Event

CASH FOR KIDS’ SAKE 2016 RAISES FUNDS FOR BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Knoxville, Tenn. –The fourth annual Cash for Kids’ Sake event, presented by The Graham Corporation and hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBS), was held last Thursday at The Standard. Emcees for the evening included: WATE Anchor and former Big Sister, Tearsa Smith, WVLT Sports Anchor and BBBS Advocate, Sara Mitchell and WBIR Reporter and current Big Sister, Becca Habegger.

The event was a Reverse Raffle with a grand prize of $15,000. This year the last ticket in the drum belonged to grand prize winner, Bo Shafer. After being awarded his winnings, Mr. Shafer decided to generously donate all $15,000 back to the BBBS agency. Additional cash prize giveaways and a silent and live auction were held throughout the evening. The program included testimonials from two BBBS agency parents; Afeni Henderson and Zenobia Dobson. Both parents spoke on the importance of mentoring and the impact their children’s Big Brothers made in their lives.

There were over 200 people in attendance to support raising funds to help children who face adversity by pairing them with positive role models through BBBS programs.

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (Tennesseebig.org) provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Through these relationships, children achieve success throughout their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee served more than 925 children in 2016. Through one-to-one mentoring relationships, these children make better decisions about their lives, have a better attitude about school and choose to avoid risky behaviors.

 

Alli Damas
Marketing and Events Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East TN
865.523.9455, adamas@tennesseebig.org

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UT Baseball Coach Hits a Home Run with Volunteer Spirit

By Marco Villarreal | 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – How many baseball players does it take to get a good round of golf in? Sounds like the start of a joke! The good that’s coming out of the diamond and taking over the green for one day is no joke though. The Volunteer Spirit coming out of the UT Men’s Baseball team is impressive.
At the Regas building in downtown Knoxville, Big Brothers and Big Sisters get together with their “Littles” for craft night.
Shyann is here with her big, Young Kim. They just celebrated one year matched up.

“We’ll play ski ball together. We’ll go on hikes together. We’ll just play games together and things like that,” says Young Kim about her Little.

This friendship is possible because of volunteers like Kim. The program can run because of people like Dave Serrano.

“I think everyone can find time to do things that are important. One of the things, getting involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee was my way of giving back to this wonderful community,” says the UT Baseball head coach.

Coach understands the importance of mentoring. Even with his busy schedule he finds time to give back.

“A lot of people think that when our season’s over that it slows down. I think it actually speeds up.”

His annual golf tournament benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee fills up almost every year.

“This money that the golf tournament generates is to be able to reach out and get mentors and get them involved to be a Big Brother Big Sister for these kids that might not have that adult figure around them everyday,” he says.

Coach Serrano’s Volunteer Spirit extends beyond the ball park and into the green. He even gets the guys on his team to help out.

“We involve the whole team. It isn’t just myself. It’s our whole program that’s involved with this golf tournament,” says Coach Serrano.

For the Bigs at craft night they understand the community is coming together to help Littles succeed.

“I’m guessing that he understands how important these programs are for our communities, and especially for the Bigs and the Littles involved,” says Kim.

That’s batting a 1000 with his service!

This is the third year of Coach Serrano’s golf tournament benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. In just those three years over $125,000 have been raised for the organization.

To view the WVLT Video Segment, click here

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Knoxville Big Brothers Big Sisters Needs Volunteers for Mentor 2.0 Program

By: WATE 6 On Your Side staff

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is in desperate need of more mentors for a new program they are getting to launch at South Doyle High School.

Organizers said the Mentor 2.0 program is different from a traditional mentoring program. It is designed to use the mentoring relationship to ensure more students from low-income communities enroll and succeed in college.

Each student participating in the Mentor 2.0 program will be paired with their own college graduate from the community as their mentor. This provides our students with the level of personalized support necessary to ensure college-readiness.

South Doyle High School will be the first school to participate in the new program. Mentors need to be at least 23 years or older, with at least a two-year degree. Mentors commit four years to a single mentee and have the option to extend the match through the completion of college.

Mentors must apply online. For more information contact Whitney Baker, the Mentor 2.0 Program Director at (865) 243-8846 orwbaker@tennesseebig.org.

