By Danielle Anthony
The TexAgs Big Shot Clay Shoot will take place on May 13 and benefits the Brazos Valley Branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
A mentoring program originating in New York City in the early 1900s, Big Brothers Big Sisters matches at-risk youth ages 6 to 18 with an adult volunteer who acts as a friend and a mentor. Through outings and meeting up two to four times a month the Big Brothers and Sisters make a direct impact on their little’s lives.
The Brazos Valley branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters served approximately 250 kids last year. “There is not a lack of volunteers, or lack of kids to serve, what we lack is available staff time to process and supervise the potential matches,” says Branch Director Terry Dougherty. The friendships that develop between a Big and a Little, she says, are the reason the program is successful. The improvement of measurable outcomes such as graduation rates, college acceptances, and family relationships come from the match relationships, which are so successful because of their consistency and longevity, Dougherty explains. By contacting the volunteers and families each month, the staff can ensure the matches are safe and beneficial to both the children and the volunteers who mentor them.
Dougherty currently works as a three-quarter time employee at Big Brothers Big Sisters and has two half-time employees. Hoping to hire a full-time employee by the summer, the money raised by the TexAgs Big Shot Clay Shoot will be used to fund staff.
The TexAgs Big Shot Clay Shoot will be held at Boswell-Porter 4-H Range in Snook. The event is open to the public, and participants may enter as a team or individuals. A 12-gauge sponsor costs $1000 for a team of four shooters. The team will receive a shooting station sponsor sign and their name and logo will be featured at the event. They will be provided with a shooter bag for each team member, shot gun shells for all team members, lunch, and beverages.
Teams may also enter as a 20-guage sponsor for $500. Each team of four will have their name and logo featured at the event and will be provided lunch and beverages. Individuals may enter for $125 and will be placed on a team.
The money from this event will directly impact the youth of the community by funding staff. “The more staff hours I can provide, the more matches I can make,” Dougherty says. “Staffing is the biggest cost, but also the biggest asset. It’s why the program works.”