Each year Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh holds a volunteer recognition celebration. This year there was an extra surprise at Green Oaks Country Club in Verona Wednesday night. After CEO Jan Glick presented Jimmy Ross (with Ilene) -- son of Kenny Ross, the founder of the organization in Pittsburgh -- with the service award, she asked him to remain standing. Joe Pepe, president of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, presented Mr. Ross with a check for $10,000. He was blown away.
"To put the money in perspective it takes $1,000 a year to match a child with a mentor," Ms. Glick said. Yet more than money, the organization needs volunteers. There are 200 children on a waiting list, hoping to be matched with a big brother or big sister. Most are boys.
Among the nearly 160 guests were 14 graduating little brothers and sisters. The mentorships officially end when the students graduate from high school but many continue. In fact, the evening celebrated one match that has lasted 45 years. Big brother Fred Exley was matched with little brother Greg Morrell in 1969, and it made all the difference in their lives. Applauding were Kenny and Claire Ross, Tony Ross, Joanne Ross Simon, board president Seth Corbin, Dave Beauvais, Kate Srigley, John Hagan and Karen Hanlon.