Tag Archives: Talbot Mentors

Talbot Mentors Concert To Feature Free And Eazy Group

The Free And Eazy Group will play at the Historic Avalon Theatre on Thursday, August 26, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., in a benefit concert for Talbot Mentors. This local traditional jazz and dance band is donating its performance to help raise funds for the mentoring organization.

Free And Eazy features 1920s and ’30s dance music. The event will include dancing, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets are $25 each.

Talbot Mentors matches volunteers with children who can benefit from having additional adult friends in their lives.

The nonprofit organization serves more than 60 students in Talbot County. Proceeds from the event will assist its program of ongoing support and activities that help to ensure successful mentoring relationships.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Avalon box office at 410-822-7299 or online through Avalontheatre.com.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

United Fund Supports Talbot Mentors

Talbot Mentors will receive community support for its services to local children thanks to the United Fund of Talbot County. The mentoring organization has been selected as a participating agency that will benefit from the United Fund’s 2010-2011 campaign.

For the children of Talbot County, the support means more of them will be matched with adult volunteers, who offer their friendship and encouragement through the challenges and opportunities of adolescence.

Recruiting those mentors is the goal of Talbot Mentors Recruitment Chair Merrilie Ford. A mentor herself, Ford said she has been heartened by this year’s response to requests for volunteers.

“Our efforts in reaching out to church groups, clubs and civic organizations has paid off nicely with seven or eight possible new mentors,” she said. “And we always need more.”

Recruitment efforts have resulted in 14 new matches this year, with more students waiting for mentors to be found for them.

One new match was mentor Jim Reed and ten-year-old Jaden Taylor, who have been together since May. Reed previously had been matched with another youngster for two years. When the boy’s home situation changed and his life became busier, the boy left the program, although Reed still keeps in touch with him.

Reed is a retired contractor and had been thinking about mentoring for some time. When he retired, he said, “I didn’t have an excuse not to do it anymore.” Several friends who are mentors encouraged him to volunteer and connected him with Talbot Mentors.

“One-to-one individual connections have been very important in our recruitment activities,” noted Ford. “When people know you’re a mentor, you are often approached for more information.”

Mentors frequently are asked, “What do you get out of the relationship?” Far from being of benefit only to the child, almost all mentors respond that they receive just as much from the friendship as they give.

“I learn a lot from a ten-year-old,” laughed Reed. “I enjoy introducing Jaden to new experiences and watching his sense of humor develop—or rather watching him become comfortable enough to acknowledge my sense of humor.”

The two spend time together on excursions around Talbot County, taking advantage of the free outdoor movies and concerts that are available. They also will be participating in Talbot Mentors’ Partners in Art project this year, where local artists work with mentees to share their artistic skills.

In additional service to the organization, Reed recently joined the Talbot Mentors Board of Directors. “It’s nice to give a little back to the community that has given me so much over the years,” he explained.

Through the United Fund of Talbot County, the community is supporting the efforts of these volunteers who have chosen to give some of their time to befriend the community’s children.

Declaring mentoring “a really good experience,” Reed encouraged others to volunteer. “Mentoring enriches lives, both the mentor’s and the child’s,” added Ford. “Will you join us?”

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Mentors And Students Cool Off At Pool Party

Talbot Mentors gave the students in its program an opportunity to cool off from the recent heat wave with its annual Pool Party at the George Murphy Community Pool in Easton.

About 80 mentees, family members and mentors attended the event. Talbot Mentors provided fried chicken and beverages, with families bringing the potluck side dishes.

Support from the Talbot Optimist Club helps Talbot Mentors hold events like the Pool Party throughout the year. These activities provide opportunities for mentors and mentees to get together, have some fun and meet with others in the program.

Kathy Meehan and her mentee, TyAsia Johnson, were among those attending the Pool Party. Meehan has been matched with TyAsia since April.

With three sons ages 17 to 28, Meehan was going to wait until the youngest was in college to volunteer. However, when she heard of the list of students waiting to be matched, she said, “What am I waiting for?”

Talbot Mentors’ staff carefully matches each volunteer with a child on its list waiting for a mentor. TyAsia is Meehan’s second mentee, after her first match subsequently moved out of the area. “From day one, we clicked,” said Meehan.

