Happy fall! The weather is changing, the leaves are turning, and we are busy, busy at The Friendship Club. The girls are back in full swing at school, the senior girls are beginning to hone their plans for after graduation, and the staff at The Friendship Club have been busy planning amazing field trips and activities and guest speakers for our after school program. For three weeks we will host Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition (DVSAC) speakers Nancy Zeisler and Kristin Darling. The ladies will be speaking to all of our girls about healthy relationships, danger signs to watch for in relationships with friends and boyfriends, and healthy self-expression. This is all part of a yearlong partnership with DVSAC, funded, in part by Dignity Health. When surveyed, over 90% of girls report feeling they have a safe place to be at The Friendship Club as well as nearly 95% who say they know what a healthy relationship looks like. We want to continue those trends and make sure every girl at the club receives this critical education annually. Considering well over 30% of our girls have been witness to or victims of domestic violence, we know how important it is to continually educate them with a goal of breaking this devastating cycle. In addition to this education, the Dignity Health Grant helped sponsor an educational video designed to educate schools, mental health providers, and other nonprofits about what girls are an appropriate match for The Friendship Club and to continually let them know we are here as a resource for girls at risk. We hope you can take a few moments to watch as well by clicking this link. Understanding the preventative nature of The Friendship Club is crucial to making an appropriate referral and gives the girls the best chance at success.
The results are in and this year’s Friendship 100 grossed over $76,000! That means over $65,000 goes directly to our after school programs! With a goal of $70,000 we were proud to exceed that goal and we were only successful because of individuals and business owners just like you. The average donation to the event was $75, illustrating that it takes many community members making relatively small contributions that add up! While we are happy with our event, we know that you understand that this represents only a portion of our annual budget. With little government funding for programs like ours, we rely strictly on the generosity of our community and small private grants. The Friendship Club was formed and continues to operate because our community has embraced the idea that we can affect important change in the individual lives of girls at risk. The girls, in turn give back to the community, make healthy choices about their lives and positively influence their peers and families. This theme is echoed in the recruitment video (link above) when Dan Zeisler speaks to the positive way girls in the Club contribute to their school communities. Thank you for your support of The Friendship 100 and for your continued support of our girls! Hope to see you next year at the park!
On Saturday, November 8th, Judi and Bob Weiner, owners of Judi’s of Nevada City have graciously offered to, once again, host a shopping day benefitting The Friendship Club. We are grateful for this annual opportunity. Not only will Judi donate a portion of proceeds to The Friendship Club, she will also offer a 5% discount to shoppers that day! Friendship Club volunteers will be on hand to represent the Club and answer any questions about their experiences with volunteering. We hope you will come out to support Judi and The Friendship Club. Judi’s sells contemporary women’s wear in an elegant boutique in downtown Nevada City. Judi’s offers clothing and accessories selected with an eye towards quality, style, individuality and ease of care. They have a wonderful selection of beautifully designed sweaters, pants, dresses, knit tops, handbags, belts, scarves and jewelry. Their clothing and accessories are selected as a collection, so it is easy for them to help you put together a complete outfit. They carry a number of nationally and internationally known lines, and they also sell items that are handcrafted by local artisans. Judi’s is located at 246 Commercial Street in Nevada City.
For one week in October, local schools close down for Fall Break and we use it as an opportunity to take the girls on field trips to explore new things and enjoy the season. Our girls visited the Bishop Pumpkin Patch, and got to drink freshly made apple cider, pet farm animals in the petting zoo, and go on a hayride out to the pumpkin patch where they picked out a pumpkin to take home. Another field trip was to the Folsom Zoo, which is a sanctuary for injured and rescued animals. The girls were able to see animals that live around us, but that we don’t often get to see, such as mountain lions, coyotes, and bears. Since the weather was cooler on the day they visited, almost all the animals were out (except the skunks), which the zoo docent said was unusual.
The upper high school girls went on a trip to Arcata to visit California State University, Humboldt. They got to tour the campus and learn all about the wonderful programs and activities they offer students who attend. The also got to explore the area a little bit, and for all the girls, it was the first time they got to see the northernmost coast of California. High School Program Director, Kristin Aguilar, spoke about how all the girls collectively gasped the moment they drove into Trinidad and saw the incredible ocean views ahead. With trips like this, we are helping our girls envision themselves in college, living in places filled with opportunities outside of those found at home…critical steps to planning for their life beyond high school.
