Wrentham Resident Tees Up for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Dan Gill of Wrentham, hit the fairways at Stow Acres Country Club for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts 18th annual Daquan Burrell Memorial Big Golf Tournament. The President of ROI Communications was among 175 golfers to tee up to raise $50,000 to support the nonprofit’s year-round one-to-one youth mentoring programs.
Gill, a 12-year Big Brother, founded the Big Golf Tournament in 2003. In 2017, the one-day fundraiser was renamed in memory of Daquan Burrell, a Little Brother for the program who tragically passed away earlier that year. Burrell was matched with his Big Brother Tim, a member of the nonprofit’s tournament committee, for nearly 10 years. To date, the annual event has raised more than $600,000 for the cause.
The state’s leading one-to-one youth mentoring program partners with under-resourced families to provide children with one-to-one relationships with caring adult mentors who help them reach their fullest potential. With research and proven outcomes at its core, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts creates matches based on shared interests, geography and personality and serves as a consistent resource for Bigs, Littles and their families. The organization welcomes Bigs and Littles of all races, ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities and serves as a bridge between communities and community partners, helping to address larger social issues, such race and education gaps.
“Being a Big Brother enriched my life significantly and I wanted to do more for the program and help more kids find more mentors, thus the Big Golf tournament was created,” says Gill, who served as event chair for nearly 18 years. “So many kids are in difficult situations and the simple presence of a mentor to help boost their self-esteem and navigate decisions has a profound impact on the likelihood that they will avoid negative outcomes and achieve higher levels of happiness, education and other opportunities for their life. Thousands of young people across the region could benefit tremendously from this type of mentorship in their lives and we have a responsibility to help enable this opportunity for them.”
Currently, community-based matches are meeting in-person and socially distant only when the Big, Little, and guardian are all comfortable, following state and CDC guidelines. All site-based and campus-based mentoring programs remain online. Since March 2020, more than 600 new matches have been made virtually.
In its 70th year, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in New England has created and served more than 20,000 matches. The nonprofit is now enrolling and matching Littles and Bigs virtually. For more information, to register your children or to become a volunteer, visit: www.emassbigs.org.