Groom Donates Gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters in Honor of his Groomsmen
On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Michael Clark married Essence Brass at Mt. Zion Church in Joliet. In those hectic days leading up to the wedding, a Saturday that he said he will remember forever, the Joliet resident faced a dilemma typical to every groom.
But instead of buying the universal, forget-it-by-Sunday-afternoon groomsmen gift, Clark wanted to reward Phillip Clarke, Michael McPherson, Thomas Barnett, De’Andre Hardy, Jaron Moulton, David Nuckolls, Irving Richardson, Keir Thirus and Brandon Wagner with something special.
His first thought: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.
Clark made a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters in the names of his groomsmen. Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring organization, then produced letters of acceptance and appreciation for Clark to present to his groomsmen at the rehearsal dinner.
“What an awesome thing to do,” said Lisa Morel Las, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties. “Michael just walked through our doors unannounced, and we’ve never had that happen before. It’s the Thursday before his wedding … to be so thoughtful and wanting to celebrate his marriage by being thankful.
“Our whole office was touched by the donation. I know Michael was pleased that this gift to his groomsmen will be able to impact the life of local, needy children in their names. He wanted to celebrate his romance by helping others, and what a perfect time of year to do that.”
In a letter to Sam Nantz, the organization’s Director of Partnership Building/Special Events, Clark expressed admiration for his wife-to-be, his groomsmen and the Big Brother Big Sisters family.
“I am marrying an absolutely amazing and beautiful woman and I am ‘winning’ in every sense of the word,” Clark wrote. “Standing with me will be nine extraordinary men who over the years have become like brothers to me.
“Now I find myself in the position of wanting and needing to show them my appreciation. I could not think of a better way to honor my brothers than to support a foundation that is doing such a great (job) and much-needed work in our communities.”
Big Brothers Big Sister is part of a network of 370 local agencies across the country operating under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are single-parent or low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated.
Lisa Morel Las pointed out that of the 68 local children on the waiting list, 55 are male and 90 percent are minorities. “Every day,” she said, “we realize we need more people like Michael Clark who want to make a difference and make an impact in our children’s lives – and in their futures.”
To find out more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit www.bbswillgrundy.org or call 815-723-BBBS.