Annual Report (2017)

Annual Report (2017)

It's hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. As we count down the days until the new year, we want to take a moment to reflect upon all the growth and activity that took place during the whirlwind that was the past 12 months. 

To begin, our funding for Art for Kids' Sake and Dance for Kids' Sake was increased (thanks to all those who attended!) We also had the opportunity to work with the Facing the Future: Mentoring in Muncie project, which teamed us with organizations that have roles in building mentor-mentee relationships in Muncie! The collaboration continued as the BSU Comm Club, Starbucks, the Bahai Center, businesses, churches, and other community groups worked with us to celebrate Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s events with youth in our community. The fraternity brothers from the Ball State chapter of Alpha Sigma Epsilon raised an amazing $14,800 for us through campus events such as their annual Spike Fest. To further understand the impact of their fundraising for BBBS, two Sig Ep members joined our board under honorary status. 

Oldfield and the New Birds at Art for Kids' Sake 2017.

Oldfield and the New Birds at Art for Kids' Sake 2017.

Our executive director, Sue Godfrey with Jay Franko of Ball State SigEp.

Our executive director, Sue Godfrey with Jay Franko of Ball State SigEp.

Our team also welcomed two fantastic new mentor coordinators, Andrea Eads and Stephanie Wallace. These hardworking ladies have a genuine passion for service and have quickly caught on to their new roles with smarts and skill. Having them around the office has been a joy.

We deeply appreciate all of the organizations and individuals that showed support for our programs this year. Their time and financial support makes our team's work possible, and that work will only continue to grow and serve more children in the coming year. 

 

DFKS Dancer Callout

DFKS Dancer Callout

Dance for Kids' Sake is approaching! Help us find some locals with smooth moves!

AFKS Recap

It's Thanksgiving week, and we here at BBBS have a lot to be grateful for. We checked the numbers, and our total revenue from Art for Kids' Sake last Saturday was $12,290.20. If you attended, donated, sponsored, exhibited, or contributed in any other way, we're so grateful to you! This funding helps us keep our programs running and improve them so that we can meet the needs of the Littles in our area. It's so inspiring to have a community that supports our efforts and shares our vision. 

A special thank-you to our AFKS 2017 sponsors: Meridian (Gold), Mutual Bank (Gold), Pizza King (Gold), Ivy Tech Community College (Silver), Bethel Pointe Rehab (Bronze),  Estep, Burkey, Simmons (Bronze), Gill Brothers Furniture (Bronze), Indiana Trust (Bronze), Lykins Counseling Clinic (Bronze), Northwest Towing (Bronze), & Suding Family Dentistry (Bronze).

If you're interested in donating to BBBS, you can do so here. Check out some of our favorite photos from the event below (thanks, See Jane Click!). Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Museums for All

Those readers who live in the Muncie area are probably familiar with Minnetrista, a community gathering place where individuals and families can develop relationships through educational experiences. The museum is always filled with interesting exhibits (I highly recommend everyone check out the current Ball Jar Canning exhibit!) and the beautiful grounds offer a space for public events and outdoor adventures. We here at BBBS are delighted to announce that Minnetrista has made available to our Bigs and Littles the opportunity to participate in Museums for All. This program, which launched in October, resulted from a collaboration between the Association of Children's Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Participating families receive a renewable 12-month membership from Minnetrista for $5, which is the usual price for a one-time, individual entry to the museum. Rebecca Gillam, the Vice President of Visitor Experiences at Minnetrista, was generous to lend me some of her time to explain how Minnetrista decided to participate in MFA and explain what their dreams are for its impact in Muncie.

What does Minnetrista membership offer to our Bigs and Littles? Turns out, quite a lot.  "As a member, you’re an insider," Gillam explains. "You know first what’s going on in our institution, and you have access to all of our programs, activities, and events. Membership is about feeling like you’re a part of our family, that we’re available to you, and that you can enjoy everything we offer to the fullest." Upcoming events include this Saturday's indoor farmer's market and exhibits like December's "Imagination Playground," which is a definite kid-pleaser. Gillam particularly recommends Minnetrista's beautiful backyard and gardens. "The Oakhurst space in particular is so fun for imaginative play and family-togetherness time," she says. "And if the weather’s not great I would spend my time inside at one of our exhibitions or the cabin we open a couple times a week. It’s such a fun play space—there are lots of games and activities. It’s a great getaway." As for exhibits? "After we get through the holidays, we’re opening an exciting new exhibition in February—a dinosaur exhibit! Dinosaurs are coming!" You heard it here first.

