Football season \'kicks off\' for Big Brothers Big Sisters

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COLUMBIA - The football season may just be getting started, but Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri is kicking off the season with a fundraiser at Faurot Field Tuesday night.

The "Countdown to Kickoff" event raises anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of its annual budget and consists of silent and live auctions, dinner and a speech from Gary Pinkel.

"It costs about $1200 a year to support a match, and those matches are professionally supported. So there's a case manager that's working with that big and that little all the way through," Executive Director Heather Dimitt said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides mentors to at risk youth to help build confidence and reduce the risk of students getting involved in illegal activities.

Students are matched with a "Big" in its community based programming but can also participate through the school or other sites around the area.

The organization provides events from pool parties and bowling to getting to meet and play with Mizzou football players.

Admission is $50, and people who pay an extra fee are allowed to attend a pre-party with Chancellor Loftin in the Chancellor's Suite.

This is the 15th year of Countdown to Kickoff.