Grayson County advocate and Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer Rose Booth recently received a wonderful surprise - the Big Sister of the Year Award and a citation from the governor for her accomplishment.
Booth, a local transplant who spent most of her life on the east and west coasts, has a warm personality that instantly puts people at ease, and speaks with a bright New York accent that is hard to miss. Her enthusiasm was contagious as she spoke about her award, and what it means not just for her, but for our local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and its supporters.
“I was the one that was in the lime light,” Booth said, “but this is a Grayson County award, this isn’t my award.”
“The people who make it work are the mothers and fathers that enroll their children in this program. And, also, it’s people who sponsor us - we have foundations that sponsor us in our county, and good people who give money.”
Booth continued on to thank Rainbow Lanes for their help with the Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser and Angie Jones, who she said is responsible for beginning the program. “Angie gets a lot of credit in my book,” Booth said.
“This is their award also because they’re right there with us.”
Booth said that “everyone in the world” knew about her win before she did, including her family in California. When she found out, she said it was “a total surprise. It was quite unexpected and quite humbling.”
She said that the Grayson County program is the newest and smallest, but this award proves that “we did it! We actually showed that it worked!”
Booth continued on with a heartfelt plea for others to join in and become Big Brothers or Big Sisters, adding that it only takes a little time and some love.
“We’re increasing in number and we have funding to do more,” Booth explained.
Having been in the program for about two and a half of its three-year span in our community, Booth says “that’s what it all hinges on. Just having adults that give a little bit of time.”
She said that since she is retired, she has lots of time to give to her “Little,” the term they use to describe the children they mentor. However, she adds that there are a lot of other volunteers who do great things for their Littles even though they work and have families of their own.
“That’s what I hope to get across here. Please research this and see if you can give a little bit of time.”
Booth spoke affectionately of her little, Paddie Constant. “She’s wonderful,” Booth gushed, “she’s a child that’s got so much potential and so much brain power, and all she has to do is have it guided.”
Booth also praised Constant’s mom, and said that she hopes between the two of them, they can help her reach her goals in life.
“My intention is to go clear up to adulthood with [Paddie],” said Booth, who hopes that one day, her Little will become a Big Sister herself and continue on in the mentoring tradition.
“We’re doing great,” Booth said of the program, “We’re on a roll here, and it’s a good thing.”