HUMBOLDT — Four were honoured by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Humboldt and Area for their efforts within the community.
The awards were presented at the agency’s annual volunteer appreciation and awards night on Sept. 29 at the Bella Vista Inn.
Volunteer of the Year
Becky Zimmer received the Volunteer of the Year award for 2021.
Jodie Hergott, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ development co-ordinator, said Zimmer helps out every time there’s an event or other activity with the organization. Among the activities Zimmer has been involved in include Bowl for Kids’ Sake, Ice Cream Day, the organization’s movie nights and selling tickets for fundraisers like Wine Survivor.
“One thing I love about Big Brothers Big Sisters is it's so easy to go out into the communities and talk to people about how amazing you guys are,” Zimmer said.
“It's so easy to give up your time when you believe in the cause, and have people that also believe in the cause.”
Vicki Mulhern, the mother of Zimmer’s little sister of five years, Hannah Mulhern, presented the award.
“One of the first things that her and Hannah did was plan a lemonade stand. They did all the lemonade, they did all the baking and they fundraised money so that they could buy trick-or-treat bags for kids who couldn't go trick-or-treating,” she said.
“The lemonade stand was 95 per cent Hannah,” Zimmer said. “She was 13 at the time, and she said, ‘I want to do this.’ I was more moral support and technical support when that was happening.”
Mulhern said Zimmer has had an effect on Hannah as her big sister.
“I’ve watched my daughter blossom into this confident, outgoing young lady who has morals and believes in justice and equality. She has learned to give up her time and to volunteer for things that are important to her.”
The Champion Award, given to businesses that support Big Brothers Big Sisters, went to Discovery Ford.
“Their constant willingness to be involved with various BBBS projects emphasizes the depth of community caring that is clearly a core value of Discovery Ford,” Hergott said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters said that Discovery Ford’s Chili Sale during Bowl for Kids’ Sake is always a highlight. They have also hosted drive-in movie events and are active in the Diva for a Day ladies charity golf scramble.
“We all want to give back to the community. This is a fun thing. We know how important it is because we all have kids too,” said Bonnie Classen with Discovery Ford.
“Thank you very much for this honour.”
Tyler Bieber Mentor of the Year
Jane Albers was presented with the Tyler Bieber Mentor of the Year award.
Morgan Forster, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring program co-ordinator, said Albers has gone over and above the job description of a mentor. Albers has been with her match for almost four years.
“Jane has helped her little develop a routine, helped her complete homework assignments and countless new crafts,” she said.
“It's taught her important life skills that will be beneficial to her for many years to come. She has helped her little see new perspectives at home and with family. She has been a confident friend, teacher and motivator for her little.”
Forster added that Albers is an active volunteer for the agency.
In a statement read by Forster, Albers said she thought about becoming a big sister for years. She never had a daughter but always enjoyed being a mom and auntie. Since everyone was grown up, she decided she had the time to commit to becoming a mentor to a little girl.
“It really has been one of the best and most rewarding decisions I've ever made,” she said. “I absolutely love being a big sister and supporting this very worthwhile organization and couldn't have asked for a better match.”
Brody Hinz Youth of the Year
For being active in the community, Aerionna Fischer was presented with the Brody Hinz Youth of the Year award.
“Over the summer Aerionna volunteered some time helping with the art therapy classes,” Forster said. “Often when I talk to Aerionna she has a story about dog-sitting for neighbors or about being incredibly helpful at home.”
Fischer has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters since March 2016 and paired with her current big sister since October 2016.
“We’re so glad Aerionna has accepted this,” Forster said. “She is so deserving and incredibly humble. We are excited that today we get to recognize her and celebrate her impact on the community.”