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Ketchikan's Bill Elberson named Big Brother
of the Year for Southeast Alaska


March 16, 2005

Ketchikan, Alaska - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Alaska (BBBS) recently honored its 2004 "Bigs" of the Year, Bill Elberson of Ketchikan and Debbie Reifenstein of Juneau. Elberson and Reifenstein are now in the running for Alaska's Bigs of the Year.

jpg Bill Elberson

Little Nick and Big Bill... Nick won first place in the Elementary School Science Fair with his project, Bacteria In Tap Water. - Photo courtesy BBBS Ketchikan

"It was a tough decision considering there were 487 matches in Southeast Alaska last year," said Ketchikan Program Manager Gretchen Klein. "Not only has Bill has been an amazing Big Brother, he's also been instrumental in getting others involved with BBBS, in both volunteer and fundraising capacities."

Klein said Elberson became involved in the School Program in 2000 after being approached at Rotary. He had such a great time with his Little Brother, Nick, they decided to transition into our Community Program the following year. Klein said since then, Bill has attended Nick's birthday parties, encouraged him in scuba diving, and helped him catch his first fish. While Bill doesn't truly know how to measure the impact he has had with Nick, Nick's mom and teachers do, said Klein.

"When Bill started visiting with Nicholas at school, his teacher saw an immediate difference in Nicholas," says Nick's mom, Dorrien Hendrickson. "He started to get excited about his class work, he was more focused and started to get along better with his classmates (and his siblings). Even though Bill only visits once a week, he has made a beautiful change in his life. What a terrific guy Bill is. He deserves Man of the Year for the rich blessing he has become to us and to Nick."

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ketchikan will honor Elberson publicly at Bowl For Kids' Sake on Sunday, April 10th.


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