As we moved through the official first day of Summer and close in on our 4th of July holiday, I’d like to update you on the exciting transformation at GiGi’s Fargo. I’d like to start by thanking our current board, key volunteers, our community and donors for how fiercely you give everyday to make our community and GiGi’s Fargo ever better. I’d like to cover three items this month: leaders, upcoming programs, and our “why”.
1. Leaders– GiGi’s Fargo could not exist without our unwavering, solid, selfless leaders. As we thank our departing Site Coordinator and retiring board members and welcome two new board members and a Program Coordinator, you will see we are in a transition phase. Thanks to local donations from Edward Jones branches, we have contracted Patrick Kirby at DoGoodBetter Marketing for the top level nonprofit leadership training, support, and planning guidance to assist us in reaching the goals we have all dreamed of. As we conduct the high level hiring process for our future Executive Director, we have placed an interim Site Coordinator to ensure continuity for all of our families, friends and community sponsors. Kellie Hamre, our Vice President, is serving in this role until hire completion or the end of Summer, whichever comes first. David Shove, volunteer, has given mass amounts of time during this transition. We are assembling a hiring committee for Executive Director, establishing a Youth Board – led by Joe Rizzo, streamlining Signature Programs – overseen by our Program Coordinator Mary Duggan, and have a great opportunity to bring on a Volunteer Coordinator- please contact Kellie Hamre (firstname.lastname@example.org) with interest for this prestigious volunteer position.
2. Programs- We are listening to you, growing, and offering more exciting programs than ever before. This summer we are piloting our first 8 week partnership TNT. GiGi’s Fargo sponsored all families whom signed up for an impressive therapeutic gymnastics program designed for us. These weekly sessions are proving to be beneficial for the participant, the family and the staff at TNT. At our last board meeting, we decided to expand offerings to include partnering with other notable businesses in the area, to fill your calendar with at least one major event featured monthly at venues such as SkateCity, the Red River Zoo, Skyzone and various pools. We are in the toddler stages designing events at these prominent locations, reducing stimulation and distractions onsite to encourage comfortable participation.
We are launching the GiGiFIT program this fall. Andy Richards will spend this summer preparing to successfully launch this important program this fall. Nikki Knodel is currently designing our fitness studio, thanks to three recent “Pay Grants” we received. She and Bobby Knodel have spent countless hours designing, organizing and enhancing the playhouse this past month.
All current programs will re-launch this fall with a new and improved educational platform providing consistency across all age groups. We have listened to you and we have heard your needs.
3. Our Why– GiGi’s Fargo exists to change the way the world sees Down syndrome by sending thoughtful, educated kiddos, teens and young adults into our communities. We educate. We inspire. We Believe.
As we transition, I need you to raise a hand and lend a hand. We will be looking for host families, as well as minor and major volunteer opportunities and more. We need more male role models in our playhouse, and would like to host events such as wood working and building classes. If you have been wanting to get involved, right now is the time. We are bigger, better, stronger together!
Thank you all for your attendance at programs and your excitement for our upcoming events!
GiGi’s Fargo President