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~In This Issue~Feb. 2013
Bowl-A-Thon Rolls into Town Next Month
Merrick Honors 2012 COMPASS Award Recipients
Client Spotlight | Mary R.
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Rolling Along
2013 has gotten off to a great start at Merrick. We are moving forward on several initiatives designed to offset the impending rate cuts presented by DHS in the 2013 legislative session. You can keep up to date on legislative activity by visiting this section of our website: http://www.merrickinc.org/legislative-updates-2013.html

Next month, the 2013 Bowl-A-Thon rolls into town and you can read more in this issue about the work that goes into this event that lasts just a few short hours, albeit the most high-energy, action-packed few hours you can imagine! 
Peg M BAT 2011
Peg M., a client at Merrick with members of the  2012 St. Paul Winter Carnival Royal Family at last year's Bowl-A-Thon
In February, we celebrated employee accomplishments with the presentation of the annual COMPASS awards. Three deserving employees were designated as winners for 2012, and all 19 nominees were honored at a short ceremony. Check out the article for a link to photos and to read more about this year's winners. 

We thank you for your continued support and hope to see you at the 2013 Bowl-A-Thon!  
Bowl-A-Thon Rolls into Town Next Month

If you have been to Merrick's annual bowling fundraiser,

Bowl- A-Thon (BAT) held each March, it is no surprise to find out about the amount of work that goes into the event which lasts just a mere few action-packed hours. If you haven't had the privilege to either volunteer at the BAT, attend as a participant, or absorb the atmosphere through being a cheerleader- this is your year!

IPS Worldwide has been the presenting sponsor of the BAT for the past several years and this year with IPS President and Owner, Jackie O'Connell, serving as the President of our Board of Trustees, their involvement is as integral to the event's success as ever. The IPS offices in both Vadnais Heights and Duluth are turned into warehouses for lane banners, auction items, game prizes, and more in the weeks gearing up for the event.


Merrick Finance and Development Director Mike Greenbaum said, "Without the work of IPS, the Bowl-A-Thon could not be the profitable event that helps us reach our  fundraising goals each year. For the past five years, we have averaged $33,000 from this well-run and enjoyable event and most of  the credit for that rests firmly with the involvement of IPS and their employees."

Jo Ann and clients at Merrick are asking very nicely for  your
participation in the Bowl-A-Thon! 

Planning for the event is basically a year-round commitment, culminating with the committee meetings beginning in January of each year. The next six weeks are a whirlwind of activity as silent auction items are procured, game prizes sought, food arrangements made, lane sponsors secured, and bowlers registered. Jo Ann Lizakowski, Merrick's Volunteer and Event Coordinator leads the committee meetings along with Jackie, who serves as the committee chair. A few key points on registration and participation:

  • Registration is now available at this link https://merrickinc.ejoinme.org/BATregistration 
  • New this year is the ability to create a personal fundraising page. Take a look at Jo Ann's personal team page at this link: http://bit.ly/BAT2013TeamLizakowski 
  • And finally, if you prefer to attend the event as a cheerleader, silent auction shopper, and/or game player your presence is welcome as well. See you on March 3rd! 
Merrick Honors 2012 COMPASS Award Recipients

Merrick annually presents its most prestigious honor, the COMPASS Award to employees nominated by their co-workers. In 2012, a group of 19 employees were nominated, and three selected as recipients:

  • Patrice Dworak, Charitable Gambling Assistant
  • Jo Ann Lizakowski, Volunteer & Event Coordinator
  • Karen Wold, Support Service Staff
Compass Winners with JWB
(from left) Jo Ann, Karen, and Patrice with JWB

Each winner receives an engraved award, their name on a plaque displayed at Merrick and a monetary prize. Here are brief excerpts from each winner's nomination. 



Patrice has initiative and drive, often making other employees look like they are working in slow motion.


Jo Ann:

Her enthusiasm and genuine care in hosting our fundraising events has continued to improve the guest experience, our messaging, and net proceeds.   

On her own time she takes a client out monthly and helped one particular client that is visually impaired be more empowered through the use of assistive technology. 


Along with presenting the COMPASS awards, drawings were held to reward employees for referrals, and for not taking unscheduled time off. View photos from the ceremony at: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDTn8qU 

Mary R. | Utility Services

Mary R. brings joy and laughter to life on a daily basis. Her laughter can be heard from down the hall and her booming voice enthusiastically greeting others echoes off the walls. She is definitely a "personality plus" type of person! Mary possesses an effervescent and outgoing personality that can turn anyone's day around. Others gravitate to her to share stories and for her good vibes. However, just three years ago, Mary's life was quite different. She was unemployed and spent her days alone in her apartment watching television, eating chips, drinking soda, and smoking cigarettes. When she enrolled for services at Merrick, she immediately got involved in self-advocacy and it has significantly changed her life. She has attended and presented at conferences, other DT&H  programs, and various civic groups. Mary is currently a member of:

  •  The National Organization, Self-Advocates Being Empowered (SABE),
  •  Self-Advocates of MN (SAM), and
  •  The MN Governor's Council on DD. 

She has had opportunities to travel both within the state and across the country sharing information about self-advocacy. In the past two years, she has been featured on two videos sponsored by the MN Governor's Council. One film relates the journey of moving from institutions to independence and the other presents end of life choices. Along with her peer advocacy work, Mary enjoys going to elementary schools and working with fourth graders on the Ambassadors of Respect project. She guides them through interactive activities where they learn invaluable tools on treating people with respect, learn about people first language, and acceptance of differences. 

Mary R.
Mary flashing her megawatt smile at the 2012 Golden Gala


During the week, you will find Mary involved in contract work in Utility Services-where she loves to make money. She is the President of the Shooting Stars self-advocacy group held weekly on Tuesday afternoons. In late 2012, she downsized from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom apartment in the same complex to save money. She loves spending time with her family, her boyfriend Robert and his family, and spending time at the cabin in the summer. Mary is excited that her daughter is moving back to the Twin Cities after spending a year in Iowa. She also loves her guinea pig named Bear. At this juncture, she feels that her life is going in the right direction and she feels empowered in how she wants to live her life. Her mantra is "Dream Big!" 


Get to know more clients at 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.