Special to the E-T

Jewel and Ty Murray has accepted the position of State Honorary Chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas from U.S. Senator John Cornyn this past Saturday in Irving. Since 2007, Senator Cornyn had served in that position and officially welcomed his successors. The couple will share the chair position for Big Brothers Big Sisters. ?“We are extremely excited to have Jewel and Ty serve as our next honorary chairs. They have fully embraced our organization and are genuinely compassionate about the well-being of Texas children,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters Texas State Association President Denise Barkhurst. “We have been extremely fortunate to have several prominent Texans fully support our mission of changing the lives of children by serving as our honorary chair. In that position, Senator Cornyn created opportunities that provided growth in both our funding and our services to children. We anticipate that Jewel and Ty will only add to that momentum.”?“We are honored to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Believing in the potential of children is easy. Helping children fulfill that potential is the challenge,” said Jewel. “Big Brothers Big Sister does both. That is meaningful work and we are excited to be a part of it.”?Jewel and Ty Murray will serve as the fourth Texas State Honorary Chair and are the first pair to share the position. The first honorary chair for the organization was Attorney General Greg Abbott. Commissioner Michael Williams was the next Texan to fill the position, followed most recently by Senator Cornyn.?The Texas State Honorary Chair is a unique volunteer position designed to serve Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies throughout Texas by bringing awareness to the growing need for youth mentoring services for Texas children. In this position, Senator Cornyn’s advocacy brought awareness to the organization and the life-changing impact mentoring can have in the life of a child. That awareness contributed to several grant awards to the organization and helped them retain Texas legislative budgetary funds.?Jewel and Ty Murray have already agreed to appear in public service announcements throughout the state for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Together, they will advocate for the organization to gain awareness for youth mentoring in hopes of securing more funding and volunteers to serve as mentors.

To date this year, more than 18,000 children have benefited from having a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters across the state of Texas. Studies have proven that children in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring relationships were less likely to begin using illegal drugs, less likely to begin using alcohol, less likely to skip school and more likely to get along with their peers. Adults who were once children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters were more likely to acquire a college degree than their peers without a mentor.

Taysha Williams Regional Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters along with Treva Wygle, Erath County board vice president were in attendance at the reception for Jewel and Ty. During the reception, Jewel and Ty were presented a gift basket containing a variety of items that represented Erath County and a “piece of home.” Along with the gift basket, Taysha Williams presented a proclamation signed by Mayor Nancy Hunter of the City of Stephenville proclaiming the support of Stephenville for taking the first steps to better the lives of children in Texas.”