Growing up, I loved horses. Horses were a huge part of my life and my outlet. Both my mom and I had a horse and we spent a lot of time going on trail riding trips. But my mom worked full-time and couldn't go as much as I wanted. But I had a great relationship with a former teacher of mine, Pam Dawson, who shared my passion. She had two boys that weren't into trail riding like me so the relationship was perfect. We'd go every spring break, summer break, fall break, and weekends to Shawnee National Forest, Brown County, Land Between the Lakes, and Mammoth Cave to horseback ride. I loved spending time with my mom but it was such a gift to have a second adult in my life that I could spend time with and learn from. I could forget the stresses of home life and just take a break. She taught me a lot about life and of course, horses.

Big Brothers Big Sisters knows the value of bringing caring adults together with kids who need the benefit of a one-on-one mentor. And spending that time with a mentor leads to positive outcomes.

Big Brothers Big Sister SW IN
Big Brothers Big Sister SW IN

According to the Big Brothers Big Sisters website, "Local outcomes show we are making an impact on children growing up to be successful in school and in life."

  • 67% of children maintained of improved in scholastic competence

  • 72% maintained or improved their attitude toward risky behaviors such as illegal drug and alcohol use, and missing school

  • 91% of volunteers agreed their Little has made improvements since they started meeting

WDKS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

To help fund the organizations, Big Brothers Big Sisters is hosting their inaugural gala, “Big Heart Big Impact” a semi-formal event. The Gala will take place on Thursday, November 4, at The Crescent Room at Milestones. The evening will begin with appetizers and drinks during a social cocktail hour.

It will include a dinner catered by Riverwalk, special guests Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, Megan DiVenti, Morning Anchor at 44 News who is a mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director, Andrew Backes, and the announcement of Big (Mentor) of the year.

To reserve a table or purchase a ticket visit,

We are going to celebrate mentoring and will be treating our guests to a night of storytelling and community impact. Bid on exciting live and silent auction items. Proceeds raised will support Big Brothers Big Sisters. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization; all donations are tax-deductible and will remain local to assist participants in the tri-state area.

Current events bring challenges, but we have every intention of making this event happen! Big Brothers Big Sisters is a one-to-one mentoring non-profit local organization (last year 9,463 volunteer hours) and all the money goes directly to our community and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Having a mentor makes a big difference! Established in 1969, we currently serve children in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, Spencer, and Gibson Counties in Southwest Indiana, and Henderson County in Kentucky.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Indiana

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Indiana using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

More From WDKS-FM