A Message From Our Executive Director

jenniferAs Thanksgiving approaches I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of our community. Because of support from people like you, The Friendship Club is humming and our girls are thriving. Three years of infrastructure investment, program evaluation and refinement, and staff development have given new life to all of our programs and services. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our professional, dedicated staff for their commitment to their work. They take their jobs very seriously and are a lifeline to our girls. Not only are they willing to put in the difficult and sometimes emotional work, they are there as cheerleaders and confidants to our girls, whenever they are needed. They love our girls and you can see that every time they interact with them. Whether it is an afterschool meeting, a special Thanksgiving dinner, a field trip, or an unexpected chat in the hallway, the staff intuitively knows when a girl needs her support, even if the girl doesn’t know how to ask for it. The entire team goes to bat for our girls, advocates for them, encourages them, and empowers them to be the best they can be. They put in long hours, think about their girls all the time, and are always finding ways to include and inspire each girl. As Executive Director I don’t have the opportunity to spend time with the girls the way I used to but I trust completely in this amazing staff of women to be what the girls need. Many thanks and my admiration to Dena, Denise, Kristin, Cindy, Jessica, Narissa, Trish and Mary for a job well done!

Next week we will host our annual Thanksgiving Dinner with all of our girls, staff, and board in attendance. It’s a special time for our girls to enjoy a homemade meal, celebrate friendship and express gratitude with some of our donors and special friends. We have a few spots left if you would like to join us but please call soon! The event is on November 12th. We send special thanks to Janeille Litton and Kay Baker for spearheading this annual event and to the many volunteers who make it all possible!

20th Anniversary Sponsors Make Big Impact

We are grateful to our 20th Anniversary sponsors for their generous donation to The Friendship Club. Not only are their donations impactful they have helped us start the year strong and have kept us moving in an upward direction. We appreciate the investment these businesses have made in our girls and we will be highlighting two of them each month. This month we thank Cranmer Engineering and Hansen Bros. Enterprises.

Cranmer EngineeringChuck Zavitz and Cranmer Engineering has been a supporter of The Friendship Club since the late 90’s and he has helped us grow the organization over those many years. He is an advocate for youth and believes strongly in supporting our girls. Partner owner and COO, Jason Fouyer has also supported the organization since moving back to Grass Valley to raise his family. Jason currently serves as the Mayor of Grass Valley. When asked why Cranmer supports The Friendship Club, Jason had this to say; “As a small business and community members we believe that one of our priorities is to help better the lives of our employees and community that supports us. The Friendship Club does exactly this by bettering the lives of the young women of our community.  The Friendship Club is an organization that has proven success and through this we trust them with our donations.”

Hansen BrosHelen Hansen joined us as a Friendship Club Angel in 1997 and she and Hansen Bros. Enterprises, have been strong supporters ever since. She also served the organization as a Board member for seven years. Helen and Orson’s commitment to The Friendship Club has meant so much to all of us and Helen still maintains a strong relationship with her girl, Michelle who currently lives with her husband in Arizona after graduating with her bachelors and obtaining her MBA. Helen says: “The Friendship Club has given me the opportunity to make a difference not only in my girl’s life, but to be able to provide means for many other girls to have the same experiences. When I attend some of these functions and I see these girls with such poise and confidence it always brings tears to my eyes knowing how hard they and the staff have worked to get to this point.” Helen’s favorite event is our annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which we will hold next week.

We are grateful for amazing supporters like Cranmer Engineering and Hansen Bros. and for the individuals who drive the decisions to support our girls.

Fall Break Fun!


For one week in October, most local schools close down for Fall Break and we use that time as an opportunity to engage girls in fun activities, cultural excursions, and college field trips.  Our Middle School Director, Denise Tambasco, planned several activities open to girls of all ages in our Club.  We love creating opportunities for our younger girls to interact with the older girls that they look up to, and it’s heart-warming to see our older girls being positive role models and mentors to them.  The girls kicked off their week of fun with a trip to Prosperity Lanes where they bowled a few games and enjoyed lunch together.  In the spirit of Halloween, we also took a group of girls to Bierwagen’s Farm and their pumpkin patch.  Before arriving, girls enjoyed brunch together at a local café. Once at the farm, girls were able to choose a pumpkin from the farms multiple acre pumpkin patch. The  rest of the afternoon was spent carving pumpkins and enjoying fresh pie and apple cider from Bierwagon’s.  We also spent a fun and creative day at Ceramics Unlimited, where the girls were able to choose and paint a ceramic piece of their choice.  We treated them to a wonderful lunch at the ceramic studio from Casa Las Katarinas.  We wrapped up our week of fun with a trip to the movies to see Hotel Transylvania 2.


Empowering Girls Through College Knowledge Program


“You cannot be what you cannot see” is a sentiment the drives The Friendship Club and that is especially true of The College Knowledge Program. For the majority of our girls, they will be the first in their family to consider higher education after high school.  Our goal is for every girl to have a solid plan for the future upon high school graduation.

