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November 16, 2011

Community Based Mentoring Program Receives Grant from BP/Meyer Oil

(L to R) Randy Meyer, Meyer Oil Company, Toq Lawrence, Executive Director of Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters, Christy Mesnard, Effingham County Program Coordinator, Kody Lankford, Little Brother, Deb Kinkelaar, Big Sister. and Jason Wrone Advisory Board

Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters recently received a $6,250 grant from BP/Meyer Oil to benefit the Effingham County community-based mentoring program. Through BP’s Fueling Communities Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters was nominated for the grant by Randy and Kate Meyer and Meyer Oil Company. The grant is being facilitated through the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation.

When nominating Big Brothers Big Sisters for the grant, Randy and Kate Meyer wanted the grant funds to be used to benefit children. With their wish in mind, this grant will used to provide professional support for additional one-on-one mentor matches in the area as well as activities for matched and unmatched children. According to Christy Mesnard, Effingham County Program Coordinator, “We are very grateful for this contribution that will allow us to expand our reach to more children. In Effingham County, we currently have a waiting list for kids needing a Big Brother or Big Sister.”

Deb Kinkelaar, Big Sister, shared her feelings on her role with her Little Brother, Kody Lankford. “Kody and I have been spending time together for four years. This program provides an excellent structure for volunteers to develop a relationship with kids in a way that is meaningful to both parties outside of the regular school day”. Kody added, “We do a lot of fun things together, but one of my favorite things was learning how to make sushi.”

Members of the local chapter advisory board includes: Jason Wrone, Greg Petty, Susan Hartke, Kathy Clausius, Kelly Schuette, and Kim Varner. The local program is beginning its third year of operation in Effingham County.

The BP Fueling Communities program provides grants to local organizations that are nominated by BP’s Branded Marketers to support the communities in which they do business. Fueling Communities gives back to local organizations that support health, education, youth, food, and housing to spread charity and goodwill.

For more information about Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact Christy Mesnard at 217-540-1413.

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