JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of East Tennessee will be digging for fossils with East Tennessee State University paleontologist Dr. Steven Wallace on Saturday, June 7, at the ETSU and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site.

Wallace has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters since he was 8 years old and matched with big brother Jim Funk. He credits the program with giving him needed support throughout his childhood and encouraging him to attend college. He and his “big,” as they are called in the program, bonded over fishing trips and construction projects. Over 30 years later, the two still keep in touch, and even take family vacations together.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has made a huge impact on my life,” Wallace said. “Just through the activities that Jim and I participated in together, he encouraged me to go to school and pursue my dream career. This is a great opportunity for me to give back to the program and share my BBBS story, while also sharing my love of paleontology with people who might not otherwise be able to dig on an active fossil site.”

Wallace will lead the excavations, and his “big” will be there as well.

Anyone involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity for a fun activity to enjoy with their match. Two sessions will be offered. The first session begins at 9 a.m. and the second session begins at 2 p.m. Spots are limited, and reservations are required.

For reservations or more information, call (423) 439-3661. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

(Released for publication)