Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond Du Lac County Names Jasen Anhalt As BIG of the Year!
Congratulations to Jasen Anhalt on being named BIG OF THE YEAR! All of us at C.D. Smith are so proud of you and the difference you are making in your Little Brother's life!
John and Jasen's Match
Jasen initially contemplated becoming a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County approximately 20 years ago when a friend of the family reached out and asked if he would be interested in becoming a Big. At that time, Jasen had a young family and wasn't able to devote enough time and attention to the program so he declined. However, 20 years later, he and his wife became empty-nesters and the time became right to pursue becoming a Big Brother! When asked why he applied, Jasen responded, "By becoming active in the program, I felt I could be a positive role model in a young person's life, and that I would also be giving back to my community."
During his initial match consultation, Jasen met with Joscelyn Deanovich who serves as the BBBS Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator. She ensured Jasen that the program tries to match interests as best they can when selecting matches. When John and Jasen met for the first time, Jasen knew they would be a good match immediately as John shared his love for sports and the great outdoors. The match started in late November of 2016 and continues to grow stronger almost 4 years later!
This past November proved to be a highlight for Jasen and John's match and illustrated the growth in the relationship over a 3-year period! Jasen shared, "John’s love for hunting had been growing ever since our first outing, where we hunted from an elevated box blind. It was a cold November afternoon, and he never once said he was cold or indicated he wanted the hunt to end. I could tell he was doing something he had never done before, and he definitely had the patience and persistence to withstand the elements. On November 23rd, 2019 John was able to sit in his deer stand by himself for the very first time. We had experienced many hunts together prior to that day, but this was the first day he was able to sit alone. We had gone through the hunter safety program together, practiced shooting our bows and rifles together, set stands together, scouted and cut shooting lanes together. That day in November, he was able to take his first deer by himself. He was extremely excited and proud he was able to do it alone. It was a proud day for me as well."
John has very few male influences in his life, and Jasen has been able to teach him simple, important life skills - skills he probably wouldn't have been taught without Jasen taking on the responsibility to teach John himself. These simple tasks include pumping gas for his grandma, calculating an appropriate tip at a restaurant, and adhering to the somewhat stringent requirements of the DNR for recreational activities. Completion of hunter safety, 4-wheeler and snowmobile safety courses were some of the classes that Jasen encouraged John to complete prior to participating. One of the most exciting times coming up in John's life is completing his driver's education course. Jasen has already committed to helping John with his practice sessions after he obtains his temps. John is excited to drive with Jasen and even more excited to drive Jasen's truck!
"John has impacted my life in a positive way. I feel I am a better person for spending time with John, and I feel good after working with him on simple, yet valuable life skills. We have a lot of fun together and he has become a true hunting partner of mine. I know John and I will continue to be friends long after our match technically seizes with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County program when he becomes an adult. I look forward to continually growing our friendship and for me to be able to offer him assistance and guidance as his mentor," Jasen shared of the impact John has made on his life.