Music Motivation-By Denise Tambasco

On March 19, ten girls from The Friendship Club attended a sold-out concert by tenThing, an all-female brass ensemble from Norway. The ten-member ensemble was led by Tine Helseth, renowned as one of the best trumpet players in the world.

During the two-hour concert, girls listened to both classical and contemporary works from around the world. Many of the arrangements were original for brass which gave a new sound to familiar pieces. The girls, many of whom also play musical instruments, were excited to have a dedicated space and time during intermission to speak with a music docent from InConcert Sierra about the history of the music and composers from the concert: “The talk with the docent really helped me understand where the music came from and what I was listening to. I think I enjoyed the concert more after our talk with her.”

After the concert finished, the girls had the opportunity to meet the ensemble, ask questions, and have CD’s signed. “It was inspiring to see a group of women that are such amazing musicians. It’s not something I have ever seen (a women-only ensemble). I’m so happy I got to see this!” Our thanks to InConcert Sierra for hosting the girls at intermission and providing CD’s to each girl. Special thanks to George and Claudette Paige who sponsored the girls’ tickets for the concert and whose collaboration with InConcert Sierra made this a truly special, VIP experience for the girls.

Volunteer Appreciation – By Cindy Hintz

When I have the pleasure to meet with a member of our community who has visited to tour and learn about The Friendship Club program, I describe our volunteers as the ‘nuts & bolts’ of the program. We could not hold after school meetings without drivers or our supper crew. We could not help girls with their studies without Homework Club or tutors.  We could not spread the word about our mission to engage, educate and empower girls at risk, nor fundraise, without our event helpers, who consistently produce one spectacular event after another. The opportunities to cultivate healthy relationships would be far fewer without the awesome mentors and angels who offer their kindness, caring hearts and time to Friendship Club girls.

A fairly new type of volunteer entered the scene at The Friendship Club two years ago: Team Volunteers. We were so fortunate to be assigned a team of volunteers through LiNC (Love in Nevada County), whose objective is “to coordinate a unified community service effort between over 20 different Christian congregations inside Nevada County, California.” This team of volunteers spent several hours on a Saturday spring cleaning our commercial kitchen, classrooms, lobby and office spaces. They even helped us prepare our garden for the next round of planting. Last Saturday, during National Volunteer Appreciation Week 2017, the LiNC crew came for their second year in a row. After one year, we were so in need of another spring cleaning! We are so grateful to: Kristi, Diane, Cindy, Jake and Cloe! We sparkle and shine just in time for Summer Program to begin in June.

If you are reading this article and your interest has piqued, please contact me, the Volunteer Manager, to set up a time to tour The Friendship Club, and to learn about all the different ways our community members serve. While I describe our volunteers as nuts and bolts, the real truth is Friendship Club Volunteers are ordinary people who give their heart and time to us.

“I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.

~ Tracy Chapman

A Message From Our Executive Director

What are you willing to take a stand for? This is a question that was posed to me last month and a question I have been pondering ever since. For me, the answer is broad. Yes, I have chosen to take a stand for girls at risk in our community. But it goes beyond that. At the heart of what I am willing to take a stand for is my community. I love this community. I love the spirit of generosity and the cooperation I feel in working in the nonprofit community, especially. I love the quirks and flaws that make us unique. I love that when I think about a problem I want to solve or a question I need answered, I know exactly who I can reach out to. I love that I can connect our girls to resources, people, ideas, and experiences with one phone call. I love the creativity I see in business and social collaborations. I have chosen to channel that love of community into the girls we serve, by creating a microcosm that serves our girls but also serves everyone who touches this organization. We build and foster relationships that build community.

I believe Nevada County is stronger today than it was twenty years ago and I believe The Friendship Club has played a role in that. We have our donors and volunteers and teachers and counselors, our citizens and our girls to thank for that. I was proud to host the Power of the Purse earlier this month because it gave me a chance to educate nearly 350 people about the work we do and we gained financial support from new and returning donors. But what made me the proudest was to see my new and young professional staff (and graduates of The Friendship Club) share that they have come back to serve The Friendship Club to say thank you to their community. It is a community that has time and again taken a stand for them, gone to bat for them, invested in them, loved and encouraged them. They are here to give back. I can’t think of anything more important to take a stand for.

