Newmarket’s Trevor Dale knows the importance of paying it forward.
As a boy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s youth mentoring program gave him one of the only consistent supports of his tumultuous childhood.
Dale and his Big Brother — a local doctor — would go on fun outings and cook, play sports and board games, and watch movies together. Sometimes, he’d just listen to Dale vent about his frustrations and struggles.
“He helped me for no other reason than he chose to,” said Trevor Dale. “It shaped my life. It was so deeply profound.”
As the relationship between him and his mentor grew, Dale became a part of his Big Brother’s family. His “amazing” single mother had reached out to the program in the hopes of providing a supportive, consistent male presence for both of her sons, and it had paid off.
By the time the doctor moved away to the East Coast three years later, he had changed Dale’s life forever.
“He was phenomenal,” said Dale. “He was kind and caring, and he was consistently there for me. I have no way to give back to him enough.”
Today, Dale has made it his mission to carry on his Big Brother’s legacy.
To date, he’s held three fundraisers to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of York, helping children just like him who need the friendship and support of a committed community mentor.
In September 2019, Dale ran a nonstop 175 kilometres around Lake Simcoe in 38 hours, raising $5,245.
In July 2020, he participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel and York’s Move for Mentoring physical activity challenge, committing one push-up for each dollar he raised. The campaign shattered expectations, raising an arm-aching $2,155.
Dale’s most recent March 2021 fundraiser saw him complete 400 pull-ups in one go and a 21 km half-marathon around Newmarket, raising $5,610.
To date, he’s raised over $13,000 for the organization.
“Trevor has been an incredible ambassador for our agency and his generous commitment and support truly demonstrates the impact his Big Brother had in his life,” said Sarah Dame, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of York. “We are grateful for his continued support and his ability to engage other community members to support the great work Big Brothers Big Sisters of York does.”
“Last year we were proud to recognize Trevor as the recipient of our first-ever Agency Ambassador Award,” said Katie Lowes, program manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of York. “We couldn’t have found someone more deserving.”
Dale is currently planning his next fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of York, and hopes to continue pushing his physical limits.
“My Big Brother’s generosity to me is now my opportunity to give back to all these other kids. To raise money, raise awareness, and help find volunteers,” said Dale. “It’s really his legacy that he’s left behind.”
In addition to his fundraising, Dale volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters by sharing his story as a Little Brother at events.
Volunteering “lights up” his life, he said, and allows him to lead by example.
“When I was a kid, I had things I was looking to achieve in my life so that when I died, I would know I’ve succeeded at life,” said Dale. “For me, volunteering is one of those things. If I’ve given back, I’ve succeeded.”