October 17 , 2003
Vol. 28, No. 5

Late Night to go ‘Into the Phog’
KU pumps $2.4M into classrooms, technology
Women of Distinction
Classified employees support alternative to state civil service
Center of attention
‘88 champ ‘Manning’ the helm for homecoming

Rock Chalk sidewalk

Dinner to honor retirees
Admissions seeks student information
Bench inscription tells story behind Rock Chalk chant
CCL teaches leaders

Volunteer finds second family in Little Brother
Tuition assistance sees jump in fall numbers
Eaton Hall to be dedicated
A muddy good time

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Volunteer finds second family in Little Brother

After raising four children, Steve Fawcett, professor and senior scientist in human development and family life at KU, couldn’t quite get used to not having children around. Fawcett, who had volunteered for the Big Brothers program during college, called the Douglas County office to see what he could do here. He was introduced shortly thereafter to his new Little Brother, Gari.

“Gari was literally jumping up and down for his Big Brother to come see him,” says Vicky Leitnaker, the case manager who matched the two. From the moment they met, Fawcett and Gari kept up “constant chatter and an almost instant bond.”

As an agency, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Douglas County depends on the United Way for a good chunk of its operational budget.

Ninety-nine percent of the money contributed to the Douglas County United Way campaign remains in the county, says JoAnn Smith, chair of the KU campaign. So far this year, the campaign has raised $165,073.21 of its $225,000 goal, though totals from Wednesday’s Challenge for Change competitions have yet to be calculated. The KU campaign will continue through Nov. 21.

The money raised at KU benefits many community resources in tangible ways, Smith says.

“I believe in the United Way as an established and thoughtful way to give to people in our community,” Smith says. “Many gifts added together can do a lot of good.”

For Gari and Steve Fawcett, the good is quite evident.

“Gari is just a wonderful little boy. He’s caring and grateful and engaged and loves to do things, and he’s a delight to be around,” Fawcett says. “He’s a great kid and he knows that’s how I feel about him.”

Though Leitnaker says that many students at KU are active volunteers for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, Fawcett notes that there’s often a list of boys waiting for adult mentors.

“I’m surprised that more men who’ve raised kids themselves don’t get involved,” Fawcett says. “It’s just a wonderful way to stay involved with children once your own kids are gone. It’s not only very rewarding but it’s also a nice way to keep in touch with what really matters.”

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