SPIRIT LAKE - YMCA Kinship mentors were honored at an appreciation luncheon Sunday at Camp Foster.
YMCA Kinship was formed about a year and a half ago with the merger of Emmet County Kinship and the former Kinship of Dickinson County, which had come under the auspices of the Bedell Family YMCA.
The merger has been a big plus for kids in the former Emmet County Kinship who now have access to more activities, including at the Bedell Family YMCA and Camp Foster.
"Obviously this program can't happen without you," Andrew Foster, YMCA development director, told those present.
Fisher noted mentor-mentee matches were up by 12 from last year. "If we're looking at sheer numbers we're going in the right direction," Fisher said.
Fisher also noted community-based programs at Spirit Lake and Harris-Lake Park.
"A lot of good things are happening with the program," Fisher said.
Roger Brockshus, Kinship Committee member and mentor, told about his mentoring experience and how he's looking forward to working with his new mentee.
Brockshus said he considered himself lucky since he had lots of mentors growing up with his grandparents living nearby.
"It was a big family organization," Brockshus said, with lots of family members who mentored him.
"Kids today don't have a lot of those sorts of things," Brockshus said.
He remembered fondly though the time he spent with his first Kinship mentee, playing mini golf and fishing. An especially poignant remembrance for Brockshus was when the favor was returned when his brother-in-law passed away and his mentee's family brought over lunch.
"I do know that I'll remember him and I do know that I'll keep in contact with him," Brockshus said.
And, just like his first mentee, Brockshus is looking forward to working with his new mentee.
"Hopefully we can spend a few years together and spend some time with each other," Brockshus said.
Norm Johnson, YMCA CEO, noted how the YMCA was in a unique position to work with Kinship since both organizations have the same mission.
"We're a model for that collaboration and partnership," Johnson said, noting that Kinship was a strong advocacy for making a difference in the lives of kids.