Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrated sixty-five years of one-to-one mentoring at their annual Big Black Tie Ball—Points of Light Night this past Saturday at the beautiful Omni Houston Hotel. Manon and Matthew Kebodeaux served as this year’s Big Black Tie Ball chairs with KPRC Local 2 Anchor, Rachel McNeill, as Mistress of Ceremonies, and Tim deJong, owner of Wimberley Glasswork, as the featured artist. H-E-B and Winell Herron were honored for their ongoing support to the mission of one-to-one mentoring and the Greater Houston community. Click here to view photo.
The evening was full of inspirational stories and videos that highlighted the positive impact a mentor can have on the life of a child facing adversity. Former Little Sister, Leandra McLennon, brought tears to guests’ eyes when she shared her story of her sixteen-year relationship with her Big Sister, Cecelia Rieb. Leandra explained with confidence, “My mom taught me how to survive, but my Big Sister taught me how to thrive.”
Shortly after, Pierce Bush, recently announced as the new CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, stood before the audience with infectious energy as he reenacted his first adventure with his Little Brother Jaylyn. On their first adventure to the Houston Zoo Pierce knew the match was perfect as he watched his six year old Little Brother, Jaylyn, approached the lady scanning tickets. Smiling, Jaylyn said, “I know what you’re thinking, I bet you’re thinking how nice my eyebrows are, huh?” As expected, the ballroom explodes in laughter, but Pierce quickly gathered the audiences’ attention back as he passionately bellowed, “As an organization, we know we must do more. Currently there are 809 kids waiting for a Big Brother/Big Sister. All of the money raised through our Points of Light Night will help in our efforts to affect transformational change in the youth we serve and the communities they live in.”
Following the dinner and program, over 300 guests enjoyed an outstanding live and silent auction. Afterward they were free to gamble at the casino tables, grab a drink at the bar, or dance and sing along to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”, Tom Petty’s “American Girl”, and Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and various other songs covered by the spectacular band SKYROCKET.
The dazzling gala raised a total of $320,142 for Big Brothers Big Sisters with funds benefitting Houston area children. For each $500 raised one child can be taken off the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ waiting list and can be matched with a positive mentor who will help enrich their life and encourage them to reach their highest potential through educational motivation, fun adventures, and overall, a safe and stable relationship.