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Coats honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters


Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., on Tuesday night will receive the 2012 Charles G. Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor given a volunteer mentor by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Coats became a Big Brothers mentor in 1972, when he was a lawyer in Fort Wayne. He was matched with an elementary school student, C.J. Bundy, and the two have stayed in touched ever since, according to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Coats was chairman of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana from 1978 to 1980, and a member of the organization's national board from 1993 to 2000, serving as its chairman in 1998-99.

He will accept the Berwind award, named for a founder of Big Brothers of America, at the group's National Leadership Conference in Washington.

"Through his decades of service to our organization, Coats has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring programs. As a leader, an advocate and a role model, he has made a significant impact on creating positive outcomes for children who are facing adversity," Max Miller, co-CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, said in a statement.

Big Brothers Big Sisters describes itself as the country’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network for children.