Gary and Tanner

Gary and Tanner’s story is a heartfelt example of what a Big Brother and Little Brother can achieve together. Their relationship, built over seven years, shows how mentorship and shared experiences can create a strong bond.

One of their most memorable moments was Tanner’s grade 8 graduation. Gary stood with Tanner’s family, proud of how the curious 7-year-old he first met had grown into a smart, friendly, and well-adjusted teenager. This day wasn’t just about celebrating Tanner’s school achievements; it showed the deep impact of their connection.

Throughout their time together, Gary and Tanner learned a lot from each other. Despite being more than 50 years apart in age, they proved that friendship doesn’t have age limits. They tried many new things together, from baking brownies to playing pickleball, each activity bringing them closer and teaching them something new.

When COVID-19 hit, they faced the challenge of changing their in-person meetups to online chats. But they didn’t let this stop them. They came up with their own games and quizzes to keep their weekly meetings engaging. This helped keep their relationship strong, even when they couldn’t meet face to face.

Gary and Tanner have enjoyed a wide range of activities together, showing their adventurous spirits. They both especially like sports, including hockey, soccer, and basketball, but they’ve also had fun fishing and doing crafts and baking. Making gifts for their families each Christmas has become a tradition, whether it’s cookies, ornaments, or jewelry.

Their match has been meaningful in many ways. For Tanner, having Gary as a friend has been a source of fun and support, encouraging him to try things like public speaking and aiming to be class valedictorian. Gary feels that being a Big Brother has shown him how much you can gain from giving your time and support to someone else.

Their experience offers valuable lessons for anyone thinking about becoming a Big or a Little. It highlights the importance of being there for each other and the positive impact of trying new things together. Gary and Tanner’s story is a reminder that at the heart of mentorship is the chance to make a lasting friendship and help each other grow.