With 2019 beginning to recede into the rearview mirror, Angela Kadar the executive director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Williams Lake is beginning to look to 2020 and the road ahead.
Kadar took on running BBBS fresh out of university midway through 2019 and hit the ground running, seeking to expand and enhance the organizations’ capabilities. Now with experience under her belt and a new year to realize her vision, Kadar is gearing up and starting preparations for 2020 success while looking back on the important moments of 2019.
“We’ve had a great year, super successful, we’ve had a lot of new transitions within the agency… and we have just had a really fun time trying out new events and trying out new programming,” Kadar said. “We have a new in-school mentoring co-ordinator, Natasha Johnson, we’ve also had a really successful year of in-school mentoring within our program, we’ve had more kids than ever be enrolled this year.”
Seeing the community rally around them as an organization this year, despite their period of transition, has been something Kadar and her team have been very grateful for. The fact many community members, stakeholders and local businesses formed a loyal base for BBBS allowed Kadar to build off of it and create new events and opportunities.
On Dec. 31, 2019 to send off the old year and welcome the new, BBBS in partnership with Bryton Kaufman, will be holding a New Years Eve Party at Adventure Games Inc. that functions as a fundraiser for them. Alcoholic beverages will be served for $5 each and the door charge will be by donation, with all proceeds going to BBBS. Kadar said they’ll be playing The Jackbox Party Pack and Cards Against Humanity so the event will 17 plus or with parental consent.
Old events, like Bowl for Kids’ Sake, was also quite successful this year with a record $47,000 raised and while some events, like the Tour De Cariboo, no longer took place new fundraisers took their place.
The inaugural Backwoods TRY-Athlon in September proved to be a successful first outing with 67 riders taking part in the event raising $16,500, something she was “super grateful” for. In fact, its success has ensured that Kadar will make it an annual event to hold again in 2020.
Building off the Backwoods TRY-Athlon’s success, Kadar said that in 2020 they will be offering spring training so that people can register and get their pledge books early, so they have time to fundraise. Kadar recognizes that, with the recent downturns in forestry and mining, it is a hard economy right now, so she hopes that a slow and steady approach will be easier for the community’s wallets.
The Backwood TRY-Athlon will take place on Sept. 12, 2020 with spring training beginning in May, with some fantastic prizes lined up for top fundraisers.
Bowl for Kids Sake will also be making a return in 2020 on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. Kadar said that the event, as in previous years, will consist of teams of six, many from local businesses, who raise around $300 each per team. All the teams are encouraged to dress up for the event and this year she said their costume theme will be Disney.
“We’re super excited about that because Disney can be anything from Star Wars to Minnie Mouse, so they can get really creative with it,” Kadar said.
Continuing into 2020 will be the wildly popular Carol and Archie Diecco Cookbook fundraiser that began in November of 2019 with 1,000 copies selling out within 72 hours. The book costs $25 a copy and are sold at Taylor Made Cakes and Sweets, The Realm of Toys, BOB’s Footwear and Apparel and the BBBS office.
Currently, around 500 of the 1,000 copies printed for the second edition are still available for sale, Kadar said. The unexpected landslide success of this enterprise, in fact, was the standout moment of the year for Kadar who felt just “blown away.”
Getting to work with Carol and Archie has been very rewarding, as they’ve been great in doing book signings for her whenever she needs it. Kadar said she was thankful John Hack pointed them in her direction, even if she did end up having to design the book herself in two weeks to get it ready for the 2019 holiday season.
“We’re just really excited to try new things, we’ve got other fundraisers coming up we can’t announce yet but are in the works (right now),” Kadar said. “We as an agency really want to focus on creating fundraisers that are fun for the participants to take part in or is like the cookbook where they get something that they really value in exchange. It’s nice that we can give back to the community because they give so much to us.”
In 2020, overall, she really hopes to engage with the community even more then they have to date and incorporate the children in their program into these fundraising events more. Kadar wants the community to meet the children they serve and connect with them, similar to the Snowman Challenge they held in early December.
Her main goal in 2020, however, is to simply increase the number of children within the BBBS’ programs as much as they can. Currently, they serve 100 and Kadar hopes to increase that number to at least 150 by years end.
“I so want to make a difference in kids lives here, I just want our agency to do as much as we can to find more mentors and serve more kids, that’s basically the goal of 2020,” Kadar said. “It’s not hard to find kids, it’s hard to find the mentors. So to find 50 more mentors would be such an amazing accomplishment for our agency.”
For further information on BBBS 2020 plans to register in any upcoming events or to become a mentor Kadar invites the community contact her at email@example.com or call the office at 250-398-8391.