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The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation Recognizes Community Champions

The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the three Community Champions for the first quarter of FY14. These employees were nominated by their colleagues and are being recognized for their work with local non-profit organizations, where they donate their time and energy to improve quality of life for their neighbors. The Champions’ chosen nonprofits will receive a $500 grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation.

Doug Watkins, Program Coordinator REM OhioDoug Watkins, Program Coordinator, REM Ohio

Doug organizes an annual fundraising walk for the Central Ohio chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and over the past few years he has raised more than $21,000. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is dedicated to fighting the disease, improving the quality of life for those affected, and to finding a cure.

Motivated to begin the project after learning that his neighbor’s grandson has cystic fibrosis, Doug devotes hours of his free time to recruit team members, organize and promote the walk, and gather donations, all out of a desire to increase community awareness about the disease and help find a cure.

“There is no cure for cystic fibrosis yet, but the more money you have the more research you can do,” Doug said. “That’s why this is important to me. Like in my job with REM Ohio, I strive through my volunteer work to help others every day.”

Diana Armeno, Area Director New Jersey MENTORDiana Armeno, Area Director, New Jersey MENTOR

Diana serves as a board member for Developmental Education Services in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, which provides a continuum of educational, therapeutic and referral services for adults with disabilities. As a board member, Diana serves on the personnel committee and supports the development of programs that help fund the organization, like a new community recycling center.

In her heart, Diana is a volunteer. One of her favorite things to do is visit a day program operated by Developmental Education Services, where she can interact with the adults it serves and see the difference her efforts are making.

“Being a board member is a great way to influence the direction the organization takes, but it’s a joy to visit with the people we serve, too. It makes you smile to realize what you’re doing is so important,” Diana said.

Jennifer Wetteland, Resource Coordinator MENTOR OregonJennifer Wetteland, Resource Coordinator, MENTOR Oregon

Jennifer volunteers as a camp counselor with Camp Victory in Washington State, a camp for girls who have been sexually abused. The camp provides free counseling and a variety of fun activities throughout the year. Jennifer spends nearly all of her paid time off volunteering, donating more than 80 hours each year for the camp alone. Each time she serves as a counselor at Camp Victory, Jennifer is a “Mama Lion” assigned to one child. She helps the girls put on skits, do crafts and other activities of their own choosing.

“This camp gives the girls back their choice and sense of control in their lives, which someone took away from them. It helps them to see that they’re not alone. I love being a part of it,” Jennifer says.

Do you know someone who’s making a difference in their community? The MENTOR Network is currently accepting nominations for Community Champions. Champions may be nominated by colleagues and supervisors. If you’d like to nominate someone, visit the Foundation’s Community Champions page on The MENTOR Network website and submit an application.

About The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation

The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation is committed to transforming the delivery of human services through the generation of new ideas and best practices. We seek to advance an agenda based on quality, accountability and respect for the individual. The focus of our giving is on organizations that take a fresh look – through research, innovative thinking, direct care and programming – at how people with disabilities and youth and families facing emotional, behavioral and other challenges are cared for in our society. The Foundation also works to expand opportunity for the people we serve through employment and educational support.