Page 1

March Newsletter


March began with a visit from our auditors. While the draft report is not yet complete, indications are that there will be no findings in the final document. There will be a couple of items in the management letter that we have already addressed. We can be thankful that Tri-Valley’s board has selected an audit firm that holds us to a high standard. Our auditors (Wipfli) are very thorough in their work and I very much appreciate the reminder that we must always be vigilant about the stewardship of the grant funds we utilize to carry out our mission. Thank you to all that directly participated in the audit. Thanks also to all staff who conduct financial transactions and work with client data. I know the rules can sometimes seem onerous and can get in the way of your “real work” but they are necessary. Unblemished audits are essential to our agency. Our capacity to carry out our mission is severely diminished without clean audit reports. I had the opportunity to attend a ceremony in St. Paul in March that honored Minnesota CAP Agencies that have developed Best Practices and Promising Practices. I am proud to report that Tri-Valley Senior Programs were honored for developing the Caring Companion Program. You will read more about the award in this newsletter. I want to be sure and thank all involved, including our Board of Directors for being willing to take a risk to better serve our communities. Great Job! One last update this month concerns an event Tri-Valley hosted with some partners. Tri-Valley got together with the City of Crookston, the Crookston Chamber and the Crookston Early Childhood Initiative to screen the documentary The Raising of America. We were able to get 45 leaders from different sectors of the community together for the viewing. The film discusses what the lack of investment in Early Childhood means to child development, families and the economy. It is a very powerful piece. If you would like to screen the film in your area, please let me know. I am happy to help facilitate a viewing.

In This Issue:

In This Issue:

* CEO News and Notes * Caring Companion Program Earns Award * Hendrum Parent / Socialization Event * Senior Programs In-Service

* Transportation Cleans Up * Bloggers Wanted * Upcoming April Events

Hendrum Parent / Socialization Event Hendrum’s March Parent Meeting / Socialization event was a great time! Families worked on creative and interactive projects and Sonja Meline, Family Support & Food Pantry Coordinator from REACH came out to talk to families about the importance of nutrition.

(Pictured L-R)- Arnie Anderson (Executive Director of Minnesota Community Action Partnership), Tikki Brown (Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity), Jason Carlson (CEO of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.)

Tri-Valley’s Caring Companion Program Earns Promising Practice Award Crookston, Minn. - Eight community initiatives with proven results in moving families toward self-sufficiency received Best Practices Awards last week. Minnesota Community Action Partnership, Minnesota Department of Human Services Office of Economic Opportunity, and the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development have partnered for the past 11 years to evaluate and to recognize initiatives that aim to end poverty across Minnesota. The awards go to local Community Action programs that have achieved outstanding and measurable impacts in helping low-income households achieve greater economic self-sufficiency and building partnerships across social service, government and business sectors to better meet the needs of local communities. Tri-Valley’s Caring Companion Program earned the “Promising Practice” Award. The Caring Companion Program consists of companions who are 50 years or older. They help other seniors by visiting with them, taking them to appointments, helping with errands and groceries, playing cards or games, having coffee with them and being a friend to them. Caring Companions can make a difference in the quality of life for a lonely senior. “You do not need medical or special skills, all you need is the ability to be a friend. Caring Companions serve two hours a week and up, depending on the time they have to give and the needs of the clients,” says Heidi Simmons, Senior Programs Director. “We are having more requests from Veterans who are lonely or need to get out to do errands etc. Please think about making that call today to help out others who may not be as fortunate as yourself, it is a win-win situation for all involved.”

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. (TVOC) is a community action agency headquartered in Crookston, MN. It is our Mission to provide opportunities to individuals and communities in order to improve the quality of our lives. In existence since 1965, TVOC provides services in 84 counties in Minnesota and Northeast North Dakota. For more information on services offered by TVOC please call 218-281-5832 or 800584-7020. This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800-584-7020 or by calling the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

Transportation Cleans Up at Humane Society On Friday, March 11, the Tri-Valley Transportation Program took some time and went over to the Humane Society in Crookston to help clear out some garbage and deliver cans to the transfer station. Pictured left to right are Jamie Dauksavage (Transportation Route Scheduler) and Cindy Gjerswold (Transportation Operations Manager).

Senior Programs March In-Service Tri-Valley Senior Programs held an in-service for Foster Grandparents on Friday, March 4 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. The morning presenters were Carol Bye and Jennifer Olson from AAA Land of the Dancing Sky in Warren, MN. They spoke on emergency preparedness and emergency situations such as tornados, floods, winter weather, and terrorism. The afternoon presenters were Chancellor Fred Wood and Department Head Soo-Yin Lim-Thompson from the University of Minnesota Crookston. They spoke about the importance of volunteering/service, as well as child development, connecting with students, and the importance of getting them off to a strong start academically and socially at an early age.

Bloggers Wanted! If you are interested in writing an occasional blog article for the Tri-Valley blog page, please email Mitch at

Upcoming April Calendar Items: * April 11 – Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council meeting. *April 12 - Tri-Valley Board of Director’s Meeting. * April 18 - Financial Literacy Class at the Tri-County Corrections Center.

Did You Know?... * You can receive more information on Tri-Valley’s programs and services by calling 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020.

Chancellor Fred Wood and Department Head SooYin Lim-Thompson from the University of Minnesota Crookston.

* You can keep up with Tri-Valley news on the TVOC website at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TriValley_TVOC. * Everyone can receive the Tri-Valley Newsletter. If you know of anyone who would like a copy please have them contact Mitch Bakken at 218-281-5832 or

Tri-Valley Board of Directors 2016

LeRoy Vonasek

Mike Kroulik

Linda Grinde

Don Diedrich

Chairperson Public Official Sector Marshall County

Vice Chairperson Private Sector Marshall County

Secretary Low-Income Sector Polk County

Treasurer Public Official Sector Polk County

Dr. Jodi Boerger-Wilder Private Sector Polk County

Nick Nicholas

John Gerszewski

Public Official Sector Polk County

Low-Income Sector Polk County

Dr. Linda Neuerburg Private Sector Polk County

Dale Svaren

Sarah Kjono

Private Sector Norman County

Low-Income Sector Norman County

Marvin Gunderson

Lee Ann Hall

Domita Mack

Shawna Peterson

Lana Glover

Greg Burris

Public Official Sector Norman County

Public Official Sector Norman County

Public Official Sector Marshall County

Private Sector Marshall County

Low-Income Sector Marshall County

Low-Income Sector Marshall County

Not Pictured: Marsha Melting-Ogard, Low-Income Sector, Norman County

The mission of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for people and communities.

Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

March newsletter2016  

Tri-Valley March Newsletter

March newsletter2016  

Tri-Valley March Newsletter