Fargo alcohol, drug treatment facility sees jump in inquiries in the New Year

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Press Release
The Village Family Service Center and First Step Recovery
For Immediate Release
For info, contact Shane Mercer at 701-451-4938 or smercer@thevillagefamily.org.


Fargo alcohol, drug treatment facility sees jump in inquiries in the New Year

It’s a familiar phenomenon, says agency director


It’s a trend that First Step Recovery Director Mike Kaspari has come to expect. When the calendar changes from one year to the next, inquiries at this Fargo drug and alcohol treatment facility go up.

“The first work days after the New Year’s holiday, we tend to see an uptick in phone calls, in people scheduling evaluations, things like that,” he says.

One reason for the phenomenon may be that the holidays sometimes shine a light on a person’s substance use.

“There are Christmas parties at work, and family get-togethers,” Kaspari says, “and the behavior might be a little higher profile than it is usually. And siblings or other family members may be comparing notes about the concerns they have.”

He believes one reason for this trend at this time of year may also be something as “old as New Year’s” itself.

“People make resolutions,” Kaspari says. “People continue to look at the New Year as a time to renew commitments to being healthier, to changing their lifestyle, to addressing bad habits, things like that.”

The “long dark days of winter” may be a factor, as well, he says.

Kaspari says the rise in calls typically lasts through January and that the agency usually stays busy through the winter.

If you would like more information about substance use disorders in the New Year, First Step Recovery staff members are available for interviews. Please contact Shane Mercer at smercer@thevillagefamily.org or 701-451-4938 for more information.


 First Step Recovery is a program of The Village Family Service Center.

FM Big Brothers Big Sisters needs 7 mentors for school-based program at Madison

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Fargo-Moorhead needs 7 new big brothers to take part in our mentoring program at Madison Elementary School. It’s a simple, effective program to help youth in our community. Meet with your Little Brother once a week to play games, have lunch together, or just hang out. You can have fun and change a kid’s life in just one hour a week. Mentors must be at least 18 years old. For more information, visit bbbsfargo.org or call 701-451-4877.


Big Brothers Big Sisters matches youth who need mentors with volunteers in the community to form safe, caring friendships. BBBS is America’s leader in one-to-one youth service, with over a century of proven success in creating positive mentoring friendships that benefit children, volunteers, families, neighborhoods, and communities. In the Fargo-Moorhead area, BBBS has been a program of The Village Family Service Center since 1973. School-based mentoring was added in 1998.

Film challenges culture’s approach to addiction; free screening in Fargo Sept. 24

“The Anonymous People” is a documentary film that challenges our culture’s approach to drug an alcohol addiction treatment.

First Step Recovery and The Village will sponsor a free screening of the film at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at The Fargo Theatre. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on addiction.

“The Anonymous People” is a feature film about the more than 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The story of “The Anonymous People” is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them.

According to a press release on the film, ‘”The Anonymous People” explores how deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades … (C)ourageous addiction recovery advocates are coming out of the shadows to share the truth and reality of recovery.

“New public recovery advocates question the approach the U.S. has taken with addiction: criminalizing a health condition, marginalizing those impacted, and giving superficial treatment to the chronic illness of addiction.”

Media inquiries welcome. For more information, contact Tammy Noteboom at 701-451-4934 or tnoteboom@thevillagefamily.org.




Pomeroy among those to roast Forum Opinion Editor Jack Zaleski

As editorial page editor for The Forum newspaper in Fargo, Jack Zaleski is used to making people squirm. But a few old friends are about to have some fun turning the tables on the former Devils Lake resident.

“The North Dakota Roast of Jack Zaleski” is set for 6 p.m., Sept. 25, at the Lake Region Heritage Center in Devils Lake, N.D.

Robin Huebner of WDAY/WDAZ and The Forum will emcee the event. Former U.S. Congressman Earl Pomeroy is among six roasters who will get to take some good-natured shots at Zaleski, the former general manager and editor of the Devils Lake Journal. The event benefits The Village Family Service Center office in Devils Lake.

“This is kind of a wonderful about-face,” Pomeroy said. “You know, he roasted me for my entire political career. And now I get a chance to shoot back.”

“Rarely does a politician get to take a shot at an editorial board guy,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, a Devils Lake native who’ll also be roasting Zaleski. “It’s like, ‘I get to take a shot at you with no repercussions?’”

Also taking part in the roast are North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley, North Dakota State Senator Dave Oehlke, businessman Rick LaFleur, and filmmaker, former journalist, and former ND Cowboy Hall of Fame Executive Director Darrell Dorgan. There’s talk of a mystery roaster, as well.

Zaleski and his wife, Sandi, lived in Devils Lake for years before moving to Fargo in 1987.
“Devils Lake has a special place in our hearts,” Zaleski said.

The Zaleskis also have close ties to The Village, a Fargo-headquartered nonprofit with about 20 offices in North Dakota and Minnesota. Sandi is a Regional Program
Supervisor at The Village and has worked for the nonprofit family services organization for more than 25 years.

“The Village does such good work at a time when it seems more of that kind of work is needed in North Dakota and Minnesota,” Zaleski said. “Of course, we’ll have a lot of fun, but the goal here is to raise a pile of money for services in the Devils Lake office. That’s what this is all about.”

