~In This Issue~ Dec 2014
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By Gosh, By Golly!  
The holiday season is in full swing, and by gosh, by golly, so are happenings at Merrick. The Shooting Stars self-advocacy group organized a toy donation and food drive in partnership with the Vadnais Heights Lions Club. This is just one example of how self-advocates are part of the community. Merrick staff members got into the holiday spirit by "adopting" families from a local elementary school, supplying them with basic items such as bedding, dishes, and cookware, along with fun toys for the eleven children in those families.
Self-advocates, JWB, Santa and Vadnais Heights Lions Club members pose with gifts and food donations in front of our new donor wall. 

The annual client holiday party was again an opportunity for clients to celebrate the season at Jimmy's Conference and Catering. This party, made possible by the work and contributions of "elves", is the highlight of the year for many clients at Merrick. 

Last week, we formally recognized our major donors by honoring them with a newly created 'donor wall' display in the lobby at our 3210 site. A reception and unveiling was held on December 10, for more info read on below. Development & Communications Director Karen Herrera wraps up the year of giving at Merrick with her quarterly column. We owe a big thank you to everyone who gave for GiveMN's Give to the Max Day in November and you can read the article below for more details on how those funds will be spent. 

Changes to our Board of Trustees came about this month and are outlined below and we top it all off with a client profile on Angela, who makes the world brighter with her smile. 

As we enter the holiday season, we celebrate YOU, supporter of Merrick, for helping us continue to do the work we love to do by empowering adults with disabilities. 
Donor Wall unveiled in lobby at 3210 site
To recognize those that have helped Merrick "Navigate the Journey" through large gifts of $10,000 or greater, a permanent donor display wall was commissioned for the lobby area of our 3210 program site. 

The wall consists of tiles in varying sizes corresponding with giving levels. The background colors on the tiles were designed in part by a group of self-advocates at Merrick who offered this explanation of their choices at the unveiling ceremony held December 10:
  • Blue stars represent the path to the stars and to our dreams and goals;
  • Purple labyrinths represent that we set our own path and direction as we journey through life; 
  • Green trees show growth and learning;
  • Brown suns stand for hope and joy; and
  • Red hearts show respect, love, and compassion for ourselves and others. 
The donor wall recognizes our major financial supporters and adds visual flair to the lobby at our main program site. Self-advocates show off the designs for the tiles with Zubaz-clad JWB at the unveiling ceremony last week.
Across the lobby a display was installed that allows us to promote current events and presently houses photos of clients making the designs with the symbols chosen for the tiles. Eventually a large screen will be installed where we can welcome guests or play videos of our programs and services. If you are in the area, please drop in and take a look.
Quarterly letter from Development & Communications Director Karen Herrera

This month mark's my first anniversary with Merrick. I am so thrilled to be part of this outstanding organization that strives to bring out the best in every individual we serve. And with your help, we move toward our mission of empowering adults with disabilities. We are so very thankful to all of our supporters throughout the year, but during the holiday season, and especially this year which marks Merrick's 50th anniversary we have much more to be thankful for.


Merrick hosts three major fundraising events each year: the Bowl-A-Thon, Golf Schamble, and the Golden Gala. These events offer an opportunity to bring together individuals, families and businesses to support our mission. Even though the Golf Schamble was a total wash-out due to rain in 2014, each of these events helped us raise much-needed funding for Merrick and helped us share our successes and recruit new supporters. I hope you will join us for one or all of these fun events in 2015.


In an era when government funding is becoming more and more important, we at Merrick are seeking differentiated social enterprise opportunities in which our clients can work that will help us reach our financial goals. We are currently exploring a variety of potential revenue-raising solutions for the next fiscal year We'll keep you informed as our ideas are brought to fruition.


A final year end appeal was recently mailed, seeking donations to help us build a courtyard at our Adult Day Services and Memory Care Services site in North Saint Paul. The Give to the Max Day campaign raised more than half of the funding we need to make this courtyard a reality. If you have not made a donation to Merrick this year, or you might consider an additional donation, please visit https://givemn.org/organization/Merrickinc for more information. We truly appreciate whatever support you may be able to offer to provide a safe place for clients to enjoy Minnesota's warmer days.. 


I wish you a peace-filled holiday season and thank you personally for your investment in Merrick. We couldn't be successful in our mission if it wasn't for your continued support. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Give to the Max Day raises funds for ADS/MC site

Merrick's focus for GiveMN's 2014 Give to the Max Day (GTMD) campaign was on building a new courtyard area for the clients at the North St. Paul site. We estimated the project will cost between $10,000-$12,000. 

