On Thursday, January 12th, BBBSAZ hosted “The Big Event,” an opportunity to celebrate National Mentoring Month and express our gratitude to all of the volunteer mentors (who we call “Bigs”) in our program. Attendees were treated to dinner and drinks at the new BBBSAZ event space and had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive silent auction. All Bigs in attendance received a new BBBSAZ logoed t-shirt as a thank-you gift.
The program was emceed by entrepreneur, founder of Voyce Threads, and Big Brother, Drew Shaw. Drew pointed out the difference that every Big in the room was making in the lives of their Little, including in school performance, their confidence levels, their mental health, and their self-esteem. The Bigs in the room were all recognized for their years of service, with some having been in the program for over 15 years!
Awards were then handed out to some of our outstanding mentors. BBBSAZ selects individuals as Bigs of the Year each year, and they are recognized at The Big Event. These special individuals are selected out of over 1,000 active Bigs for their commitment to their Little and to the agency. They represent BBBSAZ’s mission and actively demonstrate the impact of mentoring. Congratulations to our Bigs of the Year for 2023:
Big Brother of the Year: JC Flores
Big Sister of the Year: Bridget O’Toole
Couple/Family Match of the Year: Jared Hartman and Nadine Hartman
Additional awards were given out to the Staff Member of the Year, BBBSAZ Events Manager, Aimee Johnson. The Barry Starr Award recipient was Amy Walters for her over-and-above dedication to her Little and the agency overall.
The program was concluded by Board Member and former Big Brother, Brian Wempen. He thanked all of the Bigs for their time and commitment and emphasized the important role they play as a mentor. The following quote from Margaret Mead summed up the event: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”