Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee hosted its annual Bigger Together breakfast fundraiser at the Music City Center on December 8, 2022. The agency’s 2022 Annual Breakfast: Raising Youth Voices highlighted the strides it has made in creating opportunities for young people to be a voice for our community and laid out its plans for the upcoming year.
“Each year, I look forward to our annual breakfast, and it was our pleasure to host our BIG community in person for the first time since 2019. The event spoke to the power of mentorship and why it’s critical for our young people,” said BBBSMT Chief Executive Officer Melissa Hudson-Gant. “This past year, we made a conscious effort to amplify youth voices by electing our first two youth board members and appointing a Youth Advisory Committee. We are committed to ensuring that our young people are heard and are co-creators of our mentoring programs. This event highlights how we do that every day.”
Thursday’s 2022 Annual Breakfast featured BBBSMT executives, community partners, and award recipients, along with volunteers and youth directly involved in the agency’s programs. Special guest speakers, Governor Bill Lee, Mayor John Cooper, and keynote Eddie Pearson, President & COO of HealthStream, collectively shared about the impact their mentors had in their lives.
BBBSMT honored Scott Romine, President of Jackson National Life Distributors with Jackson National Life Insurance, with the Jimmy Webb Volunteer of the Year Award for his outstanding leadership on the Board of Directors. Romine prioritizes engaging Jackson staff to serve as mentors and participate in company-wide fundraising efforts. To date, thirty-eight Jackson employees are current and former Bigs, and its employees have raised over $280,000 for BBBSMT.
The agency also honored Boyle Investment Company with the Defender of Potential Corporate Partner Award for going above and beyond to support the agency’s work. During the program, Boyle honored the memory of the late Venus Campbell, who championed BBBSMT amongst fellow colleagues and Boyle tenants. They have raised over $175,000 over 10 years. Notably, Boyle is led by Jeff Hayes, who for 40 years has served as a Big Brother to multiple Littles.
This event is BBBSMT’s largest fundraiser of the year, raising investment to fuel its programs. The funds raised will allow the agency to expand partnerships, programs, recruitment efforts, and new initiatives, like Big Futures which will launch with Tennessee State University in 2023 to provide one-to-one mentoring for students ages 18-24.
The BBBSMT 2022 Annual Bigger Together Breakfast is available to watch on the agency’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mentorakid.
BBBSMT would like to thank its platinum sponsors, Banc Card of America, Delta Dental of Tennessee, and INPSIRE1, LLC Consulting Firm, and its gold sponsors, Amazon, Jackson National Life Insurance, and UPS, for making the event possible and providing valuable resources that support its programs to ignite the power and promise of Middle Tennessee youth.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee
Since 1969, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee (BBBSMT) has operated under the belief that potential is inherent in every child. As a part of the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network, BBBSMT makes meaningful, professionally supported matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and young people (“Littles”), ages nine through young adulthood, in eight counties throughout Middle Tennessee. The mentoring programs develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Its mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For more information, visit www.mentorakid.org.