WALKERTON – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine and District has been in the Walkerton area for about a year.

“There are already some Littles and Bigs in the Walkerton area,” said Yolanda Ritsema, executive director.

She spoke about a major fundraising event that’s coming up on Sept. 24. Walkerton Toyota is holding a “Test Drive Your Ride” opportunity. For a $25 donation, people get the chance to test drive a vehicle and enjoy a lunch of either a hamburger or hot dog. There’ll be face painting and lots of fun. Walkerton Toyota will match donations to a maximum of $1,000.

The funds will help Big Brothers Big Sisters expand the program in the Walkerton area.

“If there’s interest, we will expand the in-school mentoring program,” she said.

Right now, the focus is on getting volunteer mentors for the Littles. Effort is made to match Bigs and Littles who have similar interests – for example, sports, doing crafts, visiting museums or gaming. The time commitment can be as little as an hour a week.

Ritsema explained that activities don’t have to cost money – they can involve going for a walk or just hanging out. It’s all about developing a friendship between a caring adult, and a child who will benefit from having an adult role model, mentor and friend. She described it as “time to share, heart to care.”

Bigs and Littles also get to attend group nights and special events, like going to a Blue Jays game. They’re planning a trip to Camp Kintail this fall.

Ritsema would like to hear from any business who’d like to sponsor an event or outing – or otherwise “support us financially.”

The organization has a number of fundraisers underway – the Bruce Huron Food Tour coupon booklet, for example.

And Dancing with the Stars is back. Six local VIPs are matched with dance professionals, just like on the television show, and will be competing for top honours on Nov. 5 at the Kincardine Pavilion. Judges are Courtney Nelson, Carol Weber and Mike Rencheck.

There are also volunteer opportunities for board members – Ritsema would welcome board representation from the Walkerton area.

For more information, check the Big Brothers Big Sisters website, email info.kincardine@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca or phone 519-396-3565.

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