FORT WAYNE — “I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”

Logan has been Don Armstrong’s “Little Brother” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program since 2010.

At a recognition event held recently, Armstrong was named the Big Brother of the Year for northeast Indiana.

Since the pair were matched, Logan has seen a boost in his confidence and grades. It was discovered Logan’s learning style required more hands-on instruction, and Armstrong suggested Logan might benefit from an alternative setting school.

Since the transition, Logan’s grades are up and he is on track to graduate high school.

Logan considers Big Brother Armstrong as his family and enjoys when they simply spend time together.

“Don is the best,” he said.

Several other volunteers were recognized at the July 12 event, with over 300 individuals attending a recognition dinner in Fort Wayne.

In addition to hosting a 1950’s themed dinner for its Bigs and Littles, BBBSNEI recognized the service anniversaries of those who have volunteered for 1, 5, 10 and 45 years. Long time Big Brother, Buford Baker, celebrated 45 years as a volunteer for BBBS, since 1973.

The agency also announced the recipients of awards for excellence in volunteerism in several program categories: Big Brother of the Year, Big Sister of the Year, Big Couple of the Year, School Buddy Big of the Year and Real Men Reader of the Year. The winners were selected by a panel of judges based on the following criteria: match duration, number of previous matches, background of youth, match relationship, match achievements, other involvement with the agency, cooperation with match support and an overall view of the match.

Besides Armstrong, other recipients were:

Big Sister of the Year Barbara Wolf and Little Sister Carmen, Noble County, Matched since 2008

Big Couple of the Year Troy and Michelle Hartman and Little Sister Shawnna, Huntington County, Matched since 2008

School Buddy Big of the Year Kathy Pargmann and Little Sister Mackenzie, Allen County, Matched since 2013

Real Mean Reader of the Year Bob Walters, Allen County, Reading since 2009

2018 BOTY Nominees:

Big Brother of the Year Nominees:

· Art Augspurger, Matched since 2011, Allen County

· Kevin Logan, Matched since 2009, Allen County

· Terry Pargmann, Matched since 2015, Allen County

· Donnevin Wolfe, Matched since 2013, Allen County

Big Sister of the Year Nominees:

· Dea Banks, Matched since 2014, Allen County

· Deborah Blinn, Matched since 2008, Allen County

· Jeanette Buchanan, Matched since 2009, Kosciusko County

· Lauren Caggiano, Matched since 2012, Allen County

· Pamela Martin-Diaz, Matched since 2009, Allen County

· Domini Martin-Urban, Matched since 2013, Allen County

Big Couple of the Year Nominees:

· Francisco and Julie Townsend, Matched since 2009, Allen County

· Sheila and Justin Diehl, Matched since 2012, Noble County

· Edmund and Terry Stuczynski, Matched since 2012, Allen County

· Nick and Katherine Avery, Matched since 2015, Allen County

School Buddy Big of the Year Nominees:

· Billy Davenport, Matched since 2016, Allen County

· Jeff Dryer, Matched since 2014, Kosciusko County

· Donna Fisher, Matched since 2014, Kosciusko County

Real Men Reader of the Year Nominees:

· Zeke Bryant, Matched since 2009, Allen County

· Cory Dietz, Matched since 2010, Allen County

· Steve Hays, Matched since 2009, Allen County

· Thom Johnston, Matched since 2009, Allen County

· William Smith, Reading since 2009, Allen County

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