Big Night Out and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Legacy / by Nate Westheimer

If you're a 20 or 30 something in New York City, there's an event you should check out this month that's bound to be incredibly fun and downright GOOD. Big Night Out, the annual event held by Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York City's Young Professionals Committee, raises nearly $200,000 every year to sponsor hundreds of area youth in their leading mentoring program. Click here for more info and to buy your ticket. This will be one heck of a night, so I hope to see you there.

But, instead of begging you to come by telling you about how much fun the music, drinks, casino, and gift bags will be, I'd rather point you to the inspiring story of America's first Big Brother, as reported in the Cincinnati Post in 1999.

Here's an excerpt:

The phrase 'All men are created equal' echoed in [Irvin] Westheimer's mind, fresh from a re-reading of the Declaration of Independence that began his day. But the pitiful scene in the downtown alley struck him as a bleak contrast to Jefferson's powerful eloquence.

Westheimer ran downstairs and introduced himself. The boy, friendly but somewhat wary, said his name was Tom.

That Irvin Westheimer, seen below presenting Richard Nixon with a plaque naming him an Honorary Big Brother, was my Great Grandfather. (Click image to enlarge and read the funny quip Irvin said to Nixon at the event) Irvin Westheimer and President Nixon

Big Brothers and Big Sisters is an organization that means a great deal to me, and I'm sure to the thousands of young people nationwide who benefit from it's amazing mentoring program (a program, I should add, which was largely perfected by the NYC chapter, which formed in 1904 and is recognized as the first Big Brothers organization).

Your attendance at Big Night Out would be greatly appreciated. I hope to see you there (and if you do go, let me know)!

UPDATE: I just worked out a great deal with GOOD Magazine. VIP guests at the Big Night Out will receive one year free subscription. Yeah!