Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., on Tuesday received the highest honor given a volunteer mentor by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Coats was named winner of the 2012 Charles G. Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award at the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Leadership Conference in Washington.
Big Brothers Big Sisters describes itself as the nations largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network for children.
The Berwind Award, given since 1990, is named for a founder of Big Brothers of America.
Coats became a Big Brothers mentor in 1972 when he was matched with C.J. Bundy, then 8.
Coats has said he developed a lasting friendship with Bundy and was best man at his wedding. Bundy is a past president of the Charleston, S.C., Big Brothers Big Sisters. Coats joined the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana and was its chairman in 1978-79. He was a member of the organizations national board from 1993 to 2000, serving as its chairman in 1998-99.
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.
Coats said in a statement that he is honored to be recognized by an organization that has made a significant impact in my life and the lives of so many.