Why $5? "It’s not about how Minnetrista benefits," says Gillam. "We are a hub and anchor for the entire community and want to make sure everyone who desires access to the Minnetrista experience has it. $5 seemed like a very reasonable price for a family for a year of membership. There is value in what Minnetrista offers, and we want the participants to feel empowered by their purchase of a membership while still breaking down the barrier of price. We really appreciate that they are prioritizing the education and community that Minnetrista provides.” 

When considering who would benefit most from participating in Museums for All, Minnetrista wanted to cater to Muncie organizations that strive to serve families and develop relationships in our community. Gillam herself has spent about a month extending MFA information to social services like libraries to make Muncie more aware about this opportunity. So far, so good. The community has been receptive as far as positive feedback. Now Minnetrista just wants more participants, which is where we're hoping our Bigs and Littles will come in! Their decision to reach out to us makes it possible for us to extend to our fantastic volunteers and their families a space for them to play and learn together-- exactly the kind of quality time we know they seek out. Gillam says, "We want our space to be the go-to place for families or mentors and mentees to come spend time together. Our hope is to create a positive impact in their lives and relationships." We have to agree!

If you're interested in learning more about Minnetrista, their website is informative.

This page has more to say about Museums for All as a national program.

Many thanks to Rebecca Gillam for her interview, to Minnetrista for making this opportunity possible, and to our lovely readers. Thanks for taking the time to keep up with us!

Art for Kids' Sake 2017

Art for Kids' Sake 2017

Have a Roarin' good time at Saturday's Art for Kids' Sake event at MadJax supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters! Join us at 6:30pm for drinks and bites served up while makers share their secrets and award winning acapella groups capture your fancy. Bring your doll (or your guy) and dance the night away...

A place where everyone is welcome

A place where everyone is welcome

Our new location offers many benefits. One is enough space to be a place where everyone is welcome. Come join us & learn more about the work we do. 

Open House

MUNCIE, Ind.– Join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County (BBBS) on Oct. 5 to celebrate their new office opening at 119 E Charles St. The open house is from 5:00pm to 8:00 p.m. and there is a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Cheese and wine is available for adults and there is a scavenger hunt for Bigs and Littles and anyone else who wants to participate.

Sue Godfrey, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County says, “We are thrilled to be back in the space which was our home in the 1980s and 1990s. We are better able to connect with the youth and families we serve by being located in the center of thriving downtown Muncie.”

 If you would like more information, please contact Sue Godfrey at 765-284-4141, email at sue@bbbsmuncie.org, or visit the website at www.bbbsmuncie.org.

 

 
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 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County, founded in 1971, has served more than 4,300 children locally. Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Welcome Aboard Sara & Felicia

Sara & Felicia just joined the BBBS team and we are excited to have them both here with us for the semester. Both of them are Ball State students and are ready to gain new experiences and make a positive impact at BBBS.

 
 
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Sara is our new Event Planning Intern. She is a Junior, Public Relations major. She is very excited to start this new position and cannot wait to see where this year and organization takes her! She will be helping with our upcoming event Art for Kids' Sake. Find out how you can get involved.

 
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Felicia is our new Administrative Assistant. She is a Junior, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice. She has always been passionate about mentoring and is excited to get started!

 

 

Welcome Aboard Stephanie

Stephanie grew up in Anderson, Indiana. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is currently pursuing a dual Master's degree in Adult and Community Education and Executive Leadership for Public Service. Stephanie worked in Nurse Management in the Muncie Community and surrounding areas for many years.

Stephanie Wallace, Mentoring Coordinator

Stephanie Wallace, Mentoring Coordinator

Stephanie became more aware of Big Brothers Big Sisters when her oldest daughter began volunteering as a Big Sister here in Muncie. She always had the desire to impact the lives of others in a meaningful way. She recently joined the BBBS team as a Mentoring Coordinator.

She is excited to begin her journey with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County. The thing she looks forward to the most about her new role is working with the children, their families, and the volunteers in order to have a positive lasting effect on the lives of each of them.