Amber Sylvia is a senior who knows who she is what she wants. She has been with the Friendship Club since sixth grade, and she is has been active in leadership for all of those years. Amber is highly creative, and she is a planner and a doer. Recently, she worked with her angel, Allie Aguilar, on Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s fundraiser, Starry, Starry Nights. She came up with the circus theme, and she spent hours and hours helping Allie execute a beautiful dessert area. ”When I met Amber, she was in middle school and a curious and smart girl. Watching her grow into a young woman has been wonderful. She is extremely thoughtful, can hold a conversation with anyone, shows confidence, enjoys mentoring the other youth and accomplished a great goal this year, getting into leadership in High School. Amber and I have a blast when we are together; she has a great intuition and can make anyone laugh. I’m excited to see what her future holds!” -Allie Aguilar
Amber is also part of Bear River’s leadership class. She is involved with planning spirit activities, dances, and rallies. Because of her self-confidence and openness, Amber has friends from many different social groups and classes, and she is well liked and respected by her peers. In addition to leadership, Amber sings in the choir, and she is excited about their upcoming trip to Disneyland. She is planning to join the military after high school, and she is thinking about becoming a flight attendant. “Over the course of her time at The Friendship Club, Amber has become a confidante for her peers and a go-to for the staff when they need an extra hand. She is truly a role model for the other girls in the program- the younger girls often talk to her, seeking her perspective and guidance. This will be Amber’s sixth year involved in the Leadership Council- the longest of any girl involved with The Friendship Club- and she consistently participates in about 60 hours of community service a year. Amber has served as a junior counselor for the past two summers during various middle school camps and was part of the inspiration to develop a junior counselor program for future summer camps at The Friendship Club.” -Denise Tambasco
We are starting to keep track of things for our collective “wish list” here at TFC. These are items that people like you can provide should you want to contribute to our programs in this way. Each item provided as an in-kind donation will allow our funding to go further in providing our programs year-around for the girls.
Here are some things we wish for right now:
- $40 Gift Certificates to Wild Mountain Yoga: We would like to bring a group of girls to work with instructor Amanda twice a month and she is providing her class to as many girls as we can bring for $40 each session. We find yoga to be a wonderful tool for coping with stress for our girls and would like to provide it as often as we can for them.
- A set of ceramic knives for our cooking classes with girls. Our current set of knives is very old and we’d like our girls to learn how to prepare food safely with a good set of knives.
- A Kitchenaid Mixer (used is fine) for our cooking classes with girls.
- Any John Green books to add to our library. He wrote “The Fault in our Stars” and many other wonderful books that our girls love to read.
- Stamps: We go through a lot of stamps as we communicate with our girls and their families regularly and also with our donors, volunteers and supporters in general.
- Paper towels, disposable plates, napkins, and eating utensils for our events and meals with girls
If you wish to help, simply contact us first to make sure we haven’t received the item(s) yet and arrange to drop off to our office with a receipt if you have one, and we will provide you with a letter for tax deduction purposes. You can contact us at (530) 265-4311 or email@example.com. Our office is located in Nevada City at 138 New Mohawk Rd., Suite 275.
With just about one week to go before the 13th annual Friendship 100, our largest annual fundraiser, we are getting excited about our biggest turnout to date! On Monday, September 22 we will take over The 49er Fun Park – 24 community race car drivers and 36 mini-golf teams will help The Friendship Club raise critical funds for our academic year program. Drivers have been busy raising their minimum $1000 and many drivers have exceeded their goal, ensuring that we will have a successful event!
We would like to thank our drivers for their commitment to The Friendship Club – We will have some new drivers with us this year but would also like to thank our veteran drivers like Terry Brown, David Jones, and Charlie Litton who have raced nearly every year since we started this event in 2000. Special thanks also to our 144 mini-golfers! The Friendship 100 was the brainchild of then Superintendent of Schools and founding board member of The Friendship Club, Terry McAteer.
Over the years we have found ways to expand this event and last year raised over $60,000 for our programs. We have set the bar even higher this year and thank our underwriters, tee sponsors and participants for rocking it! Some of the girls will be on hand to golf with participants, sell raffle tickets and keep the event moving. We will have an amazing and updated raffle and a few special touches for you. If you aren’t already signed up please call today to reserve a golf team spot (only a few left) or tell us you’d like to come for dinner and watch the action for $25 per person and includes a delicious catered dinner. We are filling up fast so don’t delay! If you would like to support The Friendship 100 you can call the club directly, visit our website www.friendshipclub.org or visit one of our drivers pages below.
