Big Chefs, Big Gala makes Big impact for Little citizens |

Big Chefs, Big Gala makes Big impact for Little citizens

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada
Colin Smith, owner of Roundabout Catering and a Big Brother, with his Little. He will be a featured chef at the Big Chefs, Big Gala.
Courtesy BBBSNN |

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada is marking their 15th year in the community with one of the most enticing foodie events of the season: Big Chefs, Big Gala. On April 30, some of Reno’s best chefs will gather at the Grand Sierra Resort to create one-of-a-kind menus for attendees. The fundraiser will also support the agency’s proven, evidence-based mentoring programs.

Mark Estee (Reno Local Food Group), David Holman (Charlie Palmer Steak), Clint Jolly (Great Thyme Catering, Reno Bites), and Colin Smith (Roundabout Catering) each compiled their own team of chefs to join in the Chopped-style event. The teams will create menus for the gala from pre-selected ingredients: artichoke, shrimp, bison and a dessert inspired by a favorite childhood candy or cookie.

“Big Chefs, Big Gala gives attendees an opportunity to taste all that our area has to offer while supporting our community’s youth,” said Liza Maupin, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada (BBBSNN). “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a vibrant food movement going on, led by chefs who care so much about our community.”

Colin Smith will not only be a featured chef at Big Chefs, Big Gala, he is also a Big Brother himself.

“Being a Big Brother is an opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much. It’s also really fun! I know that once a week I get to take a break and just be a kid with my Little Brother,” said Smith, chef and owner of Roundabout Catering.

With a waiting list of 100 to 150 children at any given time – and boys usually having to wait much longer for a Big Brother – Big Brothers Big Sisters is especially grateful for men who find time to volunteer. Although all “Littles” are at-risk children living in poverty in our community, most from single-parent households, and many with an incarcerated parent, no special requirements or qualifications are needed for volunteer Bigs.

With more than 110 years of experience, the Big Brothers Big Sisters model of one-to-one mentoring has a proven track record of success breaking the cycles of poverty, violence and risky behavior. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) conducted a review of mentoring programs and found the Big Brothers Big Sisters was the only program to be extensively evaluated and demonstrably capable of reducing drug use and delinquency.

In June 2015, 86 percent of age-eligible Little Brothers and Sisters graduated from high school in Washoe County, compared to 65 percent of similarly disadvantaged students without mentors. This statistic merits attention, as the effort continues to improve Nevada’s ranking in high school completion. Yearly metrics show mentored youth are inspired to attend school, achieve better grades, graduate and become self-sufficient adults. With almost 20 percent of children in our area growing up in poverty and remaining at risk for truancy, delinquency, and failure to graduate from high school, programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada are crucial to Reno’s future success. How can you help?

Attend Big Chefs, Big Gala – April 30 2016

Visit to purchase tickets. Support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada in the most delicious way possible. In addition to enjoying a four course dinner prepared by Reno’s most talented chefs, the evening includes appetizers, cocktails, silent and live auctions and a dessert auction. Black tie is optional.

Volunteer as a Big Brother or Big Sister Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada is available to present at a staff meeting or other activity about the benefits of volunteering as a mentor.

Make a Financial Contribution It costs $1,000 a year to support a match compared to $25,000 a year to house an adult inmate in the state of Nevada. 75% of Nevada inmates never graduated high school. Your charitable gift stays in our community and is an investment in a better future for our entire community. Visit to donate today, or call 775-352-3202.

Serve on the Board of Directors Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada has a vibrant and diverse Board of Directors that meets six times a year to provide oversight and financial support. Contact Liza Maupin, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada to learn more at (775) 473-4599.

Hold a Clothing Drive Schedule a clothing drive to help support the costs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada programs.