Dan Warther wins 2023 Ohio Big Brother of the Year

Big Brother, Dan Warther, and his Little Brother posing with bicycles.

New Philadelphia, OH, March 6th, 2023
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio has received notification that one of their own mentors was named “Ohio’s Big of the Year”. Dan Warther of Dover has been given the title of “Ohio’s Big Brother of the Year” for 2023. This is the second time in 3 years that this local agency has produced a Big of the Year, as Brittany Douglas was previously given this award in 2020.

Dan has been a mentor for Cooper for 6 years through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Dan has always been active in the community serving as a volunteer for The Dover Exchange Club and has always supported Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio in anyway he can. He has made Christmas Ornaments for the kids and wooden name tags for the staff and board through his knowledge and talent of woodworking. However, Dan wanted to do more. He understood the need for male mentors and decided to help a family by being a big.

Cooper’s mother enrolled him in the program shortly after unexpectedly losing his father through complications of pancreatic cancer. This was hard on all of the children in the household, but his mother knew that her two oldest boys would need another male influence in their lives to help them cope with the trauma that they endured. Cooper is described as being creative and imaginative, and because of Dan’s creative brain and being a woodworker- the two were matched.

Throughout the years, they have bonded over the love of ice cream, car shows, and community service events. Dan has helped Cooper come out of his shell and really begin to blossom into the young man he is meant to be. Cooper had a mild fear of heights, but during a match event sponsored through BBBSECO, Dan and Cooper completed a high ropes course with confidence. Woodworking has been a central theme in their relationship and the pair made a large-size working lock and key to auction at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio Gala in 2018. Together, they worked the crowd at the event and drew in $3,000 for the one of a kind project.

Dan continuously has people in the community tell him what a great influence he has been for Cooper and what a difference he has made. Cooper has also taught Dan a few things, like how to use his cell phone and other technology. He also keeps Dan up to date on current events.

Both Dan & Cooper have cultivated a lasting friendship and have made our community a better place. Through his time with Cooper, Dan can see a ripple effect of impact throughout their influential circle and beyond.

Dan has been submitted for the National Big Brother of the Year award through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The winner of the prestigious award will be announced at the 2023 Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference in June.

Patterned tile line in black and green.
Patterned tile line in black and green.
Patterned tile line in black and green.