~In This Issue~ Feb 2015
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Park Tool  www.parktool.com has been manufacturing bicycle specific tools since 1963Based out of St. Paul  they are the world's largest bicycle tool manufacturer. A long-term dedication to quality, innovation, and customer service has made Park Tool the first choice of professional and home bicycle mechanics around the world.

Please support our business partners with your spending dollars!

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  
Marketing & Communications Coordinator Emberly Hermann-Johnson via email at 
We seek your referrals! 
Help us continue to find meaningful work for the clients at 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:
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Sweet on You! 

2015 has kicked off to a running start at Merrick, Inc. In just under a month we will be hosting, along with presenting sponsor IPS Worldwide, our 13th annual charity Bowl-A-Thon at Flaherty's Arden Bowl in Arden Hills. If you have ever attended, you would probably agree it is our "most fun" fundraiser of the year! Read below for more details on what will certainly be a whirlwind of a morning. 

In the spirit of sharing some "sweet" news, we happily introduce our newest member of the management team, Andy Rausch. JWB gives up his Bark's Bytes platform to concerned parents, find out why in the story below. If you are an online shopper, please consider bookmarking our site through Amazon Smile to donate a percentage of your purchases to Merrick. That sounds pretty sweet to us! And we wrap up this edition with a client spotlight on a guy who is pretty firmly in the hearts of his staff.

As always, we couldn't do the work we do without your support. We want you to know we are sweet on YOU! Thanks for helping empower adults with disabilities in your community. 
Join Bowl-A-Thon #13 rolling into town March 15
What has been dubbed as our "funnest" fundraiser of the year, the Bowl-A-Thon, is just four weeks away. Be sure to secure your spot on one of the 10 lanes still remaining by registering online today at www.merrickinc.org/bowl.
Bowling, door prizes, games, silent auction, and PIZZA! What more could you ask for in a fundraiser?
We are also in need of prize donations and items for the silent auction. If you are able to make a donation, please bring it to Merrick by February 27 (deadline extended), or contact Jo Ann Lizakowski by email at JoAnnL@Merrickinc.org or by phone at 651-789-6207 to arrange a pick-up.

Items most needed are:
* Gift cards from your favorite restaurants/bar
* Professional services 
* Creative/artistic items 
* Holiday gifts that "just aren't you" 
* Jewelry 
* Baskets, wine glasses, tumblers, glassware 
* Wine, premium beer and liquor 
* Door Prizes- smaller gifts 
* Sports tickets 
* Woodworking 
* Packs of sugar-free gum 
* Small stuffed toys - mini Ty Beanie Babies or similar 
* Anything of value you think we can use! 

We hope to see you at Flaherty's Arden Bowl the morning of Sunday, March 15. As always a HUGE thank you to long-time presenting sponsor of the Bowl-A-Thon, IPS Worldwide! ❖
Meet Andy Rausch, our new Work Procurement & Contract Manager

Before John Crea retired in December 2014, he spent four months preparing his replacement, Andy Rausch. Andy comes to Merrick with 14 years of experience in Corporate America, followed by what some may agree is the most challenging job of all, stay-at-home parent to four children. Now that the kids are older, Andy is ready to tackle a new challenge and wanted to put his experience and skills to use for a mission that he believes in. Luckily, Merrick is that place. 


Andy's connections to Merrick run deep, as an uncle to Sean, a client at Merrick and he has served on fundraising committees and even twice emceed Merrick's Golden Gala along with his brother Al and JWB in the past. 

Andy, his wife Tanya, their four kids: Maddie, Luke, Adam, & Bella, along with their dog Britta enjoy a day of sledding.

Eager to take on the responsibilities as Work Procurement and Contract Manager, Andy said, ""The greatest part of my day is to walk through the building and see how happy our clients are. To know that I have a part in those smiles, is awesome! It motivates me every day to find more business partners to employee our clients."
Along with finding opportunities for individual placements and work crews, he oversees the following areas of social enterprise:
  • digital imaging
  • packaging and assembly
  • plastic recycling
  • document destruction

If one of these areas might fit with your local business, please contact Andy and he will happily walk you through the process. He can be reached at AndyR@MerrickInc.org or by  phone at 651-789-6211.

JWB gives parents at Merrick the floor on Bark's Bytes

The latest edition of Executive Director John Wayne Barker's (JWB) blog is dedicated to upcoming changes that might effect many clients at Merrick. Parents of a client, Jim and Karen Clapper offer their opinion on what the Olmstead Plan might mean for their son Bob. Click here: http://bit.ly/BarksBytes30 to read the full article. 