Big Heights Rooftop Crawl supports Mentor 2.0 program

The Big Heights Rooftop Crawl will take place Thursday, August 18 in Downtown Market Square.

The decade-themed event will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee’s Mentor 2.0 Program. During the event, participants will crawl the rooftops of Market Square and enjoy food, drinks, music, and decade-themed fun as they travel from the 70s to the 90s.

The participating rooftops include: Scruffy City Hall, Oodles Uncorked, and Cafe 4. The rooftop crawl is from 7-10:00 p.m.

Tickets are $45, must be purchased prior to the event, and include: food, drink tickets (one per rooftop party), decade-themed entertainment, and access for one to each of our three rooftops.

To purchase tickets go to Big Brothers Big Sister’s website. All participants must be 21 years of age and older.

Click here to view the video segment

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Dave Serrano Golf Classic 2016

Written by: Rachel Guina, UT Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has announced the Third Annual Dave Serrano Golf Classic presented by Regal Entertainment Group and EdFinancial will be held on Friday, October 14, 2016 at Avalon Golf Course in Lenoir City, Tenn.

Following a successful, sold-out event in 2015, this year’s tournament will tee off in an 8:30 a.m. ET shotgun start. A program and luncheon will be held at 1:30 p.m. ET. Teams for the tournament will be comprised of a four-person group with the team prizes awarded to the top finishers. Fees for the tournament are $1,000 per foursome or $275 per golfer.

Participants will also have an opportunity to win $50,000 as well as autographed memorabilia from UT Legends.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to again be hosting our golf tournament for Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee,” Serrano said. “The funds that this generates for so many children of this area is what makes it so worthwhile. My hope is that this community, our fans and alumni come out to play some golf, have fun and support this great cause.”

Proceeds will support one-on-one mentoring for children served through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring model is an evidence-based prevention and intervention strategy that is helping to improve the odds for children who face adversity. Through the high-quality one-to-one mentoring program, children are achieving educational success, reaching for higher aspirations, and avoiding risky behaviors.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored to partner with Coach Serrano again on the Dave Serrano Golf Classic,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee Chief Executive Officer Doug Kose. “After listening to golfer feedback from last year’s sold out event, we’ve made a few exciting changes for our 2016 Classic and look forward to even greater participation this year. We are also very appreciative of Regal Entertainment Group and EdFinancial, both serving as title sponsors for this year’s event. All of the funds raised will be used to support mentoring programs for the at-risk youth we serve in the community.”

For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to register for the Dave Serrano Golf Classic, visit DaveSerranoGolfClassic.com or contact Alli Damas at adamas@tennesseebig.org or call 865-523-9455.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (Tennesseebig.org) provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Through these relationships, children achieve success throughout their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee served more than 900 children in 2015. Through one-to-one mentoring relationships, these children make better decisions about their lives, have a better attitude about school and choose to avoid risky behaviors.

About Tennessee Baseball Head Coach Dave Serrano

One of just 12 coaches in NCAA history to take two different programs to the College World Series, Tennessee Head Coach Dave Serrano is one of the most successful and widely respected coaches in college baseball and enters his sixth season at the helm of the Volunteer Baseball program in spring 2017.

Previously the head coach at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, Serrano has the Volunteers moving in the right direction, leading them to the SEC Tournament in three consecutive seasons (2014-16) for the first time since 1995-97. A three-time coach with the USA Baseball National Team, serving as manager of the squad in 2012, Serrano has coached over 165 players who have gone on to be drafted, including 25 who have played in the Major Leagues.

Serrano is a proud and active member of the Knoxville community and has three sons, Kyle, Zach and Parker.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring organization, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring model is an evidence-based prevention and intervention strategy that is helping to improve the odds for children who face adversity.

Big Brothers Big Sisters cannot do it alone. With an investment of financial resources, Big Brothers Big Sisters can provide a key service to Tennesseans — changing children’s attitudes resulting in improved families and communities and leading to greater educational attainment for children served through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs are evidence-based, proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth in areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness. Top-quality evidence-based practices must be a part of any serious long-term strategy for moving our communities and our nation forward. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the East Tennessee organization’s 45-year history.

