Newsletter 2012 Winter - Opportunity Matters, Inc.



Newsletter 2012 Winter - Opportunity Matters, Inc.
A lOOk
WInter 2012
At the peOple And prOgrAMs Of OppOrtunIty MAnOr Inc.
Opportunity Manor Inc. has Relocated!
By: Regan Stommes, CEO
Opportunity Manor, Inc. is
excited to announce that we
have moved! Our new building is located in Sartell at 701
23rd Street South (Northeast
of Gold’s Gym on Pinecone
Road) and continues to offer
the Pathway to Opportunities, Golden Opportunities,
and MS Programs. Our administration staff will also be
located in the building.
The building’s first floor is
dedicated to the programs
and services for the individuals we serve. Some of the amenities are: a sensory room, an
exercise room, a kitchen for
learning skills, laundry room,
resource center, a room that
can hold up to 250 people and
can be split into two rooms,
games and recreation activities, a quieter relaxing area
for activities and socializing,
training rooms, an accessible
Parker Jacuzzi bathtub and
a shower room. Our PTO and
GO programs will utilize this
space along with our Members
in the Multiple Sclerosis Program. The space is open to all
of the clients we serve in the
community who reside in their
own homes and apartments,
along with those living in the
foster homes. Our administra-
tion staff is based out of the second
floor with additional space for meeting and training rooms.
We were fortunate to find land that
offers a beautiful view of a pond with
outside amenities including: paved
walking paths, a basketball court, a
play set, an accessible whisper glide
swing, a space for vegetable and flower gardens and a space for an accessible gazebo.
OMI is excited to stay headquartered
out of Sartell and happy to provide
service to the Sartell and surrounding communities. We encourage community groups to give us a call to
work together to collaborate on services and programs or to utilize our
space and amenities.
Please keep your eyes open for the
change of address or visit our website at
for the latest updates. We are planning to hold an open house once the
weather warms up, so until then feel
free to give us a call or stop in if you
are in the area.
back to a standard school setting. OMI
provides the staffing support needed
to address behaviors and assist the
students with their educational goals
that the school system develops. In
addition, these collaborations have offered OMI a great opportunity to meet
some wonderful individuals, both educators and students.
Collaboration with Local Schools
By: Sam Pierskalla, Program Services Director
Opportunity Manor’s PTO program has been working
with local schools providing alternative school settings for individuals who struggle in a standard school
setting. The collaboration initially started with two
students from the Sauk Rapids-Rice school system.
Over the years, PTO has expanded their partnership
with the St. Cloud school system and Benton/Stearns
Education District, which includes Sartell, Holdingford, Kimball, Foley, Rocori and Sauk Rapids-Rice
schools. Currently there are three individuals who
attend the program 3-6 hours per day, five days a
week. The school program focuses on addressing a
student’s behavioral and social challenges that jeopardize their ability to grow in their educational development while working toward the goal of them going
Lauren Roelofs started utilizing this
service in March 2011. Lauren spends
Monday through Friday with staff
working on academics, behavior modification, acceptance of transitions,
socialization and exercise. When Lauren first started, she struggled with appropriate greetings and is now able to
respond to someone with an appropriate “hello” or
“goodbye.” Lauren works hard every day while she is
attending PTO, and brings so many smiles to the program with her singing “Stuck Like Glue” or Christmas tunes. Lauren’s passion for singing is contagious
and always brightens up the room.
Aaron Spaeth has been attending PTO since December 2009. When Aaron first started attending PTO he
was excited to go with staff and hang out, which surprised everyone because new things and places have
been difficult for Aaron to accept. During the two
years Aaron has been attending, he has progressed
in his socialization skills, street safety skills and vocational skills. Aaron is always happy to see everyone and tell them about his day and what he did in
school. The highlight of Aaron’s day is sharing what
kind of pop he bought to go with his snack.
Client Halloween Party
By: Andrea Mosbo, Program Manager
OMI’s annual client Halloween Party was held on October 30, 2011.
