On Tuesday, April 17, Big Brothers Big Sister of Long Island (BBBSLI) celebrated their volunteer mentors (referred to as ‘Bigs’) and over 25,000 cumulative hours of time and energy spent annually to positively impact the lives of children on Long Island at a celebratory dinner.
The dinner was held during National Volunteer Appreciation Week.
"Each of you here tonight continues to make a difference," remarked Susan Samaroo, COO of BBBSLI. "Together we are starting something big on Long Island."
During the program, bigs matched for five or more years were recognized. BBBSLI also proudly announced the Bigs of the year.
Hofstra University student George Carrillo was named College Big of the Year. Carrillo has been in the program since 2010.
"George is always interested in my ideas and what I have to say. This makes me feel supported and understood," said Manuel, the Little whom George mentors.
The Big Sister of the year was Pat Casella. The Northport resident has been matched with her Little, Joanna, for six years.
"Whenever Pat comes to pick me up, she always says, ‘Today will be an adventure!’ I want to thank Pat forbeing a part of my life, a part of my family and for always being there for me,” Joanna said.
Big Brother of the Year Robert Young’s Little, Christian, is studying at Arizona State University. Christian's mom Donna spoke on behalf of them both.
“Now at 19 years old, there is no denying Bob’s time, energy, kindness and influence on my son has greatly contributed to making him the happy and thriving young adult that he is today,” she said.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, visit their website at www.bbbsli.org or read this article.