There is a need for around 50 mentors, with at least an hour a week commitment, in Ponoka and BBBS is hoping this month-long campaign will help close that gap and give more kids a chance to learn and grow through that mentorship. Photo submitted

Big month for Big Brothers Big Sister in Ponoka

Pop of Purple celebration to help grow mentors, could land some people prizes

For one local organization, back to school hopefully means back to being a mentor.

The Ponoka Youth Centre and Boys and Girls Clubs of Wolf Creek, which hosts the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), is making September BBBS month with the hopes of not only increasing awareness of the program, but also increasing the number of mentors for a growing number of kids.

Morgen Chernick, program director for the Ponoka Youth Centre/Boys and Girls Clubs of Wolf Creek, explained the campaign will feature a number of events including chances to win gift certificates as well as month long fundraiser.

“Each week, we will be ‘popping’ up a local sponsor or other location to celebrate BBBS month,” she said.

“And because we have been operating for 31 years, the 31st person who shows up with receive a prize.”

Chernick added that any one inquiring or applying to be a mentor will be put in to win the $50 Sommer Home Hardware gift certificate to be drawn at the end of the month.

The first of those “pop up” events will be at the Raspberry Patch downtown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“There are 50 kids in Ponoka waiting for a mentor. One hour a week is all it takes,” she stated.

Two other confirmed locations will take place on Sept. 13 at No Frills with the other “pop up” going Sept. 20 at Legacy Ford. Both events will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include a fundraising barbecue with the proceeds going to BBBS of Ponoka.

In addition, the Ponoka Golf Club and its restaurant, The Rusty Putter, are getting into the spirit of giving by donating $1 from every green fee this month along with $1 for every burger to BBBS.

“We are also encouraging any business to decorate their location in purple in celebration of BBBS Day on Sept. 18,” Chernick stated.

“We have created Pop of Purple kits and have already delivered some to several businesses.”

The kits are available by calling the Ponoka Youth Centre at (403) 783-3112. As well, there could be free coffee in some people’s future by snapping a picture of the Pop of Purple and tagging the Ponoka Youth Centre.

For more on being a mentor or on the Pop of Purple celebration, call the youth centre or head to www.facebook.com/PonokaYouthCentreWolfCreek.

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