For more information from the state on what these changes might be, Darlene Zangara, Executive Director of the Olmstead Sub-Cabinet, will meet with families from 6:30 - 8:30 P.M., on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 in the Commons at Merrick's main program site in Vadnais Heights. Space is limited to 100, please RSVP to JWB at JWB@MerrickInc.org by February 27. 

Amazon Smile partnership generates funds

Are you an online shopper? Perhaps even a frequent online shopper at Amazon? If so, please take a moment to redirect your saved links with this URL: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/41-0991279 It works with your existing account, just log in and then always start your purchase through that link, and .5% of your eligible purchases benefit Merrick, Inc. It could add up quickly, and we all know every little bit helps. There is no additional cost to you to sign up for this program.

For more info on Amazon Smiles,visit: http://smile.amazon.com/about 
Client Spotlight | Bobby | Enhanced Services 

This year, Bobby, a client in the enhanced services program, celebrates his 30th anniversary at Merrick. Over the years, Bobby has witnessed a great deal of change at Merrick, and personally has changed as well. Upon his initial enrollment, he required a high degree of behavioral support and was isolated from others. Throughout the years, Bobby has worked with many caring supportive Merrick and home staff members who have helped him to get where he is today. Now, he jokingly interacts with his favorite staff daily. One on-going  inside joke  is giving them nicknames. He calls Nathaniel "Charlie" and Dede "Theresa." 

With encouragement from the staff, twelve years ago, Bobby started earning his first paychecks on the crew that picked up headsets from Northwest Airlines. Today, he chooses to do his favorite job: pull tab shredding. He enjoys spending the money he earns to buy his own snacks.

Bobby at work shredding pulltabs.

When asked which part of the day is his favorite, Bobby enthusiastically said, "riding the bus to work!" When he is not at Merrick, Bobby enjoys listening to the music of Johnny Cash and looking at pictures of important people in his life. He has an excellent ability to remember people from his past.

While Bobby still needs much support from Merrick staff, he has grown from a person who had minimal interactions with others, to a person who is in our hearts forever. With the right supports in place, Bobby can and has achieved much more than society may have thought possible. Bobby's story demonstrates the motto of our enhanced services program: "being prepared for daily challenges and achieving the best outcomes possible." 

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

Cecilio & Margarita Baraibar

Anita Beachler

Bell State Bank and Trust

Jerry and Judy Bergsrud

Kristy Brown

Lucille Bryant-Little

Karen and Jim Clapper

Patti Cullen

Robert & Mary Ann DeYoung

Therese and Edward Dodds

Charlotte & Paul Donahue

Kathleen Dube

William Ewert

James and Janice Feely

Marlys Ferguson

Alan and Beth Fletcher

Leo and Joy Fortier

Jean Gavic

GPU District 402

Cathy Hamilton

Mark Hartman

Dede Hauck

Julie Hillestead

Tom and Mary Jo Holly

John and Barbara Huston

Jan Johnson State Farm Insurance

Jacqueline Jarosz

Lynn  Johnson

Kathy & Kurt Kaiser

Dennis & Carolyn Kelleher

Edward & Sharon Kelsey

Bruce and Linda Kennedy

Keys Café & Bakery

Ronald and Wendy Klemz

Larry Konsterlie

Kowalski's Markets

Mary Kruger

William Kruschel

Dan and Joyce Kuechenmeister

Eileen LeClair

Erik Levy

Tom & Marlene Loven

Stephanie Mann

Judy and Gary Maslowski

Chuck Matkaiti

Mark Mayerchak

Martin and Cheryl Mayerchak

Joseph McDermott

Margaret Monn

James and Valerie Monn

Stephen Monn

Pat and Jackie O'Connell

Mike Peshut

Audrey Petersen

Pilgrim Cleaners

Christine Ramirez

Mark & Barb Rovie

Paul and Hope Rudeen

Susan & Ford Runge

Crystal Sarick Fashant

Rita & John Saumweber

Chris Schneeman

Sharrow Lifting Products

Omar and Julie Souka

Roland and Mandanah Spadino

Ed Therrien

Robert and Arla Timbers

Bill Walsh

Wells Fargo Foundation

White Bear Lake Dental LLC

Joan & Robert Wilson

Audrey & Gilbert Zachman

Melissa Zachman

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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.