Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sault Ste. Marie held their fourth annual BIG Bail Out Fundraiser at O’Sullivan Funeral Home on Wednesday afternoon.
Each year, Big Brothers Big Sisters looks for volunteers in the Sault and surrounding area to be prisoners for an hour. The objective is to raise $1,000 for their release. On the other hand, staff can raise money to keep them locked up!
This year, Lisa Damignani and Reily M. Strachan – staff at O’Sullivan Funeral Home – lent their hands to help support the cause. Strachan was put away for “always being late or barely on time for work,” while Damignani’s offenses included “stealing memory sticks and pens from co-workers.”
Marc Sageloly, part of the fundraising committee for BBBS, said this Bailout was his brainchild, inspired by the success of the Sault Ste. Marie and District Crime Stoppers Great Algoma Lock Up.
Sageloly said this fundraiser has been quite successful in the last four years, raising approximately $15,000-$20,000.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the community and a lot of positive feedback from the prisoners we lock up,” he said. “It always seems to be a lot of fun.”
He said fundraising is important to BBBS because some of the funding and donations coming into the agency have depleted over the years, really putting focus on the fundraising committee. All funds raised stay local, going towards programs, activities and services provided to youth through BBBS.
“Prisoner” and Big Sister Reily Strachan told SaultOnline she decided to become a Big Sister because she “loves being someone’s mentor and being there for them and being someone that they look up to.”
She said she thinks this fundraiser is a good way to help BBBS out, as they don’t receive any government funding.
“Everything they do get is what they make on their own and what fundraisers they’re involved in,” she said. “And I think it’s just a great cause that it’s so good to be a part of.”