Last month, John Volz of Volz Bros. Automotive approached us with a unique fundraising opportunity and we are so grateful that he thought of The Friendship Club. John procured a donated guitar, courtesy of RavenWest Guitar, and with the help from the Center for the Arts staff, he was able to get it signed by the legendary Joan Baez when she was in town recently for a concert. Within 48 hours of announcing our raffle we had sold nearly 100 of 150 tickets! We still have about 20 tickets left and one can be yours for $25 – call us today 265-4311 or visit us online and get your ticket here for your chance at a piece of music history! We would like to thank John and his team at Volz. Bros Auto for partnering with The Friendship Club and helping us raise critical funds for our girls!
Last week marked the first week that we welcomed our girls back for the academic year program and we sure are glad they are back! There’s nothing like hearing the chatter and laughter that comes from the classrooms where girls meet, feeling the buzz in the air for the excitement of being back together.
With our new High School Program Director, Kristin Aguilar, and our veteran (not to mention awesome!) Middle School Program Director, Denise Tambasco, we’ve got an incredible program team and year in store for our girls. The two Program Directors have spent countless hours over the last months collaborating, planning and refining the curriculum and activities for the school year that will bring our program goals to life.
We pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive program that truly helps develop the whole girl…not just her academic self, creative self, social self, or her goal-oriented self, but all those selves and more that make her whole. All of our program activities touch on one or more of the following impact areas we target for growth in our girls:
- Healthy Relationships
- Health and Wellness
- Goal Setting and Future Planning
- Community Connectedness
Some highlights for this academic year include strengthening the activities we do around healthy relationships and health and wellness in general through exciting new partnerships. Thanks to a grant from Dignity Health Foundation, we are partnering with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition (DVSAC) to educate our girls more on what healthy relationships and communication looks like so that they can avoid being victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. And through a partnership with Sierra Harvest, we have been able to build our Friendship Club Garden to engage our girls in planting, growing, harvesting, preparing and cooking real food right here at the Club. Additionally, we are bringing more fun and engaging physical activities to the program through partnerships with places like FitCulture Studio, South Yuba Club, and Gold Country Gymnastics.
Stay tuned for another exciting year for our girls…and one we know will make an everlasting impact on their lives thanks to everyone who brings their care and support to the Friendship Club community!
As I began to plan for the 2014-15 school year, anticipating the volunteer needs to be fulfilled by our drivers alone, I realized that this year had a different “feel.” I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the need felt larger, more challenging to fill than last year. And yet, being the volunteer manager for nearly a year, I reasoned that fulfilling the need should be getting EASIER, not more challenging. That was until I did a simple analysis that confirmed what my intuition was telling me:
Last School Year:
- 29 weeks of meetings x 14 drivers a week = 406 drivers
- Leadership Council with 11 meetings x 2 drivers each meeting = 22 drivers
- Drama Workshop with 9 meetings x 2 drivers each meeting = 18 drivers
- 12 field trips per school year x 2 drivers each = 24 drivers
- 2 weeks of dental clinics per year x 3 drivers each = 6 drivers
TOTAL: 476 driver needs last school year
This School Year:
- 29 weeks of meetings x 20 drivers a week = 580 drivers
- Leadership Council with 11 meetings x 3 drivers each meeting = 33 drivers
- Drama Workshop with 9 meetings x 3 drivers each meeting = 27 drivers
- 12 field trips per school year x 2 drivers each = 24 drivers
- 2 weeks of dental clinics per year x 4 drivers each = 8 drivers
TOTAL: 672 driver needs this school year, a 41% increase over last year
A driving need that is not fulfilled by a volunteer is filled by a staff or board member.
The simple truth is the number of Friendship Club girls is growing and they are coming to us from more schools. This is wonderful news, as the success of our program is spreading, and more schools are taking advantage of the program we are able to offer girls at risk. The challenge lies in recruiting, training and retaining a greater number of drivers. For when staff or board members are pressed into being a driver, we are taken away from the important responsibilities we carry to keep The Friendship Club program growing and successful.
How can you help? Sign up to become a TFC driver once or twice a month. Talk to your family and friends who may enjoy giving a few girls a ride from school to a TFC meeting.
Each month I conduct a brief TFC tour to educate potential volunteers about the important work we do for girls at risk, and to inform them of the many volunteer opportunities we have to offer that can fit most schedules and desires. I would love to invite your family and friends to join us.
Please pitch in to help. EACH and EVERY driver makes a difference in a Friendship Club girl’s life!
Cindy Hintz is our Volunteer Manager and can be reached at (530) 265-4311 or CindyH@friendshipclub.org for any questions about volunteering with The Friendship Club.