Stettler administrators say there’s a “desperate need” for male mentors in the Big Brothers and the school mentoring programs in town.
“We have many boys on the waiting list, but no adults to match them with,” said Christel Shuckburgh, the Big Brothers Big Sisters case worker at the Heartland Youth Centre. She said many children need one-on-one time spent with them and the goal is to add “a lot more matches.”
The Heartland Youth Centre and its Big Brothers Big Sisters program is joining their national counterparts in celebrating 100 years of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Canada. The official celebration kicked off Tuesday and it runs through all of 2013.
Shuckburgh said Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated in Stettler since 1985.
The local organization plans to mark the centennial celebration with a penny drive to raise funds for the local program. Shuckburgh said a penny drive was chosen because “it makes cents to create change in our community.” She said penny collection sites will be located at various businesses throughout Stettler from now through April 30.
Currently, there are 11 in-school mentor matches at Stettler’s three public schools and the Erskine School and five Big Sister matches in the Stettler mentoring program. Eventually, the youth centre would like to expand the school mentoring program to include schools in the County of Stettler and at Christ- King Catholic School.
A major fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters and school mentoring programs, along with all the other programs the Heartland Youth Centre offers, is the 22nd annual Lloyd’s Bowl for Kids, set for Feb. 22.
Shuckburgh said the theme this year is “Clash Bash.” Participants are encouraged not to make a fashion statement, but are dared to wear polka dots, stripes or checkers and any other clothing that clashes. There will be a prize for the “clashiest” outfit.
The Heartland Youth Centre relies on this fundraiser to raise dollars for its programs and operating costs. This year’s goal is set at $10,000. The funds keep programs affordable; maintain the facility and offers teen leadership and employment opportunities.
Supporters and members are encouraged to get pledge forms from the HYC and get a team together to Bowl for Kids. More information may be obtained by calling 403-742-KIDS (5437).rs for boys