers Big Sisters is required to do multi-layered background checks on volunteers. The fundraiser will help support this work.
“That’s important to us … (it provides) direct support to the volunteers and their matches and it ensures that we can continue to make matches in the community,” Brown said.
She added, “It is important to look for avenues of funding and having these avenues of funding allows us to continue to do our work.”
There are others ways to support the local program, too. Brown said adult mentors are needed, particularly in the Lunch Buddy program. Volunteers can also serve on the Big Brothers Big Sisters board. “It’s a great board,” she said. “It’s a very community-oriented board.”
Volunteering as a mentor is a valuable experience, Brown said. “I think that the adult builds a relationship with that child. And the child can count on that relationship six to eight hours a month.”
If interested in participating, call 505.614.4231.
Major sponsors for the “Drive for Matches” golf tournament include:
- Title Guarantee
- Kelly Myers
- Del Norte Credit Union
- Plateau Property Management
- Rebound Therapy
- KRNS 1490
- Flowers by Gillian
- El Parasol