Truckee volunteer named California Big Brother of the Year | SierraSun.com

Truckee volunteer named California Big Brother of the Year

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe recently announced that Truckee volunteer Jim Marymee has been named California Big Brother of the Year by the state association of Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies.

Marymee has been matched with his Little Brother, Danny, for more than five years now, and was recognized for the incredible impact he has had on Danny's life.

Criteria for the award includes the degree of positive impact the mentor has had on the young person, as well as the mentor's involvement in recruitment of volunteers for the agency, promotion of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the community, and support of fundraising efforts.

As the California Big Brother of the Year, Marymee will now represent the state of California in the National Big Brother of the Year competition sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

If successful, Marymee and Danny will have the opportunity to make promotional appearances on behalf of the mentoring organization, and possibly meet President Obama at the White House.

Marymee has provided Danny with immense support over the past five years, and has opened his eyes to many new experiences.

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They have gone snowboarding, canoeing, mountain biking, ice skating, trail building, scuba diving, camping (Danny's first time ever) and much more.

Marymee even helped Danny win a scholarship to attend the Experimental Aircraft Association's week-long Air Academy last summer in Oshkosh, Wisc.

Marymee has played a vital role in Danny's academic life as well, providing support with reading and homework while communicating with Danny's family and teachers to find new ways to help — often going as far as reading the same books that Danny is reading in school so the two of them can discuss them during their time together.

"Big Brother Jim has been a great role model, a great friend, and now we consider him to be a part of our family," said Danny's mother, Maria. "He has made it his duty to make our son a better person with activities ranging from going to the library to get some extra reading time in, to going sailing, and everything in between.

"Seeing Danny grow up with such a good role model has been amazing. He has developed a new enthusiasm for life and excitement for learning things simply for the sake of learning something new."

Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Development Director Peggy Martin was not surprised that Jim was chosen to represent the state of California at the national level.

She has witnessed first-hand the difference he's made in Danny's life, and has come to rely on Jim as a go-to community advocate and fundraiser for the agency.

Perhaps the best testament for Jim comes from Danny's own words in support of Jim's nomination: "When I feel down, he always finds ways to cheer me up. He helps me stay out of trouble by talking to me and listening to me when I feel no one else does. My Big Brother Jim has taught me what friendship is and I am hoping this friendship will last forever. He will be that one man who took the time to be with me, who made me feel that I can be whatever I set my mind to be. He will be in my life and my heart forever."

For information on Big Brothers Big Sisters, how to become a Big, or how to support this community resource, call Martin at 530-587-7717 or email peggy@bigsofnc.org.

This article was submitted to the Sun by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe. Visit bigsofnc.org to learn more.