 

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Local Children Wait In Hopes For A Mentor

Last Chance to Help Provide Role Models for At-Risk Youth in East Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee (April 12th, 2016)– DeVandre is an outgoing 6 year old who loves playing basketball, football, and teelittle ball. When he’s not playing sports, DeVandre loves watching The Disney Channel and listening to Disney music. His favorite restaurant is McDonald’s because he loves to order chicken nuggets! His favorite subjects are Math and Reading but sometimes he has a hard time with his ABCs. DeVandre wants a Big Brother who will teach him to count past 100. He also wants a Big Brother who will watch movies with him, take him to the park, and to sporting events! He is an energetic, goofy child with a sweet demeanor, who can‘t wait to hang out with a “new friend”.

The need for a “new friend” in DeVandre’s life has become more apparent the older DeVandre has gotten. DeVandre’s father has been absent most of his life and he currently doesn’t have a strong, male role model to look up to. DeVandre’s mom works full-time and is also a full-time student, so she rarely is able to spend one-on-one time with her son. Because she loves her son, DeVandre’s mom hopes for DeVandre to have the opportunity to explore and spend quality time with a caring and supportive Big Brother.  DeVandre has been on the waiting list for a mentor now for well over half a year.

Our hope as an agency is that through volunteer recruitment and community fundraising, we can match DeVandre with the perfect Big Brother.

The 34th Annual Rock N’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake will help match the nearly 103 area children just like DeVandre who are waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Rock N’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake is the premier fundraising and awareness event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. All funds raised by bowlers directly benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee programs and help put the guidance and friendship of mentors in the lives of our local children.

Here’s how you can make a difference: Form a bowling team of friends, family or coworkers and register at BowlforKidsToday.org. Each member of your team raises at least $50 to help BBBS match children with a Big Brother or Big Sister. Then, as a thank you, you and your team head to the lanes to enjoy bowling, prizes and fun. This year’s event is Rockstar themed, so come in costume and pick a creative team name, because we award the most enthusiastic teams. This is your last chance to participate in Rock N’ Bowl for Kid’s Sake 2016—don’t miss the opportunity to have fun with friends while making a difference in our community’s children!

The last Bowl For Kids’ Sake events will be held at:

Maryville- Crest Lanes
330 Whitecrest Dr, Maryville
Saturday, April 16th; 11am-2pm

Knoxville – Strike & Spare
5700 Western Avenue, Knoxville
Friday, April 23rd; 4pm-9pm
Saturday, April 24th; 10am-2pm

Register your team today at BowlForKidsToday.org and Bowl for DeVandre’s Sake! Online registration will be open up to the time of the event. If your organization or company is interested in setting up a Wii Bowling event, please contact Alli Damas at 865.523.9455.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Through these relationships, children achieve success throughout their lives. The funding provides the means to provide community outreach to recruiting more volunteers and reaching more children. Additionally, the funding provides the financial resources to conduct criminal background reports on the volunteers, and provide the program services to provide quality program support to each match insuring longer stronger matches. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee served more than 873 children in 2015. Through the one to one mentoring relationships, these children make better decisions about their lives, have a better attitude about school and choose to avoid risky behaviors.

For more information about participating, volunteering or donating for this year’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake, contact Alli Damas at 865-523-9455 // adamas@tennesseebig.org.

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Be a Rockstar like Ariya and Rosa

Big Sister Rosa was first interested in becoming involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters because she enjoyed interacting with children. However, one of the main reasons Rosa became involved in our organization was because she was drawn to the fact that she would have an opportunity to personally influence, mentor, love, and motivate a child. During her childhood, Rosa had very strong influences in her life that provided her and her family with friendship, guidance, and support and Rosa wanted to share that same kind of bond with a Little Sister.

When Little Sister Ariya was in the third grade, she heard about Big Brother Big Sisters and asked to join. She was excited to spend time with a friend to play games with and to talk to about her day. At the time, Ariya needed extra help with her academics and because she was extremely shy, a Big Sister was just what she needed to encourage her. In October of 2011, Ariya was matched with her Big Sister Rosa in the Site-Based Program. They are now a Community-Based match and spend multiple times a month together (sometimes every week together)! This year they will be celebrating FIVE years of friendship as Big and Little and their journey has been one of the books.

Today, Ariya is a bright, silly, and active 7th grader. In addition to being top of her class academically, she is a record-holding Junior Olympian in Track & Field and very skilled in softball and basketball! Being matched with Rosa has helped allow her to be herself and has given her someone to look up to. Being a mature and self-aware child, Ariya realizes the special relationship that she has with her Big Sister. When speaking to BBBS, she describes Rosa as involved and absolutely hilarious. One of the things she loves most about her match is that she shares so much LAUGHTER with her Big Sister, so much laughter that her “cheeks often hurt” when she comes home from outings because she smiles so much with Rosa! But don’t worry, the admiration between these two isn’t one sided. Rosa admits that sometimes she feels like Ariya is mentoring HER, because she is incredibly upbeat, outgoing and encouraging. Rosa said that Ariya continually impresses her with her focused and level-headed nature and she can’t wait to watch Ariya grow into her own.

When together, Ariya and Rosa love going to restaurants and participating in outdoor activities, but they mostly enjoy keeping each other’s company. This mentoring relationship is joy-filled and fun–these two are a ROCKSTAR match!!

When you bowl in this year’s Rock N’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you are allowing BBBS to make more matches like Ariya and Rosa! Be a ROCKSTAR and bowl today. Register at BowlForKidsToday.org.

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Be a RockStar like Gareth and Tristan

Big Brother Gareth and Little Brother Tristan were matched in the Fall of 2015. Even though these two haven’t been matched long, their quickly-established bond and fun, upbeat personalities make them special.

Big Brother Gareth grew up with a solid mentor and decided to join our program so he could provide that same type of special relationship to a child in need. Gareth, a film and screenplay writer, grew up in the countryside of England, not too far from London, and has since lived in exciting places like Miami, New York City and Greece! He wanted to use his worldly knowledge and adventurous spirit to teach his Little about unique opportunities the world can provide. Because Gareth has a love for the outdoors and being active, he was matched with Little Brother Tristan. Tristan, an outgoing and independent ball of energy, wanted a Big Brother so he could do “fun things by himself”. Tristan is the oldest of three siblings and because he has an autistic brother, he doesn’t receive much one-on-one attention at home. Because of this, he was excited to have a Big Brother who could take him places that he had always wanted to go to! On Gareth and Tristan’s match day, Tristan learned that his new Big Brother wrote movies, and was SO excited because he had never been to the movies and had always wanted to go. This one common interest set the tone for the match relationship moving forward.

Almost six months later, Tristan has finally gotten to go to the movies and it has become one of his favorite things to do with Gareth. Together, they also enjoy fishing, playing ping pong and attending BBBS Events. Tristan loves hearing about Gareth’s childhood in England (he still can’t believe that residents drive on the opposite side of the road) and Gareth enjoys watching Tristan break out of his shell. Gareth and Tristan have an “easy” and fun match that started off great immediately. They both are looking forward to exploring new places together and watching their relationship grow stronger! These two are a ROCKSTAR match!

When you bowl in this year’s Rock N’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you are allowing BBBS to make more matches like Gareth and Tristan! Be a ROCKSTAR and bowl today. Register at BowlForKidsToday.org.

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Be A Rockstar like Lyndsay and Tashae

Big Sister and BBBS Board Member Lyndsay and her Little Sister Tashae were first matched on April 6th, 2010 in our Site Based Program. During this time, Lyndsay and Tashae focused on doing school work, reading, playing sports and playing board games. As Lyndsay and Tashae’s relationship grew through the School Based Program, they both decided they needed to spend even more time together and transitioned into our Community Based Program. Their match, as Lyndsay says, as been “Rockin’ and Rollin'” ever since.

Six years later, Tashae is now a growing, bright, 16 yr. old high school student. She and Lyndsay are still extremely close and love going out to eat, doing Zumba, and going to the park together. Ever since they have been matched, they have encouraged and uplifted each other, laughed (a lot!) and have learned the importance of what if means to have someone in your corner.

Today, Tashae describes Lyndsay as a caring, loveable and generous woman who makes her feel safe and cared for. She believes that Lyndsay has taught her responsibly and how to stand up for herself, while Lyndsay believes that Tashae has taught her the real meaning of serving with humility and compassion. They have a true bond that is supported by both Lyndsay and Tashae’s families.