Welcome Aboard Andrea

Welcome Aboard Andrea

Andrea grew up in Ohio, until she ventured to Ball State to earn her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. After working in communications and hospitality for a number of years, she was able to do freelance graphic design and stay home with her three children.  Through volunteer work at her local church and in education circles, Andrea renewed a love for learning and working with children and parents.

Andrea’s first experience with Big Brothers Big Sisters was when she and her husband were asked to participate as dancers at Dance for Kids’ Sake in 2016. It was such a fun event, and it opened her eyes to the active, intentional work of BBBS.

Mentors had a huge impact on Andrea in different phases of life, and she is thrilled to help facilitate opportunities for others to make life-changing intentional friendships. She thinks it takes a lot of insight and courage for a parent to seek out new opportunities and empowering relationships for their children, and she is so glad Big Brothers Big Sisters is there to partner with them.  

Through Andrea’s time volunteering in multiple roles, she knows getting started can feel intimidating. She is excited to help Big volunteers get started with BBBS. She really believes their lives will be enriched as they share what has been invested into them and learn together with their Little.  We are grateful to have Andrea join the BBBS team as a Mentoring Coordinator. 

True Sisters

True Sisters

They met as strangers 13 years ago. Now, they are sisters.

Leslie Parker has been involved with BBBS for 13 years. Leslie says, “I joined the program because a friend of mine was a BBBS employee and she encouraged me to get involved.” After joining, she was matched with Kathlene, who was 10 years old. They have been sisters ever since.

More than a Mentor

More than a Mentor

When Haidyn met Rachel for the first time, she says, “I was going through a tomboy phase and Rachel brought out a personality in me that I didn’t know existed.” Haidyn is happy to have someone to talk to and hang out with. Before she was matched with Rachel, she only had her brother to hang out with, now she has a friend, mentor and Big Sister! She added, “Rachel has a sweet personality and a kind heart. I love her!”

The simple power of clean pajamas

The simple power of clean pajamas

One of my very favorite simple pleasures is climbing into bed with clean sheets. It's something I savor each Saturday night, after we've done the weekly cleaning, a tradition I've carried into my family from my childhood. Something I thought all families did. But this week, I have a whole new thought about pajamas and climbing into fresh sheets after talking to Clark, our copy repair man. 

Laura Lauer | An Interview

Laura Lauer | An Interview

A Moment With Laura

Our Enrollment and Match Support Coodinator

 
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
— George Bernard Shaw
Laura at Pikes Peak. 

Laura at Pikes Peak. 

 

What made you want to work with BBBS?

When I was a graduate assistant, I worked in youth & family programs. I absolutely loved my experience and I missed it. I wanted to move back toward working in that area. I was lucky that the job position opened up when I needed it! 

 

What is your favorite part of your job as a Program Coordinator?

I love many aspects of my job. My favorite things are interviewing children, volunteers, and matching them. Regardless of how many times I ask the same questions, I constantly get new answers from the children that are always entertaining.

I love getting to know the volunteers. The type of people that come into the program wanting to volunteer to be Bigs are absolutely incredible. I am honored that they share their life story with me and I get to learn from them.

After that, I truly enjoy the Big and Little meeting each other for the first time. When they are matched, they are both excited to meet each other and a little shy. It is wonderful to see them both grow together in such a short period of time. 

 

Can you talk about a mentor that you had growing up?

I had many mentors growing up that invested their time and effort and impacted me in different ways. One of my early mentors was a middle school teacher named Mrs. M. She was also my track and cross country coach. She was always a strong female role model that was positive and encouraging during my middle school and high school years.

About a year ago, I wrote her a letter about how much I admired her character and looked up to her growing up. She wrote a letter back. She has two twin girls and she wrote that she hopes they grow up to be like me.

That statement has had a profound impact on my outlook for the future and the way I live my life. I want those girls to have amazing opportunities, a fulfilling life, and reach their full potential. I want the absolute best for them. I don't want them to miss out on a second of having a life that they love and achieving their dreams. Not only did Mrs. M have a positive impact on my life, but her daughters have too. I want to live as a role model that empowers the girls to be anything they want to be and live a life that they love. 