One of the cornerstones of this program is exposing girls to the variety of higher education options out there by visiting campuses of vocational schools, certificate programs, junior colleges and 4-year universities. School breaks serve as a perfect time for us to take girls on these field trips to explore the different campuses in our region.

This fall break, our High School Program Director, Kristin Aguilar, took the Freshman girls on a three day trip to the Northern California coast of Bodega Bay. On the way there, they stopped to tour Sonoma State University. The girls thought that the campus was beautiful, with a few commenting, “I’d like to go to school here!” As they drove out the hills toward the bay, they were rewarded with a stunning view of the ocean. As soon as the cars pulled up to the beach, the girls took off their shoes and headed to the waves. After an evening hike the first night, they settled in to rest for the next day. They spent the second day at the beach, swimming, laughing, and burying each other in the sand. The last day, they hiked Bodega Head and had a fresh seafood lunch.

Each field trip to visit a higher education campus is planned carefully with the girls’ career interests in mind, so that they can explore the program options available at that campus for the career they hope to pursue.

The College Knowledge Program doesn’t just focus on visits to various campuses over the seven years that girls are in the Club. Each girl gets individualized support developing their personal goals beyond high school, researching careers of interest and higher education programs that support those careers. As high school seniors, they get support navigating the scholarship and college application process, including help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarship applications, personal statements, procuring letters of recommendation, and college applications. Girls who participate in The Friendship Club until they graduate high school are also eligible to apply for The Friendship Club scholarship, which is renewable for up to four years.

If you would like to help us provide opportunities for our girls to explore higher education and career options, visit campuses that support their aspirations, and receive support through the application process and to receive needed financial aid to attend, please consider donating to our College Knowledge Program by clicking here.

Beach Girls Bodega Bay

Holiday Craft Fair to Benefit TFC

Holiday-Craft-FairThis Saturday, come join Hilltop Commons for their Holiday Craft Fair!

There will be many local artisans displaying their new handmade creations for this year’s Holiday gift giving. Plus, they will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win amazing handmade items from the talented crafters.  Come join us and bring your friends for a great shopping opportunity- all proceeds will benefit The Friendship Club!

Hilltop Commons Holiday Craft Fair

131 Eureka St., Grass Valley 

Saturday, Nov. 7th 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Annual Friendship Club Fundraiser at Judi’s of Nevada City

judi-main2Judi’s of Nevada City will be hosting a special fundraising event for The Friendship Club on Saturday, October 3rd, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. At this event, Judi’s will be offering a 5% discount on all regularly priced merchandise while donating a percentage of all sales to The Friendship Club. The doors will open at 10:00 am and complimentary refreshments will be served throughout the day. Staff and board members from The Friendship Club will be on hand throughout the event.

This is the 20th anniversary of The Friendship Club helping at-risk adolescent girls in Nevada County with a year-round program of educational activities, emotional support and community involvement. “The Friendship Club is about serving girls at risk but it’s also about building community. We all live here together and any effort we put into each other benefits us all. We strive to teach our girls that they play an integral role in making their homes, schools, neighborhoods, and community a better place for everyone. Girls in the club receive a lot of support but they also give back to our community and love doing so!”


What: The Annual Friendship Club Fundraiser at Judi’s of Nevada City; Judi’s will be offering a 5% discount on all regularly priced merchandise and donating a percentage of all sales to The Friendship Club

When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm

Where: Judi’s, 246 Commercial Street, Nevada City

Who: This event is hosted by Judi’s of Nevada City

Admission: Free

Information: Call Judi Weiner at (530) 265.6710 or email her at judi@judisofnevadacity.com

A Message From Our Executive Director






Wow! What an amazing summer we just wrapped up. More activities than ever and all thanks to your support! I hope you enjoy reading more about our summer below; now we are eager for the academic year program to start soon!

With our academic year upon us, we are excited about the plans we have in place for the Fall and in order to make all our dreams come true, we need your continued support. What better way to support the girls than by getting involved with The Friendship 100! Our annual fundraiser is coming up on Monday, September 21 and we still have plenty of room for your support! We are currently seeking sponsors as well as mini-golf teams to help round out our event.

As a unique community event, The Friendship 100 offers opportunities to promote your business and get in front of nearly 275 community members. We will have a lovely dinner prepared by Antonio Ayestaran, and the margaritas, beer and wine will be flowing at this ADULT ONLY event.

Huge thanks to our Major Sponsor, Intero Real Estate, and to race car driver, Fran Cole for introducing us to Intero last year! We are grateful that Intero has come on board in 2015 as a Major Sponsor of this event, ensuring that every dollar raised goes back to the girls!

Please look out for your invitation this week and let us know how you would like to contribute to this critical fundraiser, ensuring the success of The Friendship Club in 2015! You can also follow this link now to learn more about getting involved or supporting our community drivers!

20th Anniversary Sponsors Make Big Impact in 2015

We are grateful to our 20th Anniversary sponsors for their generous donation to The Friendship Club! Their donations are making a big impact by helping us start the year strong and keeping us moving in an upward direction. We appreciate the investment these businesses have made in our girls and we will be highlighting two of them each month. This month we thank For the Love of Pets and Hooper and Weaver Mortuary for their support.

