Why does someone decide to become a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Fond du Lac County?  When asked that question, Lacey Wendorff from Grande Cheese Company replied “I wanted to fulfill a purpose greater than myself.  I signed up to give a child the opportunity to experience some of the simple things in life that many of us are blessed with daily.  To give a child the chance to see how bright their future really is and what they are capable of.  I signed up to ‘fulfill a purpose greater than myself’, which is Grande’s Company Statement, and I am enjoying every minute of it.”

It’s no wonder Lacey was chosen as both Fond du Lac County’s as well as the State of Wisconsin’s ‘Big of the Year’.  She exemplifies what being a Big is all about.  “Lacey embodies the three pillars of being a mentor – a trusted adult friend, a positive role model and a nurturer of possibilities,” said Joscelyn Deanovich, Community Based Enrollment Specialist for BBBS and Lacey’s nominator.  “Lacey has the unique ability to listen with an open heart and mind.  She tunes into the things that her Little likes and finds ways to let her explore her interests further,” said Deanovich.

Lacey’s Little, Morgan, enrolled in BBBS when she was 10-years old and in the fourth grade.  Morgan was experiencing a lot of changes in her life with her dad and sister moving to Florida.  Coupled with her mom’s Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, it added up to a lot of uncertaintly for a 10- year old girl.  Enter Lacey and her unique ability to connect with Morgan on her terms.  Lacey has given Morgan the gift of being a kid and allows her to just have fun.  She encourages Morgan to show her creativity and explore her love for the animals, nature and the arts.  She has been able to experience things she would not have an opportunity to otherwise.

“Lacey was the perfect choice for Fond du Lac County’s Big of the Year,” said Tammy Young, Executive Director for BBBS of Fond du Lac County.  “The fact that she was also chosen as the state of Wisconsin’s representative, makes it that much sweeter.  Lacey is a true ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters.  She participates in our annual fundraisers: Bowl for Kids’ Sake, The BIG Event and our 5K BIG Splash & Dash.  She has been instrumental in providing insight to her employer, Grande Cheese Company, and her co-workers about how BBBS aligns with their mission,” said Young.  “Grande Cheese Company is a great partner with BBBS of Fond du Lac County.  Lacey represents Grande’s culture of ‘fulfilling a purpose greater than myself’ to perfection.”

BBBS assists children with social, emotional and character development through one-to-one mentoring relationships with caring adults.  Children in the program come from a wide variety of backgrounds, many coming from single parent households, living at or below poverty level.  BBBS matches children with a Big Brother, Sister, Couple or Big Family in a community or school based program.  Children aged 6 through 13 can enroll in the program through a parent or guardian referral.  Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license for the community based program, 16 years old for the school based program.  For more information about the program or to volunteer, call 920-922-8200 or visit www.bbbsfdl.org.