Big Broth­ers ‘punch­ing up’ male re­cruit­ment ef­fort

$20,000 grant from Bos­ton Pizza kicks off cam­paign

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - John Tap­ley

Big Broth­ers Big Sis­ters of Inger­soll, Till­son­burg and Area started punch­ing up its ef­fort to re­cruit male vol­un­teers with an Ul­ti­mate Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship (UFC) Night at Bos­ton Pizza in Till­son­burg on Satur­day.

Former UFC con­tender Mark ‘The Ma­chine’ Ho­minick was at the event, sign­ing au­to­graphs, pos­ing for pho­tos and vis­it­ing with fans while the UFC match be­tween Michael Bisping and Ge­orges St-Pierre was on ev­ery tele­vi­sion screen in the restau­rant.

“I grew up with Big Broth­ers and Big Sis­ters in Inger­soll,” said Ho­minick, ex­plain­ing that his mother was a big sis­ter. “I’ve al­ways been a big sup­porter of it.”

Owner of the Adren­a­line Train­ing Cen­tre in Lon­don, the Thames­ford res­i­dent said he en­cour­ages peo­ple to get in­volved with the agency.

“Young kids need men­tors in their lives and ef­fort and time is a big thing for them,” he said. “Any ex­tra sup­port for them is im­por­tant.”

Ho­minick said he was happy to help out the lo­cal Big Broth­ers and Big Sis­ters agency by be­ing at Satur­day’s event.

“Be­ing part of the com­mu­nity and rais­ing kids in the com­mu­nity, I al­ways want to be part of the com­mu­nity and any­thing I can do I will,” he said. “I think small towns cre­ate some of the best peo­ple.”

While some peo­ple brought do­na­tions, Satur­day’s event wasn’t so much of a fundraiser as it was the start of an aware­ness cam­paign for the agency’s Step Up and Start Some­thing re­cruit­ment pro­gram, said Deb Lan­don, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Big Broth­ers Big Sis­ters of Inger­soll, Till­son­burg and Area.

“There’s dif­fer­ent things we’ve got com­ing up in the new year, but this was the event to kick off the cam­paign,” she said.

Lan­don said the agency re­ceived a $20,000 grant from Bos­ton Pizza’s Fu­ture Prospects Foun­da­tion to sup­port the Step Up cam­paign and the agency will be work­ing closely with the lo­cal restau­rant on fu­ture events.

“Bos­ton Pizza has al­ways been a big sup­porter of us, so we’re very ap­pre­cia­tive of that sup­port,” she said.

Nicole Kil­laire, de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor with Big Broth­ers and Big Sis­ters of Inger­soll, Till­son­burg and Area, said the agency has a num­ber of pro­grams men can vol­un­teer with, from a seven-week com­mit­ment up to be­ing a big brother with an on­go­ing weekly com­mit­ment.

“There’s a va­ri­ety of pro­grams based on the time the vol­un­teer has to com­mit, so there are op­tions for them,” Kil­laire said.

More in­for­ma­tion about vol­un­teer­ing with the agency is avail­able on the in­ter­net at www.sharethe­fun.org.

John Tap­ley/Post­media Net­work

Former Ul­ti­mate Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship (UFC) con­tender and Thames­ford res­i­dent Mark 'The Ma­chine' Ho­minick signs au­to­graphs for fans Colleen Tomp­kins and Deb­bie As­sel dur­ing a UFC night at Bos­ton Pizza in Till­son­burg on Satur­day that was a kick off event for Big Broth­ers Big Sis­ters of Inger­soll, Till­son­burg and Area's new cam­paign to re­cruit more make vol­un­teers for its pro­grams.

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