The Pool Party is one of many activities that Talbot Mentors provides both for students and their mentors in support of the relationships. For the individual mentors, however, often the simplest one-on-one activities are enough to build the friendships that develop.

“We have Friday Fun Nights,” said Meehan. Every Friday, after Meehan finishes up her work running Easton Point Marina and the Irish Crab Pub, she picks up TyAsia and they spend the evening doing something fun. “We get something to eat, maybe go to a movie,” she said. “This Friday, we are going to my house for dinner and I’m going to teach TyAsia how to knit. We do all the fun stuff I like and she likes, too, and I have a partner to do it all with.”

The two took advantage of the chance to splash around together in the pool on the hot day of the Talbot Mentors party. “We enjoy each other’s company so much,” said Meehan. “She is such an amazing girl.”

More mentors are needed for children on the Talbot Mentors waiting list. Some students may wait a year or more before a volunteer is found for a match.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Volunteer Mentors Recognized At Talbot Mentors Celebration

Talbot Mentors recently thanked all of its volunteer mentors during a gathering at the home of board member Blenda Armistead and her husband, Bruce. The event was held to celebrate the volunteers’ caring and dedication, which makes the organization’s efforts possible on behalf of the students of Talbot County.

More than 60 mentors are currently matched with youngsters in the Talbot Mentors program. Executive Director Diana Trams thanked all the volunteers for their commitment and described the mentors’ impact in changing young lives.

“Talbot Mentors volunteers are special in demonstrating the level of commitment that it takes to develop an ongoing relationship with a child in need of a friend,” she explained. “We have many veteran mentors who have been matched for five years or more, and who have overcome the hurdles and challenges that come up in all relationships.”

The Talbot Mentors program provides numerous opportunities throughout the year for new mentors to learn from the experiences of those veteran volunteers, helping to ensure each match’s success.

Trams took the occasion to welcome new mentors Jenny Chambers, Peggy Davis, Miguel Dennis, Jim Eaton, Ellie Gang, Linda Langley and Don Schatz. More volunteers are welcome and encouraged in order to match students on the Talbot Mentors waiting list and those entering the program during the upcoming school year.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visitwww.talbotmentors.org.

Talbot Mentors Graduate Joins Marines

A student in the Talbot Mentors program for more than seven years has graduated from high school and enlisted in the Marines. Dale Johnson was matched with his mentor, Gary Pearce, in 2003. His family, his mentor and Talbot Mentors all expressed pride in the young man he has become.

Dale’s aunt, Starlyn Adams, together with his mother and grandmother, cared for Dale over the years. She noted that the most significant male figure in Dale’s family was Shawn Johnson, his uncle.

“Shawn has been in the Marines as long as Dale is old,” she explained. “Dale always looked up to him.” Adams noted that Shawn taught Dale that “if you do right, you can get somewhere.” Shawn is now a Sergeant Major stationed at Camp Pendleton inCalifornia, currently serving in Afghanistan.

When Dale was in the fifth grade, the Johnson family women recognized that he needed an adult male friend who could be a more consistent presence than Shawn was able to be, and approached Talbot Mentors. The organization matched him with Gary Pearce.

Pearce recalls Dale as a quiet, shy boy at the time they met, lacking in self-confidence. “Like any relationship,” he said, “it started slow, and it took some time for us to get used to each other.”

For Pearce, becoming a mentor was a way of getting involved in community youth activities after a career in international business. With his own children grown, he and his wife moved to the Eastern Shore, where he has participated in various organizations besides Talbot Mentors, including Talbot Optimists and Talbot Partnership.

“The most incredible thing about Dale was that he was always willing to do whatever I suggested,” said Pearce. “I just thought of the things that I would enjoy doing and Dale always was happy and ready to jump on board.” The pair enjoyed a wide variety of sporting activities. Whether kayaking or fishing, golfing or playing tennis, Pearce said that Dale never complained, even though there were some things he liked to do better than others.

Pearce noted that his best contribution to Dale was introducing him to the YMCA, where Dale got serious about weight lifting and fitness. “I really think that helped build his self-confidence and competitiveness,” Pearce explained.

