Thanks Valero Renewables!

This month we received exciting news.

Jan, a former Bridges mentor, shared that Valero Renewables chose to award us with a Benefit for Children Grant again this year!

2014 Award Photo

Jan continues to nominate Bridges for this grant each year and we are grateful for both her and Valero’s support. This generous donation in the amount of $6,500 plays a huge role in sustaining our programming this coming year.

We were invited to accept the award at Valero’s Charles City facility along with two other North Iowan grant recipients including the Charles City YMCA and Caring Connections, a one-on-one mentoring program that serves Floyd County. It’s exciting to see corporations like Valero invest in their communities and support one-on-one mentoring efforts.

We Are A Shop On State Grant Recipient!

This month, we were honored to receive a $500 grant from Shop on State.

Shop on State is a unique non-profit organization that serves its Mitchell County communities in many ways. The Shop on State thrift store opened in 2009 in partnership with Osage United Methodist Church. It accepts donations for household items, furniture, and clothing which it sells at affordable prices or gives away to those in need.

Shop on State also supports local nonprofit organizations by awarding grants each year . Since 2009, Shop on State has invested a total of $177,310.25 back into the community through grants. A record number of 36 organizations received grants during this cycle.

Shop on State Grant edited

January commemorates National Mentoring Month. We typically plan our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner during this month and are thrilled that Shop On State is helping to make this event possible again this  year. All of our mentors and advisory board members serve as volunteers. They generously donate their time and talents throughout the year and make everything Bridges does possible, from mentoring to helping with the omelet breakfast. Our Volunteer Appreciation dinner is an opportunity to give back to our mentors and celebrate mentoring in Mitchell County.

Thank you Shop On State for supporting Bridges mentors and giving back to your community in so many ways!

Shop On State also seeks volunteers and donations in the forms of clothing, furniture and household items or monetary donations. They offer pick-ups and deliveries free of charge. 

Scenes From Our 13th Annual Omelet Breakfast Fundraiser

Thanks to the help of many volunteers and the American Legion Post 278, our 13th Annual Omelet Breakfast was a success. The money we raised from breakfast sales, donations and Marvelous Mentoring Meal tickets will play a huge role in sustaining Bridges’ budget throughout 2015.

This breakfast was only possible because so many people donated their time and talents during the weekend.

Omelet Breakfast afternoon crowd

Much preparation goes into planning an omelet breakfast, from ordering supplies to publishing the event. This year, Three Eagles Communication helped us spread the word over the radio airwaves. You may have heard DJ Harry O. talk about Bridges or our Program Coordinator Lacey Waller participate in a live interview.

The staff at Payless Foods in Osage went out of their way to help place our order and transport the food to the American Legion while many of our board members prepared the food.

Omelet Bkfast prep edited

Our two board members Eva and Marlene volunteered to bake all 480 cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon RollCollage

The American Legion not only hosted the event, but helped us round-up an all star team of omelet cookers.

Omelet Cooker Collage

Mentors and mentees helped serve breakfast and our State Representative Josh Byrnes even volunteered to make omelets. Like we said, we couldn’t have hosted this fundraiser without the help of all three of our Mitchell Communities.

Board Member volunteers

Thank you to everyone who volunteered or attended the breakfast for supporting Bridges!

In case you missed the breakfast but would still like to sign-up for a Marvelous Mentoring Meal, contact us about ticket availability. There are still openings for some of the meals. Plus, we’re still accepting Bricks for Bridges orders. Here’s a recent Thanksgiving brick we just created.

Give Thanks Brick

As always, we love hearing from you. Contact us with any questions or concerns. We have an especially high need for men and couples who can donate four hours a month to mentor boys.

Announcing 2015’s Marvelous Mentoring Meals

We’re honored that 20 community members have generously stepped-up to host five Marvelous Mentoring Meals in 2015.

Marvelous Mentoring Meals are a fundraising tradition that greatly helps to sustain our budget each year. Hosts volunteer their time and resources and throw fantastic parties of which all ticket proceeds benefit Bridges Mentoring. We’re blown away by our hosts’ creativity this year. Attendees are in for a treat no matter which party they choose.

