The Art of Helping Children Gala Brought Awareness to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay
Complete Photo Gallery HERE!
The Big Gala was an opportunity for fundraising, philanthropy and fun!
The 19th annual Art of Helping Children Gala at the Hilton Tampa Downtown was once again a huge success! Thanks to the 600 attendees and USAmeriBank, the evening was full of excitement.
The theme “Big”, based on the 1988 Tom Hanks film, allowed the adults let loose and act like kids! Upon entering the Gala guests were greeted by Zoltar the Great and could get their fortunes read. The VIP room showcased large floor pianos for everyone to enjoy. Dinner tables displayed toys and games as centerpieces. The ballroom was transformed into an elegant playroom with video games, foosball and a ping-pong table!
To kickoff the evening Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay’s CEO, Stephen Koch, was recognized for his 15 years of commitment to changing the lives of children facing adversity for the better, forever. The silent auction lasted through dinner and was closed with a performance based on the popular scene from “Big” where the characters Josh and MacMillan play a duet on the large floor piano in the world-famous FAO Schwarz toy store.
After dinner, Big Sister Laura/Little Sister Carrie and Big Brother Oscar/Little Brother Jarell from the Youth Ranch mentoring program shared their story about being matched and spoke about how the experience has changed their lives in positive ways. Then Brian Auld of the Tampa Bay Rays shared the numbers that show why mentoring matters, such as 98% of our Littles move onto the next grade level. He then called for donations so that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay can continue to make positive changes in lives of children in our community!
The evening closed with a live band and smooth dance moves.
Thanks to all that attended the event and all the sponsors for making this amazing event a reality!
Allegiant Flys into the Hearts of Littles!
As part of its “$1 Million Summer” promotion, Allegiant Airlines has donated $15,000 in free flights (75 round-trip tickets) to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. The tickets can be used on any Allegiant flight to the more than 50 cities the airline services out of St. Pete-Clearwater Airport, and can be used by Little Brothers and Little Sisters and their family members to visit college campuses and other trips that they otherwise could not afford. Allegiant is also one of the businesses at St. Pete-Clearwater Airport that will be part of a new workplace mentoring program for juniors at Clearwater High School beginning this fall. “We could not be happier with this partnership with Allegiant Air,” said BBBS of Tampa Bay president and CEO, Stephen Koch. The donation is part of Allegiant’s commitment to donate $1-million in free airfare to deserving organizations throughout the county. Check out the Facebook Live video HERE!
Matches Get the TB Rays on Field Experience!
Some of our matches got to visit the field at the Rays game this week! Before the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Padres, the matches had the opportunity to meet Chris Archer and Evan Longoria! For some of the Littles, this was their first MLB game. What a way to get introduced to baseball!
Bigs and Littles Splash and Slide to Fun!
Our school-based matches had a chance to reconnect on Friday night, when more than 200 site-based Bigs and Littles attended a summer swim party at the Highland Family Aquatics Center in Largo! Aside from the water slides, volleyball and other activities, the matches were treated to all-you-can-eat pizza and ice cream. A good time was had by all! Check out photos from the event HERE!
School To Work Comes To Tampa!
BBBS launched its first School-to-Work program in February, a collaboration between the agency, Nielsen and the Hillsborough County School District. Under the program, the first of its kind in Tampa Bay, students from A.P. Leto High School are bused once a month to the Nielsen campus in Oldsmar, where employees serve as Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the students. The matches, which continue through the students’ junior and senior years, will focus on individual support, guidance and friendship, as well as help preparing for life after graduation. This program helps students feel empowered and motivates their academic performance to obtain a higher level of education. Big Brothers Big Sister is always looking for new School-to-Work corporate partners! Contact DallasR@BBBSTampaBay.org for more information..
Little Helps On Big Day!
February 25th was the investiture of the Honorable Daryl Manning as a Judge of the County Court 13th Judicial Circuit for the State of Florida.Video. Tampa Bay Times article.
Judge Manning has been a Big Brother to Noah for over two years and asked Noah to hold the Bible as he took his oath with the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. In his remarks at the end of the ceremony, Judge Manning said he sees himself in Noah and wants to help encourage him through life as his parents did for him.
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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay Receives Top Recognition as Local Non-profit of the Year and Gold Standard Winner through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
The local agency is honored for leadership, growth and dedication to helping area youth
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is being recognized locally and nationally for outstanding service to kids in the community. The nonprofit provides caring adult mentors (called ‘Big Brothers’ or ‘Big Sisters’) to children (called ‘Little Brothers’ or ‘Little Sisters’) who are facing adversity. The children may be coping with a parent who is incarcerated or perhaps, they’re being raised in a single-parent home.
The mentoring organization was named the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2015 Nonprofit of the Year in the area of Public and Societal Benefit at an award luncheon June 11th. Each year the TBBJ honors organizations that demonstrate strong financial best practices to help meet service goals.
The agency also received the Gold Standard Award from the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Leadership Council. The Gold Standard Awards recognize the very best agencies that have increased their revenue by at least 5-percent, grown their overall annual number of Big/Little matches in 2014 and other quality metrics. In the past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay served nearly 3,100 children. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay got its start in 1964 and now serves seven counties: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter.
“Awards like this are never a singular accomplishment. This is not just a Big Brothers Big Sisters achievement; it signals growth for our entire community,” said Stephen Koch, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Inc. “We strive every day to support area children through mentorship. It is truly a testament to the work done on the front line by our program staff as well as great volunteers.”