The workouts enabled Dale to meet the physical requirements when he decided to follow his uncle into the Marine Corps. “Dale found out that if you want something, you have to strive for it,” said Adams, describing his eagerness to prove himself.

Adams credits Talbot Mentors and family support for Dale’s success. “It has been a very good, wholesome relationship with Mr. Gary,” she said. “There has been acceptance on both sides.”

Not only did Talbot Mentors help Dale, but Dale’s family also supported the organization in return. Until her death in 2008, Dorothy Johnson, Dale’s grandmother, baked countless cakes, cookies and other treats that the organization used to raise funds at bake sales.

Adams thanked Talbot Mentors for the opportunities it had made available to Dale over the years. Summer camp scholarships offered by the organization and travel with Pearce on family vacations provided experiences that he might not otherwise have had.

The Marines will now offer the experience to Dale. After boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, he will proceed through training until he gets to join his uncle at Camp Pendleton.

While still serving on the board of Talbot Mentors, Pearce expects to take a break from mentoring for a time. However, the seven-year relationship will not end. Pearce plans to stay in touch with Dale and will attend his boot camp graduation in August.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Community Supports Talbot Mentors At Champagne Brunch

More than one hundred guests recently came out to support Talbot Mentors while enjoying a gourmet champagne brunch at Talbot Country Club. This was the third year the fundraising event has been held and Talbot Mentors Executive Director Diana Trams noted that the response has grown each year.

The occasion was an opportunity to recognize four students who have been in the Talbot Mentors program for six years or more and are graduating from high school this spring.

Mark Murray was matched with his mentor, Tom Fauntleroy, in 2004. Gary Pearce became Dale Johnson’s mentor in 2003. Shanice Palmer was matched with mentor Jan Otter in 2002; and Kyle Handy has been Rich Crowley’s mentee for more than nine years, having been matched in 2001. “We are so proud of you and want to congratulate all of you on this accomplishment,” said Trams to the graduates.

Trams noted that the pairs demonstrate the long-term, successful relationships that can grow between the students and the adult volunteers. “There is a big commitment on the part of both mentors and mentees in these relationships,” she said. “One thing I have consistently heard from the students is that they consider their mentors as part of their family.”

The annual champagne brunch has become a way for the community to support Talbot Mentors’ efforts in creating these successful relationships for the children of Talbot County. Board President Don Cook thanked all the guests for attending, with special recognition to Program Coordinator Jessika Best and Marykay Powell for organizing the event, and to Rita Hill and Jim Reed for arranging the silent auction items.

More than forty auction items were offered. They included golf and country club packages and sightseeing flights, handmade jewelry and artwork, baskets of wine and bushels of crabs. Gift certificates for personal services ranging from piano tuning to private dinners with professional chefs allowed every guest to find items of interest on which to bid.

The brunch raised over $12,000 for Talbot Mentors, including a donation from Talbot Bank to help sponsor the event.

The nonprofit organization currently serves more than 60 Talbot County students, with even more children on its list waiting for the volunteers who will come forward to be their mentors and friends.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Learn About Mentoring At Talbot Mentors Barbecue

Talbot Mentors welcomes anyone interested in learning about mentoring to enjoy a barbecue at the home of Board President Don Cook on Thursday, May 20, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This free informal event is an opportunity for potential volunteers to speak with current mentors and hear about their experiences, with no commitment necessary.

There are currently about ten students on the Talbot Mentors list waiting to be matched with mentors. The need for male mentors is especially acute. “Because we have had an influx of female volunteers, all of the new matches this year have been girls,” explained Executive Director Diana Trams.

The staff carefully matches students with volunteers to help ensure successful relationships. This generally means matching girls with female volunteers and boys with men. With the shortfall in male volunteers, boys are now waiting as long as twelve to eighteen months to be matched.

Mentors commit to being a friend to a child for a year, involving an hour or two of their time once a week. Each mentor may meet with the student as best fits the mentor’s own schedule, offering added flexibility. Often, relationships grow and continue, with most volunteers reporting that they get as much out of the experience as the students do.

