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Midland, MI – October 10, 2017 –The Central Michigan University chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters is once again hosting a family-friendly Halloween Party on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at West Midland Family Center. This FREE event includes Halloween-themed games, crafts and activities, along with pizza and refreshments, prizes, candy and more. Halloween costumes are encouraged, but not required.

Current Big Brothers and Big Sisters are encouraged to attend with their Little Brothers and Little Sisters, but this event is also open to the general public. To attend, please RSVP by calling (989) 631-5360, or emailing events@bbbsgreatlakesbay.org by Tuesday, October 25th.

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September 30, 2017 (Midland Daily News) - Five of the 25 agencies that receive funding from the United Way of Midland County competed and raised money on Thursday with ice bucket challenges and yard games.

The United Way of Midland County is rounding off its third week of its 2017 fundraising campaign to raise $4.8 million, now at over $2 million raised. The second annual Agency Games allowed community groups to get to know each other in a fun setting, said Mitzi Brown, organizer of the event and volunteer community outreach coordinator at Shelterhouse.

When Brown moved to Midland, she said the collaboration in the community was "phenomenal."

"It makes me happy to see us all hear volunteering with our teams," Brown said.

Nonprofits are always working together in Midland on different projects, Brown said, but rarely get together to do things for fun. The activity, while still raising money for a cause, is important so people can network, she said.

Money raised by participation fees and a silent auction during Thursday's event were donated to United Way. About five or six people from the five different nonprofits or agency groups -- Shelterhouse, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region, Family and Children's Services, Midland Area Homes and Greater Midland Community Center -- participated in lawn games against each other.

"This is a great team building event internally and great way to celebrate what we do and what everyone else in United Way does," said Angel Moore, director of mentoring at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The games had a "Hunger Games" theme, with a similar bedazzled host and participants referred to as tributes.

United Way has reached 42 percent of its community campaign goal so far. The campaign started Sept. 11 and goes until Oct. 30.

Many organizations were creative with how they kicked off the fundraising efforts for United Way.

Ernst and Young employees assembled 150 personal care kits and donated them to the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan.

Employees at Chemical Bank kicked off its campaign with a pep rally at Northwood University's Riepma Arena.

More than 100 ambassadors from MidMichigan Health participated in United Way impact bus tours where employees visited the house of someone impacted by United Way.

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September 27, 2017 (Midland Daily News) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region's Lunchbox Learners program is seeking volunteers.

The Lunchbox Learners program matches an adult mentor with a child in Midland County who needs help developing his or her reading skills. The match meets once a week, from October through May, during the child's lunch hour and focuses primarily on reading-related activities.

"Reading at grade level is vital to the educational success of kids, especially during third grade," said Holly Miller, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region. "For most, it's the year where they go from learning to read, to reading to learn. Spending time once a week with a struggling child builds life-changing confidence, increased comprehension and puts them on a path for future success. Such a big impact from investing one lunch hour a week."

The program targets students in kindergarten through third grade at Adams, Chestnut Hill, Plymouth, Siebert, Meridian and Central Park elementary schools. Volunteers are asked to commit to spending one hour a week with a child who has been identified as needing additional reading assistance. Volunteers are still needed in all schools. The program begins in late October and volunteers will be accepted until all spots are filled.

For more information, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region at 989-631-5360 or programs@bbbsgreatlakesbay.org.

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September 27, 2017 - Matt and Adam from Z93's Morning After invited Linda Lones and Matt Collins from BBBS on to the show to discuss the Fall 2017 recruitment campaign, and the advantages of signing up to be a Big today!

Linda shared just how easy it is to become a mentor, how you can change a child's life in just 2-3 times a month, and some details about how Bigs and Littles are matched.

Check out the audio from the conversation below, and be sure to sign up today to create BIG change in our communities!

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October 28, 2016 - Great Lakes Bay Region- Holly Miller has been named the next Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Currently the Vice President of Communications and Community Impact for United Way of Midland County, Holly will officially assume this new role on November 7, 2016.

“Holly’s experience and talents are a great fit for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region. Her vision and leadership will help further our mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever,” said Charlie Schwedler, Chairman of the Board. “I consider our agency very lucky to welcome such a passionate and knowledgeable leader.  We, the board, believe that Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to grow and thrive under Holly's leadership.”

A national search was conducted to find candidates with experience in strategic planning, finance, community relations, staff relations, board development and leadership, along with a passion for helping at-risk youth in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The committee also put a priority on seeking a candidate with excellent fundraising skills and the ability to work collaboratively with all of the agency's stakeholders, including donors and foundations, the local business community, other non-profits and community leaders. “We are fortunate to have found just the right person in Holly Miller,” Schwedler said.

As Vice President of Communications and Community Impact for United Way of Midland County, Holly oversees the organization's communications efforts.  She has assisted with United Way’s strategic direction for over nine years and has been instrumental in implementing United Way’s new community impact investment process.

“I have witnessed the compassion and care that the team at Big Brothers Big Sister have for the children and families they serve. It inspires me. It is an honor to join such a dedicated and innovative team,” Miller said, “My life-long passion for impacting kids is a perfect fit with Big Brothers Big Sisters’ vision for changing lives.”

 

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