I’ve been a huge supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters over the years. For the past two years I have held the Dan Cooper Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament at Glen Abbey in support of BBBS Halton. And on June 14th, I participated in the 18th annual Golf Classic for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hamilton and Burlington.
The tournament at Copetown Woods Golf Club attracted more than 100 golfers to raise money for a great cause. I can’t say enough about the tremendous work this organization does for the youth in our communities. So many young people need a mentor, and the BBBS branches are matching adults who will give their time and energy to help our leaders of the future.
The day was magnificent. We had good weather, great companionship and generous sponsors who donated some outstanding prizes. For example, every par 3 had a contest with prizes that included golf clubs, vehicles and more. The generosity of the business community in this area is overwhelming and goes a long way to helping charitable and community organizations such as BBBS do their invaluable work.
Radio sportscaster Al Craig was on hand to act as master of ceremonies and welcomed everyone to the evening portion of the event. Good friend Matt Dunigan, who has been a celebrity guest at my tournament, had also graciously given his time to be the celebrity guest at the Hamilton and Burlington tournament. He also happened to win it as well. Little Brother Justin and his Big Brother Greg gave a great talk to further inform the attendees about the value of mentoring relationships.
The day was not just about guys and golf….it was about the importance of mentoring and how it can make a positive difference in the life of a child. Every day Big Brothers Big Sisters’ agencies across Canada facilitate life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their full potential. Mentoring makes a positive difference not only in the life of the child but in the life of the volunteer and community. Studies show that mentoring helps children stay in school, avoid risky behaviour, and experience first-hand the importance of helping others in their community.
Participation in agency events, like the Golf Classic and the Dan Cooper Celebrity Invitational provide funds needed for trained staff to carefully screen volunteers and match them in long-term, safe mentoring relationships, while providing necessary ongoing management and support for volunteers, children and families. Big Brothers Big Sisters relies on community support to help create a future where every child who needs a mentor has a mentor.
Whether it’s in the form of time or money there is no more important investment we as individuals can make than in helping children realize and share their full potential. I’ve often said it in this column that anything you can offer – time, money or services – helps to make our communities the best places to live, work and raise our families.