Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Year – New Goals: Become a Big!

With New Year’s right around the corner, it’s time to think resolutions. Many people have New Year’s resolutions to get fit, eat healthier, save money, or get organized, but this year why not have a different resolution that not only benefits you, but also benefits the life of a child? This year, make it a resolution to become a Big at Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Minnesota! Here’s a glimpse into one Big’s story as to what it’s like:

Matt Hoffman & Jordan

“I began my career as a Big while attaining my doctorate of chiropractic from 2007-2010 in Bloomington, MN. Late nights and long days can have a cumulative effect on a being and I, of course, was not spared. Even still, the energy and youthful exuberance present in my initial match often stuck with me long after our allotted 90 minutes had eclipsed. I say now without hesitation or pause that I absolutely gained more from our relationship than Marcos ever did; perspective, stress relief, a fresh viewpoint and some great memories.

I have worked with children for the bulk of my adult life. Continuing to volunteer with BBBS is a perfect fit as my interests and passions oftentimes echo those of my newest little brother, Jordan. His personality and questioning nature coupled with his stark intelligence to create a go-getter of a 10.5 year old. He checks my facts and figures, surprises me with insights and equally seeks knowledge, fun and big fish. He just might have life figured out.

I could not have asked for a better Little. From kayaking, hiking and fishing to library visits, movies and mastering the art of commanding a backyard grill, our time together is as varied as it is enjoyable. Always up for something new, Jordan keeps me on my toes with activity suggestions and humorous commentary. We have grown close over the course of our initial year together and continue to bond over the activities we love. He brings such enthusiasm to all he does that I cannot help but feel inspired. I am excited to continue our journey together and see what type of waves he creates in this ocean of life. My guess: big ones. 

Joining BBBS is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I promote the organization often; people sometimes say, "Wow, that's so nice of you to do!" The truth is, Jordan is the one performing the nice gesture; I get to spend time with an extraordinary young person who teaches me something each time we meet. I can only hope that all of the matches out there have even a fraction of the fun we enjoy on a regular basis. 

I want to thank J for a great year, and we both know that there are many more to follow!”

To learn more about us, or to become a Big at Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, visit our website:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reunite Now! & Give to the Max Day

November is a HUGE month for Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. We have two MAJOR events taking place, and we’re here to fill you in with all of the wonderful details!

Reunite Now

This event is a chance for former Bigs, Littles, board members, staff, donors, and supporters to reconnect with the agency to form a strong alumni network.

We find that Reunite Now is extremely important and beneficial because the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has touched so many lives. We would love for the people who were once involved to get involved again. We have a range of options when it comes to getting involved that can fit into everyone’s lifestyles. Whether you want to become a mentor, volunteer at the office or events, join a committee, donate, or be a Big for a day, we want people to know that we have options.

Information about Reunite Now will be on our website as well as our Facebook page starting November 14th, and we will also have a private Facebook group available for previous Bigs and Littles to share their stories with one another.

Give to the Max Day

Give to the Max is an online giving EXTRAVAGANZA for anyone interested in making a difference through donating. It’s the largest philanthropic giving day in the state of Minnesota and is a day to let your generosity shine. Here’s everything you need to know:

When: November 14th, 2013

How: Simply visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters GiveMN page on November 14th to make your donation OR visit the page TODAY and schedule your donation for November 14th.

Why: To make a difference and contribute to causes close to your heart,            

This day is an opportunity to show the rest of the world the real meaning of ‘Minnesota Nice’. We hope you all find it in your hearts to participate and make a difference in a cause you believe in!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Excuses, Excuses…

“I don’t have time.” “I’m too tired after a day of work.” “I have class.” “I don’t have any good ideas.” Wait, Stop there! There are many excuses for not becoming a Big at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, but not having ideas to do with a Little isn’t one of them! Why? Because there are so many options to choose from! Mentoring a child has been proven time and time again to have a positive impact on both a Big and Little’s life. See for yourself here  and here!
 If you are unsure of what to do with your Little, here are 10 “Fall-tastic” activities that we think are perfect:
Pumpkin Bowling-how neat is that?!
 1. Visit the pumpkin patch
2. Paint or carve pumpkins
3. Watch a Halloween movie
4. Make caramel apples
5. Play pumpkin bowling
6. Have a fall picnic
7. Rake leaves and jump in the piles
8. Make leaf art
9. Dress up in Halloween costumes
10. Go apple picking
Want more ideas? Click here for an even bigger list of fun and affordable activities, perfect for any season! If coming up with activities was the only reason you were hesitant to become a Big, we hope that you will reconsider. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing you made a difference in the life of a child. See for yourself by becoming a Big at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota today!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet Rachel Bogenrief…

