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About Us

As Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens.

We've been mentoring youth in Canada for over 100 years. Learn more about our history on wikipedia >

Our History in Kawarthe Lakes - Haliburton

On April 19, 1972 the first local agency of Big Brothers was created under the incorporation name of the “Big Brother Association of Fenelon Falls and District”. The first sitting Board of that agency included: Gordon Goddard (president), Robert Clayton (secretary), Dale Coe (vice-president), Dr. Reginald Brenchley (treasurer), John Bannister, Ben Jowitt, John Cawker, Donald Folkes, Ronald LaMarche and Bruce Glass.

In an Annual Report dated October 16, 1974, signed by Dale Coe is the following: “I was elected to the position of Chairperson of the Board. This position was taken over from Mr. Gordon Goddard who stepped down after two years. Mr. Goddard had been the driving force responsible for forming the Big Brothers agency in our area”.

Mr. Norman Cooper appears to have been the first Executive Director of the agency and for at least 2 years completed the tasks of the position on a voluntary basis.

Signed on November 28th, 1980 was an application to incorporate the Big Brothers Association of Lindsay. The first Board Members of this agency included: Fred Emerson (president), Edward Gardiner (secretary), Raymond Armstrong (treasurer), Donald Moir (vice-president), Michael McArthur, Robert Steffler, J. Richard Gorwill, Kenneth Stinson, Patricia Siegel, Brian Drake, Elizabeth Hurlburt and Ross Wilson.

The local agency has seen many changes since it became Big Brothers of Lindsay in 1980. In 1985 the agency began to provide big sisters for the girls of the community, so a change in name to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lindsay and Victoria County was required. A further change to the name was required in 1996 when the agency began to serve the Haliburton County area; subsequently the name was changed to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria-Haliburton. The community of Victoria County went through an amalgamation process, resulting in yet another change to the agency’s name, now being called Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton.

There was significant growth to the service delivery over the past 30 years. The agency grew from serving approximately 15 children in 1980 to serving well over 100 children. This was accomplished by providing a variety of services and programs. These included our Traditional One-to-One program, Couples Program, Inter-Generational Initiative, In-School Mentoring program, E-Mentoring program, Big Bunch Program, Kids N’ Kops and Summer Camp.

Programs and services are provided with the assistance from the local United Way, Community Fundraisers, Community Partnerships, The Ontario Trillium Foundation on occasion, private donations and other governmental initiatives when available. The fundraisers include the Wing Fest, Bowl for Kids Sake, Dinner/Auction and dances to name some of the more successful initiatives.

The agency generally employs an Executive Director, Administrative Assistant (Office Manager), Traditional Case Manager, In-School Mentoring Case Manager, Fundraising Co-ordinator and Summer Student. The agency also utilizes College Placement Students and High School Co-op Students whenever possible. A Board of Directors governs the agency’s direction through monthly meetings.

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