Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe were finally able to host their Great Big Christmas Dinner on Monday (December 5) after being unable to host it for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dinner event brings Littles together with their mentors, families, and other friends within the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters Great Big Christmas Dinner was a night of celebration and fun! We came together to honour the volunteers, the Littles, their families and our sponsors. Two years ago we had no idea what Big Brothers Big Sisters future would hold but with the amazing support of the community we have a very busy and bright future,” said Bev Bachelder, Board President of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe.
The event sponsored by BAMSS Contracting brought families and mentors togething giving them the opportunity to enjoy a nice meal, do some crafts, decorate some cookies, and even chat with Santa.
“The youth were able to just connect with their mentors, connect with their families and just really have some fun together,” added Breanna Berthiaume, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe.
For some mentorships, the dinner may have been the first-time parents were able to meet with their mentor.
“Our in-school mentoring program, it's not as common. This is just a wonderful opportunity for everybody to meet face to face and connect and to build those relationships,” added Berthiaume.
The event also celebrated some outstanding mentors in the community including:
Samantha Wilson and her Little Sister, Suri
Jordan and Lindsey Bauman (Couples Match) and their Little Brother, Wyatt
Berthiaume admitted starting a new mentorship can be challenging. It takes a lot of work to get to know each other at first which can be a little awkward and challenging at first.
“It's really learning ages and stages. There's a getting to know you part, and it is really maintaining that connection of that relationship and celebrating the successes. The volunteers and the mentees really worked together to set goals and take on new experiences to really grow as a team. I think that that's what makes those relationships so special,” said Berthiaume.
Additionally, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Lacombe celebrated Marsha and Tom Braun from Envision Manufacturing & Supply Ltd. as their 2022 Business of the Year. Berthiaume said Envision was always checking in the organization to determine just how they were able to help them out.
"They saw the need and the success of scholarships and those who mentor in our programs that are young and how they could benefit from receiving scholarships to go to post-secondary. They were able to help us collaborate and develop two new scholarships. That went to a youth that's becoming a teacher, and one that's going into social work. Next year, we're hoping to transition that to have one for a youth that is going to trade school,” said Berthiaume.
Overall, it was a great night for celebration, connection, and a great time to share some holiday cheer.