STURGEON BAY, WI — Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Northeastern Wisconsin reported on the growth of its mentoring programs in Door County during its annual fundraising breakfast last month at the Stone Harbor Resort.
Nearly 130 children were served during 2016 in communities throughout the county, including children from Algoma and Luxemburg in Kewaunee County who attend school in Door County. Executive Director Katie Hess said it represents fast growth in the region from the 20 children served during the 2012-2013 school year.
“We know there is tremendous need for mentoring programs in Door County and we are working hard with our partners and advocates to raise awareness,” Hess said, noting there are 80 children waiting to be matched with a mentor in the agency’s service area, which includes Brown, Door and Shawano counties.
Southern Door County School District is a strong partner, Hess noted, with nearly 100 high school students who served as Big Brothers or Big Sisters to their elementary school counterparts in 2016.
Supt. Patricia Vickman, chair of the BBBS Door County Advisory Council, said the mentoring programs are a win-win for the Door County school districts. Survey data shows that children with mentors in the Door County programs are more likely to aspire to attend and to enroll in college, to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities and more likely to take leadership roles in school.
“The quality of the program provided in Door County and the impacts on both the Littles and their Bigs evidences the strong support that our community has for children,” Vickman said. “Not only do our Littles benefit from the mentoring experiences, but we hear countless stories of how the lives of those serving as Bigs are impacted as well. This is particularly evident in the many matches where high school students serve as mentors to elementary aged children.”
The event, sponsored by Door County Medical Center and Nicolet Bank, included mentor stories from Anna LeBrun, a senior and Big Sister at Southern Door County High School; Lt. Tammy Sternard, of the Door County Sheriff’s Department, a Big Sister and Advisory Council member; Officer Derek Jennerjohn, of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, and his Little Brother Jack; and Caleb Frostman, director of the Door County Economic Development Corp. and an Advisory Council member.
Hess also thanked volunteers who advocate for the agency, including Advisory Council members: Caleb Frostman, Kevin Grohskopf, Kayla Jennerjohn, Peter Kerwin, Brian O’Handley, Arleigh Porter, Tammy Sternard and Vickman.
Funded in part by the United Way of Door County, Big Brothers Big Sisters holds two major fundraising events in the region, including it Big Breakfast and Bowl For Kids’ Sake, which is set for Feb. 17, 2018, at Apple Valley Lanes in Sturgeon Bay. More information is available by calling 920-498-2227 or go to www.bbbsnew.org.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin is the premier youth mentoring organization serving Brown, Door and Shawano counties. Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Founded in 1972, we are a 100 percent donor and volunteer supported nonprofit organization