In the midst of COVID-19 uncertainties, the bright spot is working with wonderful people toward a common goal. My interactions with Cary Snowden, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, have been enlightening, respectful and intellectually stimulating. Our promise to each other is to set aside self-interest and anxiety and focus on putting teens first. All other actions will emanate from that premise. Our Boards of Directors are committed to this same goal. Having a one-stop-shop for Sonoma Valley teens not only maximizes our resources, it takes some of the stress off of teens figuring out where they have to go to get support and have fun!
The staff of BGCSV and TSS have been sharing program ideas and taking teens back and forth to our locations for a couple of years, so we are excited about supporting teens in a common place. The photos honoring the BGCSV Youth of the Year recipients will soon hang alongside those of our Ready to Work and Lovin' Oven Culinary Academy graduates, and we will make sure this space is welcoming to all teens.
We know there is a lot of work ahead to reach our goal, and we are confident that we have the leadership and staff to be successful. It means the world to have our founders, donors, and the community behind us as we take this bold step to help the valley's teens succeed in school and in life.
Please stay safe and healthy.

In Kindness,


Even as we begin our program integrations with BGCSV, the key is stay calm, flexible, and adaptable because there are still so many unknowns. However, we knew right away that our previous face-to-face Ready to Work (RTW) course would have to change. We have just piloted a new hybrid model that includes both video and personal instruction in small groups in order to follow COVID protocols. For those of you who have met Jennifer Blackwood, our RTW primary instructor, you can imagine the voice and tone as the video starts with a smiling face and: "Hi!  My name is Jennifer and THIS is Ready to Work!"
Reinforcing our Teens First approach, we are working with Boys & Girls Clubs to offer an on-site, outdoor, socially-distanced opportunity for teens to do their distance learning at the Teen Center in the Springs. We are working closely with Creekside and Sonoma Valley High Schools and the school district to ensure we are safely meeting this need. We are still working out the details but are committed to providing this vital service to our teens. We will keep you posted.

Thanks to funding from Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, a unique work of art resides in Vailetti Plaza, right outside of Operation Bicycle - a sculpture with a story.
This 13-foot kinetic sculpture was the brainchild of TSS volunteer and fine artist Pat Meier-Johnson. The tree is made of recycled bicycle parts and culinary items representing our two social enterprises: Operation Bicycle and the Lovin' Oven. It was created by metal sculptor Marty Munson, assisted by two teens - Alondra Perez and Leila Whitney. Together, the three determined the general design of the tree and the teens learned about weight, balance, form and space, as well as a variety of welding techniques. Hanging from the tree are flattened spoons and metal leaves imprinted with words about teen hopes and dreams for the future.
Last March, Sonoma Valley teens were ready to stamp their leaves to hang on the tree; however, COVID-19 interrupted those plans and the scheduled installation and ribbon-cutting. Nonetheless, the tree is now installed and more teens will be adding leaves to the sculpture during upcoming months
Despite the interruption, Pat is excited to see the Tree come to fruition. "Never did I dream that my whimsical idea would turn into such a beautiful structure, providing young people a way to leave their mark on the world as part of a huge, beautiful, kinetic sculpture for all to see."
From start to finish, this project was captured on film by video producer and journalist Russell Johnson, to document the entire project, so stay tuned for the full story!
A huge thank you to Marty Munson - an extraordinarily generous and talented artist and amazing mentor to the teens. Thanks also to our two funders: Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, to Pat, Russ, Alondra, and Leila, plus Ann Iverson, Casey Richter and our would-be stamping partners: Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, and Art Escape.

Sonoma Valley lost two larger-than-life personalities with the recent passing of Earl Broderick and Marcie Waldron. Their styles were quite different, as were their life's achievements; but they were much alike in their philanthropy, love of community, kindness to others, and breadth of their impacts.
As a teenager, Earl already felt at home on top of a tractor and knew that his future would be in construction. As an adult, he seemed to know that not all teens have that same sense of purpose at such an early age. Perhaps that is why he became a long-time friend of Teen Services Sonoma and always made time to talk with the teens at Cowboy Cab. Each year, Earl brought a group of friends to the event and his table was full of laughter. We were grateful for his joyful presence, his willingness to help whenever needed, and for his generous support of our mission. (Photo shows Jere Starks, Earl Broderick and Marianne Marshall at Cowboy Cab)
It is hard to imagine a person with more heart than Marcie Waldron. She collected and gave away hundreds of heart rocks and even taught members of our Girls Club how to make heart necklaces as a fundraiser to thank first responders in 2017 (photo above). Marcie mastered the art of creative giving - caring about others, finding solutions, encouraging giving in others. Her energy was remarkable, but so were the sly smile and twinkle in her eyes as she invariably started a conversation with "I'd like to share an idea that I have..." Marcie willingly gave her heart to all who knew her and to many who did not.

The Lovin' Oven Garden

In our last newsletter, we offered thanks to Kiwanis of Sonoma Plaza for providing seed money for our new Lovin' Oven garden and to everyone who responded to our request for additional help. Our garden containers just arrived and garden construction will begin soon, but Chef Paloma could not wait.  In the interim, she started a mini-garden on our back patio and harvests the produce for her SOS meals! 

Shade for Added Comfort

Moving some activities outdoors allows us to serve more teens and still follow social-distancing and COVID protocols. Luckily, we have a deck and large parking area, but the direct sun can be a bit harsh in the late afternoons or the fog a bit drizzly in the early mornings. Both are now eased thanks to the installation of two new sail shades adding protection over our deck and parking lot. Many thanks to Tom Landy for the shades and to Jere Starks and Eric Brown for donating their time and expertise for the installation.
Teen Services Sonoma Yard Sale
Come join us on Saturday, August 15 - 9:00 am - 1:00 pm in our rear parking lot. All proceeds benefit teen programs in Sonoma Valley. Take advantage of bargain prices for furniture, books, tools, and kitchen items - all sanitized and priced to sell. Plus, our famous chocolate chip cookies will be on sale! Please wear a mask, abide by COVID-19 protocols, and park in the Flowery School Lot next door. Cash preferred.
Operation Bicycle Temporarily Closed for Teen Training

Business is still booming at Operation Bicycle. So much so that there will be a temporary closure from August 11-15. That will give Adrian time to train new teen staff, catch up on the backlog of repairs, and increase bike inventory. Across the nation, there is a bicycle shortage as global supply chains have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak while demand has increased. So please be patient knowing that there will be more bikes for sale on August 18! Please call 707-343-7223 if you need to schedule a bike pickup.

Lorraine Ashton
Anna Bimenyimana
Earl Broderick
Eric Brown
Jean Hopeman-Chambers
Jenna Charton
Linda Goldman
Benjamin Rushakoff
Tom Landy
Robert and Joelynn Lee
Karen Niehoff
Becky Jo Peterson
Joelle Smith
Jere Starks
Marcie Waldron

Community Foundation Sonoma County
Creative Sonoma
Kiwanis of Sonoma Plaza
Scott Evans Foundation
US Bank Foundation
Teen Services Sonoma - a safe, caring place where all are welcome.
See what's happening on our social sites:
(707) 939-1452 |  teenservicessonoma.org