After reading a comment in one of last week’s articles, stating that the NG Chamber of Commerce were interested in moving into the office at the Municipal Centre currently occupied by Big Brothers – Big Sisters [BBBS], Jane Fullerton, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Leeds and Grenville, wanted to assure everyone that they have no intention of moving out of their space in the near future.

“We have rented this space for over 5 years. We have a lease for the space mentioned that we fully expect to continue and renew when it expires in a couple of years”, said Jane. Big Brothers Big Sisters provided service to 470 children from the Kemptville office last year – 1,307 children throughout Leeds and Grenville. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Leeds and Grenville has been providing mentoring services and supports such as back to school supplies, clothing, shoes and a hot lunch subsidy since 1977. In April of 2011, they opened a satellite office at the North Grenville Municipal Centre in order to better serve the children in need in North Grenville, Merrickville, and Edwardsburg Cardinal.

Jane listed the various events that BBBS put on in the area each year. “In 2011, we started our main fund raiser that supports that office, Kemptville Ribfest, following our Brockville Ribfest model. We will be hosting the 7th annual Kemptville Ribfest Father’s Day weekend June 16th-18th 2017. We are participating in the Santa Claus parade in Kemptville just as we have for the past 5 years. Our 6th annual Christmas party for our kids is on Sunday, December 4 at Geronimo’s as has been our tradition for the past 5 years. The local banks are generously supporting the children we serve by having Christmas giving trees in their locations to ensure that our kids get some gifts this Christmas”.

Jane also pointed out that, because of the confidential nature of the services they provide, BBBS cannot share office space, and their current office suits their needs perfectly. “We rent the kitchen a couple of times a year to bake cookies and make sausages and pancakes with the kids. We do a movie night in the theatre and then have pizza in the office. We also do a skating event and of course the office is the perfect place for us from which to launch our annual Kemptville Ribfest event”, she said.

There was concern that the suggestion of the Chamber’s interest in that office may have given rise to speculation that BBBS are vacating the space and/or possibly leaving Kemptville all together. Jane wished to reassure everyone concerned. “I want the public, and especially the people, to whom we provide service to know that this is NOT the case. The Christmas season can be an uncertain time and I would like to make it VERY clear that Big Brothers Big Sisters will be in our usual place at the North Grenville Municipal Centre to support the children we serve.”

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