Executive Director Achieves Milestone

CFRE Certificate PicAll of us at The Friendship Club are proud to announce that Executive Director, Jennifer Singer, has successfully received her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential! This is no easy accomplishment by any means, as demonstrated by the fact that she is only one of three such people with their CFRE credential in all of Nevada County! She received her credential alongside colleague, Sandra Barrington, the Major Gift Director for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation (SNMHF). Kimberly Parker, Executive Director of SNMHF, has been the only CFRE in the county until these two amazing ladies joined her!

The CFRE credential demonstrates an individual’s mastery of the standards set for experienced fundraising professionals. This rigorous process of certification requires both an application and a written examination to test one’s skills and knowledge in fundraising. According to the credential granting entity, CFRE International, they certify experienced fundraising professionals aspiring to the highest standards of ethics, competence and service to the philanthropic sector. Well done, Jenn! We are lucky to have you as our leader and for the knowledge and skills you contribute to our community!

Holiday Reception Honors Supporters

Our Annual Holiday Reception for donors and volunteers was an awesome party! It is such an amazing evening to simply say thank you to the people who are committed to our mission and our girls. Guests enjoyed meeting some of our girls and we were so proud to have so many girls (one from each cohort) share her personal experiences with our donors. We also honored long time board member, Susie Bavo. We surprised Susie with a visit from the girl she mentored first in The Friendship Club, Jasmine Turner, aged 27. Graduate, Shilo Piper was our special guest from Seattle and spoke about Susie and Dave’s commitment to her and to her college education! Juliet Erickson was honored for her service as board president for the last four years. We will miss both of these amazing women on the board but we know that their hearts will never be far from The Friendship Club.


We also took the opportunity to honor our 2015 Volunteer of The Year, Rick Bethel. Rick has been a volunteer driver and event support volunteer for well over five years. He was presented with a picture collage featuring girls he has driven over the years and was signed by all of our girls. Amber Sylvia and Kassie Clark, graduates of The Friendship Club, spoke about Rick’s commitment to them and of his friendship over the many years he transported them from their schools to the club. We thank Rick and volunteers like him who, often quietly, make the behind the scenes moments happen every day!


Mick Collins and Rene VanHeel of Pay It Forward Processing were also on hand to present The Friendship Club with a check for $3,343.10. Many thanks to the businesses that have chose to support The Friendship Club through the Pay It Forward program. We will share more about this awesome opportunity and how you can be a part of it as well as honor our businesses in January! Thank you Mick for your continued advocacy of The Friendship Club!


Friendship Club Receives Grant from Capitol Network

Capitol Network Check Presentation

The Friendship Club received a $5,000 grant in December to support our ongoing programs. Erin Sullivan, a local resident and member of Capitol Network recommended The Friendship Club and advocated on our behalf. This was the first year an organization in Nevada County was a recipient of this grant. Capitol Network is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of public and private professionals who work in and around California’s state capitol. Capitol Network’s members are government relations, administration, communications, and legislative professionals. Capitol Network raises funds for charitable organizations that serve the needs of women and children in California. Thank you to Erin for your interest and for bringing The Friendship Club to Capitol Network’s attention!

Treat Yourself or Loved One and Support TFC!

Reflections Skin Oasis is doing their 12 Days of Giving again this year and we are pleased that Saturday, December 12th, is the day for The Friendship Club! They will donate 10% of all items purchased during the day in support of our programs. It’s a great way to treat yourself and/or a loved one to some wonderful pampering services and products, while also treating TFC.  Please click on the flyer below for details and we hope to see you there!

Reflections 12 Days of Giving Flyer

Smith Vineyard Supporting TFC on Christmas Eve


On Thursday, December 24th, Smith Vineyard is supporting The Friendship Club as part of it’s 12 Days of Giving program that gives back to local nonprofits.  On this day, 20% of all proceeds will support our valuable programs, so stock up on your favorite wines for the holidays!

The event takes place at their tasting room, located at 142 Mill Street in downtown Grass Valley.  It will be from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on December 24th.

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