Region – With fun, entertainment, food and appearances from special guests, approximately 175 “Bigs,” “Littles,” staff, board members and volunteers celebrated the holiday season Dec. 13, at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Central Mass./Metrowest Holiday Party at Westborough High School.
During the event, Littles had the opportunity to shop with their Bigs to find items for their loved ones and take advantage of the wrapping station. Items, such as books, frames and jewelry, were donated by community members. Participants also enjoyed spending time at the craft table making holiday-themed crafts.
Entertainment was provided by magician Chris Bolter and dancers from the Ritmos Academy in Worcester who performed a Latin dance. Pizza and cookies were donated by Wegmans.
A highlight of the party was the visit from Santa, along with Worcester Bravehearts baseball team mascot, “Jake the Lion”. The pair handed each child a gift and Jake handed out baseball programs, signed items and took pictures with the children.
At the end of the event, 28 children took home bicycles in the annual Bike Raffle, organized for 14 years by Bill Toye, a Federal Express employee. Toye and his co-workers raise funds each year to purchase bikes and helmets to give away.
“My Little, Jessie, was so thrilled she won a bike!” Big Sister Tammy said. “Seeing her smile the whole way home with her bike in tow was a great feeling, I was so happy for her! I am so happy I am a Big Sister.”
Photos at the party were taken by Brianna Dalton, a former Little Sister who is now a Big Sister. To see more of her work, visit Brianna Dalton Photography. To see more photos from the party, visit BBBS on Facebook.
BBBS is always seeking mentors to serve as Bigs for the program. The organization prefers that parents reach out to them, although they sometimes get referrals from other social services agencies. Before a placement, both the child’s family and the potential mentor go through a very thorough background and reference check to ensure the best possible match. Its service area includes 40 cities and towns in central Massachusetts and the Metrowest area. For more information about becoming a mentor, go to www.bbscm.org.