Pomeroy said, “First of all, I love The Village, love their programs. The fact that this is part of a fundraising effort to support the great work of The Village makes me very happy to participate. And secondly, it’s payback time, pal!”

In preparation, Pomeroy says he’s going through “a very careful review of (Jack’s) sordid past.”

“I collect all the dirt I can find on him, and work myself into a particularly foul mood, then I start to write,” he said.

Of course, Zaleski’s roasters should be warned; Jack will get some time at the mic, as well.

“It’ll all be in good fun, and I’ll probably have to squirm a little bit,” he said. “But they need to be aware that I do my homework too about them. They need to understand that.”

To purchase tickets for the event or to inquire about purchasing a sponsorship, contact Jenny Boe at (701) 451-4957 or jboe@thevillagefamily.org.

We Need Vlunteers for the Bobcat ND Open Golf Tournament

Wanna spend a day or two outdoors and help people at the same time? We are in need of volunteers for the 2015 Bobcat ND Open? golf tournament Aug. 28-30 at the Fargo Country Club. The Open benefits The Village. Those who volunteer for at least eight hours will receive a free round of golf at the Fargo Country Club. For more info, call Tasha Haug at 701-451-4956 or visit BobcatNDOpen.com.

The Village is hiring a Director of Development

Fargo, ND

If you are searching for a mission-driven organization that is passionate about improving the lives of children and families, The Village Family Service Center has an exciting opportunity available. We are looking for a Director of Development, who shares our passion, to manage a team of Development officers and to create and execute annual and long-term fundraising strategies. The Village was founded 124 years ago as a home for orphaned children and now serves clients of all ages through an unparalleled continuum of care for behavioral and mental health issues. Village services include individual and family counseling, child care, mentoring, adoption, financial counseling, workplace programs, and substance abuse treatment.

The successful applicant will:

  • Have a broad background in fundraising – with 10+ years in designing and implementing campaigns, impeccable leadership skills, proven donor relations, history of top notch staff development, close relationship with board members and CEO’s, and working with Major Gifts, Corporate Giving, Planned Giving, and Capital Giving Campaigns
  • Be a visionary leader with a history of managing a successful development program
    Have five or more years experience managing a team, with the ability to develop and build a creative team, and organize them to maximize opportunities
  • Share our passion for improving the lives of children and families
  • Warmth, intelligence, energy and integrity is needed in full supply! Please send resume and cover letter to: C Haugen, The Village Family Service Center, 1201 25th St. S., P.O. Box 9859, Fargo, ND 58106 or email chaugen@thevillagefamily.org by August 21, 2015, If you have questions, please call Gary at 701-451-4929. Background checks completed. EOAAE.

We need votes! The Village is one of eight finalists in the nation for a $75,000 donation from DSW

Fargo, ND, June 5, 2015 – The Village Family Service Center has been selected as a finalist for DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse’s Shoe Lovers Care “Leave Your Mark” program. The Village is one of only eight national finalists for the award.

The nonprofit that receives the most votes on ShoeLoversCare.com will receive a $75,000 donation from DSW. Individuals can vote once per day. Voting is currently open to the public and ends on June 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

“Leave Your Mark” is a philanthropic program that allows DSW’s employees nationwide to nominate nonprofit organizations they feel passionate about supporting. DSW then selects eight finalists from the many submissions.

If The Village wins, the money would go to Nokomis Childcare Center, which is a program of The Village.

Additional Info: DSW Inc. is a footwear and accessories retailer offering brand name and designer footwear and accessories for women, men, and children. As of June 5, 2015, DSW operates 450 stores in 42 states and online. DSW also supplies footwear to 374 leased locations in the United States.

Want to see your pet’s photo in The Village Family Magazine? Here’s how…

Would you like to see your pet in The Village Family Magazine and/or on our website/social media? Just email your pet pics to klynch@thevillagefamily.org or post them on the Magazine Facebook page, and we just might publish them! Feel free to include any info about the pets or people in the picture. Have fun!


From First Step Recovery: Enjoying the summer without drugs or alcohol

sober fun pintOne of the most common complaints from people who are starting treatment or are in early recovery is: “What am I supposed to do for fun? If I’m not drinking or using, I don’t know what else there is to do.”

The goal of having sober fun includes a new learning process that is going to take some time and effort. Each individual is unique and has to discover the events or experiences that provide a natural level of enjoyment that draws them back for a second time. Don’t just stick to what is safe and comfortable—try new things.

Here are some ideas to consider for summer 2015:
• Canoe and Kayak
• Take an art class
• Go to the zoo, with or without kids!
• Create a bucket list
• Join a running club
• Take dancing lessons
• Camp, Hike, Backpack
• Go on long bike rides- check out http://www.fargomonthly.com/community/great-ride-bikes-share/
• Discover a park each weekend
• Get a one day free guest pass for Sanford Wellness Center
• Tour the local museums
• Take a hot air balloon ride in Medora
• Check out Sky Zone/Trampoline Park; 701-478-8484

A few organized sober activities in the area to consider are:

Spiritual Refreshment
Fair Hills Resort on Pelican Lake
May 22-25, 2015
Host: UMRNA activities sub-committee

Lost and Found’s Mulligan Golf Classic
June 26, 2015

Also check out the following websites for more ideas:

So, whatever your summer pursuits and plans are this year, may you find endless enjoyable activities that support your Recovery! That is part of living life to its fullest! Enjoy.
sober fun