Run to Remember

WINNER: $10,000 Challenge Recipient

Big Brothers Big Sisters in San Angelo began an event in 2010 to honor and commemorate those who lost their lives so tragically on September 11, 2001, those who have lost their lives valiantly defending our nation since 9/11 and those who continue to defend the nation today.  Ten years ago, 3,051 children were left without a parent from the attacks. This year, on the 10th anniversary of the event, our goal is to place the 60 children on our waiting list in matches with caring volunteers.

BBBS and the San Angelo Road Lizards are presenting a Run to Remember 5K/1K event on Saturday morning, September 10, 2011. To better publicize the event and to engage members of the community who might not be involved in running or walking, BBBS implemented  a 10 week Couch to 5K program to get people ready for the 5k.  All of this is done in an effort to get the most coverage, volunteers and exposure to this event and this anniversary time in our history. 

This event takes many entities and volunteers to be successful.  The BBBS board and staff have already begun the process.  First responders and community leaders have been notified of the event and have been asked to participate.  Daily mentions are being run on five radio stations and print and TV information has started.  The couch to 5k program has begun and there are novice runners all over town training for the event.  Information on social networking sites is posted.

Partnerships have been formed and volunteers have been contacted to help with the event.  The Landings, a residential military housing facility, has volunteered their space for the run and use of their facilities.  They are also providing food for the event.  Albertsons grocery store provides fresh fruit for the runners.  A local rancher in town will donate a trailer for the announcements and live remote and will also provide vehicles to help transport people to and from parking.  West Texas Broadcasting will donate all radio time on five stations, a live remote, and a personality to be at the event to host and broadcast on that day. The estimated cost of this free advertising would be over $14,000. The Angelo State University Honors program will be there to provide help with parking and logistics.  Two Colonels from Goodfellow Air Force Base will address the participants with an opening prayer and commemoration and then will participate in the run. The ROTC will provide a color guard.  The San Angelo police and fire chief will address the crowd.  The BBBS Bigs and Littles who are already matched, will be involved in the event as participants and also volunteering to help with the event.  Target and Best Buy will send ten employees to work the event. 

BBBS in San Angelo serves over 200 children each year by placing caring mentors, for one-to-one mentoring, in the lives of these children.  The impact of mentoring is far reaching and helps the child exponentially in every area.  Our police chief is a Big Brother and many other prominent members of the community serve as Big Brothers or Big Sisters.

Organizations who are involved in the 2011 Run to Remember are:  San Angelo Road Lizards; San Angelo Police Department; San Angelo Fire Department; Goodfellow AFB; Angelo State University; ROTC; The Landings; BBBS mentors, staff and board; AmeriCorps Vistas sponsored by BBBS; West Texas Broadcasting; KSAN/KLST TV; Albertsons, Best Buy and Target.  There will be well over 50 volunteers at the event to help coordinate and support the Run.  However, the volunteers that will be recruited that day as mentors are far reaching.  There will be an opportunity to apply to be a Big Brother or Sister for BBBS at the event. Then these men and women who participate in the commemoration of 9/11 will be stepping up to be volunteers to mentor the children of San Angelo. 

Volunteers who work with BBBS on September 10 will help set a precedent of service moving forward and those that volunteer to become mentors will live a life richer by giving of their time each week to a child.  The 9/11 Run to Remember will continue to be held each year to commemorate the event and to recognize the need for mentoring in our community.  Each year, we will host this event and recognize those who sacrificed and ask others to give of their time and money to support the children in the name of those who were left behind. 

The BBBS Run to Remember challenges the community to support mentoring through fundraising activities and through yearlong volunteer commitment to a child.  Everyday more and more children need a volunteer mentor to spend time, encourage and enrich their lives.  Situations present themselves, much like the 9/11 tragedy, where children are left without parents and family members to care for them.  BBBS is dedicated to helping these children have someone in their lives to look up to and provide moral support. 

On Saturday, September 10, we will gather to have a moment to remember those affected by the 9/11 attacks ten years ago.  We will highlight the children left behind by the incidents of that day and we will ask for volunteers to step up and become mentors in honor of those children.  We will pray for those having gone on, for those working and volunteering now, and for those who will continue to support our country and our mission in the future. 

To track and document volunteers, BBBS will have signup sheets for each person to detail their personal contact information and time worked at the event.  They will receive t-shirts and insignia to define them as volunteers to the public. BBBS will track all volunteer mentors,  signed up the day of the event, every month with their service as a mentor.  The corporation would be able to follow the volunteer mentors and track their commitment to service throughout their association with BBBS.