Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Plains (BBBS) are peaking the interest of locals with their latest fundraiser.

The organization has designed "Halfway Tree" T-shirts and zip-up hoodies to raise money for their mentorship programs. Executive director Dawn Froese talks about the Halfway Tree and its significance to the area.

"Anyone who has driven west of the city can see, south of the highway, is this tree that stands alone. That's known as the Halfway Tree, which is halfway between Brandon and Winnipeg," Froese continues. "It's a local marker, and my co-worker Laura thought it would be a good idea, so we're doing it."

During COVID-19, BBBS had to change the way they did fundraisers, and their custom T-shirts were one of the biggest hits. With that being the case, Froese says they are hoping to do something like this every year and have a different local spin on the apparel each time. 

She adds it's been cool to hear the different relationships everyone has with the tree

"We received one order from someone whose uncle was related to the person who planted the tree," Froese exclaims. "So, we are hearing about different people's connection to it and what they think of the tree. It's great to celebrate something that's local and still there after so many years."

The executive director notes it's very key for them to have fundraisers that connect with the Central Plains region specifically.

"We run mentoring programs in Portage, Oakville, MacGregor, and Gladstone. So, we've broadened out. At one point, it used to be just Portage and the immediate area," says Froese. "So, it's nice to have a fundraiser that touches everybody, not just the people in town."

Froese adds they've been selling the apparel for about a week, with some great success, and says they will be taking in orders until July 27th. To place your order, you can either visit the BBBS office or click here.