Archive for February, 2012

Another from Smoky Mountains


Printed this one up for someone today and thought I would share it.  It is from my trip last fall.  I love the running water in the mountains.  So peaceful.

Big Brothers Big Sisters – Festival of Church Choirs

Sunday January 29, I had the opportunity to photograph an event to raise monies for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois (BBBS) .  BBBS is an organization that pairs kids that can use some encouragement with an adult as a mentor.  This can be classroom time helping with school work or one on one time weekly doing things the kids enjoy doing.  The adults (Bigs) commit to an 45 minutes to an hour weekly at school with the kids (Littles) .  Not only do they help with school work but spend time as friends playing games, talking and doing things that friends do.  The Bigs that spend community time with the Littles play ball, video games, ride bikes, go to the zoo or concerts together.  They usually spend a few hours 2-3 times a month together for at least a year.

Richard Dechert has been a big part of BBBS.  Richard is the president of BBBS for this area.  He and his wife Marilyn have also set up a fund for BBBS.  The concert Sunday was a dream that Richard brought together.  He brough church choirs from the community to raise monies for the organization.  It has been a great success not only for BBBS, but has provided great entertainment for those attending.

Richard Dechert introduced by Zack Shields of BBBS

Some of the choirs teamed up to sing together.  The songs they sang sounded great in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.  This was an enjoyable event that will happen hopefully for many years to come.

First Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church and First United Methodist Church Choirs


Julie McClarey (Three time winner of Old Time Piano Playing Competition) and Bruce Gibbons (also a bassoonist with Decatur Municipal Band) - Both are adjunct professors at Millikin University and Christian Artists.

These Littles like all of us need some encouragement at times.  Most have come from single parent families, and are struggling with school and other things.  Many of the kids have improved at school and to on to college which very well may not have happened without the involvement of the Bigs in their lives.  The Bigs say they get much from participating also.


One of the many kids and her mentor that have benefited from BBBS
One of the Bigs and Littles having fun on stage with Mom standing by.

New Salem Baptist Church Choir

Not only did the adult choirs have a voice, but so did the Childrens Mass Choir.  These kids had fun singing “In The Love Of God”, Ancient Word”, and “This Little Light Of Mine”.  Children singing has a sound that is a joyful noise to everyone listening.  I imagine God had a smile on His face, also.

Childrens Choir At Big Brothers Big Sister Benefit Childrens Choir Singing"This Little Light Of MIne"


Big Brothers Big Sisters Children's Mass Choir Singing "This Little Light Of Mine"

 Growing up can be difficult for anyone of us.  The kids in this program receive extra attention and encouragement to help them on that journey.  Many have gone on to be doctors, ministers, teachers, musicians, engineers, carpenters, and business owners.

Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir


Band for Main Street Church Of The Living God Choir


Main Street Church Of The Living God Choir


Central Christian Church and First Baptist Church Choirs

 I know, you might say lots of kids become some of the people listed above.  Sometimes kids need some extra attention to develop into responsible people.  It can be difficult for them and their parents reach out for some help.  That is where BBBS comes into play.  There are others waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister.  It can be rewarding to make a difference in someone’s life.

First Christian Church Choir


Applause for the First Christian Church Choir


Big Brothers Big Sisters Adult Mass Choir


Adult Mass Choir Big Brothers Big Sisters

A great concert for a great cause.  Making the difference in a child’s life is priceless.  Some of these people may or may not be working one on one with one the children.  But they all did come together to raise money and awareness for a very worthy cause.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Adult Mass Choir


Adult Mass Choir With Choir Directors Standing In Front

Next year hopes to be better and bigger.  If you have time, enjoy the concert and help benefit a child’s life by joining in letting these kids know they are special.
For more pictures of the event, visit