Bellingham Chamber names Big Brothers/Sisters 2011 Non-Profit of the Year

Bellingham Chamber President/CEO Ken Oplinger last week presented Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Bliss Goldstein with check for $5,173, half the proceeds from a recent auction to benefit the BBBS organization.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters provides such an important role in our community, and we are pleased to help fund their efforts on behalf of the business community of Whatcom County,” Oplinger said in a Jan. 13 news release.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Washington was named 2011 Non-Profit of the Year, at the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry annual banquet in December. In addition to honoring the organization, a silent auction at the gala provided funding to continue the organization’s work. The check presented at last week’s Chamber Networking Breakfast represented half the proceeds from that auction.

Goldstein said the money will be used to create new matches between “bigs” and “littles,” or to help create a new mentoring program at a local school.

The Chamber invites nominations of local non-profit organizations for its 2012 awards program. Email Sheila Connors at


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