Caring about kids

Caring about kids

May 26th, 2009 by Laura Galbraith in Entertainment

Ansley Kellermann's interest in the nonprofit world has served the Chattanooga community well.

Formerly a loan executive at the local chapter of United Way, Ms. Kellermann now takes on the responsibility of recruiting volunteers and raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga.

Her next fundraising project is the annual Great Kiwanis Duck Race. On Saturday, June 13, 5,000 rubber ducks will be launched into the Tennessee River from the Walnut Street Bridge. Tickets for the rubber ducks are $5 each, and cash prizes will be awarded for the first three ducks that cross the finish line in the final heat.

QHow did you first get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga?

AI was a Big Sister in college, and I had always heard about the program. I just love children. It's a perfect position because I majored in advertising and Spanish, as a second major.

About Her

Age: 27.

Occupation: Marketing and fund development coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga.

Hometown: South Pittsburg, Tenn.

Education: Attended high school at St. Andrew's-Sewanee School in Monteagle, Tenn. Graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans.

Family: A younger brother, Robert Kellermann.

Favorite pastime

I really like to work out and row. I like to stay active and spend time with family.

Dream vacation

Tahiti, Fiji and New Zealand.

Quote to live by

"If better is possible, good is never enough."

Big Brothers Big Sisters

For more questions about volunteering or participating in the 2009 Great Kiwanis Duck Race, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga at 698-8016.

Web site: www.bbbschatt.org.

QWhat does being a Big Brother or Big Sister entail?

AWe have two different programs. We have the site-based (program), which is where you spend one hour a week with your "Little." You go to the school and you can eat lunch or help with homework. You're basically just a friend and someone they can look up to. And then we have the community-based program, which is where it's more like six to eight hours (of volunteering) a month. You can take them out in the community, where in the site-based program you're only allowed to stay on school grounds.

QWhat do you enjoy most about your work?

AWhat I like most about my job is seeing the differences that these positive role models make in the lives of children. It doesn't take a whole lot of time to see change, and it sounds cheesy but (there's) change in the future of what these children know. We're changing statistics. They're less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs, to engage in violent behavior and to skip a day of school. And they're more trusting of their parents because they have someone to look up to and they know what's wrong and what's right. I enjoy seeing the difference it makes in the adults as well, because it opens their eyes to a lot of things.

QTell me about the Duck Race that's scheduled June 13 and how it will help Big Brothers Big Sisters.

AWe are benefiting from ticket sales. Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga is selling 2,500 tickets, and we're selling 2,500 tickets. The money that we raise from doing that, we will get some of the proceeds. So we're trying to sell as many of those as we can. (The money) will definitely help us in recruiting more "Bigs" and helping with different day-to-day activities.

QWhat future goals and hopes do you have for your job position at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

AMy future goals are to not have a waitlist for "Littles." We have 155 (kids on the list), which is a lot lower than it used to be, but I really want to get the mentors in the door and get our mission and what we're here to do out in the open more.