Trams thanked Recruitment Committee chair Merrilie Ford for coordinating the event and encouraged anyone who has been considering mentoring to attend. “We hope people will take this opportunity to learn what Talbot Mentors has to offer,” she said. “The small amount of time that you can give to our children today can make a huge difference to their lives in the future.”

Those wishing to attend should call the Talbot Mentors office at 410-770-5999 by Tuesday, May 18.

For more information or to make a contribution, visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Celebrate Spring At Talbot Mentors Champagne Brunch

Talbot Mentors invites everyone to celebrate spring at a Champagne Brunch to be held Sunday, May 16, at 11:30 a.m. at Talbot Country Club. The event will feature gourmet omelets, live music and a silent auction.

This is the third year that Talbot Mentors has hosted the fundraiser. Executive Director Diana Trams appreciates the support it has received within the community. “Businesses and individuals have been very generous in donating items for the silent auction,” she said.

Auction items include a Congressional Country Club golf package, an in-home dinner for eight prepared by Chef Michael Forster, a sight-seeing flight, photographic services, jewelry and numerous other golf packages and gift certificates.

Last year the event raised over $7500 for the program. More than sixty Talbot County students are matched with volunteer mentors through the organization’s efforts.

Mentors and board members Jim Reed and Rita Hill have been coordinating the preparations for the brunch. Joan Dent is scheduled to provide the musical entertainment.

Four Talbot Mentors students will graduate from high school this year and will be special guests along with their mentors. Kyle Handy, Dale Johnson, Mark Murray and Shanice Palmer will all receive recognition at the brunch for their accomplishments.

Trams anticipates a good response for what she calls a “country club casual” event and recommends making reservations early. The cost is $60 per person. Those interested are asked to call the Talbot Mentors office by Friday, May 7.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Talbot Mentors Students Receive Artistic Recognition

Students in the Talbot Mentors Partners In Art program received recognition for their talents at a recent reception. The Academy Art Museum presented awards to several mentees who had worked with local artists in creating artwork in various media.

Shanice Palmer won first prize, a scholarship to an Academy Art Museum class of her choice, for her painting, “Midnight Love,” created with artist Nancy Thomas. DreOna Dawson received a family membership to the Academy for a colorful basket woven with artist Heidi Wetzel. Honorable Mention was given to Kristen James, who worked with Gwen Cameron-Davis in capturing her floral photograph, “Naked Ladies.”

The reception was originally scheduled for early February, but was postponed for a month due to the weather. Talbot Mentors Executive Director Diana Trams thanked Bill Lippincott for hosting the event at his Chesapeake Bay Heritage Gallery in Easton. “Bill was gracious enough to display the students’ artwork in his gallery throughout the month of February when the reception was delayed,” said Trams. “We very much appreciate his support and accommodation.”

Trams also thanked Scossa for providing the evening’s raffle prize, along with the artists who donated work for the silent auction. Gwen Cameron-Davis, Deborah Colborn, Peg Papa and Shirley Sallet all contributed pieces, and the students’ own work raised additional funds through the auction.

Thirteen area artists participated in Talbot Mentors’ Partners In Art program last year, providing students with an opportunity to explore their artistic talents. Mentors provide transportation and support for their mentees’ efforts. More artists are welcome and may contact the Talbot Mentors office to participate in this year’s program.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

Talbot Mentors Offers Free Coffee With Mentoring Information

Talbot Mentors is offering the community two opportunities to enjoy free coffee and learn about mentoring in February. The organization will host two informational coffees, in Easton and St. Michaels, where current mentors will be available to share their experiences with those who stop by.

The Easton coffee will be held on Saturday, February 6, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Coffee Cat onGoldsborough Street. Interested individuals may also visit St. Michaels Perk Coffee House on South Talbot Streetin St. Michaels on Saturday, February 20, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Volunteers commit to spending an hour or two each week with children who have been identified as being able to benefit from having additional adult friends in their lives. Both male and female mentors are needed to match with children currently on the organization’s waiting list.

Talbot Mentors provides year-round support for the mentors and students in the program to help ensure successful relationships. Those stopping by the coffees may learn more about volunteering, with no obligation or commitment necessary at that time.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.