For the Love of Pets Logo

Since 2007, Dr. Rob Avery of For the Love of Pets has been contributing to the success of our girls! We are grateful to Dr. Avery, not only for his financial investment in The Friendship Club, but also for his many years of board service! When asked why he and his wife, Inger, support The Friendship Club, he says: “I support the work of The Friendship Club because the stories of the girls in need in our community are compelling. I have a daughter who has benefitted from good fortune, family and friends. Without these things, she could easily be in a similar situation as our girls. I believe that helping girls succeed has a profound effect on our society with far reaching consequences. I am fortunate to be able to contribute in this way to our community.” Dr. Avery has also been generous with his time, supporting the organization as a board member, a fixture at our events, inviting friends and family to become involved with our organization, and always supports our annual Friendship 100 as a race car fundraiser! Please join us in thanking Dr. Avery and For the Love of Pets for their generous support!

Hooper and Weaver Logo

Kay and Ken Baker and Hooper and Weaver Mortuary have been supporters of The Friendship Club since our inception in 1995! In fact, Kay Baker was our inaugural President of the board in 1997 and has returned to the board in recent years to continue to support the organization. Kay is an avid supporter of our girls, always concerned with helping them be the best they can be and working hard in the face of adversity. Kay says; “I support The Friendship Club because I could have/should have been a friendship club girl. There was nothing like it at that time and I was blessed with a very strong and influential mother who kept me on the correct path. The Friendship Club is a safe place to go – both physically and emotionally. We provide a support group who cares about the future of each girl.” Kay has worked on every event we have produced and works behind the scenes to keep things beautiful, consistent, and classy! You can usually find Kay and Ken in the kitchen working hard during our annual Thanksgiving Dinner and this year she hosted our annual literary tea, creating a whimsical and beautiful setting for our girls to have tea and learn form local author, Julie Valin! Ken and Kay graciously donated land for the first Friendship Club garden on Hooper and Weaver land, just a hop, skip and a jump away from our office. Many thanks to the Baker family and Hooper and Weaver for their continued support!

Highlights from our Summer Program

IMG_2708Group Shot

Whew, what an exciting and busy summer! After 4 camps, 10 clinics, 6 Book Friends, 1 field trip, and an end of the summer BBQ and Pool Party with our girls and their families, here are some of the highlights since our last newsletter:

  • Nine Best Friends (8th grade girls) went to Monterey for their 4-day summer camp. The weather was beautiful and the girls enjoyed some beach time, a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a ride along the iconic 17 Mile Drive, a tour of The Farm – an organic farm, and the experience of eating in a fine Italian restaurant, Il Vecchio. For many of the girls, it was their first time seeing the ocean!
  • 35 Forever Friends (high school girls) camped at Jackson Lake, a private pristine and beautiful lake in the Sierras. They started their camp off with a bang by doing The Friendship Club version of “Survivor”: they split into mixed-age teams with color headbands to mark them and had to pitch their tents, gather firewood, eat two cans of unidentified canned food, and change into their bathing suits and jump into the lake from the dock and take an underwater team “selfie” with our special cameras. The first team to complete these tasks, won! They also spent their time hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, doing crafts, playing games and sharing around the campfire while enjoying gourmet s’mores. We had five staff and three wonderful volunteers help make this one of the best high school camps ever! Many thanks to Janeille Litton, Diane Stanbury, and Lisa Macrina for all the wonderful meals and support for the girls!
  • Girls of all ages attended Book Friends each Friday at The Book Seller where they were read a wonderful children’s story and got to pick out a book to keep and add to their own libraries. We did a Literary Tea, featuring local author and poet, Julie Valin, who talked about making poetry accessible to all ages and then taught the girls how to write their own poem. Special thanks to our featured author and to volunteers Kay Baker and Deborah Wilder for providing the wonderful food and making it beautiful!
  • Twelve girls got to go on a field trip to see Matilda the Musical in San Francisco, and visited pier 39 while they were there. They really enjoyed seeing a live Broadway play for the first time!

We are so appreciative of our community for making these summer experiences possible for our girls, experiences that were a first for most, and certainly ones that are memorable for years to come.

You’re Invited: LuLaRoe Pop Up Boutique this Friday!


Come join us this Friday for an evening of fun, fashion, music and delicious wine! TFC supporters, Megan Cielatka and Jenny Scicluna will both be bringing their amazing inventories (over 1200 pieces!) of all the fun and comfy LuLaRoe treasures you can imagine and the very best part… a portion of each sale will go directly to supporting The Friendship Club! These fabulous clothes are made in the USA and come in sizes 2T to 2XL… there is truly something for everyone and this is a perfect place to get some back-to-school shopping done while supporting our valuable programs.

When: Friday, August 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Lucchesi Vineyards and Winery, 128 Mill Street, downtown Grass Valley

We hope to see you there!