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GUEST COLUMN: Kinship gives kids motivation

The Kinship program will host an open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, at the Stomping Grounds Coffee House in Staples, during activity time. This will be an opportunity to get more information, question and answer time and get a feel for the program. Coffee, juice, and doughnuts will be provided.

Kinship of Todd-Wadena Counties (a "Big Brothers Big Sisters" type mentoring program) has been in this area since 1999. Kinship matches adult volunteers with kids who are in need of some positive motivation and attention in their lives.

Kinship provides optional monthly activities for all the matches such as: bowling and pizza, the state fair, the water park, ping pong/pool/foosball night, movie nights, etc. The activity for Kinship on Nov. 14 was at the water park in Baxter.

Kinship wishes to express a huge thank you to all the Railroad Days Dash 5K run/walk participants, volunteers, and the Jr. Dashers that took part in the successful fundraiser event during the Railroad Days events this past August, were the main event sponsors: The Staples Community Foundation, 3M, Dairy Queen (Staples and Motley), Curves (Staples), Arvig Communication Systems (ACS), Lakewood Health System and Staples Bakery and Convenience. We hope you will continue to partner with us again.

A special thanks goes to Nick Schultz, Motley Dairy Queen owner, who is both the Dash and Jr. Dash Director.

A very deserving thanks goes out to Dave Carey, the Dash volunteer coordinator with organizing the 40 plus volunteers for event safety for the participants. You definitely helped make this event both safe and enjoyable for all.

To Coach Bruce Fuhrman and the Staples Motley boys and girls cross country teams for your attendance. You made a big difference with your encouragement and support for the little ones in the Jr. Dash while running alongside them all. That was pretty special.

Finally, to the city of Staples, all the volunteers, and others who helped make this a successful community event with too many to list (but you know who you are) a sincere thank you.

DAVE JOHNSON is director of Kinship Todd-Wadena counties