Big Brothers ‘punching up’ male recruitment effort
$20,000 grant from Boston Pizza kicks off campaign
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.
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.