IN THIS ISSUE


Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities
True Friends Family of Services
Conference & Retreat
Make your meeting matter. Host your retreat, event or meeting at camp. Visit us online for more information and availability.
NEWS & NOTES
Friday, March 25, 2016
SEMI-FINALS ARE NEXT
YOU can help us reach the next round of Brackets for Good with a donation by 8PM tonight! $1 = 1pt 

STORY: Sisters, Zoe & Sophia, take on camp together & more in our semi-annual newsletter.

Camper Stories   Respite camper, Ryan
When you want to laugh or need a smile, Ryan is the respite camper to talk to. His Knock Knock jokes are famous and can get a laugh no matter how many times they are told. Ryan has been attending Respite sessions since 2010. He loves his time at camp and likes to make pop-up cards for his parents, make snow globes, be read to and listen to Elmo and Cookie Monster.

He recently participated in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Maple Lake where he got to walk with staff from True Friends. He enjoyed his experience and really liked that he got to see so many different people.
When asked if he had a good time, Ryan replied, "Ah YEAH!" Sign up to be a weekend volunteer with our Respite groups, and you just might be lucky enough to hear one of Ryan's legendary jokes.
Internships at camp
Jon Salmon, Annette White- MLC Staff, Zach Orner at award presentation
True Friends was awarded the Community Champion award from Minnesota Life College for our partnership with their students and internships at camp. Minnesota Life College (MLC) is a life-long learning program for individuals on the autism spectrum and with other learning differences who want to lead an independent life within the community. In their words, "True Friends provides perfect outdoor spaces and opportunities for our year-round student retreats, and they've played a key role in our Summit class, which allows UG students to work at True Friends summer camps."

MLC Interns work in cabins alongside staff members to help campers have a great experience. They attend one week of training and work for five weeks of summer camp. True Friends is happy to have enthusiastic and willing extra hands in the cabins and the interns gain life skills through hands-on experience with support and guidance from both our staff and MLC staff. 
Save the Date 
8 PM TONIGHT - Brackets for Good Semi-Final Decision - True Friends has been powering through a tournament similar to NCAA March Madness. Check out the bracket and help us advance to the semi-final round by donating here!
  
April 1-3 - Camp Courage North Spring Cleaning Weekend  - Helping hands needed to get camp ready for the season. Hoping the snow is melted by then, but not making promises! Sign up by March 25 with JenaS@truefriends.org 

May 1 - OPEN HOUSE: Camp Friendship & Camp Eden Wood
- From 1-3pm, all are welcome to take a tour, explore the cabins, chat with staff and see first-hand why we love camp so much.

May 4-15 - Picha Plant Sale -
12-7 pm weekdays and 10 am - 5 pm on weekends. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees and shrubs will be offered at near wholesale prices. Proceeds from the sale will benefit True Friends. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

May 6 - Spring Steak Fry - From 5:30-8pm, all are invited to the Camp Friendship Dining Hall for amazing food, great company, BYOB (set ups provided), raffles, a silent auction, door prizes and more. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance from Larry Greene at 320.260.1551. 

May 15 - OPEN HOUSE: Camp Courage & Camp Courage North -
From 1-3pm, all are welcome to take a tour, explore the cabins, chat with staff and see first-hand why we love camp so much. If you plan on attending at Camp Courage North, please RSVP to 952.852.0110 x6. 
Giving is Good  Dance with Courage's 10th Anniversary
Fox 9 anchor and event emcee, Tom Butler, and True Friends camper, Francis
This year marked their tenth anniversary of the Dance with Courage event and was the first time it was made a dance marathon at Eden Prairie Center. It was a fun & successful dance-filled fundraiser- raising over $26K! Over 300 people danced at the event drawing large crowds from mall goers. The program was emceed by Fox 9 news anchor, Tom Butler, and included guest performances from the Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders, Minnesota State Mankato University Dance Team and many others.
 
In the past ten years the Dance with Courage event has raised a total of more than $185K for True Friends. The funds donated provide scholarships and support for our campers. At Dance Arts Centre, it is a point for dancers to focus on developing strong character, perseverance, respect and teamwork. A HUGE Thank You to all of the organizers and participants of this hugely successful event. To see more pictures and videos of the day, visit the Dance With Courage Facebook page.
True Friends Can... help us REACH the semi-finals
True Friends is going strong in an innovative online donation initiative called "Brackets for Good" (BFG), which is a spin-off of NCAA March Madness Tournament Bracketology but for nonprofits to compete against each other. TF has made it to the quarterfinals (Top 8 charity teams) still vying for the $10,000 grand prize. With BFG, everybody wins because all the money raised is sent directly to the respective charities!

Click here to score some points for True Friends by 8pm tonight! 

Check out our latest video showing our (lack of) basketball skills!
 
Join the fun, follow us on Twitter.

There's still time to join the fun... Attend a session, apply to work or volunteer!


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