Pump It Up: Be a big bro or big sis

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario -As Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) staff and volunteers filled their gas tanks, motorists running on empty found a reason to smile at the pumps.

Pictured (L-R) are David Murphy, BBBS board member, Christine Lapensee, retail operations manager at MacEwen, Amanda Brisson, BBBS executive director, Kaleb Rombough, and Bill Makinson, BBBS president.

The annual Pump A Little Gas event for BBBS of Cornwall & District raised over $750 at the MacEwen gas station at Eleventh Street and McConnell Avenue on Saturday, August 9.

"The amount of support we receive from this area can be overwhelming," said BBBS president Bill Makinson, "and it's thanks to our community partners and local businesses that these fundraisers are possible."

Kaleb Rombough, 12, was glad to lend a helping hand at the event. He is one of many Littles waiting to be paired with a Big Brother.

"It would be fun to have someone to talk to and go places with," said Rombough.

He commended the child and youth mentoring charity for constantly taking him on fun outings. Rombough described the entire experience with BBBS as life-changing.

"It's important to be involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters because I get to meet a lot of new people and help the community," he added.

The event raises community awareness for BBBS in a major way, which pays off heavily when the agency is asking people for donations. Unfortunately, money can't buy time; the most valuable thing their Littles can have spent on them.

"We have had a shortage of male volunteers for the last few years," said Makinson. "This initiative helps. Maybe when someone's driving away they'll think about us and want to inquire about being a Big or volunteering in one of our programs."

BBBS will be hosting a tug-o-war at CornFest in Lamoureux Park, which runs from August 15-17.

Then they're back at the park for the Kinsmen Cornwall Show & Shine second annual car show on Sunday, August 24. Drop by their station for BBQ and kids activities.

The last BBBS fundraiser of 2014 is a sock sale at the Agora Catholic Centre (Nativity Hall) on September 5-6.

For more information on BBBS or to volunteer, call 613-933-8035 or visit bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/cornwall.

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