In Friendship,


Expanding Horizons

For many of the girls in our program, college seems like something out of reach.

“I never imagined I could even go to college until we did our first college trip and having the support of The Friendship Club and seeing the campuses, is what gave me the drive to want to go to college in the first place.” – TFC Alumnus and Sierra College Student

 Our goal is for every girl to have a solid college or career plan upon high school graduation. While we start introducing girls in our program to college campuses in their 6th grade year with a visit to the Sierra College Nevada County Campus, our ongoing dialogue with the girls is about options and being open to possibilities. With this in mind, the college trips have become more individualized as the girls get older and they discover their preferences for the campus environment and fields of study. We also work with the seniors each week to navigate the college applications, help with writing their personal statements, and applying for financial aid.

“The college trips that we did with the Club helped me choose Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Denise and the rest of the staff helped me fill out the application, fill out the FAFSA, and apply for scholarships. One of the scholarships I applied for was a cooking competition with 10 other high school graduates. Denise then went above and beyond and taught me how to cook a 5- course meal that won me a $10,000 scholarship!” – TFC Alumnus and Le Cordon Bleu Graduate.

 The growth of our program staff has had many benefits for the girls- one of them being the expansion of our college knowledge program. We are now able to offer monthly one-day college trips and overnight college trips during Spring Break and Fall Break. This means that our girls could potentially visit up to 10 community colleges and four-year university campuses per school year.  “The college knowledge program allowed me to see all of the possibilities for my future! The program gave me my motivation to attend college after high school. The program showed me a very real and sensible experience for what should be expected from college. I found my future through The Friendship Club!” – TFC Alumnus and Sonoma State Student

Event Volunteers are Invaluable- By Cindy Hintz

How many volunteers does it take to produce one Friendship Club fund development event? Believe it or not, often times it takes between 40-50 volunteers! Multiply that by five, our total number of major events during the course of the year, and we’re talking well over 200 volunteer opportunities!

“What kind of work would I be doing if I helped at a Friendship Club event,” you may ask?

Our volunteers help us with pre-event tasks such as: preparing rolls of raffle tickets, making centerpieces, collating program materials, addressing invitation envelopes, pick-ups, and napkin folding. So, as you can see our volunteers help us out with a lot of different tasks!

The day of the event is managed by a detailed schedule and list of tasks. As a Friendship Club volunteer, you’re free to choose the task of your liking, during the hours that fit your busy schedule. As the Volunteer Manager, I am onsite during the event to help direct volunteers, ensure everything is running smoothly and that volunteers are enjoying their time. Recently, Lisa Macrina told us “Friendly, focused, talented, cohesive, supportive and fun are just a few words to describe the entire staff at The Friendship Club. I have had the pleasure of being welcomed and supported by this amazing group of women and I have grown as a person through my volunteerism at The Friendship Club.”

Recently, we held our annual Power of the Purse Luncheon at the Grass Valley Veterans Building. This fantastic luncheon and purse raffle was attended by nearly 350 guests, who were left touched by the stories of the Friendship Club girls, alumni and staff.

Please visit our website event page for a preview of events to come in 2017. Contact our Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz, if you would like to learn more about volunteering for us at The Friendship Club!

Beards of a Cause: The Last Push

The last few months at The Friendship Club has been really fun and busy with lots of fundraising! A few months ago, the Nevada City Police Department approached us for a fundraising opportunity, and of course we jumped on board! The “Beards for a Cause,” has totally surpassed our expectations, as the NCPD have blown passed their $2,000 goal and continue to push further! The Friendship club is honored that NCPD chose us and believe in our mission to engage, educate and empower girls at risk in Nevada County.

Since we are nearing the end of the month and the Beards for a Cause fundraiser, if anyone wants to donate towards this fundraiser you can click here and can either choose the whole team or one officer you want to support!

Currently, the top fundraiser for Beards for a Cause is Bryan Travis at the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dispatch, who joined later in the game, but has almost raised double the goal amount set for each officer! We are so proud of each officer raising funds for us, and we hope to continue working with them in the future!

