For days, Keiva Spence resisted the idea. Her mother, already caring for three of Keiva’s cousins, signed her up for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.
“I didn’t like meeting new people,” Keiva says now. “But as soon as I met up with my big sister, I got comfortable with it.”
She also found an inspiration. Today, Spence is one of the success stories aided by the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper – a PGA Web.com Tour event that has long benefited local charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.
For Spence, the charity’s support led to a Big Sister who helped her tap into a passion for the arts. Now Spence is completing her sophomore year at Penn State University and chasing a dream, double majoring in African-American studies and digital directing. It could lead to a career in setting up scenes and photo shoots for movies and commercials.
“She helped me discover things that I didn’t know I was good at,” Spence said. “I used to doodle, and she encouraged me to enter into art contests. In fact, she bought water paint sets, and she entered me in contests – and I won. She really pushed me to be more involved in art.”
How it helps Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks
The funding BBBSO receives from the PCCC helps create more life-changing friendships, Community Relations Coordinator Rob Blevins said. The staff, which was the recipient of the national affiliate Agency of the Year and Gold Standard awards, works tirelessly to find positive, one-on-one mentors for the kids on their waiting lists.
“We believe that no child should have their future success predetermined by the challenges they face,” Blevins said. “Mentoring gives kids the perspectives and tools they need to grow up to be fulfilled, productive members of society. We are literally shaping the future of our communities here in the Ozarks through mentoring.”
By partnering with the PCCC, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks also tries to meet a major need – men as Big Brothers.
“Our message is that men can and should step up,” Blevins said. “Boys will go without mentors but not in the Ozarks. These are our hometowns. I think getting to share this message at a golf-related event will help us reach more men that care, which is our target.”
RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES
- BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens (with food badges), on-course signage and events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.
- WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.
- SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.
- BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF THE OZARKS: Mainly, the organization is always in need of adults who can mentor youths. Call their office at 417-889-3196 or visit www.bigbro.com.