BBBSMA Hosts 2023 Big Appreciation Night

On Thursday, February 23rd, 2023, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA), the BBBSMA Young Leaders Council (YLC), & Inspire Brands hosted 72 BBBSMA Bigs at the Inspire Brands Headquarters in Sandy Springs, GA for Big Appreciation Night full of great food, giveaways, awards, and lots of fun!

The night kicked off with a reception full of catering from Inspire Brands including Buffalo Wild Wings wings, Arby’s tater tots, Jimmy John’s sandwiches, Nothing Bundt Cakes mini cakes, draft beer & wine, and more delicious treats!

Then, the celebration was moved to the Inspire Brands auditorium where we reflected on some of our amazing matches, volunteers, board members, partners, sponsors, staff, and YLC.

BBBSMA YLC Board Chair, Alex Ginsberg, began the ceremony with a vulnerable and moving story of the reasoning behind her dedication to the BBBSMA mission. After that, Inspire Brands Foundation Executive Director, Stuart Brown, delivered a touching speech on his attraction to the BBBSMA mission.

Big Appreciation Night’s MC’s and BBBSMA Bigs, Tony Poon & Mike Milero, announced our award winners of the night while Kwame Johnson handed their awards to them.

Our Award Winners were:

Rookie of the Year: Cheryl Augustein

Defender of Potential: David McClellan

Big Challenge Winner/Fundraiser of the Year: Christian Doetsch, 2021 BBBSMA Big Brother of the Year

Champion of Potential: Chelsey Tabakian Odom, BBBSMA YLC Board Chair

Big Advocate of the Year, School Personnel of the Year: Keisha Gibbons, Young Middle School

Expanded Site-Based Match of the Year: Lead Mentor Quantavis Tilley & Little Jameiron

Group of the Year: Lead Mentor Trikelia Browning and Little Sisters Dereona, Jayla, Khadijah, Ni-khole, & Sydney, Herman J. Russell West End Academy

Big Sister & Little Sister of the Year: Big Sarah Lopez & Little Abrill

Big Brother & Little Brother of the Year: Big Brandon Jackson & Little Amir

Along with the award announcements, there were eight giveaways that Bigs were able to enter!

These giveaways included: free tickets to Overtime Elite’s semi-finals basketball game, gift cards to The Nook, Waffle House, Shake Shack, NFA Burger, & Chopt, VIP tickets to an Atlanta Braves game, Atlanta Hawks game, Atlanta Motor Speedway, a SZA concert, a Legendz of the Streetz concert, & Moulin Rouge performance, free classes at Orangetheory West Midtown, Club Pilates, & Corepower Yoga, gift cards to Zoo Atlanta, the Illuminarium, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Dad’s Garage, Chick-fil-A Hall of Fame, Splatter Studio, & Epicurean Atlanta, a swim in the ocean voyager at the Georgia Aquarium, gift cards to The 3rd Spot, Rumi’s Kitchen, Southern Proper Hospitality Group, Nina & Rafi, Olivia Restaurant Group, Castellucci Hospitality Group, & Yebo Beach Haus, and, lastly, gift cards to Onward Reserve, Piece of Cake, The Les Mains Nail Bar.

BBBSMA Board Chair, Rita Breen, and BBBSMA President/CEO, Kwame Johnson, then wrapped up the night by expressing their gratitude to our Bigs, volunteers, YLC, Board, sponsors, and staff.

Thank You to our Sponsors of Big Appreciation Night: Inspire Brands, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Overtime Elite, Arby’s Foundation, The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Ponce City Roof, Leave of Absence (LOA), Olivia Restaurant Group, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Chopt, True Story Brands Restaurant Group, Your 3rd Spot, Epicurean Atlanta, Fox Theatre, Nina & Rafi, Castellucci Restaurant Group, Illuminarium, Shake Shack, Les Mains Nail Salon, Piece of Cake, NFA Burger, Corepower Yoga, Kimpton Shane Hotel, Orangetheory Fitness – West Midtown, Club Pilates – Brookhaven, Max + Well Prepp, Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Onward Reserve, Southern Proper Hospitality Group, Waffle House, Byrd Cookie Company, The Nook, Alliance Theatre, Dad’s Garage Comedy Club, Rumi’s Kitchen, Splatter Studio, Chattahoochee Food Works, and National Center for Civil & Human Rights Museum.

If you didn’t attend, please check out the awards presentation here: