Page 1

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. “People Helping People”


NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER From My View: It is Wednesday and Thanksgiving is just one wake-up away. For me, this is the harbinger of winter. For as long as I can remember Thanksgiving marked the first time of the year I needed to get my battery cables out and service the Snow Blower. In listening to the weather report this morning on the way to work it appears that my memories will hold true again for 2013. Snow is on the way and the bitter winds of winter have already begun. Maybe turkey, dressing, and gravy will make it all worth the preparation. My kids and grandkids will enjoy the ten dozen cookies that I made over the weekend and I will enjoy watching them eat them. The Congress, true to form, did nothing with the Farm Bill before Thanksgiving. Thus, cash payments continue, crop insurance continues, SNAP continues and it looks like the price of milk will be skyrocketing. There is still a chance that they can get a bill prepared and approved by the House and Senate but my guess is the whole thing will get tied up in another budget crisis this January. Sequestration cut into our programs at Tri-Valley to the tune of 5.3% this year. That, along with an inflation rate of 1.5% and increased regulations/unfunded mandates has made our work more difficult and challenging. There is some hope that in the new budget deal to erupt sometime this January or February there might be some restoration of resources for our programs and services. I remain unconvinced. I believe that “do more with less,” is the mantra coming out of Washington, DC and it will force us to cut back on services or see the quality of services erode. As I prepare to retire this year I am taking the time to capture as much of the history of Tri-Valley as possible. One of the things I have been doing is digitizing all of the slides and old photos from the years past. This has been messy and time consuming but along the way I have had wonderful reflection of our great history. It was interesting to find that in 1971 the three greatest challenges facing our area were catalogued as: Unemployment, Cost of Health Care, and Number of People in Poverty. The good news for Northwestern, MN is that our unemployment rate is significantly lower than the state and national levels and the percentages of people in poverty have declined. Alas, the cost of health care has continued to rise with some stabilization found only in the last two or three years. Although Tri-Valley can’t take the credit for all that is good in Northwestern, MN we can say that we have been a significant player in making our quality of life better than it was. Too, Tri-Valley has been blessed with great Board members and staff over its 48 year history. Marion (Olson) Hofek, Chuck Cheney, Jan Anderson, Herb Mauritson, Elton Jones, Hilard Mikelby, Linda Grinde, and so many others have been real leaders on the Board of Directors at Tri-Valley. Similarly, Bill Brummer, Cathy Feldt, Sue Abbott, Jim Shortridge, Don Ekdahl, Roger Kaste, Jean Dempsey, Irene Carlson, Hazel Reipe, Evelyn Hermodson, Earl Barness, Bob Monley, Ed Logan, and many more were real pioneers in our long journey. (Continued on next page)

In This Issue:

* From My View- Report from CEO Dennis P. DeMers * Monticello Jeopardy Staff Meeting * New Tri-Valley Head Start Mascot * Day of Pink in Grafton * Grandmas Find Each Day Rewarding- Crookston Times * Hendrum Apple Picking

In This Issue:

* Monticello Mini Concert and Staff Meeting * Monticello Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Group Photo

* Energy Assistance Funding * Teddy Bear Clinic * Tri-Valley Development Opportunity

(From My View continued)- I would be amiss if I didn’t mention some of the programs that Tri-Valley initiated and spun-off over these many years. These include: School Social Worker Program, Seniors Meals, Lady Slipper Designs, WIC, Weatherization, Energy Conservation, Valley Housekeeping, and many more. Being a part of this endeavor has been a challenging but rewarding experience. So it is that we have much to overcome as we look forward while being reflectively aware of the many things for which we should be thankful. There is a lot that we discover every day about crisis here and abroad. And, we discover these things in an instant with the 24 hour news-cycle, computers and cable. Still, we live in the greatest country, state and region in the world as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2013. God Bless, Be Well and Enjoy the Moment, Denny

Tri-Valley Head Start Staff Welcome New Mascot! “Chip” is the official mascot for the software system that the Head Start Program uses to track child, family, and staff data. Staff recently participated in a national training sponsored by ChildPlus, and in appreciation, they were given a “stuffed” Chip. Staff decided to give Chip a desk, name badge, and supplies as a reminder for staff to continue to utilize the software program to its capacity. Chip has also put a few smiles on the faces of staff as they enter their offices for the day!

