August 2019

Hello Friends!

Have you followed any of the stories about the 50th Anniversary of landing on the moon?

I remember being six years old and having my older brother point to the moon, asking
me if I could see the people walking on it. President Kennedy announced in 1961 this
dramatic and ambitious goal. Thanks to an enormous effort and investment by many,
this vision became a reality 8 years later.

The inception of our agency and the landing of
the moon were within a month of each other in 1969. While NASA was thinking out of
this world, locally we had our own heroes dreaming, planning, and then stepping into
the unknown to start our program.

And yes, I do mean “our.” Big Brothers Big Sisters was founded on, and depends on
daily, the goodwill and generosity of others. It takes all of us. We continue to see the
best in people whether they are sharing their time, their talents, or their treasures.
Simply inspiring, every single day.

This reminds me of what Pam Iorio, our National Director, summed up, “Young people deserve the best of us so they can be better than us.” Thank you for being a part of something that changes kids’ lives, so they can reach their full potential.

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters has announced new additions to the Board of Directors as well as the executive committee of the board.

Newly-appointed members of the board include:
Patty Funk, Marco (pictured, right)

The newly elected officers for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Board of Directors are:
Vicky Welty , SCR , President
Alex Schoephoerster , Moss & Barnett , Vice President
Peter Spaniol , U.S. Bank , Secretary

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Executive Director, Jackie Johnson, states, “We are honored to have a strong, loyal board with a broad array of expertise. As we celebrate our 50 th year in the community, the addition of our new board member & officers come at a pivotal time of reflection and growth."

Big Brothers Big Sisters will be taking over the taps at Third Street Brewhouse on Friday, August 16. All net proceeds from beer sales will be donated to BBBS. Join us from 4-9 pm and raise a glass and some funds to support kids!
If you'd like to help us that evening, please email Shelby Hadley, Community Engagement Manager . We are looking for 2 more volunteers to help serve beer. If not, just bring some friends, kick back and enjoy some great music and food in Cold Spring at the Third Street Brewhouse.
Meet the Burns family (Hilary, Bryan, Addison, Caitlyn and Alex) and their Little Brother Keyvonte! They have been matched for about 9 months. 

This Match loves to get out and be active, going to parks, playing soccer, playing board and card games and eating meals together. Going to the YMCA is a favorite activity where they frequently play basketball, swim and get climbing on the rock wall. The Burns family and Keyvonte have also been involved in BBBS activities such as our Holiday Party and Summer Picnic and we love to see how much fun they have together!
The Kipka Family and Daniel are!

A Big welcome to our newest community-based match: Terry, Amy, Kyle, and Maggie Kipka and Daniel! Daniel was matched school-based with Kyle for 2.5 years, then Maggie for another 2.5 years. When Maggie graduated high school this past spring, Terry and Amy wanted to continue the friendship with Daniel! ! As you are considering being a Big, 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.

Are you ready to defend the potential of a kid? They have all they need within them, they just need a mentor, an ally, to help them bring out their best. That sounds like you! You have everything you need to be a mentor as well, just because you care about kids.

Take the next step and contact Shelby Hadley, Community Engagement Manager at or 320.258.4534. She will help you with the next steps or click here to sign up for an Info Session today!

This month’s Partner Spotlight goes to Federated Insurance . Our Executive Director, Jackie Johnson, attended the 15th Anniversary Federated Challenge event at the end of July. She is pictured here with the Federated Challenge, honoree, Chris Wright. Chris currently is the Minnesota United Football Club's Chief Executive Officer.

Chris has been vested with Federated Challenge since its inception. He has a truly genuine care for people, and believes in the power of mentorship. His advocacy for kids makes him the perfect recipient of this award.

Since 2004, the Federated Challenge has provided Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN with $4,236,120 in funding. These monies support one-to-one mentoring and the Federated Challenge Scholarship fund. The scholarship fund provides up to $5,000 per year to qualified Littles and high school-aged Bigs enrolled in a non-four-year program at a trade or technical school or community college that focuses on career-ready skills training. It has been such a pleasure to partner with them in defending the potential of kids in Central MN.