We love what Lyndsay once said about her relationship with Tashae and Tashae’s mom: “When times are tough, we collaborate. When things go well, we celebrate. When we can’t figure things out, we communicate until there is a plan in place that always works out for Tashae’s good.” This is what they have successfully been doing for the past six years and what they will continue to do to further Tashae’s life for the better, forever!

What a sweet relationship built on love and respect. These two are a ROCKSTAR match!

When you bowl in this year’s Rock N’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you are allowing BBBS to make more matches like Lyndsay and Tashae! Be a ROCKSTAR and bowl today. Register at BowlForKidsToday.org.

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Be A RockStar Like Cal and William

A brother, a mentor, and a friend; this is who Little Brother William received when he was matched with Big Brother Cal back in June 2012.

William is a very bright middle school student and is enrolled in many honor classes. He has a passion for learning and studies Albert Einstein material regularly. Like Einstein, William loves science! When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he confidently answers, “ a microbiologist or a doctor.” When William isn’t excelling in school, he can be found in the pool with his swim team!

Ever since joining BBBS, on top of loving school, swimming, and Albert Einstein, William loves hanging out with his Big Brother, Cal. Cal, described by others as caring and passionate, wanted to be a positive role model in someone’s life. Through activities like sporting events and going out to eat, he wanted to explore the city of Knoxville with his Little and build a lasting friendship with him.

Cal and William will be celebrating four years as a match this summer. Even after four years, these two haven’t skipped a beat and they still get together multiple times a month to hang out and spend time together. Some of their favorite activities include going out to eat, exploring the city through their Geocaching app, and going to Max Air Trampoline Park! Just recently, William’s mother gave birth to a baby girl. William and Cal met up and had a special time shopping together as they searched for the perfect gift for William’s new little sister. These two enjoy doing normal, everyday activities–as long as they are together, they are having fun!

Cal is loved by William’s family and is revered for providing William with continuous and undying love and support. These two are a ROCKSTAR match!

When you bowl in this year’s Rock N’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you are allowing BBBS to make more matches like Cal and William! Be a ROCKSTAR and bowl today. Register at BowlForKidsToday.org.

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Be a RockStar like Amy and J.J

Big Sister Amy was first interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters because one of her friends was a volunteer, and she thought it sounded like a wonderful experience. She had experience previously with kids, but she wanted something more special than what she had done before. Amy had mentors and a great family in her life as she was growing up, and she wanted to be a mentor for someone else. She hoped to motivate her Little Sister by encouraging her interests and showing her new and exciting things. She wanted her Little to know that “she can do it,” and to instill in her confidence to be successful. Amy was matched with her Little Sister, J.J., in January of 2013. At the time, J.J. was in the third grade, and wanted a mentor because other kids in her class had one. She also wanted a Big Sister so she could have a friend, and that is exactly what happened when she was matched with Amy.

Being matched in the Site-Based program, Amy and J.J. worked on homework, played games and got to know each other by talking and asking questions. They both have positive and friendly personalities, so they hit it off right away. After awhile, they decided to transition to the Community-Based program because they wanted to spend even more time together, and that decision has only made them closer.

Today these two enjoy bowling, shopping, crafting and spending time together. They are a part of the BBBS Craft Club, have taken private dance lessons and even recently went to Knoxville Martial Arts Academy for MMA class! They are always up for an adventure and for trying new things together, including planning a wedding! This past Fall, Amy married the love of her life in front of friends and family, and among the crowd also sat J.J. and J.J.’s mom. Even when life gets busy, these two ladies still make time for each other.

The sweetest part of their match? When you are around Amy and J.J., you can feel the strength of their relationship. These two act as if they have known each other their entire lives, just like real sisters! Amy is most definitely J.J.’s Big Sister, as well as a mentor and true friend– and J.J.’s thoughtfulness, bright future and maturity inspire Amy daily. These two are a ROCKSTAR match!

When you bowl in this year’s Rock N’ Bowl For Kids’ Sake, you are allowing BBBS to make more matches like Amy and J.J.! Be a ROCKSTAR and bowl today. Register at BowlForKidsToday.org.

 

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