Tickets for each event are limited and typically sell out quickly. For your best chance at snagging a ticket, attend our Omelet Breakfast November 9th at American Legion Post 278 in Osage where you’ll find the sign-up lists.

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. – “Sipping and Painting”
Hosts Julie Maliszewski and Angela Nasstrom invite you to join them for an evening of sipping and painting. Sip your favorite wine or beverage, enjoy some appetizers, and paint a picture along with local artist Glenda Ross. She will instruct you step-by-step in creating a piece of art. At the end of the night, you’ll take home a one-of-a-kind painting and hopefully a new-found talent. No experience is necessary. All you need to bring is yourself. It’s a little bit of paint, a little bit of wine, and a whole lot of fun.

There are 12 tickets available for $50 per person and must be paid for on Sunday during the omelet breakfast.

Thursday, March 21, 2015 at 7 p.m. – “St. Patrick’s Day Taste Party”

Rae Anne and Geri edited

Your hosts for the evening.

Whether you’re 100 percent Irish or just Irish at heart, a St. Patrick’s themed celebration might be just the start. May the road rise to meet you as you travel to Taste. So put on your green clothes and bring your lucky charms to join hosts Rae Anne Havig and Geri Thompson for some Irish shenanigans. May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your hearts with gladness that stays forever after.

There are 20-35 tickets available for $75 per person. This event is guaranteed to bring a ton of friends and fun in store.

March (date TBD) – Northern Heartland
Experience the lifestyles of many foreign foods, from Scandinavian, German and Czech cuisine from across the Midwest. Guests will be visiting the Cedar Ridge Bed and Breakfast and be treated to a fancy delicious meal. The event is hosted by Jon and Ardi Gisleson, Keith and Adriane McKinley, Dar and Joyce Ruehlow and Herb and Jody Wright. This is a great event for a group of friends looking for fun and entertainment.

There are 14 tickets available for $75 per person.

Friday, April 24, 2015 at 6 p.m. – “Sipping and Painting” FULL

Painting MMM Edited

Finished paintings from 2013’s party.

Twelve guests will be treated to a “Sipping and Painting Party” hosted by Judy Mayer and Mary Bucheit. No skills required. Our helpful local instructor Glenda Ross will guide you step-by-step, encouraging individuality. No two paintings will be the same! You will relax, sip, enjoy some appetizers and paint along.

Tickets are $50 per person. This event is guaranteed to be a wine of a time.

June (date and time TBD) – “Beer and Bratwurst Blast”
Hosts Steve and Jolene Norby along with Marc and Kate Waitek invite guests to the Norby family farm to gather for a Beer and Bratwurst Bash. Guests will choose a variety of beers to test and enjoy some delicious barbeque. This is a wonderful opportunity for people in this area to enjoy a night of fun.

There are 10 tickets available for $65. Come commune, converse and consume.

August, 2015 ( date and time to be determined) – “A Night At the Races”
This Marvelous Mentoring Meal will be held at Deer Creek Speedway in Racine, Minnesota hosted by Randy and Sandy Norby. Those attending will see six classes of racing with qualifying heats and feature races all enjoyed in a climate-controlled environment.

The cost is $75 per person which includes transportation to and from Osage along with dinner, drinks, and race tickets for 16 people.

Questions? Contact us by email or phone at (641) 732-3566.

What Have Our Mentors & Mentees Been Up To Lately?

Each month we enjoy sharing examples of our mentors and mentees’ activities. There’s a lot going on in Mitchell County and they never run out of ideas.

For youth, the most important thing is simply spending time with their mentors. We encourage new mentors to invite their mentee to join them in everyday activities such as preparing dinner or assisting with pet care. Now that the school year is in session, many of our mentees are busy with athletics so their mentors often attend their games. Here’s what they’ve been up to this fall:

Rae Anne Alyssa Cookies

Jay Pedelty Lecture 2

Gwen with finished basket cropped

  • Helped mentor shop for wedding planning supplies
  • Helped build a cabinet
  • Exercised and swam at the Cedar River Complex in Osage.
  • Decorated pumpkins

If you have any questions or concerns about mentoring in Mitchell County, contact us at any time. We’re always happy to share activity ideas with our mentors and mentees. Keep us updated about upcoming events as well as your favorite crafts and recipes.