~ In This Issue~August 2017 ~
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Save the Dates
2017-2018 Fundraising Events
Halloween Gala: October 28, 2017
Bowl-A-Thon: March 4, 2018
Annual Golf Scramble: May 21, 2018
Business Partner: 

We recently partnered with The Laudenbach Family, operators of Culver's in Savage, Anoka, Eagan, West St. Paul, and White Bear Lake. Our crew at the new WBL location proudly started their positions in July.

Please support our business partners with your spending dollars!

W e value your feedback. Please let us know how we can improve this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future articles or content, please contact Karen at 
We need 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. Please send referrals to Andy at  AndyR@merrickinc.org
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We took some time off from publishing an external newsletter, and are pleased to share this publication of the Navigator with our supporters. In this edition of Navigator, we share new opportunities for clients at Merrick, as well as opportunities f or YOU to participate in our mission of empowering adults with disabilities through vocational and social opportunities, and to guide them toward realizing their goals and dreams.
As we prepared this edition for distribution, we learned of the heart-breaking loss of Colleen Timbers, Merrick's Program Training & Resource Director.
In Memoriam

It is with profound sadness that we share the passing of Colleen Timbers on August 14th after a brief illness. If a company has human qualities, Colleen was the soul of Merrick, Inc., and her contributions to our programs are immeasurable. In her 33 years at Merrick she was a teacher, change agent, regulatory expert, and self-advocacy champion. On August 15th, we informed clients, employees, and supporters of this news knowing that we will need to lean on each other to get through the emotions and the loss of a great friend and colleague. Simply put, Colleen cannot be replaced. 

2017 Halloween Gala
Our annual fundraising gala will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale. We are taking advantage of the date being so close to October 31st by hosting a Halloween Gala. Guests can choose to wear tasteful costumes or cocktail party attire. Highlights of the evening will include a costume contest and recognition of "Merrick's Difference Makers."

Difference Maker Award - Nominations Open
We are seeking nominations for a business and also an individual/family who has made a difference for clients at Merrick. Online Nominations will be accepted through September 1st. If you prefer, you may download this  Printable Nomination Form and send it to Karen Herrera - Merrick, Inc. -  3210 Labore Road - Vadnais Heights, MN 55110.

Gala tickets and sponsorships are available at Halloween Gala Registration.

Seeking Baskets

Do you have baskets from previous auctions that you could donate to Merrick? Ideal baskets are at least 12" x 17" and about 8" deep.

 Have an item for the auctions?

Restaurant and hotel gift cards, sporting or other event tickets, wine, premium liquor all make great auction items. If you would like to donate baskets or auction items, please contact Nicole Heimer at 651-789-6200 or nicoleh@merrickinc.org. Thank you!

Staff Recognition

Executive Director, John Wayne Barker congratulates Nana

on her award from MOHR.

Congratulations to Nana Zamora, a staff member at our Adult Day Services Program who was recognized as a nominee for MOHR's (Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation) Direct Support Professional of 2017.
Local Businesses Support Merrick

Yoga Brew!
On June 20th, local businesses LifeCore Yoga and Big Wood Brewery teamed up to host YogaBrew, a fundraiser for Merrick. Forty yogis enjoyed two sessions of class in the taproom followed by a craft beer T he event brought together craft beer lovers and yogis of all abilities in support of Merrick. Namaste!




Big Wood Brewery Golf Tournament
Golfers gathered at Oak Glen Golf Course on July 31st to participate in Big Wood Brewery's 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, benefiting Merrick. Golfers enjoyed samples of Big Wood's Wicked Ex, Fine, Amigo Grande, and Jack Savage. After golfing, participants were treated to a dinner in the club house with each course including one of Big Wood's craft beers as a key ingredient. Fore!

Job Services Launched
Job Service Coordinator, Kla congratulates the first three participants of the program, Michon, Anne and Betsy.

Newly formed Job Services at Merrick, Inc., supports people with disabilities to make informed choices about exploring competitive employment opportunities in the general workforce. This is a person-centered strategy that focuses on each participant's employment interests and preferences.
Job Services works in concert with the various service areas within the company to identify clients who would like to seek competitive employer-based employment, and providing  the necessary tools for seeking employment opportunities, getting hired, and retaining the position once hired. Small group sessions are offered on topics including skills assessments, job exploration, development of soft skills, resume writing, application completion, interviewing, and support after being hired.
Client Corner - Missy H. - Independent Services

Missy and her supervisor at Panda Express demonstrate

excellent customer service.

At Merrick Inc., we empower clients to lead the lives they desire by connecting them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. We do so by building up each individual's skill set and by determining their unique interests and preferences. One of the 375 clients is Missy who has chosen us to provide her employment support for more than 24 years.
Missy graduated from Lexington High School in 1990. After high school, she attended North East Metro 916 from 1990-1992 where she became certified in food preparation. Missy has worked in the restaurant industry since 1991 and has been an employee at Panda Express for over a year.
Missy enjoys spending time with friends and her boyfriend, Scott. She also loves eating at Red Lobster, going to movies and getting together with friends. Missy lights up any room with her presence and has a natural glow that emanates from her smile. She accepts challenges with a "can do" attitude. As a worker, she is always willing to lend a hand, is an attentive listener and does her best to make those around her feel valued.
Missy's dream job is to be exactly where she is today - Panda Express!  She states that the people she works with are kind, hard workers who treat her respectfully. Aspects of her job that Missy enjoys are greeting the customers and making sure they have a memorable dining experience.
Missy describes herself as an easy-going, good friend who always has a smile. She is proud of her personal and professional accomplishments and enjoys talking about her job at Panda Express.
The General Manager of Panda Express, Chuhu describes Missy as a genuine, bubbly, hard worker who is always willing to be challenged. She follows Panda Express's mission, accomplishes what is asked of her and is superb with customers. She is the only employee who has received complimentary recognition on several occasions from guests both online and via phone calls to the restaurant. Congratulations Missy on landing your "dream job," and thank you Panda Express for supporting her as a valued member of your team!
Missy's Life Motto: "Smile even if you are having a bad day."
Get to know other clients at Merrick on our website: www.merrickinc.org/client-spotlight.html 
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Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.