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BBBS Big Night Out raises over $55,000

Dedication - The Big Star award was given to former board member and chair Julie Young for more than 20 years in the organization. Young is retiring from the organization this year. From left: BBBSCW executive director Kristen Drexler and board chair Neil Armstrong presented Young with the Big Star award.     Submitted photo

BBBS Big Night Out raises over $55,000

ARISS - The third annual Big Night Out Gala fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington (BBBSCW) was a big success this year, raising over $55,000 for the non-profit organization.

The event was held Feb. 3 at the Ariss Valley Golf Club with 270 people in attendance for what has become the organizations largest fundraiser of the year.

“This event is truly an incredible night because of the community,” said Neil Armstrong, board chair of BBBSCW.

“We felt the support in the room from the sponsors, donors and volunteers, and because of their overwhelming generosity, we will be able to do great things for the children in our programs.”

Armstrong added in 2017, BBBSCW supported 210 children, a record for the organization. While there are still more children on the waiting list than matched in the One to One program,  funds raised from the Big Night Gala will enable them to expand their reach in 2018.

Among the evening’s highlights were presentations of two awards; the Big Star award was given to former board member and chair Julie Young for more than 20 years of dedication to the organization and the Jane Cooper Award for An Outstanding Little was presented to Amy Thompson.

Adding to the excitement was announcement of a capital campaign launched by entrepreneur and BBBSCW donor Allan Boyton, of Fergus.

The initiative will raise funds for a hub location in Centre Wellington, bringing together groups and non-competing services in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors, to collaborate and serve youth.  

“After learning of all the losses this community experienced this past fall, I called up BBBSCW executive director Kristen Drexler to figure out how we can do better,” he said.

“We imagined a place where youth could go and know that tomorrow will be better. She joked and said ‘are you going to give me a half million dollars to fund this?’ I told her ‘no, but I will raise it.’”  

The campaign will be launched with a new community fundraising event, the McGinn Brothers Big Game for BBBS, a road ball hockey tournament scheduled for Aug. 17, hosted by local NHL hockey players Brock, Tye and Jamie McGinn.

The trio will invite teams from within the community and beyond to get involved by submitting a team in various youth age categories. The final round of play will include professional NHL players and members of the NHL players association.

“The McGinn Brothers Big Game is going to be an event that the whole community can get behind and be excited about. It will be a free family-friendly day,”  Boynton continued.

The group’s next fundraising event is Bowl for Kids Sake scheduled for April 20 at the Victoria Senior Centre in Fergus and April 22 at Woodlawn Bowling in Guelph.

For more information, visit  or contact Kristen at 519-787-0106 ext. 223.

February 9, 2018


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