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January, 2008: Chip-In for Charity

Chip In For Charity Icon

Buick Invitational 'Chip in for Charity' ticket sales in 2008 raised more than $11,000! Thanks to all who bought and sold tickets in support of the League!

Building the Bridges of Hope January 22, 2008 Event

Big Sister Debra Kerrigan and Little Sister Mercedes

Big Sister Debra Kerrigan & Little Sister Mercedes

Guests from Diesel Salon Steph Opperman and Kate Loose

Guests from Diesel Salon: Steph Opperman & Kate Loose

Little Sister Lexy and Big Sister Sarah Clarke

Little Sister Lexy & Big Sister Sarah Clarke

Event Consultant Helna Correll and Councilmember Donna Frye

Event Consultant Helna Correll & Councilmember Donna Frye

Guests Alicia McLain & Pleshette Fambrough

Guests Alicia McLain & Pleshette Fambrough

Boardmember Cynthia Tanner and Guest Patty Wise from CREW

Boardmember Cynthia Tanner & Guest Patty Wise from CREW

Janet Hanpeter and Little Sister Tonya Miranda

Big Sister Janet Hanpeter & her Little Sister Tonya Miranda

Event Emcee and Big Sister Kathi Diamant and Executive Director Lydia Lewis

Event Emcee & Big Sister Kathi Diamant & Executive Director Lydia Lewis

On January 22, 2008, the first Building the Bridges of Hope fundraising event was held for the benefit of the Big Sister League of San Diego, Inc. After a date change due to the October wildfires and a venue change due to repairs at the original location, the League was grateful to have a full house at the Lafayette Inn & Suites for an hour-long program of sweet but powerful stories and high hopes! Thanks to our generous guests, we are thrilled to announce that donations and pledges totalled over $70,000!

Much of the success of the event was due to volunteers from all aspects of Big Sister League. Boardmembers served as Table Captains and invited friends and colleagues to consider making charitable donations. Staff and residents decorated the tables and the room with color-coordinated paper goods, balloons and BSL literature, not to mention delicious food and beverages! Residents and B/L Sisters directed people to parking and to the room, and then through registration and to their tables. Little Sisters gave out goody-bags and charmed everyone! And finally, staff and residents did the unglamorous but most necessary task of cleaning up at the end.

Thanks also to Trader Joe's (Point Loma), Trader Joe's (Hillcrest), Whole Foods Market (Hillcrest), Henry's Marketplace (North Park) and Edelweiss Bakery (Mira Mesa) for their donations of food for the event.

Thanks to these volunteers and donors, etc., the League’s first Building the Bridges of Hope fundraising event was a beautifully-done and very successful event.

In case you missed it, here’s what it was like:

Guests joined boardmembers, residents, Big Sisters and Little Sisters, to enjoy tasty tidbits prepared by staff. Board President Donna Moore welcomed everyone and introduced emcee Kathi Diamant. Kathi told us about how she came to be a Big Sister and how gratifying it has been. Kathi has been a Big Sister since 1985.

Kathi introduced Big/Little Sister match Janet Hanpeter and Tonya Miranda, who spoke about their long relationship and how it’s impacted their lives. After a bit of eating and socializing at the tables, Executive Director Lydia Lewis talked about past, present and future – what’s unique about the organization and why it needs support. Big Sister League Advisory Board member and motivational speaker Skipper Ragsdale followed with some humor and inspiration to encourage guests to support the League.

A video showed clips from interviews and time spent with Big and Little Sisters, and with residents of the League’s transitional housing program. After the video, resident Ava and former resident Sharon shared their stories about what brought them to the Big Sister house, how BSL helped them to manage their mental illnesses and what it has meant to them in regaining independence and self-confidence.

Kathi returned to the podium to walk guests through the Pledge cards and Lydia wrapped up the program with a mention of the upcoming BBH tour dates. Guests were invited to visit the Redwood Street house to see more of what the Big Sister League is doing. Building the Bridges of Hope Tours are held monthly.

Tour Schedule

More Photos from the BBH Event 1/22/08


January, 2007: Buick ticket sales a big success

Chip In For Charity Icon

Each year the League sells tickets to the Buick Invitational Golf Tournament and The Century Club gives back 100% of the proceeds to benefit local charities. Our proceeds for 2007 totaled $12,180! Big kudos and thank yous to Megan Groover, Donna Moore, Robin Behm, Wendy Beerbower and everyone who purchased tickets from the League!

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets!

August, 2005: Marien Kissling Retires as the Mentor League Director

Marien Kissling

Marien Kissling

Marien Kissling said goodbye in August 2005 after 10 years as Director of the Big & Little Sister Mentor Program. We look happily back at those years, exceedingly well spent. Marien is a life-long teacher and educator who brought very capable skills, caring, kindness and efficiency to her daily tasks. Marien had a very special talent for matching girls with big sisters. Often these relationships evolved into years of lasting friendships. She was also a skilled “mentor” to her many interns offering them support and kindness along with knowledge that assured them success in their chosen pursuits. As a founding member of the Mentor Coalition, an avid supporter and member of the Speakers’ Bureau, Marien attended meetings regularly since its inception.

House Opens Article

Marien at the BSL Picnic 2005

On the fifth anniversary of the founding of the San Diego Mentor Coalition, Marien Kissling was presented with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in acknowledgement of outstanding and invaluable service to the community. Her retirement plans include travel, spending time with her husband, George, and family and enjoying her beautiful garden – featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Big Sister, Jeani Buchanan, spoke for all of us in her good-bye letter to Marien, “We will all greatly miss your kind and steady leadership. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help and wish you much happiness!” A special highlight of our Big and Little sister annual summer picnic and retirement party was the unveiling of a beautiful plaque naming the mentoring office the “Marien Kissling Kottage.”

August, 2005: Jane Moyle Accepts Position as New Mentor League Director

Jane Moyle

Jane Moyle

Jane Moyle stepped into the spotlight as Mentor Program Director in August, 2005. Jane was a Residential Advisor and assistant to Lydia Lewis, Big Sister League’s Executive Director prior to accepting this new position. Jane worked for worked for the Home Savings Bank for over 19 years as bank manager and vice president. She received special recognition as “Community Involvement Manager of the Year” and later went on to manage the Central Division for Meals-on Wheels and one of the largest senior centers in Southern California. Mentoring has been a part of her work and life experience. Jane continues to volunteer at the San Pasqual Academy with junior and senior high school students that live and attend public school on the premises. Jane is also an artist. Her “Heart of the City” banner is displayed at the San Diego airport. Jane’s proudest achievement, though, is her daughter Jennifer who lives and works in San Francisco.

August, 2005: Congresswoman Susan Davis Visits the League

Susan Davis

Congresswoman Susan Davis (2nd from left)

On August 9th, 2005 Congresswoman Susan Davis visited the Redwood Street house.  During her visit she heard about our programs, talked with a little sister and listened to the many great ways we help young women and girls in San Diego County.

December 21, 2004: Ellen DeGeneres and Whoopi Goldberg, Among Others, Lend their names for Local Charity

A one-of-a-kind Women of Comedy celebrity quilt was created by local quilter Freya Gordon for the Big Sister League of San Diego. Click here for a pdf of the full article.