More than 200 “Bigs” and “Littles” Enjoy Family Services of Westchester’s Summer Games

 July 11, 2011

Rye Country Day Hosts Big Brothers Big Sisters Seventh Annual Summer Games

RYE – This year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Seventh Annual Summer Games, held once again atRyeCountryDay School, featured such fun activities as rock climbing, a dunk tank, relay races, soccer, jousting, henna tattoos and arts and crafts.  “I think all the mentors, the “Littles” and volunteers had a fantastic time,” notes Marsha Tom, Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester (FSW). Families from FSW’s Head Start programs also joined the fun event this year, while members of FSW’s Westchester County Youth Council served as volunteers. “The sunshine, our sponsors and volunteers, and the fantastic facilities atRyeCountryDay School all helped make this special occasion a success,” adds Tom.

Activities at this year’s event were made possible by generous corporate donors, including Pepsi, Goldman Sachs, New York Life, Build a Bear, Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream, and National Amusements Theaters. TheRyeCountryDay Schooloffered its fields, gym facilities and cafeteria to BBBS of FSW for the seventh year in a row. 

Among the many valuable corporate volunteers were 23 employees from Goldman Sachs, who did everything from set-up the games, serve lunch and run the activities. Meanwhile, the 13 volunteers from Pepsi Research inValhallaran the relay races. “Without the generous support of our sponsors and the help of our volunteers, we would not be able to provide such a special event to the community,” notes Tom. “We are incredibly grateful to those who help our mentors and mentees and their families enjoy such a wonderful day,” adds Tom.             

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester is the local chapter of the national BBBS organization, which is the oldest and largest youth mentoring program in theUnited States. BBBS of FSW currently serves more than 200 families, including the traditional community-based matches along with mentoring relationships that are site-based at school and corporate locations.

“We want to build upon the growing number of school- and corporate-based programs we have in place,” notes Tom. “We also want to continue our emphasis on the need for male mentors to work with the boys on our Wait List.” Currently, there are dozens of children on the Wait List for a mentor, many of whom are young boys in theMount VernonandYonkerscommunities. It costs $2,300 for BBBS of FSW to oversee each match, so the organization needs both donations and mentors to be able to take the children off the Wait List. 

Through its 50 social service and mental health programs, Family Services of Westchester serves an estimated 30,000 adults, seniors, teens, and children from all walks of life each year.  Since its inception in 1954, FSW has focused on its mission: To make a difference right here at home. The agency’s 50 programs run the gamut from adoption services to therapeutic foster care, from adolescent HIV prevention to home health care, from geriatric outreach to youth residences. In recent years, FSW has added programs for Latino immigrants, fathers released from incarceration, and families who must cope with HIV and AIDS. 

To find out more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or to donate or volunteer, contact Marsha Tomat 937-2320, ext 133 or e-mail her at mtom@fsw.org.  To find out more about FSW and its services, check out the organization’s website at www.fsw.org

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Media Contact: Colleen D. Gardephe, (914) 937-2330, ext. 136 or cgardephe@fsw.org