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Nonprofit merger looks to enhance, expand mentoring services

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Under the leadership of Lander Bachert, the newly formed Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Big Sky Country will serve community matches and mentorships in Livingston, Gardiner, Bozeman, Big Timber, Ennis, Big Sky and the greater Gallatin area. PHOTO COURTESY OF LANDER BACHERT

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF BIG SKY COUNTRY

BOZEMAN – On Jan. 15, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Park and Sweet Grass Counties announced their merger into one nationally sanctioned affiliate: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country. Under the leadership of Lander Bachert, the two organizations joined forces officially on Jan. 1. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country will serve community matches and mentorships in Livingston, Gardiner, Bozeman, Big Timber, Ennis, Big Sky and the greater Gallatin area.

Lander Bachert, CEO, is excited to thrive in 2020. “Our ultimate goal is to defend the amazing potential of our youth here in southwest Montana. We believe every child deserves a caring adult in their life.”

By merging, the larger organization will be able to provide better long-term support for the programs already in place and capitalize on the resources of both organizations to serve more children in a “bigger and better” way. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country now spans five counties and covers over 16,000 square miles. A total of 112 matches are supported by the organization, and current school-based programs in Big Sky, Ennis and Livingston public schools serve a combined total of 370 students ages 5 to 18.

Michaella Croskey, Director of Strategic Communications and Events, is one of nine total employees joined together in this new organization. “We’d like to acknowledge our board’s vigilant decision to merge, reducing operational costs that could impede our mission or threaten our organization’s livelihood when economic and political climates inevitably shift.” The board is comprised of 15 community members and welcomes new members from service areas annually, on a rolling basis.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has over 250 affiliates nationwide and 15 participating countries internationally. The organization’s recent rebrand and revisioning shifts focus from children “facing adversity” to ensuring all children achieve success in their lives, empowered by positive, 1:1 professionally supported relationships.

For more information or commentary, please visit bbbs-bigskycountry.org.

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