Langley mayor honors BBBS with proclamations | NOTABLE

The city of Langley recognized the mentors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County during a recent city council meeting.

The reading of proclamations has become an island tradition during National Mentor Appreciation Month in January. Since 2009, Whidbey Island mayors have joined the lead of President Obama and other national leaders who signed similar proclamations.

January’s snow storm, however, pushed this year’s celebration back a few weeks locally.

“National Mentor Appreciation Month is an opportunity for us and the community to thank our volunteers for their extraordinary dedication,” said Peggy Dyer, long-time executive director of the organization.

“We now have matches that have been together for 10 and 11 years. The Bigs have stuck with their Littles through good times and bad for more than a decade in some cases. These dedicated volunteers are changing our community through their actions in very positive ways,” she added.

Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick, who has been a longtime supporter of the organization, said that the city recognizes the individuals who dedicate themselves to serving as mentors and make a difference in the lives of young South Whidbey residents.

During the council meeting, Kwarsick talked about the work that Big Brothers Big Sisters has been doing on South Whidbey for the past 13 years and the impact on its youth. Carol McNeil, Langley’s new first lady, was a longtime board member of the organization. In the proclamation, Kwarsick called on the people of South Whidbey to recognize the importance of mentoring and to serve as mentors in their community.

BBBS board members Walt Blackford and Kelly Turner-Gibson accepted the honor on behalf of the South Whidbey volunteers who are currently matched.

Island-wide Big Brothers Big Sisters served more than 235 children in the past year.

“The past two years have been very challenging for our island families. We see more and more requests for our services and the circumstances for many children have become more severe. Our volunteers have been with the families every step of the way,” Dyer said.


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