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In the June edition:

Big Brothers Big Sisters goes to Washington, D.C.

Dear Friend,

As the days get warmer, I’m sure you’re looking forward to fun-filled ways to enjoy them. Read on for some great ways to spend your summer, from a game of baseball to a game of Pin Pals!, our new online bowling game.

June was a fabulous month for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The excitement started off with our annual conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The week in D.C. was topped off with the announcement of the 2005 National Bigs of the Year, two dedicated volunteers profiled below. Congratulations to Tom Taylor and Linda Nelson! Tom and Linda, along with their Littles and Big Brothers Big Sisters President and CEO Judy Vredenburgh, were even invited to the Oval Office for a meeting with President Bush!

During those dog days of summer, take in some sun and have fun at a Minor League Baseball game, or play some baseball yourself!

Keep making Big Magic!

Ryan E. Hamilton, BBBSA Webmaster & Newsletter Editor Sincerely,
Ryan E. Hamilton
Ryan E. Hamilton
Newsletter Editor

Announcing the 2005 Bigs of the Year

President Bush congratulates the 2005 Bigs of the Year!

President Bush congratulated the 2005 Bigs of the Year Tom Taylor, a retired NASA engineer from Huntsville, Utah, and Linda Nelson, a first-grade teacher from Great Falls, Montana, in the Oval Office.

Tom Taylor, 69, has mentored his Little Brother, David Gessel of Kaysville, Utah, for more than eight years. For David, a boy who was failing in school and whose parents were both in prison, Tom’s influence was life changing.

“Tom has helped [me] in school, and changed an ‘F’ student into an ‘A’ student,” said Little Brother David, now a self-possessed, college-bound 17 year-old.

By helping David learn about his Native American heritage, Tom is also helping him to achieve his ultimate goal. “My wife and I are starting to explore Native American college scholarships so David will have an affordable choice of colleges,” Tom beamed.

Big Sister of the Year Linda Nelson, 52, is Big Sister to Patty Jo Keatts, a Native American girl from a single-parent home in Great Falls, Montana. This is Linda’s fifth match in 25 years, an extraordinary contribution by Linda, who battles diabetes and is a breast cancer survivor.

Little Sister Patty’s mother thinks the award went to just the right person. “Linda has been a godsend to Patty and to our family, [she is] always there for Patty when she needs her.”

Learn more about how YOU can make a measurable difference in a kid’s life!

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Conference

First Lady Laura Bush kicked off the BBBS Annual Conference.Representatives and leadership from some 800 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies around the country convened in Washington, D.C. for the 2005 National Conference.

First Lady Laura Bush kicked off the energizing conference. Introducing the First Lady was Vincent Thomas of Washington, D.C., who became a Big Brother under the congregation-based Amachi Big Brothers Big Sisters program after being mentored himself while in prison. See the Amachi Video.

Judy Vredenburg with Kelly Perdew, Diamond Rio, and Lynn SwannThe conference also featured numerous celebrities and keynoters, including celebrity chef and former Little Brother Todd English, country superstars Diamond Rio, and Lynn Swann, NFL Hall of Famer and national board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

View the call to action for all Americans to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.Highlights of the conference include a forum on expanding Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in the nation’s poorest schools and for children of prisoners. U.S. Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), both Big Brothers, and Kelly Perdew, winner of NBC’s second season of “The Apprentice” and a former Big Brother, joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President & CEO Judy Vredenburgh in issuing a bipartisan “call to action” for all Americans to support the organization.

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Play Pin Pals! Win Big. Help Kids.

Play Pin Pals! Win Big. Help Kids.Ready, Set, Bowl…Play Pin Pals! and have a blast with your virtual Little. Then enter the Bowl for Kids’ Sake Online Sweepstakes for your chance to win Big and make magic in a child’s life. You could win:

  • Grand Prize: A fabulous getaway! Win a 7-night stay for you and a guest at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Resort of your choice anywhere in the 50 U.S. & D.C. and round-trip air transportation.
  • First Prize: A large-screen TV courtesy of Rent-A-Center.
  • Second Prize: A Benefit Cosmetics gift basket, full of irresistible, fun, and unique products.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss your chance to have BIG fun and win BIG prizes!

Play Pin Pals! Win Big. Help Kids.

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Minor League Baseball Hits Home Run as Major BBBS Sponsor

Big Brothers Big Sisters is an official charity of Minor League Baseball.Once again, Big Brothers Big Sisters is an official charity of Minor League Baseball. With over 170 teams across the country, teaming up with your local Minor League Baseball team is a great opportunity to have fun!

So, whether you’re near the Birmingham Barons, the Bowie Baysox, the Clearwater Threshers, the Brooklyn Cyclones or another official Minor League team, support your team today. Find your local team at

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Benefit Cosmetics “Big Magic” Lip Gloss

Pucker up, Sisters! Benefit Cosmetics has designed a new lip gloss called Big Magic!Pucker up, Sisters! Benefit Cosmetics has designed a new lip gloss called Big Magic, and all net proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Big Magic is available in over 300 stores nationwide and online at

Sisters Jane and Jean Ford, co-founders of Benefit Cosmetics, are proud of their partnership with BBBS. “We created a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters to raise awareness, funds and to support America’s youth in achieving their dreams. As the motto says, ‘In every match there are Little Moments, Big Magic.’”

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Play a Little Baseball!

Play a Little Baseball!Do you love sports? Why not join in on the sport of the season – Baseball - and head to the park with your Little for a game? Summer is the perfect season for a pick-up game. It’s also a great way to spend quality one-on-one time with your Little while enjoying the sunny and warm weather.

Some tips to remember:

  • Make sure that you don’t play too close to the street, and remind your Little not to run into the street after the ball.
  • Try to play away from cars and homes – we don’t want any broken windows!

Use the time to bond and grab a baseball, mitt, and bat, and head out to the nearest park for an afternoon of fun. Even if you don’t have a bat or a team, a game of catch is just as exciting. Get outside and enjoy the Little Moments life has to offer… Play ball!

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Little Moments.  Big Magic.TM