Laura is a passionate employee that cares a lot for other people. Her work in the organization is vital to the success of Big Brothers Big Sisters' mission: changing the lives for the better, forever. We are lucky to have her brilliant mind on our team. Thank you so much, Laura!

 

Pat & Susan | Party Train

Pat & Susan | Party Train

Pat Bowen describes his family as: “My best half Maggie, wife of 28 years, son Tyler, Greatest Daughter-in-Law in the World Tara and Tatum, our one and only Granddaughter.” Pat’s spent 8 years as the Internet Sales Manager at Stoops Automotive Group. Pat says Muncie and the surrounding area is a great place to work.

In addition to being his dancing partner today, Pat Bowen’s favorite sister, Susan Brumley is the proud parent of four young children alongside her husband Joel. When Susan is not teasing her older brother, she works as a Personal Wardrobe Consultant at Simply Classic.

Watch as this dynamic duo takes the stage!

Aaron & Stephanie | Wanna Be Your Man

Aaron & Stephanie | Wanna Be Your Man

Aaron and Stephanie Fisher were excited to be involved in Dance for Kids’ Sake, and to help support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County. The Fishers are Muncie natives celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year.

Aaron is a UPS driver, drummer, and music enthusiast. Stephanie is a Ball State grad who works at SpinWeb in Indianapolis and serves on the board of local nonprofit The Facing Project. They have two young daughters, Madeline and Lucy, along with lots of family and friends in town rooting them on!

What a cute couple!

Watch as Aaron & Steph take the stage!

May Lou & Nik | Word Crimes

Nik Seiber and Mary Lou Vercellotti moved to Indiana four years ago when Mary Lou accepted a faculty position at Ball State University.  She teaches courses in linguistics and English to speakers of other languages.

Nik is a designer with a degree in landscape architecture and is currently taking a furniture design course at Ball State. He plays the piano and digeridoo, and he recently picked up the melodica. They enjoy the music of Weird Al because of his word play and his musical talent on the accordion.

These two could teach you a thing or two.  Check our Mary Lou & Nik!

 

Kendra & Chad | All that Jazz

Kendra & Chad | All that Jazz


Friends Kendra Mann and Chad Ragan were happy to support BBBS by slipping on their dancing shoes. Kendra has been teaching Communication courses at BSU for six years. When not lesson-planning or teaching, Kendra’s favorite pastime is joining husband Brian to play with their one-year-old son, Owen.

After finishing graduate school, Chad began work with Parlour Salon on the preservation of the historic Alva Kitselman Mansion at Hazelwood Estates. When he isn’t rehearsing with Kendra, he is binge watching Barefoot Contessa, looking for any excuse to avoid working out, or spending hours at Target buying things he doesn’t need.

These two sure know how to get into character.

Check out Kendra and Chad with All that Jazz!

 

 

The Jeffers | Lucky We Can't Stop this Feeling

The Jeffers | Lucky We Can't Stop this Feeling

There is no question that the Jeffers won over the crowd this year at Dance for Kids’ Sake. We are excited to share with you their story and dance from that evening.

Steve and Vicki Jeffers met at Ball State as members of the University Singers. Vicki claims her attraction to Steve began because she got to, “stand behind Steve and watch him wiggle his buns.” They have been married for 42 years.

Steve is recently retired and Vicki has spent 40 years as a devoted teacher and choir director, and coordinated the Muncie Community Christmas Sing for 20 years.  The Jeffers have 3 children and 6 grandchildren with the 7th on the way.  Many thanks to all who helped reach our fundraising goal, especially the Brannons of Mieneke Car Care.

 

Juan & Casey | West Side Story

Juan & Casey | West Side Story


Juan E Toro is a licensed Zumba® and Zumba Toning® Instructor, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army (retired after 27 years of service), disabled veteran, and owner of Don Juan Fitness, LLC.  Juan is the proud father of 4 children and grandfather to 5.

Casey Langendorfer is a health and PE teacher at Highland Middle School. You can usually find her playing soccer in the DCFC league #champions, doing Crossfit at the Arsenal, reading, teaching Zumba®, or going on camping trips with husband Pat. A native New Yorker, Casey also loves the Yankees, Jets, and Rangers and misses delis and bagels.

Check out their diverse moves!