Royally good time at Wayne Street Church

Staff Writer

Staff Writer
Princesses of all ages filed into the Wayne Street Church on Saturday morning for a day of pampering and fun.
Hosted by Debbie Wagner, an independent sale director for Mary Kay, is fundraising for her team for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Mercer, Auglaize and Van Wert County. The fundraiser was started as a way to raise money for the organization because on Nov. 17 Wagner will be participating in the Dancing with the BIG Stars with her partner, Andrew Heckman.
Dancing with the Big Stars is an annual event hosted by BBBS as a way to raise money for the nonprofit. This year there are nine competing couples, one community member and one professional dancer.
“They pair us up with someone who has dance experience and then it’s up to us on when we meet with the dance instructor, we take lessons, we practice on our own, we pick a song and come up with costumes and then in November they have this big performance,” Wagner explained.
Two awards will be handed out on the night of the event: the BIG Star Award for the team that raises the most money and the Judges Choice Award for the best dance routine.
Each team was given a minimum goal of $1,000 to raise for the organization, something Wagner had planned to match and go just a little bit over in order to cover the cost of the goodies she provided. Originally, she had planned to host three events with hopefully 50 girls showing up at each event, but that goal was shot out of the water on Saturday.
“We had 35 come to Van Wert and this morning when I looked we had like 195 register and I’ve gotten several messages saying, ‘I forgot to register my daughter can I still come?’ and yeah as long as we’re still here show up.
“There’s a couple of people I’ve seen who came to the Van Wert one who signed up and brought their daughters again.”
Wagner’s personal goal for the event was to just make the little girls smile. She wanted to get out of her comfort zone a little bit while doing something meaningful. Being someone who works with Mary Kay, a well-known marketing company that is known for its beauty products, it was suggested she do something like the princess party. The the benefit she has felt and seen from her volunteers has been beyond rewarding, she said.
“Even watching some of my teenagers who have come in and make a little girl smile, it’s mind blowing to watch the girls, both in the little girls, the teenages and the adults who are bringing the girls,” Wagner added.
Princess Day also featured different stations where the little girls could get their makeup done, hair done, they could color and have a snack and there was someone there to read princess stories to the girls.
For Saturday’s event in St. Marys, Wagner said she had around 40 volunteers; some were her Mary Kay consultants, some high school girls from Celina — two of which dressed up as Belle and Elsa and took pictures and danced with some of the little girls.
“We have a lot of girls here ... who are a part of National Honors Society and organizations like that where they need volunteer hours and since this is a nonprofit it counts for that,” Wagner said. “And a lot of these girls were here at 8 a.m. this morning, on a Saturday morning, not getting paid other than my love and they have homecoming tonight, so they like had totally given up a ton of time for this too, just for a smile on some faces.”
Wagner got involved with BBBS after meeting a big and little through Mary Kay. She said they were matched together around 15 years ago and recently, the big was in the littles wedding. This is Wagner’s first year participating in the Dancing with the BIG Stars event.
Big Brother Big Sisters is a nonprofit organization that focuses on children being as successful as they possibly can by matching them with a community leader to create a positive relationship with that will have a lasting effect on the life of the child. According to Big Brothers Big Sisters, children who participate in their organization are 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs, 27 percent less likely to use alcohol and 52 percent less likely to skip school. They are also more likely to be confidence in their schoolwork performance and maintain a good relationship with their families.
BBBS of Mercer, Auglaize and Van Wert is located at 1005 N. Main St. in Celina. For more information about the organization or the Dancing with the BIG Stars event call 419-584-0004.