Thank you to all who generously gave on GTMD day and rang up a total of $3,260 from online donations. This amount was supplemented by a matching grant of $2,000 from our outstanding business partner Kowalski's Markets, and an additional  $2,125 in offline giving. 


We are now just $4,615 short of our goal amount and a year-end fundraising letter is going out this month to solicit the funds to make this project a reality for the adult day services and memory care clients. If you would like to learn more about the project and help us reach our goal, please visit: https://givemn.org/organization/Merrickinc 



Board of Trustees elects new officers for 2015

At the meeting of Merrick's Board of Trustees held December 10, officers for the upcoming year were elected, as follows: 

Diogo Reis- President

Donika Pentcheva- Vice-President

Jackie O'Connell- Past President

Chris Schneeman- Secretary

John Marzitelli- Treasurer

We thanked Karen DeYoung and Norm Mears for their years of service and welcomed to the board: Frank Gilbertson, Erik Levy, and Crystal Saric Fashant. For more info on the board and the complete listing of 2015 members, please visit: www.merrickinc.org/board-members.html

Client Spotlight | Angela | "I-Team"

Some people just light up a room and Angela or "Angie" as those close to her know her by, is one of those people. She is a social butterfly and enjoys the company of others at her home in Maplewood. When visitors come over, she takes pride in showing off her beautifully decorated room and  many collections. She is known to update the whole look of her room including new bedding, curtains, and fresh paint often. Thelma and Louise, the two house cats, also receive a fair share of Angela's love and devotion. 


Angela celebrated twenty years as a client at Merrick this past August. 

Angela enjoys spending her free time with her parents, two sisters and their families. She participates in a yearly "girls' weekends" with her sisters, aunts and cousins. Known to have many friends, she also participates in community activities every chance she gets. Music is another one of her passions and she is especially fond of heavy metal bands such as Def Leppard and Metallica. Her long list of other favorite activities include: listening to KDWB, watching MTV, shopping, exercising, traveling, roller-skating, swimming, walking, riding her bike, going to movies, dining out, playing basketball and bowling.


Angela has worked at the McDonald's on Suburban Ave. in St. Paul as a Dining Room Attendant since June of 1993. She keeps the dining area clean and tidy and is a familiar, friendly, and helpful face to the regular customers. Angela has had the same supervisor, Nancy Koller, for nearly the entire time she has been at McDonald's. Nancy has witnessed Angela's interests and abilities grow over the years, and coaches her to be the best employee she can be.


Jodie Andrus, Angela's Employment Specialist from Merrick visits her on the job and admires Angela's work ethic and independence. Angela uses Metro Mobility to get to and from work and on the occasions she is ill or has an appointment, she independently cancels or coordinate her rides. This August, Angela proudly received her twenty-year service award.

All who know her say, "Angie is just a joy to be around!" If you ever stop by McDonald's on Suburban Avenue in East St. Paul, you will recognize her by her bright smile lighting up the dining area.  

Get to know more clients at Merrick through the Client Spotlight feature on our website. Visit: http://www.merrickinc.org/client-spotlight.html  
 Thank you to our recent donors
John and Mary Barker
Mark Bauer
Peter Berry
Don Bordsen
Brian Carnes
James Chicone
John Crea
Claudia Engstran
Harry and Lillian Greenbaum
Mike Greenbaum
Linda Gresback
Aaron Hauck
Megan Hauck
Dede and Todd Hauck
Emberly Hermann-Johnson
Heraeus Medical Components  
Karen and Cadex Herrera
Donna Hinrichs
Onu Ikegboma
Bruce and Linda Kennedy
Elizabeth Knudsen
Daniel Lew
Lithium Logistics 
Jo Ann and Chad Lizakowski
Diane Malfeld
Stephanie Mann
Phyllis Martin
Toni McDonnell
Roger Meissner
Joel Melander
Deborah Miller
Mary Moehrle
Michael Morgan
Thomas Neafus
Jeff and Robin Norsted
Mary Ann Nowak
Chris Penn
Donika Pentcheva
Mary Perry
Diogo Reis
Renstrom Dental Studio 
Dora Marie Rohl
Sharon Rome
Lori Scherer
Connie Schmidt
Mel Schroyer
Karen Schwartz
James Schwinghammer
Mark Steen
Mary Suek
Jeanne Tahedl
Gerry Urban
Matthew Verdoorn
Bill and Jamie Walsh
Webers Investment Corporation 
Cindy Wilken
Wolf Motors 

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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.