Profile photo of J. Shane Mercer

About J. Shane Mercer

I am the digital marketing specialist at The Village Family Service Center. Keep up with Village news and events at https://www.facebook.com/thevillagefamily and on Twitter at @VillageFamily

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

JOB OPENING: 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!

benny

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
218-287-2089

Also check out the following websites for more ideas:
Cleanandsobernotdead.com
Fargoparks.com/events-calendar.html
Umrna.org/events.html

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

Q&A: “At what age should I allow my child to play alone outside?”

By Jane Greminger
Nokomis Child Care Centers

Editor’s note: Jane Greminger is the director of Nokomis Child Care Centers, which is part of The Village Family Service Center. Nokomis provides a place for all children to thrive and grow, regardless of their needs. The center provides traditional child care for families able to pay for the service, and also fills a need for families with special needs, both financial, emotional, and physical.

Q: My child wants to play outside all the time. How old should he be before I can leave him outside alone for a few minutes?

The answer to this question depends on so many variables, so I don’t think you can determine an over-all age for when a child should be allowed to play outside alone. Consider the following factors as a guideline when you are deciding when it’s safe to let your child play outside alone:

ENVIRONMENT: Is your yard fenced in? In my opinion, if your yard is fenced in, then 5 to 6 years old is an appropriate age to allow your child to play outside alone for a few minutes at a time. If your yard is not fenced in, I suggest waiting until your child is around 8 years old before you allow them to be totally alone outside. No matter the age of your child, check on them regularly. Always keep in mind the possible dangers of leaving your son alone without your supervision. Without a fenced-in yard, you have to be aware of busy streets and cars that are too fast or aren’t safely driving through the neighborhood. Even if you trust your child, it’s not possible to always be aware of the dangers lurking out there…so supervision is key.

VISIBILITY: Can you actually see and hear your son outside from a window or door on the inside of your home? It is safer to make sure your son is within ear shot and/or is visible to you. Also remember to observe the environment outside to check for any dangers before he goes out to play. These dangers can include anything from broken lawn furniture or glass to faulty play equipment or toys, etc.

MATURITY LEVEL: How mature is your son? As parents and caregivers we become familiar with our child’s personality. Be mindful of certain questions such as: Is your son typically responsible? Would he leave your yard and go into a neighbor’s house without telling you? Is your son impulsive? Does he think before he acts? Does your son play in a calm manner or is he real rough? Children need to be individually evaluated to determine their maturity level for playing outside alone. Does your son understand not to talk with strangers or go with them under any circumstance? Does he know not to run into the street? These are all things you need to ask yourself before allowing your son to play outside alone, especially for longer periods of time.

PLAYMATES: Does your child have siblings or friends to play with? When other children are around, they can look out for one another. Children are less vulnerable and safer when they play in a group than when a child plays alone. If something does happen, the other child(ren) can get help and tell an adult the circumstances. Have safety talks with children before you allow them to play alone outside. These talks should include your thoughts about strangers, possible hazards, outside boundaries, and any other outdoor rules you want to establish with them. If your child is old enough, have him memorize your address and phone number in case of an emergency. Have 9-1-1 and other emergency numbers posted in your home at all times.

 

Village offers “Friendship Training” for children in St. Cloud with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Children with FASD or PAE often have a hard time making friends. Children’s Friendship Training works with children and their parents to develop socially acceptable behaviors—enhancing the likelihood the children are accepted by their peers. Children’s Friendship Training focuses on critical child and parent behaviors that lead to social skills deficits. During the 13-week session, parents and children will:

• Learn how to develop a social network (with the parent’s help)
• Exchange information with peers in the group
• Have in-home play dates
• Learn to avoid conflict and negotiate with peers
• Learn how to enter into a group

These skills are taught in small groups—separated into a children’s group and a parent’s group—through modeling, coaching, practice, performance feedback, and parent-assisted homework.

When: Wednesdays, 6–7 p.m, beginning June 3
Where: The Village Family Service Center, 4140 Thielman Lane, Suite 303, St. Cloud, MN
Info: 320-253-5930Childrens Friendship Training

Did You Live in the ND Children’s Home or Children’s Village? We’re planning a reunion!

If you lived in the North Dakota Children’s Home or Children’s Village at any time in your life, please contact The Village Family Service Center at 701-451-5033 or lrieber@thevillagefamily.org. The Village is planning a North Dakota Children’s Home/Children’s Village Reunion on Sept. 8, 2015, and wants to invite all the former residents (and their families) it can find. Let us know who you are, and we’ll send you an invitation.

The Village Family Service Center was founded as the North Dakota Children’s Home Society, a home for orphaned children. In the 1950s, the name was changed to Children’s Village, and in the early 70s, to The Village Family Service Center. Today, The Village reaches out to more than 80,000 people every year, and is constantly adapting services to meet the needs of modern life. These transformations are ongoing and span a multitude of areas. From individual and family counseling to child care, mentoring and adoption to financial counseling and workplace issues, The Village is a place for all individuals and families, regardless of their size, color or creed.

Nokomis Child Care part of 4th Annual United Way Women’s Leadership May Day Baskets of Books effort

Thanks so much United-Way of Cass-Clay for making Nokomis Child Care part of your book delivery today. Thanks to Kristina Hein and Tonya Stende for visiting and reading with the kids. Photos from Nokomis and more info about this United Way May Day event below!

::: Press release from United Way Cass-Clay :::
Fargo, ND — Over 1,000 books will be delivered to 17 local early childcare centers throughout the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo metro area today. Women on the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, as well as United Way President, Sherri Thomsen and Marketing & Brand Management Director, Kristina Hein will be delivering books and reading to children. Join us at our office at 9:15am to see volunteers arrive and gather their books. At 10:00am, volunteers will be reading to children at the YMCA of Cass & Clay Counties (400 1st Ave S, Fargo, ND) who is one of United Way’s Community Partners.

This also celebrates the 12th year that United Way of Cass-Clay has made Imagination Library available to local children. Imagination Library is a program of the Dollywood Foundation funded locally by United Way of Cass-Clay that provides books to preschool children ages 0-5 throughout Cass and Clay Counties. Children enrolled in the Imagination Library program receive a free book each month which is mailed to his or her home. The program is part of the United Way Education initiative that invests in early childhood development and educational programs that ensure children have the positive, enriching experiences needed to succeed in school and in life. The goals of the program are to: increase early literacy opportunities for children, prepare children for success in Kindergarten and encourage parents to take and active and early role in their child’s literacy.

On average in 2014, about 9,100 local children received a book in the mail every month. There are currently 8,865 children registered for the program. This is 51% of all children ages 0-5 throughout Cass and Clay Counties (according to KIDS COUNT Data, 17,342 children ages 0-5 reside in Cass and Clay Counties.) In 2014 there were 105,082 books were sent to the homes of local children and over 33,236 children have been impacted since 2003. It costs about $25 per year to sponsor a child to receive one book per month for an entire year through Imagination Library. For a gift of $150 to United Way of Cass-Clay you can sponsor six children for a full year.