Erath County residents have proven that when it comes to banning together to raise funds for a good cause, even a troubled economy can’t stand in the way.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erath County board members are still dancing after Saturday night’s Footloose Fall Fling, where Crissa Nugen, BBBS board president announced that the group had raised the necessary $50,000 to get the project rolling. 

The fundraising campaign began in March when Leadership Stephenville, a program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, kicked off the effort.

Now, the organization hopes to begin matching “bigs” with “littles” sometime next year.

BBBS matches children ages 6-18 (littles) with volunteer mentors (bigs), who are selected through extensive recruiting, screening and safety monitoring with the assistance of a locally hired social worker. There are no restrictions or requirements for a child to sign up as a little - parents simply provide information on the child’s strengths and needs and approve the selection of a well-suited big.

During Saturday’s event, Brad and Nancy Allen were unveiled as the anonymous donors who pledged to match every dollar raised in the final month of the fundraising effort.

In addition, Nugen said $25,000 was donated by the Carpenter Company as part of its “Sleep Better. Dream Bigger.” campaign, in which singer/songwriter Jewel was the campaign’s spokesperson.

Jewel and her husband Ty Murray were invited to the bash, but unable to attend. Jewel, however, donated $10,000 to the cause.

“Her contribution was what helped us reach our goal,” Nugen said.

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