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota would like to formally welcome our newest employee, Rachel Bogenrief! Originally from Forest Lake, Minnesota, Rachel moved to St. Cloud in 2004 to attend St. Cloud State University. In 2008, after graduating with a degree in Business Marketing and minor in advertising, she moved overseas for a year with the organization CRU. After returning in 2010, Rachel became a Private Nanny for a Clearlake family. Rachel officially joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota in September, as a Recruitment Coordinator, and she could not be happier! Mentoring is one of her passions and believes that as a community, we need to be investing in the next generation. She states: “We need to close the gap and become a part of one another’s lives.” All of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota could not agree more! Rachel is a positive, driven young woman, and we are extremely excited for her future with us!

 Fun fact:
When Rachel is not working, she loves painting, outdoor activities, and thrift shopping!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Get Involved with BBBS of Central Minnesota's Bowl for Kid's Sake Event

Bowl for Kids’ Sake event is a campaign for kids where bowlers raise funds and awareness to support Big Brothers Big Sisters' mission of matching children with volunteer mentors through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. This is a signature fundraiser and each year half a million people across America come together to have fun and raise money to support Big Brothers Big Sisters everywhere!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota hosts our Bowl For Kids' Sake event every fall. All proceeds raised at this event support youth in the central Minnesota community. Here is how you can get involved:

Choose a date/time that works for you! You can bowl individually or form a team of four or five. Minimum pledge per bowler is $35, but we encourage participants to get as many pledges as possible. Bowlers enjoy free bowling, shoes and fun while raising money for our program. For every $50 you raise, your name will go into a drawing for some BIG PRIZES! The more you raise the more chances to WIN! $50 = 1 Chance, $100 = 2 Chances, $500 = 10 Chances!

This year’s theme is "SCHOOL SPIRIT Bowl Fest". Join us for some fun-filled activities including School Spirit theme-attire contest, best cheer, cosmic bowling, and more! Many exciting prizes will be awarded throughout the event.

Sign up today! Call or email Shari at Big Brothers Big Sisters to reserve a time slot (320-258-4511 or, or register on-line HERE.

Thank you to our 2013 sponsors for making this event happen!

Match Sponsorships

BBBS Friend Sponsorships

Bowl for Kids Sake In-Kind Sponsorships

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

7th Annual BBBS Golf Fore Kids' Sake

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN would like to thank all of the golfers, the sponsors,and the volunteers who joined us for the 7th Annual BBBS Golf Fore Kids' Sake on August 5th, presented by Capital One 360.

36 teams participated and approximately $17,000 was raised!


  • Capital One 360
  • Rambow
  • Luther Honda
  • Whispering Pines Golf Course
  • Easy Green - Easy Green Lawn Sprinklers
  • Eagle Sponsor 
  • SpeedStop Gas & Goods
  • MWH
  • Lutgen's Siding Company/Steel and His Balls
  • Granite City Food & Brewery/ Granite City's Golfers
  • Leonard Street Deinard
  • Mahowald Insurance
  • 44 Sign Company 
  • Federated Insurance
  • Traut Wells
  • Traci Moore - Aflac

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Local Summer Activities

With July in full swing – the weather has been hot! Whether you enjoy spending time inside or enjoying the sunshine outside, here are some awesome activities you can do with your little this summer!

SummerTime by George
Not only does Lake George offer canoeing and boat rides on the lake, but they have tons of other activities for kids planned all summer long. They have recently built a brand new splash pad that is sure to keep your little and you entertained for hours. Every Wednesday Lake George hosts FREE concerts by different local bands. They also offer fun games as well as arts and crafts for the kids. Get more details on activities and dates at their website. 
Bounce Adventure
Located in Waite Park, Bounce Adventure is a family owned business. Bigs and littles of all ages are sure to have a blast in the 4,000 square feet of gigantic inflatables. Open 10am to 7pm daily, Bounce Adventure is an awesome alternative for when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Air Maxx
Air Maxx Trampoline Park is located in St Cloud just off of Roosvelt Road. They offer tons of different activities for kids and adults of all ages. They have specially designated times for preschoolers, elementary ages, and teens. They also offer special workout classes as well as open jump. Prices are affordable and your little is sure to have a blast! 

