In The News
Big Brothers Big Sisters Presents Dancing with the BIG Stars

There is no other place to be on Saturday, November 15 than at the Overdrive, located at 3769 U.S. 127, Celina, OH 45822, for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Dancing with the BIG Stars event! This event is based off of the popular TV show, Dancing with the Stars. A group of prominent community members from throughout the area will put on their “boogie shoes” and test their newly learned dancing skills with their experienced dance partners. These dancers are putting their heart and soul into dancing and raising funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, & Van Wert Counties. Each of the celebrity dancers and their experienced dance partners will compete twice on Saturday, November 15 at the Overdrive during an afternoon matinee performance starting at 12:30 p.m. and an evening dinner performance starting at 5:00 p.m..
The 2014 cast includes Abby Balster (Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters) dancing with Steve Hartwig, Pat Green (Detective, Wapakoneta Police Department) dancing with Jessica Welker, Rex Katterheinrich (Administrator, Village of New Knoxville) dancing with Kelly Hawk, Jeff Knapke (Manager Sales/Marketing, VersaPak) dancing with Janessa Schwieterman, Pete Lisi (Fundraising Representative) dancing with Ashley Etzkorn, Ambyr Rose (Morning Show Host, New Country 92.1 The Frog) dancing with Zach Ferrall, Andy Schwieterman (Realtor, BeeGee Realty) dancing with Lisa Grunden, and Shelly Vaughn (Superintendent, Ft. Recovery Schools) dancing with Ron Rindler. The professional dancers represent several dance studios throughout our servicing area, including: Dancer by Gina, The Dance Centre, En Pointe Dance Studio, and Wagner Ballroom Dance Studio.
Dancers will be taking lessons, rehearsing their dances and soliciting funds over the next few months. Fans can vote NOW for their favorite community dancer at or at the BBBS office located at 204 E. Spring St., St. Marys. Every vote is a $5 donation to BBBS. The BIG Star Award will be announced at the dinner performance and is based on the celebrity dancer that raises the most money on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition, a Judge’s Choice Award will be given to the couple that has the best dance performance based on the judges’ critiques. The night’s featured judges are Lucy Staugler, Eric Wellman, and Jane Diller.
Tickets are still available if you would like to be a member of the audience for this event, and each dinner ticket includes a catered dinner in addition to the performance. There are only Bronze Level tickets left for $30 each for the dinner show; the Gold Level and Silver Level are SOLD OUT. The matinee performance includes snacks and a beverage. These tickets are $20 per person and are sold on a first come first serve basis. Dancer voting ballots, ticket information, and event information about Dancing with the BIG Stars can be found on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, & Van Wert Counties website at All votes are tax deductible. Proceeds from the event will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer, Auglaize, & Van Wert Counties’ ongoing efforts to make a difference in your community, one child at a time.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Tees Off for Youth Mentoring

Big Brothers Big Sisters had a perfect day to host its 19th Annual Golf for Kids’ Sake Event on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Mercer County Elks Golf Course. There were over 80 golfers that participated in the event. This was all made possible with help of several sponsors including the event sponsor Katterhenry Investment Group. The event was also largely sponsored by Thieman Tailgates, The Marsh Foundation, Kohl’s Cares, Jim Christman – Realtor for Coldwell Banker Plus One, TruPointe, and Schwieterman Custom Body Shop. Not only did the golfers have a great time by they also helped to raise over $8,000 for the organization.

“This has been our best Golf for Kids’ Sake event in years. We had more golfers, teams, sponsors, and volunteers to help us reach our goal!” stated Executive Director, Abby Balster. “We would like to congratulate our 1st Place Winners – Thieman Tailgates, Kohl’s Cares, and a team of ladies – Pam Vossler, Holly Makley, Amy Burke, and Deb Hemmert.”

Several companies sponsored teams, holes, carts, or made in-kind donations. In addition, the golfers had a chance to win $10,000, thanks to Grand Lake Eye Care for sponsoring all our Hole-in-One Prizes again this year. Proceeds supported the numerous youth mentoring programs offered to children facing adversity in Mercer, Auglaize, and Van Wert Counties.

For more information about how you can help Big Brothers Big Sisters by phone at 419-394-2990 or e-mail at We are always looking for volunteers to mentor the 30 youth on our waiting list. Keep your eye for our next fundraising event: Dancing with the Big Stars, coming to the Overdrive on November, 15, 2014.

A True Veterans Day Story

Carlos LejFollowing a series of meetings at the Big Brothers Big Sisters national office in Dallas, Carlos Lejnieks, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, was headed back to Newark, N.J. this Veterans Day weekend. Carlos and his fellow passengers were travelling in unique company.

A flight attendant announced that among the passengers on the flight sat five soldiers en route home following a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. They were returning to their families and loved ones. Read more →

Newly Elected Mayor of Charlotte Owes Success to Mentor

blog-article-mayor-of-charlotteDuring the mayoral election in Charlotte, NC, Patrick Cannon spoke of his identity, campaigning on his personal story, to show his deep connection to the city of Charlotte. Cannon’s story lends credence to the belief that people from all backgrounds can rise to high levels in society; even mayor. Read more →