For 33 years, when people thought of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of the Cape and Islands, they thought of Stu Peoples
.Stu Peoples, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod, plans to retire after 33 years overseeing the program.
"I was beginning to sense that I'm an aging prizefighter, and I want to leave while I'm still on my feet," he
says, adding that a fresh perspective will be beneficial.
, 62, has announced his
plans to retire this year from the program he
leaving it in good hands, especially since the local organization merged in June with Big Brothers Big Sisters
of Massachusetts Bay in Boston.
The merger is intended to give the local organization access to a professional fundraiser or development expert, who will work solely out of the Cape office, Peoples
said the local organization will maintain its board, but it will be strictly an advisory group.
"In the long run it's beneficial to the Cape for financial stability," Peoples
The organization operates with a budget of more than $700,000, most of which is raised locally.
"I see more and more the challenge of the job being fundraising," Peoples
said."I love the job.I love the kids.I love dealing with the families and the volunteers.But I don't like waking up at night worrying about a shortfall in the campership program."Peoples
not a corporate-type person.He
doesn't have a cell phone, or even a TV - a fact that has proved a bit maddening to the youths he
has been a foster parent to over the years.
shoulder-length hair and habit of riding his
bicycle 12 miles each way from Mashpee to his
office in Centerville every day, Peoples
has become an iconic figure on the Cape.
...Raised in Natick, Peoples became a volunteer with VISTA after graduating from Northeastern University.
A banker friend on the Cape, familiar with People's work at a youth center on a Minnesota reservation, asked him to head the new Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Cape was ripe for the program, Peoples
"Some of the school systems had more than half of the kids from single-parent families back in those days."Now, he
said, "We see increased numbers of kids being raised by a grandparent.We see more single dads out there," Peoples
..."I was beginning to sense that I'm an aging prizefighter, and I want to leave while I'm still on my feet," said Peoples, who was a Golden Gloves boxer.