Whitney Recreation Center
The Whitney Recreation Center is located off of Northway Drive in St. Cloud. This is a great place to get an awesome workout any day! They offer lots of physical activities like youth basketball and volleyball leagues. Not only that– The Whitney Center has KinderGym and Open Gym offered weekly for a more than reasonable price. Check out more of what they have to offer with specific times and prices here!

Quarry Park and Nature Reserve
If you and your little haven’t been here, you're missing out on one of the area's most beautiful parks. Located on 684 acres of land, this park is a St. Cloud landmark- just a day here wouldn’t be enough to see all it has to offer. There are mountain bike trails over billion year old bedrock, 112 feet deep swimming holes, granite reflecting pools, nature and science areas, and trout fishing! See more here.

Stearns History Museum
Located in St. Cloud, this museum has been attracting people since the 1970’s. Focusing on engaging people in the exploration of the County's diverse heritage by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future. It is also a part of a 100-acre nature park with walking trails, wildlife and a skateboard park! A great, local place to visit for some fun and knowledge. Learn more by visiting their website.

These are just a few local activities that you can share with your little this summer. St. Cloud and its surrounding areas have a lot to offer for matches. For more kid friendly activities be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter and check out our Pinterest page!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Honoring Our Father Figures

Every year, during the third weekend of June, we spend one day celebrating our fathers and positive male influences in our lives. It is important for us to recognize their hard work and positive influence within our society.

Research shows that a father’s role directly affects a child’s behavior, self-esteem, emotional stability and even mental health. A father contributes important aspects, that of which are some things that a mother cannot.

Earlier this year, President Obama spoke on the importance of fatherhood. Being raised by a single mother and his grandparents – he has a strong opinion on the important role that fathers play in developing strong and tight-knit families. "For a lot of young boys and young men, in particular," he said, "they don't see an example of fathers or grandfathers, uncles, who are in a position to support families and be held up and respected." He continued to explain how strong male leaders create the ladder of opportunities for younger generations to come.

Fathers teach children the value of self-worth, confidence and success. They provide support, encouragement and friendship. However, you don’t have to be in the same gene pool to be able to provide a positive mentorship for a child - a positive male figure can come from anywhere or anyplace.

So this weekend, instead of brushing off Father’s Day as just another holiday – let’s honor the strong males in our life by reflecting on the great influences that they bring to us and the rest of the world on a daily basis.

To all the fathers and male figures providing a positive platform for the youth of this country – we at BBBS of Central MN thank you and honor you. Your good deeds and hard work do not go unnoticed! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Big's & Little's

Mentoring a child has been proven to have many positive aspects on their lives. It helps most simply because it shows a child that someone cares about them, and that they are not alone in dealing with daily struggles.
  • Mentors help keep kids in school, and they help improve self-esteem. 
  • Mentors can help teens to build communication skills and good academic habits. 
  • Having a mentor can improve higher lifetime earnings and reduce juvenile crime. 

With so many positive benefits, we strive to continue to place our little’s with a positive life mentor in hopes of building valuable bonds, much like big sister and little brother Julie & Kevin. Little brother Kevin explains how Julie’s and his relationship has grown saying, “When I don't have anyone else to trust, I can always go to Julie.” 

Much is the same with Little and Big duo, Skyler & Bill. "It's always nice to have someone to talk to", says Skyler when asked how his Big has impacted his life.

“It’s a simple thing that can lead to something so great for both the little and the big.”

Here at Big Brothers Big Sisters it’s so important to us to be able to keep giving both kids and adults the opportunity to build this amazing bond, and to help bring up strong youth into today’s society.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Big Brother Big Sisters Magic Moments Ball

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Magic Moments Ball.  On the evening of Friday, April 19th OVER 600 supporters and volunteers of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota gathered at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center to celebrate 45 incredible years of supporting the youth in our community.

Thanks to YOU, the event raised over $130,000 exceeding the $100,000 goal!  Your generosity will help 100-130 children and youth with caring adult mentors.  You also helped us get our message out to countless people about the possibility of mentoring a young person by becoming a "big"  in our program.


