Robin Hadley Named 2023 Growing Up Big Award Winner

Three adults - Robin Hadley and Randy and Tami Kruzel - pose with an award in front of a Big Brothers Big Sisters backdrop

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – In 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota established the BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award to honor BriAnna Kruzel, a former Little Sister and High School Big Sister, who passed away unexpectedly in 2013. Not only was BriAnna very involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, she was also very involved in her local community and loved serving others. Each year, this award honors someone who is a former Little or High School Big who demonstrates service to the community as well as character and integrity.

The winner of the 2023 Growing Up Big Award is Robin Hadley. Robin was a Little Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota when she was growing up in the 1980s, but her time with her Big Sister, Kim, has left a lasting impact. She says Kim was a constant in her life, someone who made her feel seen, and made her feel safe and loved. As she grew up, went to college and started her career in housing, Robin remembered how Kim treated her, and made sure to always treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Robin treats everyone – humans and animals – with dignity and respect. She volunteered as a foster home for dogs through the Tri-County Humane Society, and ended up with several dogs who were nervous and didn’t show well in the kennels. She brought them into her home and helped them relax and be loved, and they were often adopted shortly after. During the pandemic, Robin started knitting tiny hats for preemies in the NICU with her leftover yarn from other projects. Most recently, she’s started taking her dog, Chanel, to visit the senior residents at her work. Robin and Chanel make the rounds visiting the nursing home, apartments, and staff, so that people can pet Chanel and talk to her, and Robin says watching them relax when they see a dog coming down the hall warms her heart.

Robin was given her award on Wednesday, June 14, at the Big Celebration. The award – which is sponsored each year by Vince and Lori Mohs – was presented by BriAnna’s parents, Randy and Tami Kruzel.

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