Friday, April 22, 2016

Did you know?

With the nice weather finally upon us, we wanted to highlight some places where you Matches can venture to in and around Niagara Falls!

Want to learn more about the Falls, visit the Journey Behind the Falls and experience all you need to know from a behind the scenes tour. Located at River Road, right off from Murray Hill. Bigs pay regular price and Littles get in for FREE. After you are done there, go explore the Butterfly Conservatory (Big is FREE and Little is regular price) or the Bird Kingdom (Big pays $12 and Little is FREE). Or bring them to both places!

If you're more into competition, we also have the Merritville Speedway and Niagara Go Karts. Prove once and for all who is the best on the streets!

Once the day is finally done, you can grab a bite to eat at various Boston Pizza locations. With the purchase of a regular meal, they will provide your Little a free dessert on the house.

Keep an eye out here, on our Facebook page and in our quarterly newsletters for more information on places around Niagara that offers deals for our Big and Little matches!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Who is Tom Thornton?

Tom and his wife Janet
In late 1966, Tom Thornton was driving in downtown Toronto when a radio ad came on talking about the need for Big Brothers at their agency.  Immediately, Tom felt that he could make a difference, and turned around to get started as a Big Brother.  After his first match ended, he was then matched with Little Brother Ron Bartleet.  

Tom and his little brother at Wingfest

This was the beginning of a wonderful Mentor/Mentee relationship that has lasted well over 40 years!  The two of them have shared so many adventures, however likely the most exciting was when they were able to realize a dream come true for both of them.  Ron shared Tom’s interest and enthusiasm in cars, something that they talked about quite a bit while they were on their match outings.

This interest culminated in an opportunity to participate in Targa Newfoundland, a 5 day road rally across Newfoundland spanning over 1600 Kilometers!

Not only has Tom been a Big Brother, but he has also been a member of the board of directors in both Peel and Niagara Falls!  This December, Tom, along with the rest of us I am sure, will celebrate 50 years of service to Big Brothers Big Sisters!  Thanks, Tom, for helping us #StartSomething!

You can hear all about the wonderful relationship between Tom and Ron here -   

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Who is Alicia Martin?

Alicia Martin and her little Nadine

We are (2) of a Kind.. I'm surprised after almost 10 years she's still willing to be in public with me:)”

As you can see, Alicia continues to have a great relationship with her little, Nadine.

Alicia Martin is an outstanding volunteer who has spent countless hours over the last ten years mentoring her Little Sister. She has been in the background always supporting and cheering on her mentee whether it was a sporting event or learning to drive. Alicia has been matched with the same child as she progressed from elementary school to university acceptance, celebrating many milestones along the way. 

Throughout the duration of this match, laughter has been the one constant theme. We would like to thank Alicia as she truly understands the meaning of commitment!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Who is Aliette Svaboda?

Aliette Svaboda – Nearly New Store Volunteer

Aliette has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls for 46 years! She began and continues to be a mainstay at our Nearly New Store, along with her husband George who is our unofficial Jack of all trades.  In this time she has seen the store go through many changes, such as relocations, renovations, and numerous volunteers and store managers. Aliette is always there to greet our customers with a smile and be ready to help them in any way possible.  

It’s hard to summarize such an amazing lady in a few sentences but if you were to ask the customers and her fellow volunteers to describe Aliette you would hear them describe her as, dedicated, amazing, funny, thoughtful, caring, dependable and more.  Aliette has contributed many hours to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls agency and more specifically the Nearly New Store.  Without her time and commitment the store would not be where it is today.

Thank-you Aliette for all you do we are so very lucky to have you as part of our team!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Who is Judy Chimenti?

Judy Chimenti with her little Shawnda-Leigh
Ms. Judy Chimenti has been a long-standing volunteer with our agency. She began her involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls in the fall of 1995, having just achieved a remarkable twenty years of service to our agency. In that time, Judy has been matched with 22 mentees, with many of those matches overlapping in time and lasting many years in duration. We have “graduated” many of Judy’s matches – meaning that Judy stayed matched with the child until he or she graduated from grade eight, at which point in-school matches are closed.

When meeting with Judy’s mentees, they always talk about how wonderful Judy is. They value her friendship, her conversations with them, her good advice, and how she could always make them laugh. But overwhelmingly, they are grateful for the gift of time and the positive impact she has on their lives. All from spending one hour per week with a child in the school setting. It is remarkable to see the lives that have been changed as a result of Judy’s volunteerism. Judy was honored with the In-School Mentor of the Year award in 2010, recognizing the positive impact Judy’s care, compassion, and dedication have had to the In-School Mentoring program, BBBS, and the children of Niagara Falls.  

Judy is currently matched with three In-School mentees. Thank-you Judy for everything you have done and continue to do!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Who is Jennifer Bailey?

Jennifer Bailey has been involved with our agency over a 10 year span.  She has celebrated 3 matches; one which is ending next week because the child is relocating to London.  Jennifer has been a very stable, dependable and calming big sister to Destiny.  Jennifer has included Destiny in every aspect of her family life and has tried to instill the importance of setting goals, family and of a strong work ethic.  Jennifer has reconnected with her first little sister after she moved back to the Niagara area and has been involved with her wedding plans and celebrations.  Jennifer’s commitment to BBBS of Niagara Falls and our children has been commendable.

We all would like to thank Jennifer for all of her hard work and hopes she continues her great work for our organization.