Signing up to be a big brother was one of the best decisions Glenn Trotman ever made.

It was something he’d always wanted to do and seven years ago, when he turned 30, he became a big brother to two young boys who had lost their father.

“I think you may even gain more from the experience than the little people do,” he said about how the boys have touched his life.

Having never had children of his own, Trotman said the two or three times a month he sees the boys have always been the best part of his month.

Trotman met Kevin and Kenny when they were five and six years old. Their father had passed away and their mother was looking for a male role model to fill that void.

Over the years, Trotman says they’ve done everything together and now, as Kevin prepares to head off to university, Trotman says it will be a shift in their relationship. But he knows they’ll keep in touch.
“They’re family now, quite honestly,” he said.

Trotman, Kevin and Kenny are one of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto matches to be celebrated tonight at the organization’s annual Big Night Out gala event.

Trotman is one of six “Bigs” who will be recognized for making a difference in the lives of his “Littles.”

The 39th annual event is a fundraiser in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Toronto and celebrates those who volunteer their time to help children and youth at risk.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters Toronto has 1,525 volunteers and 1,452 children matched with big brothers or big sisters.

But even with the number of volunteers, the organization still has a list of close to 400 children waiting to be matched.

The goal for 2009 is to shorten the wait time for “Littles” to be matched and to increase the number of children served.

The Big Night Out will be held at the Liberty Grand, 25 British Columbia Rd.

Colin Mochrie of Whose Line is it Anyway and his wife Deb McGrath of CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie will host the event.