The Monticello Center recently played Jeopardy as part of their staff meeting. The staff broke into teams and answered questions in the categories of nutrition and food services, health, education, random, and accident, injuries and emergencies. The game was used as a great review session for staff members. Pictured is Lindsay Vokaty, Center Manager.

October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Tri-Valley wellness committee asked staff to raise awareness by wearing the color pink on Fridays. The Grafton Family Service Center took it one step further and had their entire facility wear pink on Friday the 11th. Above is a picture from the “Day of Pink” at the Grafton Family Service Center. The kids loved getting their picture taken.

‘Grandmas’ find each day is rewarding in its own way Story courtesy of Jess Bengtson (Crookston Daily Times)

Washington Elementary in Crookston has two extraordinary ladies who are part of the Foster Grandparent program. They come to Washington to help the children during and after school with reading, writing, and art projects. All teachers say these Grandmas are a “blessing.”

(Grandmas Continued)- Grandma Deloryce Bertils started with the Foster Grandparent program 18 years ago. She has lived in Crookston her entire life and has six kids, 13 grandkids, and three great-grandchildren. Deloryce also has three more great-grandchildren on the way. Deloryce, like Addie, started at Lincoln Elementary working with the babies, preschool and kindergarten students. Someone told her recently that she is just like a teacher, but she doesn’t think that way. She just loves to help and wants kids to learn.

“There are some kids who don’t have two parents in the home or any grandparents. This program lets kids have a Grandma Addie Woinarowicz started with the Foster grandma or grandpa,” says Deloryce. Grandparent program almost 10 years ago. She was first placed at Lincoln Elementary, which has been closed She doesn’t necessarily have a favorite activity because she now for several years. Addie worked with the toddlers just likes working with the kids. Deloryce does all kinds of and kindergarten classes until noon back when they things, even projects in the summer for the teachers. Curdidn’t have a full day. When Lincoln closed, she went rently, she works in Renee Tangquist’s class at Washington. over to Carman School, also since closed, and worked with the babies. Addie has now been at Washington for One thing she wants all seniors to know is that this program five years. is definitely worth it. “My favorite activities to do with the kids are really ev“It’s so rewarding! Once you get involved, you will have fun. erything. Writing, math, and I enjoy the after school I’d rather be here any day than off somewhere having coffee program too,” says Addie. and chatting,” Deloryce said. She works for the after school program every Monday and Tuesday from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. One thing out of the ordinary that Addie has done with the kids is teach them to embroider. This past summer, she had 14 kids (girls and boys) doing embroidery. “It was neat that I could teach them something they probably wouldn’t get to do any other time,” she said. Addie is from Euclid and has four kids of her own. Addie also has four grandkids with a new granddaughter on the way in January. She loves being around and working with children. She even belongs to a club that make baby layettes for mothers who need them. One thing that Addie hopes for in the future is that more senior citizens sign up for the Foster Grandparent program. “We really need the help and once you start, you will love the job.” (Continued at top of page)

Grandma Deloryce working with students at Washington School.

The children at Hendrum Head Start took a walk in October to pick some apples and enjoy a beautiful fall day.

The Monticello Migrant & Seasonal Head Start program got all their classrooms and staff together in November for a group photo. What a great picture!

