In the News




 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma makes a “Big” difference for “Little” kids

Organization announces Champion of the Year, Big Brother of the Year, Big Sister of the Year and Big Couple of the Year


TULSA, Okla. – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma (BBBSOK) has named Byrona Maule as the inaugural “Champion of the Year” for 2011. Involved with BBBSOK for more than 20 years, Maule has been a Big Sister and has served in virtually every position on the BBBS Oklahoma City Resource Board. Her leadership, experience and service on the board helped earn her the recognition.

To be eligible for this newly created award, the candidates must give annual donations of $1,000 or more per year, personally participate in BBBSOK events, secure resources from the corporation/organization that employs him/her and be visibly committed to the mission of BBBSOK through advocacy and assistance.

“Being a Champion of Big Brothers Big Sisters is easy; these young ones are my passion and my servant mission,” said Maule. “To be recognized for this passion is wonderful, but to help open the world to a child otherwise forgotten – to help that child grow into a successful, responsible, caring adult – that is the reward I carry in my heart for all time.”

Along with “Champion of the Year” are the prestigious annual awards to honor exceptional volunteers who have selflessly given their time and care to deserving children across the state.

“Big Brother of the Year” was awarded to Jim Murphree of Norman, Okla., “Big Sister of the Year” was given to Bree Bedsworth of Claremore, Okla., and Mike and Judy Harrell of Shawnee were the recipients of the “Big Couple of the Year” award.

Murphree, matched with his little brother for more than five years, said attending football camp together, playing bass guitar, teaching his little brother how to drive and just hanging out has helped changed the course of his life. His little brother now excels in Advanced Placement courses and is involved in leadership classes.

Bedsworth, matched for two years, said she has helped create a positive outlook for her little sister by giving her the confidence to try new things. She remains the constant in her life and is always available to offer support.

The Harrells, matched for more than four years with their little brother, make a 60-mile roundtrip journey each week to spend quality time together at museums, book stores and war memorials to enforce the importance of education and the importance of giving back to the community. Their little brother said he wouldn’t have any friends if it weren’t for the Harrells.

“Our state Bigs and Champion of the Year are exemplary and inspire us all with their dedication,” said Sharla Owens, CEO of BBBSOK. “Not only does their effort transform the lives of Oklahoma children, it also shows us how it is possible for each one of us to make a huge impact with a little investment of our heart and time.”                                

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children beat the odds. The organization depends on donations to help conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety; and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships, key to successful mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven by independent research to improve children’s odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma serves more than 2,000 children annually. Learn how you can change how children grow up in Oklahoma by going to 




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