Today, Denver’s oldest and largest mentoring organization released its official logo to launch the beginning of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado’s 100th Anniversary celebration. The logo commemorates the non-profit’s year of incorporation, 1918. The artwork was approved by the State Board of Directors at their meeting last month.
A special committee is being formed to assist with the centennial year festivities and will include sharing stories of impact from the past century. One of the largest events planned for the year is a Centennial Gala which will be held on Saturday, May 12th at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. Dave Ryan, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, is thrilled about all that is planned for the anniversary. “I feel humbled and honored to be a part of an organization that has had such deep and consistent impact on Colorado’s children for such a long period of time,” Ryan stated. “Every week I run into someone new who has had a life-changing interaction with this organization at some point in the past, either as a Big, a Little, a staff or board member. We’ve come such a long way over those years, and we’ll continue on well into the future.”
According to a Record of Proceedings from the Denver County Court, on September 17, 1918 a group of men interested in the formation of a Big Brother Movement met in the Judge’s chambers of the Juvenile Court. This was at the invitation of Claude W. Blake, Denver’s chief probation officer. Blake stated the need for the Big Brother Movement in Denver, showing the large number of boys coming before Juvenile Court. The purpose, he felt, was to give fatherless boys the advantage of a man’s counsel and friendship. There was a growing rate of lawlessness amongst young boys whose fathers were overseas during World War I. “What boys need much more than critics and policemen is examples. There is no greater community service than brothering a needy boy,” Blake told community leaders in 1918. The idea for the movement was based upon the Big Brothers program started in New York in 1904 for similar reasons.
Other key dates in the formation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado include:
- The Big Sisters movement was active in Denver from 1921 until about early 1964. A few years later, in the spring of 1969, Big Sisters of Colorado began as a program out of the Southwest Community Center.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters-Pikes Peak was formed in 1967 as a program of Family Counseling Service.
- In 1996, Big Brothers of Denver merged with Big Sisters to become Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Colorado. In 1997 it became Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Inc.
- In 2001, the organization merged with Big Brothers Big Sisters-Pikes Peak.
Currently operating out of offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado is the largest youth mentoring agency in the state. Throughout its history, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado has helped young people overcome tremendous obstacles to become stable, successful adults. More information regarding the centennial celebration festivities will be released in the coming months.