A Message from our Executive Director

The 49er Fun Park was the happening place to be on September 18th for The Friendship 100. Over 300 racers, golfers, and guests packed the park with enthusiasm for the event and for The Friendship Club program. In its 15th year, The Friendship 100 has grown to be the most important fundraiser we have, raising critical funds for our academic year program.  The beauty of this event is the sheer number of supporters it generates. Racers raising funds from their friends and colleagues, golf captains urging friends to participate and donate to an important mission, major donors sponsoring the event, and a volunteer army, allow us to put on a quality, organized, and fun event for our community!

While the event grossed over $90,000, the average donation to the event is $100. THAT is community coming together and making it happen!  Nearly 20% of donations come from outside of the community by way of online fundraising but the majority of funds are raised from our generous local business community and individuals. Everyone can play a role in making it happen for our girls and people committing to doing what they can do is the first step. Not everyone can or will be a major donor. It takes an army of smaller, consistent donors to provide the resources community organizations like The Friendship Club need to accomplish our missions. Thank you for being part of community building and for the generous support you provide The Friendship Club and other local organizations making our community strong.  Please consider joining the more than 100 community members who have committed to being monthly donors to The Friendship Club.  Consistent monthly support is critical to the ongoing stability of The Friendship Club. Monthly Matters!  Call today to get signed up: (530) 265-4311.

In Friendship,

Jenn

Fall Meetings Off to a Great Start! by Denise Tambasco

The start of September welcomed back the girls of The Friendship Club to their weekly meetings. Over the course of the next 12 weeks, girls will explore a variety of topics connected to friendships and bullying, wellness, and nutrition. As part of the curriculum, girls will have an opportunity to learn about basic nutrition, food labels, My Plate, meal planning and budgeting, navigating a grocery store, and take some basic cooking lessons. Girls will also talk about what bullying is, how to recognize it and how to react to it as both a bystander and as a victim.

With such a packed curriculum, Fall Break provides staff with a great opportunity to spend time with girls in smaller groups and allow the girls to bond in cross-age activities. Over the week of break, girls will have the opportunity to participate in 6 different activities, which include: Special FX makeup workshop, baking and cooking, visiting the corn maze in Dixon, roller skating, and Bierwagon’s pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving. Additionally, 10 high school girls will go on an overnight trip to Reno and visit the University of Nevada, Milan Institute of Cosmetology, and Truckee Meadows Community College.

Seeking Friendship Club Drivers by Cindy Hintz

The Friendship Club Academic year is in full swing, as girls have returned to attend their weekly after school meetings. As the Volunteer Manager, I am often asked “What is the greatest volunteer need at The Friendship Club?” Hands down the answer remains: “DRIVERS!”

This 2017-18 school year, the Friendship Club girls in Nevada County will attend an after school program meeting once a week held at our facility in Nevada City, arriving from one of 17 different schools in Nevada County. One third of our enrollment can ride the bus from either Nevada Union or Seven Hills. But the other two thirds, nearly 50 girls rely on catching a ride from a volunteer from her school to The Friendship Club at least once a week. On any given Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, mid-afternoon, our driver volunteers leave their home or work, drive to their designated school, pick up any where from 1 to 8 TFC girls, drive them to New Mohawk Road, and see the girls safely upstairs to our facility. Then they turn around and drive on to errands, back to work or home. The total time commitment averages 15-20 minutes.

It is important to note that families with girls enrolled in The Friendship Club simply do not have the means to transport their girls to after school meetings. We are truly blessed to have many volunteers who return as drivers year after year, and we are so grateful for your committed support. This school year we are looking to add 4-6 new drivers to our volunteer pool.

While this act seems so simple, each driver volunteer contribution of time ensures our program meetings can continue with a potential for 100% attendance. Without a ride, a girl will most certainly be unable to attend her meeting or other important after school activities.

Please consider becoming a Friendship Club driver, even if only once or twice a month. You may contact the Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz, at (530) 265-4311 or cindyh@friendshipclub.org to learn more about this critical volunteer role, and how you can come on board as a Friendship Club driver.

Friendship Club Fundraiser at Judi’s

Judi’s of Nevada City will be hosting a special fundraising event for The Friendship Club (TFC) on Saturday, October 7th, from 10am until 6pm. Judi’s is located at 246 Commercial Street, Nevada City.