Everyone enjoyed dressing up and participating in many Halloween activities. Pumpkins were painted, Spooky Bingo was called,
prizes won and cookies were decorated. Clients also participated in many games such as Pumpkin Bowling and Gone Fishing.
Brown bags were decorated with Halloween stamps and used as
treat bags for goodies and prizes. Everyone also had a chance to
visit our photo area so they could take home a picture of themselves in their costumes. Approximately 50 clients participated in
this event. Volunteers were utilized to help the party run smoothly.
We had a fantastic group of volunteers ranging from younger kids
in girl scouts, eighth & ninth graders from a school civics class, and
fraternity members from local colleges. We really appreciated all
the hard work the volunteers did before, during and after the party.
It was another successful OMI Halloween party and we hope to see
even more people attend next year!
Clean-up 2011
By: Jon Hazen, Program Director
On August 31, 2011,
six Opportunity Manor employees ventured out to do their
part in keeping a
two-mile stretch of
highway in Sartell
clean. In spite of the
rainy and cool August day, employees
proudly wore their
shiny, fashionable,
reflecting rain vests
and carried big orange bags to throw
trash into. Employees picked up a
good amount of trash, cigarette butts, a loose tire
and anything else deemed trash bag worthy.
By the end of the day, employee’s clothes and shoes
were soaking wet,
but their spirits
were high. After
all the hard work,
they ended up
with two bags of
trash and a very
clean highway.
Twisted Twilight Fundra
By: Brenda Eggerth, Volunteer & Communications Manager
On Saturday, October 29th, 2011 Opportunity Manor held
our 4th annual Fall Fundraiser to raise money for the programming needs of our clients. This year’s theme, Twisted
Twilight, was an adult Halloween party held at the Red Carpet Event Center. 100+ people attended the costumed event
and enjoyed appetizers, raffles, costume and howling contests, a special performance by the fundraising committee
and music by Slip Twister.
Attendees also watched a short video highlighting our clients
and the donations Opportunity Manor has received. By the
time the night was through, the event raised over $5,000.00.
We would like to thank everyone who came out and supported Opportunity Manor by attending the event. Also, a
A New Home with the
Same Great Faces
By: Jon Hazen, Program Director
A big thank you to everyone who participated in
helping make our community cleaner for everyone.
Opportunity Manor’s Foster 10 has a new home and
neighborhood! With the clients aging and their needs
changing, OMI felt that building a new home with easier access and mobility was the best choice to help the
clients grow.
The house is located in St. Cloud, in a cul-de-sac surrounded by a park with a community pool, tennis and
basketball courts and a hockey rink. The home contains four spacious bedrooms with two full bathrooms,
an open kitchen with a center island, one and a half living rooms and a new office. The four clients decided on
their own room colors and how their house was going
to suit them. There were a lot of people involved in this
project and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Opportunity Manor is pleased to have this new home
where the clients can enjoy the neighborhood and live
more independently.
special thanks to all of
our great sponsors, donors, and volunteers
for their support in ensuring that our Twisted
Twilight event was a
success! Planning has
already started for our
2012 event. Mark your
calendars and plan to
attend Twisted Twilight 2012 on Saturday,
October 27th, 2012.
Watch future newsletters for more details! Pictured Above: The Twisted Twilight planning
committee & winner of best costume Jim Ogle
We are grateful to the many individuals,
families, businesses and foundations
whose contributions are vital to the
success of Opportunity Manor Inc. The
following list reflects gifts received from
September 1, 2011 to December 1, 2011.
Joyce & Tony Tillemans Fund of the
Central MN Community Foundation
Judith & Douglas Moe
William Golden
Dale Jacobson & Dana
Amy & Max Schaefer
Eric & Regan Stommes
Jon Hazen
Suzanne Roelofs
Pictured Above: $1,000 raffle winner Terry Asfeld
Addition of a Third Crisis Bed
By: Nic Collette, Program Coordinator
BoarD MeMBers
Gary Sabby
T & S Agency, LLC
Opportunity Manor recently opened our third designated
Crisis bed at our Manor 2 home in Southeast St. Cloud. The
opening offers the opportunity to potentially serve a greater
range of people with limited mobility due to the accessibility
of the home. The strengths of the Crisis program include the
ability to conduct the Functional Behavior Assessment, and
implement potential Behavior Intervention Plans prior to the
client’s departure to a permanent setting.
