BGC Fort Saskatchewan hosted an evening of fun and games for kids in their mentorship program on Saturday (Apr. 15).
"The kids in this pre-registered program are all waiting for a one-to-one mentor match and are enjoying the benefits of spending time with multiple positive adults in the meanwhile," said volunteer programs coordinator Tammy Plamondon.
The event featured a pizza party along with activities such as paper airplanes, hockey, basketball, and even baking cookies. The seven kids at the event ranged from seven to thirteen years old.
"Back in 2019 it was just a concept," said Plamondon. "I noticed kids sat on waiting lists for years. The lucky ones found a match sooner than that, but there were some kids who just waited and waited."
"There weren't enough mentors then and there still aren't enough now, so I thought one way that could help them get some kind of positive adult interaction was to group the kids who were on the waitlist."
Two local businesses helped out with the event. FYI Doctors had six of their staff members at the event to play with the kids. Freson Bros. also helped by covering the cost of the pizza.
Plamondon added that it's important for these kids to experience positive interactions with adults while they wait for a mentor.
"Some of the kids might be coming from single-parent families. Other times it's a grandparent raising a child, or it's a family that isn't around a lot due to work and they feel like their kid isn't getting a positive time that's just about them," stated Plamondon. "For kids to see the variety of community members that take interest in them, it enhances their attitude towards the community."
"They know that they're wrapped in safe arms."
BGC is hosting more 'Buddy Bunch' events on May 1, 15, 29, and June 12. They're also looking for more volunteers and businesses out there wanting to get involved.
Those who want to help take part in the Buddy Bunch events can contact the local BGC at 780-992-0103.