A Message From Our Executive Director

The Friendship Club is successful for many reasons; we have an amazing, dedicated and professional staff. We have enthusiastic and caring volunteers. We have a compassionate and collaborative board of directors and we have donors who believe that investing in the lives of our girls is an important part of creating a healthy community. We also have girls who are committed to fostering a bright future for themselves by making healthy choices and giving back to their community.

I would like to thank the business community for their support over the years. Community focused businesses that sponsor The Friendship Club, care about investing in the health and welfare of our children. Their contributions fund the day-to-day programs, keeping girls safe and nurtured in a loving and supportive environment, influenced by positive, life enhancing experiences.

Local businesses are key to the development of Friendship Club girls as future employees. Our girls, for the most part, stay in our community after high school graduation, attend Sierra College and work in the area. Some have left to attend college and are planning to return. We prepare our girls for this track by helping them hone their interview skills, build resumes, achieve financial literacy and ensure they have the opportunity to set short and long-term education and career goals. As our girls are welcomed by local businesses to participate in community service, they are learning to give back and be responsible and productive members of our community.

Thank you to the businesses that believe in the power of community and have invested in The Friendship Club. If you are not yet a business donor, please consider joining us as a business partner and contributing to the program’s excellence that fosters health and growth for some of our community’s most vulnerable young women.   Call today to set up a time to meet and have the opportunity to learn more about how YOU can make a difference for our girls 265-4311. Or please visit our web page for more information.

Utilizing Strengths for SMART Goals by Denise Tambasco

As the new year begins, we are taking the opportunity to reflect with the girls in the program on their achievements and memories from 2016, what they are looking forward to, and the goals they have set for 2017. Part of this process is teaching and reinforcing SMART goals- a practice of making goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This method helps the girls identify goals that they have a greater chance of successfully achieving, because they are tangible and specific. Research shows that this technique helps individuals make more progress on their goals and also promotes a greater sense of satisfaction, and creates positive emotions.

SMART goals are an important aspect of the strength-based curriculum we are exploring with the high school girls. Through the Strengths Finder program, developed by Gallup, girls are identifying their talents and developing them into strengths, which improves engagement and interaction with their peer groups, school, adults, and other aspects of their lives. As part of this program, the girls discuss and develop their naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior which make up their talents. As the girls explore their natural skills and how they impact their behavior and relationships, they also gain tools to explore areas of interest, interact with peers and adults, and help set goals and plan for the future.

Power of the Purse Time by Cassie Davidson

The Power of the Purse is right around the corner and we are expecting a great turnout! This annual event serves as an introduction for people interested in learning more about our work with girls, the impact we make, and how they can get involved in supporting our mission.  This year, some amazing purses have been donated that will be raffled off at the event, and there will be an hour filled with heart-touching stories from the staff and girls in the program. Our goal is to inspire you during this event and hopefully you will want to volunteer, donate, or support our work with the girls in some way! We only have a limited number of seats left, but if you want to be a Table Captain or attend the event (men welcome also), you must contact us to reserve your spot: (530) 265-4311 or! If you would like to donate a purse to the event that is also an option if you cannot attend the event, but we would love to see your wonderful faces at the event!

We are excited to see everyone at the event!  For more details about this event, click here.  If you’d like to preview the donated purses, visit our Facebook Page starting March 1st  where we will post pictures of each purse daily leading up to the event (and you can like us on FB if you haven’t already)!

See you soon!

Special Thanks to the Stein Family!

Every year, the Walton’s Grizzly Lodge offers wonderful resident summer camps for children from all over the state and beyond.  This camp has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations, starting in 1926 by Mom and Pop Walton. Due to the success of this camp over the years, the family decided to start the Walton’s Grizzly Lodge – Stein Family Foundation in 2009 to provide grants that support local nonprofits and the children they serve.  The Friendship Club is grateful to the Stein Family Foundation for their many years of support of The Friendship Club and our girls.  We received a $2,500 grant to support our academic year program in 2017 and we will put those dollars to work.  We couldn’t do our work without the support of caring donors like the Stein family!  Thank you!