President Elect:
Pam Rickbeil
These services also include Functional Skill Analysis, specific
staff and provider training and consultation, as well as other
accommodations such as exploring options for returning the
client to their home setting when possible. As needs arise in
the community, our Crisis program will continue to grow in
terms of its services, resources, size and support staff.
Ann Cofell
St. Cloud Hospital
Joel Christian
MN Neurorehabilitation Services
Nick Brandt
Retired Investment Counselor
St. Cloud Area Legal Services
John Herges
Falcon National Bank
Bob Rueter
Boy Scouts of America
OMI Appreciates Neighbors
By: Sandy Platz, Program Director
Donations Make A Difference
By: Pam Reinke, Program Coordinator
Donations to our organization, regardless of the size, make a
difference in our client’s lives. Andy, Colleen, Sara and Jane
who live at our Sterling Heights home recently received a generous donation of $12,500 from Jane Peterson’s family. The clients were involved in deciding how the money was going to be
spent to create the most benefit for them.
A large part of this money was spent on the purchase of an accessible yard swing and an extended patio for the swing to sit
on. This wheelchair accessible swing is enjoyed by Jane and
her housemates. Jane will pretend that she has fallen asleep in
hopes of staying on the swing longer. With this generous gift,
Sterling Heights was able to update their landscaping so Jane
can walk barefoot in the grass, which is one of her favorite
things to do.
Sterling Heights also purchased an outdoor gas grill. Andy
loves hotdogs on the grill and with staff assistance, the clients
all get a chance to cook outdoors.
When the weather does not permit a day outside, the clients
can use the 42” Flat Screen TV with DVD and VCR. A favorite
activity for the house is to watch the Vikings game and have
fun being together.
Thanks to the donation, Jane’s window has new decor, too. Her
room is decorated in lilac and white with a patchwork quilt that
came from her mother. On the window is an awning which makes
the room appear to be like a whimsical walk in the park. It is a
soothing retreat
when Jane needs
to get away from
the crowd.
Colleen, Sara,
Jane and Andy
are truly grateful
for these gifts. A
big thank you
to Jane’s family
for their generous donation.
As the New Year begins, we wanted to take this time to let our
neighbors know how much we appreciate them. Our homes
are nestled into quiet cozy neighborhoods, or busy and thriving developments. Our houses are like any other houses in the
neighborhood; but our neighbors play a big part in making our
houses feel like home to the clients that live there. We have
had several neighbors that simply just take the time to wave
when they drive or walk by or stop to say hello and check
how our clients are doing. We appreciate the neighbor by our
Foster 4 site that helped shovel out a bus that got stuck in
our driveway last winter so the clients could get to work. We
appreciate the neighbor that lives by our Foster 3 site (Sandy
Hackenmueller) who volunteers her time at many of our organization events to take wonderful pictures for us to enjoy
and share. As we begin a new year, we remind ourselves how
important it is to be a good neighbor and appreciate the neighbors we have; they truly do make a house a home.
Opportunity Manor Inc.
701 23rd Street S
Sartell, MN 56377
Client Holiday Party
By: Amy Inglett, Program Director
On December 9th, Opportunity Manor hosted its
annual client Holiday Party at the Eagles Club in
St. Cloud. There was a great turnout and everyone had a wonderful, festive time!
The night included a buffet dinner and a slideshow showcasing each house and program within Opportunity Manor. The clients enjoyed being
able to see themselves on the screen and shared
many laughs. The festivities would not have
been complete without a little music and dancing. The dance floor filled up quickly as Music
in Motion DJ Chaz Black filled the Eagles Club
with tunes and merry smiles. Fun was definitely
had by everyone who attended.
Opportunity Manor would like to thank all of
the family members and friends that attended.