Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 11, 2013

Local group cuts ties with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Niagara Gazette — Bigger isn’t always better.

At least that was the thinking when the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara County voted to break off from the parent organization and run the agency locally.

Now called Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County Inc., the agency still has the same mission, it just doesn’t have the same name.

President Annemarie C. Bettino emphasized that the services the agency performs will essentially remain the same — matching up adult volunteers with youth seeking mentors — but now the programs can be specifically tailored to the needs of Niagara County — not the entire country.

“The change will allow us to better serve the youth of Niagara County. For example, we have a Welcome Program for our unmatched children that allows them to participate in some activities, even though they don’t have a mentor yet. Big Brothers Big Sisters doesn’t offer that,” Bettino said.

And although she stressed that the move wasn’t entirely money-driven, it was costing the agency about $4,000 to $5,000 a year just to be affiliated with the national organization, and that figure was expected to double or triple over the next few years.

With a budget of only about $160,000 a year, Bettino said that’s a big savings, and that money can be put back into programming.

Bettino said the Board of Directors, consisting of 16 Niagara County residents, have been thinking about the split for some time, but realized the time was right this year.

Before making the move, all of the agency’s funding sources were contacted, including the United Way, the Grigg-Lewis Foundation and the Niagara County Youth Bureau, just to name a few. All promised to continue their support of the agency.

Although the number varies, right now, 87 youth, ages 7 to 15, are waiting to be matched up with mentors.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results