MISSOULA – Over 400 people are expected to fill the Barn at the Ranch Club later Friday night for a fundraiser to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula.
The group’s CEO Danette Rector says this is the largest event they will organize all year.
"It really just touches your heart because we know that there are people out there that really believe in the work that we do at Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the mission," Rector said. "They’ve seen firsthand the impact that our program has on the children in our community as well as our community as a whole."
Big Brothers and Big Sisters matches anywhere from 200 to 250 kids with their bigs each year. Right now around 73 kids are waiting to be matched. Rector said they receive about six referrals a month, so the number of kids needing matches is increasing.
At the event there will be both a silent and a live auction featuring a diverse selection of items including a custom piece made by Lane Timothy.
The money raised from the auctions will go towards putting together group events and it will also help to cover the costs associated with recruiting and screening volunteers. Rector said they spend $8,000 to $10,000 a year on background checks alone.
Special events coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kelley Crevier, said these auctions are unique.
"We have some scenic flights. We have a lot of whitewater rafting experiences, a lot of places people can go to and create a memorable experiences rather than having a tangible experience. So that’s one of the things that we prided ourselves with this year is just making it more of a unique experience for people and kind of breaking out of the more materialistic silent auction items that you usually see," Crevier said.
Rector said the money raised at last year’s event helped match some of the students volunteering at the event with their bigs.