Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Kut4Kids
Losing hair for children
     By Chris Sowerwine

      Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dane County lost its hair last weekend trying to raise funds to help area youth – literally. BBBS
hosted a new fundraising event, Kut4Kids, in which 20 community members, including State Rep. Mark Pocan and BBBS Executive
Director Dora Zúñiga, had their heads shaved by hairstylists from Salon Neuvo to receive donations for the organization. In addition,
Big Brother Matt Flynn and his Little Brother Maurice volunteered to have their heads shaved together during the event. The Big and
Little received silly hairdos – a pair of Mohawks – to add extra fun to the event before having their heads shaved at its conclusion.
The idea for Kut4Kids came from BBBS Board President Dave Pauly, who had participated in a similar event at Capitol Insurance
Companies. Pauly also volunteered to have his head shaved on Saturday.
      “He thought it would be smart to take a perfectly successful model and apply it to Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Zúñiga said, adding,
“When asked to support BBBS in this way, the folks at Capitol all stepped up.”
      BBBS helps Dane County youth reach their full potential by creating one-to-one relationships between children “Littles” and
caring adult mentors “Bigs,” but it does not end there. Specially trained staff members screen Bigs before matching them to Littles to
ensure that the Littles are safe and that the mentor will have a positive effect on them. They also check in with Bigs, Littles and
parents once per month for the first year, and quarterly thereafter, to ensure the relationship is healthy and blossoming. Staff
members also provide coaching to Bigs to help them handle any situation that may arise.
      “In today’s world, many families don’t have what we had in the good old days, extended families and communities,” Zúñiga said,
adding, “Many of the kids we serve live in rental properties and sometimes they move every year, so they don’t get to establish a
community. Kids today are facing a million pressures. They need an adult besides their mom or dad to be a friend, someone to build a
trusting relationship with.”
      People can get involved with BBBS in several ways, including the hands-on approaches of becoming a Big or volunteering for
an event or by donating to the organization or pledging to an event volunteer.
      “Being a mentor for a child is a great opportunity,” Pocan said, adding, “One of the most critical things we can provide for kids
is someone to encourage them to accomplish their goals and dreams.”
      Even though Kut4Kids has ended, there is still time to support youth in Dane County through the event. Pledges to Kut4Kids
participants will be taken until March 31. To make a donation, go to
www.bbbs.org/danecounty and click on Kut4Kids on the left
navigation bar. As an added bonus, the donor who pledges the highest amount to Zúñiga, $500 or more to qualify, will win a lunch
with Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
      Questions about the event can be directed to Zúñiga at
dzuniga@bbbsmadison.org or by calling 608-661-5437.
Little Brother Maurice gets his head shaved for Kut4Kids.
Little Brother Maurice (left) and Big BrotherMatt (right)
pose after Matt’s head was shaved.