At this event, Judi’s will be offering a 5% discount on all merchandise (including sale merchandise) while donating a percentage of all sales to The Friendship Club. The doors will open at 10am 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 23rd anniversary of TFC helping at-risk adolescent girls in Nevada County with a year-round program of educational activities, emotional support and community involvement. Jennifer Singer, Executive Director of TFC says, “The Friendship Club is about serving girls at risk but it’s also about building community. Girls in the club receive a lot of support but they also give back to our community and love doing so!” This year TFC welcomed back several alumni as staff members. They are TFC success stories and they are continuing to enrich our community.

The Friendship Club is supported primarily by the generosity of the community and private grants. Singer said “ We are so grateful for Judi and Bob Weiner’s continued support of The Friendship Club. For the past several years, Judi has generously donated proceeds from one day of shopping in her beautiful store. We think it’s a win-win for businesses and organization’s to partner in this way. It’s a fantastic way for TFC to gain exposure, and in addition to Judi’s generous donation, we always get new donors and volunteers who come to know us through Judi’s shopping event.”

Judi Weiner, the proprietor of Judi’s, has long supported the mission of TFC, and views her support as an investment in the future of our community. “I believe The Friendship Club does an outstanding job of empowering their girls and helping them to be the best they can be. Judi’s was born out of a desire to help women have confidence and feel good about themselves, so we are very much aligned with TFC’s mission. Confident women of any age are beautiful!”

Judi’s carries a wide selection of beautifully designed contemporary clothing and accessories including Jag Jeans, French Dressing Jeans, Alembika, Habitat, Cut Loose, Comfy, Latico and Maruca handbags- and a selection of jewelry and accessories created by international designers as well as local artisans.

The Friendship Club Fundraiser is a great way to enhance your wardrobe with Judi’s fabulous fashions, get started on your holiday shopping, and support a very worthwhile local cause – everyone wins!

 

 

A Message From Our Executive Director

Wow! What an amazing summer we have been having. We have three camps down and two to go. We have seven clinics under our belt and life changing activities sprinkled throughout the rest of this fast-moving summer! Thank you to those of you who have been supporting our summer program with your amazing donations and volunteer support! It’s never too late to help us finish out the summer strong.

I have been busy recruiting race car drivers for our September Friendship 100 and soon you will be hearing from them! 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 18 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. We even have room for a few more drivers. Call today to learn more 265-4311.

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.

Please look out for your invitation next month and let us know how you would like to contribute to this critical fundraiser, which will ensure the success of The Friendship Club in 2017 and beyond! To learn more about getting involved in this event, click here, or visit our FirstGiving page to support our community drivers.

Welcoming New Faces-By Denise Tambasco

Each spring semester, we reach out to local schools and other youth-serving professionals to recommend girls in grades six through twelve for The Friendship Club program. The purpose of our recruitment efforts is to connect with girls who are eager for support and interested in making good choices for their future.  The process is focused on identifying girls who may otherwise “fall through the cracks.”  The girls that are referred are not yet engaging in unhealthy behaviors, however they are likely living in an environment that makes them vulnerable to potentially poor choices.

Girls are recommended to the program for a variety of reasons: lack of peer connections at school; academic deficiency with little home support; lack of a positive female role model; history of substance abuse in the home; history of domestic violence or neglect in the home; prolonged illness or recent death of a parent; living in a single parent home, kinship care, or foster care; having an incarcerated parent; or economically disadvantaged family with little to no access to activities.  Each girl who is referred to us is interviewed in the spring, typically between April and May. If she is determined to be a good fit for the program we extend an invitation to the parent/guardian for an interview to discuss the goals of The Friendship Club program.  Girls who are accepted into The Friendship Club begin our program in time for summer camp and other summer activities we offer.

This year, we kicked off the summer of 2017 with an ice cream social, which we had the awesome opportunity to welcome 25 new girls to the program! Throughout the summer, the girls will join their cohort members at one of our week-long camps and participate in various clinics. In the Fall, girls from 18 different schools will attend weekly meetings at the club. We are excited to welcome them into The Friendship Club family and look forward to many more summers with them!

