April 2019

Hello Fr iend s,

While our Gala was a couple of weeks ago, we are still in Gala-mode, which is the same as Gratitude-mode. Our co-chairs, Patty Funk and Anya Iverson, led the
efforts with heart and talent. It was a wonderful celebration of our last 50 years and looking forward to the next 50! We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive, which allows us to stand with kids! The Gala is an all-hands on deck event and every year I'm amazed at the number of volunteers who help our very small staff pull it off. I would like to specifically thank Emily Steinmetz, our Sponsorship & Events Manager, who did a tremendous job handling all aspects of our her very first Gala- bravo, Emily!

Thank you to our all of our Gala Sponsors with a shout out to our leaders:
Defender Sponsors: Anderson Trucking Services, Marco, and Vince & Lori Mohs.
Protector Sponsors: Custom Catering by Short Stop, PCI, SCTimes/Local IQ, and
Wolters Kluwer Thank you to our incredible year-round Agency Sponsors: Bernick’s/Klarbrunn, Capital One, Coborn’s, DAYTA Marketing, Federated Insurance, Leighton Broadcasting, St. Cloud Subaru, and Traut Wells

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Mary Lou Reichert. Mary Lou’s husband, Ed, was one of the founders of our agency. She shared how hopeful Ed was that the community would support mentoring kids by both volunteering and donations. She said that without a doubt, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN has exceeded anything that Ed could have hoped for. Another one of our founders, is Ed Schnettler. Ed’s legacy continues on through his son John. John has been a Big Brother, was on our Board for 10 years, and now serves on our Advisory Council. Because of these founders as well as the United Way and Coborn’s who have been with us from the very beginning, we have been able to serve 10s of 1,000s of kids for the last 50 years. And with confidence we look to
the future.

I also need to point out that I get to work with an amazing team! We are laser-focused on our goals of:
  • serving more kids,
  • lessening the wait time for kids to be matched with their Bigs,
  • having a broader footprint in Central MN,
  • more financial security through an endowment,
and we only can do this because of each of you. Yesterday and Today and Tomorrow. I can confidently say that we’re not done yet – we’ve not plateaued by any stretch of the imagination.

I’m sure you’ve all seen our new branding the three lines that come together to
make a B. What you might not know, the three lines represent 1) the Big, 2) the
Little, and 3) the Little’s family. This is beautifully demonstrated in this video.

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director

At the Magic Moments Gala, Vince Mohs accepted the 2019 BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award, which honors BriAnna Kruzel, a former Little Sister and High School Big Sister who passed away in September of 2013.

Vince is a passionate and active advocate for Big Brothers Big Sisters. He currently serves on the Board of Directors as well as on several agency committees. Vince’s
drive and determination to ensure the mentoring program is successful epitomizes the spirit of the award, which is to carry on the legacy of kindness and generosity BriAnna exemplified in her short but rewarding life.
Randy and Tammy Kruzel with 2019 Brianna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award Winner: Vince Mohs
Vote with your dollars! Chris Owen, Deerwood Bank, will be dancing with pro, Rachel Trout, to raise funds to support Big and Little Sisters at the Women's Fund of Central Minnesota Community Foundation's Dancing With Our Stars event on June 17, 2019 and we need your help!

They will competing against five other charities with the top pair winning another $15,000 for their charity. 60% of the judging depends on the amount fund raised and 40% on their dance. Rachel says that Chris is a wonderful dancer- now we just need your support to take home the big prize! Online voting with your dollars is open now - click here to help us win for kids!
Meet Big Sister of the Year, Hope Hippler, and Little Sister Ali. Hope and Ali have been matched for six years. A few of their favorite activities have involved cooking, biking together, and simply enjoying each other’s company.

Hope has been a consistent, positive role model in Ali’s life. She has helped Ali build her self-esteem and social skills. Hope has also supported Ali in her involvement with activities that she has participated in like track, cross country, band, and choir. Hope has taken time to attend her events, and it means a lot to Ali to have a cheerleader in the crowd! Hope has also been a great advocate for recruiting other Bigs through her workplace. We’re confident their friendship has helped lead Ali on a path towards a bright future. 
Big Sister Joan Zadoo and Little Sister Summer are! These two are very excited to play sports and be active together! A perfect time to be a Big- as a Family, a Couple or a Big Sister or Brother is SUMMER! Check out our current list of new Matches.

We would also like to congratulate these Matches who are celebrating milestone anniversaries ! We ask all Bigs to commit to at least one year of mentorship- that one year of consistency makes a BIG difference in the life of a child.
This month's highlighted Agency Partner is Leighton Broadcasting. Leighton is a local marketing company who truly supports nonprofits like Big Brothers Big Sisters. They provide wonderful radio spots for both Bowl for Kids' Sake and the Magic Moments Gala and we couldn't spread the good word without them.

We are grateful for all of our Community Partners. Check out this list and the next time you're at that business or organization, please thank them for standing with kids!