Miars honored by Rotary

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Rotary Club of Sidney recognized Betty Miars, a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer, with its Service Above Self Award during its June 20 meeting at the Sidney Moose Lodge.

“There were several nominations of very worthy candidates for the Sidney Rotary Club’s Service Above Self Award,” Committee Chairwoman Marian Spicer said in making the announcement. “Betty Miars, of Anna, was nominated by Jennifer Bruns, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County. Betty has been involved with 4-H, Anna Band Parents, several committees for St. Jacob Lutheran Church, and the Sidney Electric Relay for Life team.

“She created a group known as Bridging the Gap as a network for women who lost their husbands. While working full-time for Sidney Electric, she has worked part-time as a case worker for Big Brothers Big Sisters. However, her recognition is for her volunteer work with Bigs. She has been a ‘big sister’ to three ‘little brothers’ and three ‘little sisters,’ many of whom she still connects with, despite the littles’ becoming adults who are on their own.”

Bruns then told Rotarians that the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. She cited examples from her own experience as a “big.”

Bruns said that children who become involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters get along better with their families; are more confident of their performance in school; are 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs; are 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol; are 52 percent less likely to skip school; and, are 37 percent less likely to skip class.

“Bigs” must be at least 18 years old. “Littles” range from 5 to 16.

“We interview volunteers and children who enter the program, so we can help make the best match possible,” Bruns said. “Once a match is established, it is assigned a caseworker who makes regular contact to assure both parties are having fun and that communication is open.”

The Sidney Rotary Club meets weekly on Mondays at noon at the Moose Lodge.

Staff report