One of the more special events Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah holds each year is Spring Fling. At this event, BBBSU celebrates the matches who are graduating from the program that year and also recognizes some outstanding participants from various programs. Each year this is a special evening where matches, Bigs, and Littles are celebrated and acknowledged for all their efforts. It is an event that brings together these amazing individuals to share a special occasion alongside friends and family.
Spring Fling is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah’s annual graduation and recognition ceremony to celebrate all graduating matches and outstanding Bigs, Littles, and Matches. This year, the event was held on April 25th at the Zions Technology Center in Midvale, UT. The event consisted of a graduation and recognition program followed by refreshments. It was an evening of food, fun, family, and love all around!
Graduating matches consist of Littles/ Mentees turning 18 and/or graduating from High School this year. For 2023, there were 40 graduating matches celebrated, two of which have been matched together for 10 years!
Bigs of the Year
The Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year nominees are recognized for going above and beyond to serve their Littles and make a lasting impact. Daniela Hernandez was awarded ‘Big Sister of the Year’ while Jed Brian was the ‘Big Brother of the Year’ this year.
Two recently matched Bigs are recognized as ‘Rookie Bigs of the Year.’ These Bigs are known as individuals who may be newer to the BBBSU mentoring program but have shown extraordinary efforts. Tess Obenauf and Jack Wisniewski were awarded the ‘Rookie Big of the Year’ awards.
Other recognitions for Bigs included:
The ‘College Big of the Year’ to Isabelle Hughes.
The ‘Site-Based Bigs of the Year’ to Haylee McMannus and Kardin Salem.
The ‘mentor2.0 Mentor of the Year’ to Jamie Ranke.
Big Ignitor Awards to Erica Bindas and Parker Mitchell.
Big Impact Awards to Laurel Cahoon and Garrett Battaglia.
Big Legacy Awards to Markie Ann Gardner and Levi Raby.
What is so special about these awards is that the Littles, parents/ guardians, and mentoring support coordinators are the people who nominate Big for these awards. This just goes to show how much positive support comes from within the BBBSU program.
Littles of the Year
Littles from the three mentoring programs are awarded a ‘Little of the Year.’
The Community-based ‘Littles of the Year’ were Kayla and Gabe. The ‘Site-Based Littles of the Year’ were Ady and Michael. The ‘mentor2.0 Mentee of the Year’ was Sania.
Matches of the Year
‘Bigger Together Award’ was presented to Little Rakshya, Big MJ, Parents Prabhakar and Damanta and Mentoring Support Coordinator Dan Gibbs. This award is special as it represents all the different pieces of our program and all the different stakeholders in this match coming together to support one another. This award was given to this match because each person involved is committed to the program and supportive of everyone else.
The ‘Matches of the Year’ were awarded to Little Serenity with Big Sarah, and Little Oliver with Big Noah. The ‘Rookie Match of the Year’ was awarded to Little Theron with Big Creston.
The Effects of Mentorship
With the help of parents / guardians, BBBSU staff, and mentors, Littles are guided through adolescence. Mentors help encourage Littles and provide a positive influence, helping them achieve their full potential. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities in Utah as a mentor, visit https://bbbsu.org/.