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~In This Issue~Sept. 2012
Seeing it first hand by Mike Greenbaum
Golden Gala promises rocking fun night
Remembering Jayne Frank
Seeking BOT member for three-year term
Client Spotlight | Steven K.
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Did you know?     
The partnership formed with Phoenix Alternatives to form Newtrax, Inc., to provide transportation for both organizations has saved $120,000 in Fiscal Year 2012.  
We partner with: 
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Medtox a comprehensive laboratory and diagnostic testing service located in St. Paul is committed to excellent customer service ensuring their clients' testing programs operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. 
We value your feedback. Please let us know how we can improve this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future articles or content, contact our communications specialist via email at EmberlyHJ@MerrickInc.org or 
by phone at 651-789-6216. 
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If your workplace partners with United Way, remember you may choose Merrick, Inc., as a donation option; however, we are a WRITE-IN ONLY option. Remember to use our full company name: Merrick, Inc. and have our address handy: 3210 Labore Road, Vadnais Heights, MN 55110 
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We welcome your referrals! 
Help us continue to find meaningful work for the clients of Merrick by suggesting business partners who might be interested in hiring a client or a work crew. Send referrals to Executive Director John Wayne Barker at: JWB@merrickinc.org 
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Rocking and rolling into fall! 
As the leaves begin their downward spiral, we begin to ramp up our fundraising efforts with the 2012 Golden Gala. Register online today to make sure you take part in this groovy night to raise funds to support our mission. 
In this issue you will find the debut of a quarterly column from our Finance and Development Director Mike Greenbaum and learn what led him to join forces with Merrick. We also celebrate the life of long-time supporter and tireless fundraiser Jayne Frank who passed away in early September. 
If you know someone (maybe even yourself?) interested in joining our Board of Trustees, see the article below for more information. And this issue wraps up with the profile of Steven K., a client at Merrick who is proud of his last ten years in the workforce and gives us all reasons to keep working toward our goal of being recognized as a center of excellence, reforming the system at the point of service delivery. Here's to an amazing autumn for all! 
Seeing it first hand by Mike Greenbaum

In 1999, I was working at Lake Area Bank and involved with Merrick as its banker and volunteering my time at fundraising events. I had no idea the impact the clients at Merrick could have on me or the culture of a business. That all changed when Merrick approached me about the possibility of having a client work at the bank. 


At first, I was like many of the businesses we approach, not knowing what hiring a client would entail and I was honestly a little hesitant. After further discussion with Merrick staff, I recognized that bringing someone in to shred documents would free up tellers to better serve customers and finish required paper work. After meeting the client who I will call "Alice", I became excited to bring her in to the bank. 

Alice was a client with one-to-one staff support who had a seizure disorder and wore a protective helmet. She had the biggest smile and most infectious personality you could imagine. While she worked only once or twice a week, her positive impact on the office was immeasurable. 


The bank had been through several transitions over the past couple of years and morale was low. Not only was Alice able to free-up valuable time for the tellers, every time she stepped into the office with her big smile and visible excitement to be at work the whole atmosphere of the bank changed. We all gained a little more appreciation for what it meant to have a job and contribute to a team. 


Those days when Alice came in to the bank gave me a greater understanding of the impact supported employment can have on both the client and the business that I have carried with me over these past twelve years at Merrick. If you are ready to hire a client, or want to simply discuss the logistics, let's meet. Email me at MikeG@MerrickInc.org or call me at 651-789-6206. I can promise you that it will be a positive experience for yourself, your employees, and your organization as a whole.

Golden Gala promises rocking fun night

Since 1964 we have been working together to improve the lives of adults with disabilities. Join in the celebration as we flashback to our past, honoring the roots of Merrick, Inc., through a night of frolicking, 60's style fun! [Period dress encouraged, but not required]  

  clients from the 60's

What: 2012 Golden Gala

When: Friday, October 12 | 6-11 pm

Where: Prom Center | Oakdale, MN

Why: To raise funds in support of our mission to empower adults with disabilities! 


Get all the details at: http://bit.ly/Goldengala2012registration


Remembering Jayne Frank
Jayne Frank
Jayne Lois (Neidermier) Frank

We pay tribute to Jayne Frank, who passed away on September 8, 2012. Jayne was an early and dedicated advocate for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and a parent of a client at Merrick. She joined the St. Paul Arc when it started in 1951 and later served several terms on their Board of Directors. She was the recipient of the Virginia McKnight Binger Award from The McKnight Foundation through a nomination for her work at Merrick. Along with that award she won numerous other awards for her relentless work advocating for people with developmental disabilities. She helped establish Merrick's annual client holiday party, and was an original member of the Golden Gala (formerly Gold Plate Dinner) planning committee. Jayne served on Merrick's Board for many years, and was President during a remodeling phase in the '90s, utilizing her professional skills as a interior designer. We celebrate her beautiful life and extend our sympathies to her family.

Seeking BOT member for three-year term

We are currently seeking an "advocate" nominee for our Board of Trustees (BOT) to serve a three-year term beginning in December 2012. An advocate member needs to have someone in their family with a disability, preferably an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD). We would like to find a person between the ages of 25-35 years and from a minority population to better balance the composition of the BOT. 


Additionally, the BOT nominee should have an interest in our mission and offer unique skills, experiences, and community connections to enhance the breadth and depth of the BOT. In particular, the Board seeks someone with skills/experience in any of the following areas: 

  • Lobbying and Political Backgrounds
  • Sales and/or Marketing
  • Communications
  • Entrepreneurial Experiences
  • Finance and Accounting

Please refer nominees to Volunteer & Events Coordinator Jo Ann Lizakowski at 651-789-6207 or joannl@merrickinc.org for more information. Family members of clients at Merrick encouraged to apply!

Stephen K. | Par Aide

Steven K. celebrates ten years with Merrick this year and ten years in the workforce. Prior to coming to Merrick, Steven spent his days at home. He now thrives as an active part of his community, earns a living, and enjoys the friendships he has created through working on the Par Aide and Smith Micro Tech crews at Merrick. He is the nucleus of the crew---making sure the quality is high for the large volume of golf course marker stakes that the crew produces each day. 

Steven K
Steven K. at work in Vadnais Heights


Beyond work, Steven participates in softball and basketball through Boston Health Care Systems, Inc., and enjoys playing the Wii when he's at home. He is a yearly attendee at Camp Friendship and likes to joke around with his peers, staff, and neighbors. When it comes to Merrick fundraisers, Steven is the king of volunteering at the Golf Schamble and Golden Gala---he loves helping Merrick raise funds for the benefit of fellow clients. If you ever need a historian about East St. Paul---Steven is your man. He is knowledgeable and insightful about the immediate community he has been involved with for decades.


Steven is unassuming, engaging, enthusiastic, honest, sensitive, polite, loyal, and good-natured. He takes pride in using Metro Mobility to get to and from work. In October of this year, Steven will accomplish a huge personal milestone when he moves out of a foster home into an apartment with a roommate, another client at Merrick. This was a long-held goal for him, so congratulations are in order. The new roommates will share an affordable two-bedroom apartment with access to bike paths, lakes, a workout room and swimming pool. Steven said, "It will be like being on vacation all the time!" Steven reminds us that hard work, living on one's own, community building, and being independent are wonderful human values to celebrate. 


Get to know more clients of Merrick with the client spotlight stories on our website: http://bit.ly/clientspotlight 

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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.