Department of Commerce secures $98.7 million in funding for the Energy Assistance Program SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that Minnesota will receive $98,726,312 in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP). LIHEAP helps low-income homeowners and renters pay heating bills through grant money paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of customers. “Year after year, the LIHEAP program has helped keep Minnesotans who struggle to pay for home heating stay warm throughout the winter,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “These important federal funds keep thousands of homes from losing heat and protect our neighbors from being out in the cold. The Minnesota Department of Commerce administers the LIHEAP in partnership with 32 local service providers throughout the state. LIHEAP is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program helps renters and homeowners earning less than 50 percent of the state’s median income ($43,642 for a family of four) obtain grant money to help pay their heating bills. “Energy bills during long winters with subzero temperatures can take a large bite out of household budgets and have left many Minnesotans stretching every dollar and struggling to make ends meet,” said Commissioner Rothman. “We encourage all Minnesotans who may have difficulty paying their heating bills to apply for LIHEAP assistance. Households that include children under the age of six, people with disabilities, veterans and seniors are especially encouraged to apply.” Last year, Minnesota served 147,636 households and renters with $109.6 million in federal funds. The average household income of those receiving LIHEAP funds was $16,422. Approximately 73% of the homes included at least one senior, person with a disability, or a child under the age of 18. This year, the average grant per household will be $500. Qualifying families must apply for assistance at the local service provider in their area. Funding is limited and is administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested households should contact their local service provider by calling 1-800-657-3710 or visiting the Energy Assistance section of the Commerce Department’s website. The Minnesota EAP is supported by federal LIHEAP funding and administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The announcement of the grant awards to all the states from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can be found on the HHS website.

A Teddy Bear clinic was held at Riverview Health in October. Everyone got to make a teddy bear name label. The children got to weigh themselves and their teddy bears (or other animals), on a scale. Each child was given a certificate with their bear's name on it and their own, including the height and weight. They got to visit a room where a nurse showed the kids a hospital bed and how to use a stethoscope. Then they went back down to the main floor where we all got to see an ambulance. The children were able to ask questions and step inside the ambulance. They also walked over to the radiology department and got to see what several different X-ray's looks like. This was an Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) collaborative event.

We are people helping people . . . and so much more. We invite you to watch a short video from Tri-Valley Operations Officer, Jason Carlson. (

Please visit the Tri-Valley Development Web Page ( Learn more on the Employee Giving Form ( Thank you to everyone who has donated in the past and thanks to all of you for your commitment to Tri-Valley clients, students, elderly, volunteers, and friends.

We are reaching out to all Tri-Valley staff members to tell you about our new outreach initiatives, ask for your Our Best, participation, and to thank each of you for your hard work and dedication. Tri-Valley Development Committee Jason Carlson Our organization has so many working parts and each Dawn Batcho is important to the overall welfare of all our neighbors. Norma Campos As an organization, Tri-Valley impacts the lives of thou- Megan Bentley sands of people across Minnesota and North Dakota. Jennifer Booth There are unmet needs in the communities we serve and Marcia Haglund we want our organization to be in a position to meet Mitch Bakken those needs financially, through collaboration, and with the support of our neighbors. That is why we have started this new outreach initiative. You play an integral role in helping to carry out our organization’s mission. As we reach out to businesses, community leaders, and other non-profits for their collaboration and support, we are touting your great work ethic and results. Long-term sustainability is vital to our future success in meeting unmet needs, lobbying for funding, providing prevention and intervention services to our clients, collaborating with area businesses and non-profits, and improving the quality of life for everyone. You can support these efforts by sharing your stories, and sharing our organization wide materials in your area. Also, we are asking for your financial support. As we reach out to other sources for funding, your support as an employee is a great story to share. Will you also please consider donating a small gift to Tri-Valley to help improve the quality of life for all our neighbors? There are a couple of easy ways to give. If you’d like to make a one-time donation you can do that by check or online. It’s also convenient to set-up a small payroll deduction as your annual donation. Over the next few weeks you will be seeing additional requests for your support and ways to give. We hope you’ll consider some level of contribution to show your support for our efforts at increasing funds for organization wide activities.

Upcoming December Calendar Items:

* Dec. 1 - 17- Tri-Valley I-C.A.R.E. Holiday Donation Drive * Dec. 6- Winter Wonderland, Crookston * Dec. 12- Tri-Valley Board of Directors Meeting

* Dec. 14- Migrant and Seasonal Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council * Dec. 16- Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council * Dec. 23- In-Service Training for Early Head Start and Head Start Teaching Staff. For more information





This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800584-7020 or by calling the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer/provider. EOE/M/F/D/V

Did You Know?... * You can receive more information on Tri-Valley’s programs and services by calling 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020. * You can keep up with Tri-Valley news on the TVOC website at www.tvoc. org, 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 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 800-584-7020.

Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Novembernewsletter 2013  

2013 November Tri-Valley Newsletter

Novembernewsletter 2013  

2013 November Tri-Valley Newsletter