“Find your Passion” Mentor Program

Friendship Club Mentors comment on their experience

The most recent “Find Your Passion” Mentor Program was held from April through July of this year. In response to the question, “What has mentoring taught you about yourself?”, mentors from the program responded:

“To have patience in working with the family. How to take baby steps to help gain their trust. When its just the two of us – its easy and I’m as much of a kid at heart, love to have fun!” ~ Sandy

“Mentoring was easily as beneficial to me as it was to her. Extremely rewarding. It also caused me to set time aside for myself – to consistently do something that’s rewarding for me.” ~ Judy

 The Gift of Mentoring

Positive relationship development is at the heart of our work at The Friendship Club. From learning to develop, maintain and navigate the challenges associated with those personal relationships, it’s critical to the girls growing into competent young women of the future.  Whether it’s a staff member or a volunteer, spending one-on-one time with a Friendship Club girl enhances and supports her experience with us. While group meetings and outings are excellent for information sharing, team building and developmentally appropriate conversations, the one-on-one time is where those lessons can go one step further. During her time spent with a caring mentor, girls have a chance to have deeper, and individualized conversations about topics of interest or concern.

As a mentor, you play an important role in the life of a Friendship Club girl. Not only are you her mentor, you’re her friend and her advocate, encouraging her and providing her with a safe place to share her feelings and thoughts on her mind. She doesn’t have to share you with anyone else. This special feeling is subtle but important. The girls appreciate the opportunity to have a unique relationship with a trusted adult woman.

The Benefits of Mentoring

After years of observation, The Friendship Club can attest to the positives observed for the majority of our girls who commit to spending one-on-one time with a unique woman in our community in the “Find Your Passion” Mentor Program. Those benefits include:

  • An expanded network of caring adults and resources available to young people
  • Access to consistent support
  • A propensity to stay on track in school and with other activities
  • Support with decision making
  • A boost in self confidence
  • Support in personal development through shared advice, encouragement and modeled decision making
  • Encouragement to become role models for their peers in the club (girls with mentors seem to have a higher incidence of participation in leadership activities and community service)

Furthermore, supporting The Friendship Club’s observation, research states young people with a consistent mentor are more likely to:

  • Engage in community service activities, which also increases their sense of belonging to their community
  • More likely to attend college or trade school
  • Hold higher aspirations for their futures and educational attainment
  • Report engaging in productive and beneficial activities (sports, extra-curricular activities, leadership, community service)
  • Go on to serve as mentors themselves

How can you learn more and become involved?

The “Find Your Passion” Fall Mentor program will begin late September 2017 and end early January 2018. Mentor sign-ups are underway. Please contact our Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz for more information @ cindyh@friendshipclub.org  or (530) 265-4311

A Message From Our Executive Director

Our Graduation Dinner and Scholarship Dinner held on May 11th was truly a magical event. With a theme of transformation, we celebrated our graduating seniors, learned more about their lives and dreamt with them as they imagined their futures. I was proud to report to our guests on a promise I had made last year. It was a promise that the leadership at The Friendship Club was about to leap into a new era – one that welcomes, develops, and expands our alumnus into full-fledged staff members.  I am here to tell you – it worked! With your support, we have transformed The Friendship Club staff and program by adding four amazing young women this year, serving as youth development assistants and a development assistant. I am proud to say that three of them are graduates of The Friendship Club!  We have learned so much in the last year about how our girls and the lessons they learned at The Friendship Club, which have helped shape them in being excellent role models and leaders for our current girls. They hit the ground running, they have a deep loyalty, and they bring insight, new ideas, and patience. We heard from Tiffany Scudero, Youth Development Assistant about her journey through The Friendship Club, early adulthood, college, starting a family and now as a staff member.

We celebrated the achievements of six seniors, Ariona, Michael, Kahlan, Trisha, Abby, and Brandy. They shared their awkward and challenging beginnings, the transformations they made through their teen years with the help of The Friendship Club and then revealed their plans for life beyond high school. I’m proud to say that college is in their future. We then had the chance to hear from Cheyanna Brock-Jiminez, a 2016 graduate and current CSU Sonoma Freshman. Her speech brought the house down as she shared how much she has learned in her first year of college, how she was faced with news of her mother’s cancer diagnosis, but able to help her through that and not having to worry about the financial burden because she had scholarships to count on. She was able thank the team of people she said brought her to that point; “I couldn’t have gotten through everything without the help of everyone that surrounds me. The Friendship Club has continually supported me throughout my college experience. They are always there when I have a question, or need a helping hand, or if I just need someone to talk to. And to know that I have an entire group of people rooting me on, I feel invincible. I keep the lessons that I’ve learned at The Friendship close to my heart as I continue through school. I remember what’s best to do in social situations, I know how to do a fantastic resume, I know how to give a proper speech. They gifted me these abilities. They prepped me for what I’m doing now. My angel Lisa Macrina has never forgotten about me. She’s one of the first people I tell things to when I have news. When I’m back home, I always make sure to pay a visit. Lisa is amazing. She has helped me with letters of recommendation, with my FAFSA, basically with everything! But more importantly, she has been my friend… she has given me great advice and lessons that are always in my mind. She is truly my guardian angel.” Cheyanna said.

