OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A new nationwide initiative kicked off Friday night in the metro, linking the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and golf.
Hitting balls at Topgolf is something Jtoryan Precciely and his Big, Clint Barnett, might do when when they hang out every other week through the BBBS program.
"I like to play basketball with him, play Madden and beat him at it all the time," Precciely said.
They clearly have fun together, but Precciely said it's more than that.
"If I was to go through a hard time, he would encourage me to be happier," Precciely said. "It's a special opportunity that I get to have somebody in my life. Someone like a dad."
Precciely said he doesn't have any brothers, and his father's not in the picture. Barnett drives that role home.
"It's amazing to know that you're actually making an impact in someone else's life who maybe didn't have all the opportunities or older siblings like I did," Barnett said.
More than 380 kids in Kansas City are still looking for positive mentors like Barnett, according to BBBSKC CEO Michael Lawrence.
"These are friendships that wouldn't naturally exist without the BBBS program and staff," Lawrence said, "They're real friendships. These are people who hang out all the time together, and they really do form a close friendship."
Topgolf in Overland Park, along with several other sponsors, teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City to recruit new Bigs and raise money through a fundraiser called "Boulevard of Broken Tees."
It's also part of a bigger initiative nationwide.
Topgolf is hosting a series of tournaments around the country, like the one held Friday in Overland Park. Organizers said winners will get to play with celebrities at a tournament in Las Vegas in 2020.
"Celebrities will play in different cities and compete for charities and benefit BBBS, but they'll have a chance to move on and play against other celebrities across the country," Lawrence said.
Friday's celebrities were the Littles in the Kansas City chapter.
Barnett took the opportunity to teach Precciely how to swing a club and shoot for the stars.
"I try to teach him that he can do anything he wants," Barnett said.
Precciely loved every bit of it.
"I learned: never give up on your dreams," he said.
If you are inspired to be a Big, visit BBBKC.org.