Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ two major fundraisers are the Ice Ball Gala and the Bowl for Kids bowling marathon. Meet Patty Morton, special events manager at BBBS, whose job it is to coordinate the logistics involved in these two city-wide events, plus any third-party events scheduled to benefit the agency.
“I’m responsible for everything involved in executing our events, including securing sponsors, bringing in funding, dealing with vendors, working with committees,” Patty said. “Everything from start to finish. It’s a lot of stuff.”
There are a lot of details that go into any large event, but Patty doesn’t allow herself to get distracted from the main goal – creating events that are successful financially and that impact the organization as a whole. “At the end of an event I like seeing how much money we’ve raised,” Patty remarked, “and knowing how many children will be served because of what we’ve accomplished.”
Patty sees the work she does going hand-in-hand with the programs and services that BBBS provides. “Our events secure the funding necessary to run the mentoring programs,” Patty added. “Funds raised through our events allow BBBS to provide more children with mentors.”
While BBBS’ events are fun and glamorous for attendees, the behind-the-scenes activities involve a lot of hard work. “The toughest part is trying to find new sources of income, trying to diversify our funding and finding new businesses to approach,” Patty said.
To engage new businesses, Patty arms herself with stories of mentoring successes gained from her early career experience as a social worker and as a part of the BBBS organization for over 10 years. “When I sit down with a donor, many times they are familiar with us, but don’t necessarily understand what we do,” Patty explained. “So I describe the power of mentoring and how it can impact a child’s life. Then I try to relate it to someone who has made a difference in their life, because who hasn’t been impacted by a mentor? It’s just helping them make that connection.”
Patty was with BBBS in the New Jersey area for many years, but is new to the Central Texas agency and Austin, having been here just over 4 months. “Right now it’s still exciting,” she said. “I’m enjoying more of an outdoor lifestyle than I did in New Jersey. I’m enjoying exploring Austin and Texas.”
Part of that exploration includes getting used to TexMex food and BBQ, going hiking, going to movies and trying to meet new people.
“I’ve been with BBBS for almost a decade and I feel like that’s unique for someone my age,” Patty added. “So many people change jobs every few years. But I really have a passion for what BBBS does and I love the organization. When I made the move across the country I was so thrilled to be able to stay with BBBS because I truly love the work we do.”