Luther Honda of St.Cloud

D. J Bitzan Jewelers
Leighton Broadcasting
Preferred Credit
Royal Tire
SCR/St.Cloud Refridgeration
St. Cloud Subaru
Times Media
Townsquare Media
U.S Bank

Barb Anderson & Dave Chandler
Rollie &Barb Anderson
AmeriPride Linens  
Array Services Group
Bernick's Pepsi
Bremer Bank
Coborn's Inc.
Creative Memories
Gabriel Media/Sprint 92.9/K-YES
GNP, Inc.
Gray Plant Mooty
Lamar Advertising
Liberty Savings Bank
Leonard Street Deinard
Mahowald Insurance Agency
Marcus Theaters
Miller Auto Plaza
Optomist Club
Rengel Printing
Rice Building Systems
Viking Coca-Cola
Xcel Energy

Apollo Insurance
Arnold's of Kimball
Bank Vista
Bella Rose Photography
MN Dark House Angling Assn.
Frito-Lay, Inc.
Office Furniture Solutions, Inc
St, Cloud Assn of Realtors 
The White Advantage, Inc
Joan & Steve Vincent

Adult & Pediatric Urology
Bayada Home Health Center
Cold Spring Granite
Eich Motor Company 
Farmers & Merchants State Bank
Hagemeister Mack Architects
Heartland Glass Co. Inc.
Horizon Roofing
Mahowald Financial Partners Inc
Milaca Building Center
Plaza Park Bank
Rock On Trucks
Jim & Janet Knoblach
Bruce & Joey Miller
Jayne & Keith Ritter
Harry & Tina Rothstein
Sue Wendt & Roger Schleper
Bob & Penny White

44 Sign Company
Coldwell Banker Commercial-Orion
St. Cloud Floral
West Side Liquor

Agency Sponsors
Federated Insurance
Mark J. Traut Wells
Capital One 360 

Catering: Custom Catering by Short Stop

Decor: Events Extraordinaire! by Jean

Birdhouse Centerpiece Contributors
Lee Obermiller, Woodn't You
St. Cloud Area Realtors Association
St. Cloud Optomist Club
United Arts of Central MN
Craft Direct
St. Cloud Floral
Foley Lumber Do-It Center
Mathew Hall Lumber
Handyman's Hardware
"Littles" and "Bigs" in our program
Friends of BBBS

Officer Tad Hoeschen

Entertainment: Deuces Wild, Dueling Pianos

Keynote Speaker: St. Cloud Chief of Police, Wm. Blair Anderson

Thank you to all for your support!

Here's to many more years of helping children in the Central Minnesota communities reach their full potential with the help of a caring mentor!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Magic Moments Ball 2013

Magic Moments Ball 2013

Dreams Take Flight

The Magic Moments Ball is the major fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. All proceeds from this magical event benefit children facing adversity in central Minnesota. Last years event was a huge success and it was delightful to share the night with all of the wonderful people who attended. We just know that this year will be equally as special and we hope that you will consider spending one magical night with us!

This year's gala is scheduled for Friday, April 19, 2013 at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center (6–11 pm) and will include wine and beer tasting, hors d'oeuvres, an elegant gourmet dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by the Deuces Wild! Dueling Pianos, a piano variety act offering an engaging Las Vegas-style show filled with music, comedy, and improv. If you would like to purchase tickets or become a sponsor of this wonderful event, you can find all information needed here. It will truly be a night to remember! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Mission

Making a "Little" Difference

Our mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota is to help youth realize their potential by providing positive growth experiences through one-to-one mentoring relationships.  Our Littles come from many different backgrounds and living situations. By giving them the opportunity to make a connection with a Big, new adventures and possibilities can become a reality. The impact that a Big has on his or her Little is one that lasts for a lifetime and the impact that a Little has on a Big is equally as powerful.

Don’t just take our word for it! Research has shown that positive relationships between Littles and their Bigs have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. By participating in our programs:

  • 52% of Littles are less likely to skip school
  • 32% of Littles are less likely to engage in violence
  • 46% of Littles are less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 65% of Littles show an improved attitude towards school
  • 80% of Littles improve their grade in at lease one subject; of those, 35% improve in three or more subjects

It is our vision to see that youth mentored through BBBS lead productive, compassionate lives that positively impact our world. Children are truly the future and by adding a special connection to their lives, we are allowing them to move in the right direction. With the help of amazing volunteers and mentors, we have been  making a difference in Littles lives since 1969 and will continue to do so far into the future.

To find out more about what Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota does, click HERE!
If you are interested in becoming a Big, fill out an application HERE!