It’s moments like these that remind me just how impactful our program is on the individual lives of our girls. It’s not only the staff and the program that makes this difference, but also the people who come into their lives because of The Friendship Club. At the end of the day, we’re devoted to building a community one relationship at a time. I am so proud to be a part of an organization that does that. Thank you to all who have supported our girls, our academic year program, our scholarship fund. Now, it’s time for summer programs to ramp up!

Celebrating Summer- By Denise Tambasco

As the school year winds down, The Friendship Club is gearing up for another amazing summer, which includes ushering in a new group of approximately 20 girls.  Over the course of the summer, we will host 5 week-long summer camps (one for each cohort of girls). Camps provide an opportunity for teambuilding, community service, safely expanding boundaries, and experiencing opportunities outside of our community. Activities are designed to challenge girls, build relationships, motivate them for the coming year, and inspire them to dream big.

Aside from camps, The Friendship Club will host an additional 7 clinics this summer: horse care and interaction, glass fusing and jewelry making, sewing, cooking, archery, cookie decorating, and photography.  Clinics are 2-3 days and open to girls from each cohort, which provides a unique opportunity for our older girls to act as role models for the younger girls in the program and for cross-age friendships to blossom while learning new passions and strengthening skills. Alongside camps and clinics, The Friendship Club will also host 6 “Fun Fridays” this summer, which promote outdoor activity and literacy. In the morning, interested girls will join staff and volunteers for hiking the local trails and having picnic lunch, while enjoying some amazing scenery. In the afternoon, girls will have the opportunity to gather at The Book Seller, in downtown Grass Valley, for story time and to choose a book, which is theirs to keep. We then spend the rest of the afternoon together reading outside and enjoying the summer breeze.

Although this may seem like an already-full calendar of summer events, there are an additional 8 one-day activities and outings that will be offered this summer- from local musicals and movies, to art workshops to a River Cats game in Sacramento! Additionally, with the help of our amazing volunteers, we will serve 1800-2000 meals and snacks, and provide approximately 75- 100 rides for activities over the course of our summer program. If you are interested in helping support any of our summer program, like providing a meal for an activity, giving rides for one of the camps or clinics, or helping a girl attend a camp, we would love to talk to you! Summer 2017 is set to be one of the best yet- we hope you can join our girls for a memorable adventure!

A Message from our Executive Director

Spring is a busy time at The Friendship Club! When is it not a busy time here?! But Spring to me represents transformation and that is what we are all about at The Friendship Club.  We are actively recruiting our new crop of girls, receiving referrals from teachers, counselors, and social service agencies from around the County. The stories of girls and the struggles they face at home and/or at school, as well as the lack of connection and consistent support are overwhelming. They are stories that can break your heart. But we know that transformation is around the corner for them and that by joining The Friendship Club they are on a path to a brighter future, one that will be filled with opportunity, connection, positive relationships, and a hope for a better tomorrow. They will also be challenged to work hard, set goals, expand their horizons, and held accountable for their decisions and behavior.

We have high expectations for our girls and they rise to those expectations time and time again. There is another form of transformation happening this time of year. The transition from high school to college is never an easy one but it is always an exciting time. Girls are preparing for their next steps. Many of our seniors are already enrolled for college in the Fall and are putting the finishing touches on their senior projects. We have seen tremendous growth in this last semester. We also face those bittersweet feelings. After all, they’re our girls and we will miss them dearly! We have spent the last five to seven years getting to know them, helping them thorough challenging and sometimes heartbreaking experiences, we’ve helped them shape their plans for after high school and have made sure they have the resources, skills, and knowledge needed to successfully transition to life as a young adult. We will honor our six graduates on May 11th and if you haven’t told us you are coming yet, please call us.  It is an amazing celebration of love and persistence, leadership development, and of the human spirit.

Every girl who graduates with us and goes on to college or vocational training, is eligible to receive a scholarship and we will proudly present our girls with those on May 11th.  If you would like to learn more about our scholarship programs, please consider attending our Graduation and Scholarship Dinner on May 11 or call me at 265-4311.  RSVP is required to attend the event. You can make a donation to the Friendship Club general program or scholarship program by clicking here, or call us for information about making your gift.