Over 45 years ago, a young boy named Tod was matched to a Big Brother named Bill. During their weekly visits, Tod Whitfield and Bill Morkin developed a very close friendship that continues today, although as Tod admits, “I don’t bother Bill nearly as much as I did when I was a kid.”
As their friendship grew Tod became part of Bill’s family, so much so, that Bill’s father inspired him to join the police force; or as Tod likes to phrase it “because of Bill’s dad I went into the police station through the front door instead of the back.”
In the past few months, those family ties continue to be forged as demonstrated with Tod’s daughter visiting Bill’s daughter and her family at their home in London, England. In the words of Tod, “we have a pretty close family but it’s quite possible that the Morkins are the closest family that we have.” Thanks to Bill and his family, Tod has embodied volunteerism and community support throughout his professional life and continues to do so in his retirement as Commodore of the Highland Yacht Club.
During the bitterly cold winter of 2014, the Highland Yacht Club’s Committee of Management sat down to discuss the upcoming sailing season including an activity that would honour the Club’s mission statement around community involvement. This was important for the Club because ‘being part of Highland Yacht Club is being part of the community. And we all feel proud and privileged for the opportunity to help others.'
Under Commodore Tod’s suggestion and the tireless efforts of the entire HYC, the Club’s mission was fulfilled and realized when 30 Bigs and Littles spent a beautiful August afternoon sailing on Lake Ontario. Each match received water safety training and proper rope instruction, as well as, a scuba diving presentation. Then, hosted by the boat owners, they were taken on a sailing adventure before returning to a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice cream.
According to Little Sister Alyssa, “I had so much fun sailing because I actually got to steer the boat and because I was with my Big Sister Holly. Thank you!” Yet it wasn’t just the Littles who had a blast, Big Brother Rahim couldn’t help but exclaim that “this was a phenomenal event; we grew our friendship and made new friends at the same time! What else can you ask for?!”
On behalf of the Big and Little matches and BBBST team, a BIG thanks to the Highland Yacht Club for providing this amazing experience to our Littles! A BIG thanks as well to Big Brother Bill who demonstrated to his Little Brother Tod the importance of giving and giving back. The legacy lives on. Check out the photo album from the HYC event!