Readers’ Views

CREST offers thanks

To the Editor:

On behalf of the CREST board of directors and staff, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone who participated in the 2017 CREST Annual Appeal, as well as to those who gave generously throughout the year.

We were able to raise over $22,000 during the annual appeal and this will enable us to continue reaching out to those in need in Martin County with Live At Home services, caregiver support services, and volunteer opportunities.

If you would like more information on the CREST program, please call us at (507) 235-3833. Again, thank you for your part in making 2017 a successful year for CREST.

Rob Stauter,

CREST executive director


Calling hunger heroes

To the Editor:

It’s time again for the Kids Against Hunger Pack in Fairmont. It will be held Feb. 17 at St. John Vianney School. For the past several years, I have participated with my co-workers and their families through my employer, Bolton & Menk. The experience has been fun and rewarding, helping those in need.

The pack is set up in two-hour shifts with multiple, 10-person teams participating. There is an instruction session and then the packing begins. Teams do not directly compete against each other, but we always make it a race to try and have the most meals packed during our shift. The faster, the better. It’s a great way to network with other volunteers that want to help make a difference.

The event has been growing every year, and I encourage more members in the community to participate and donate to this cause. To sign up or donate, contact Beth Reeve at (507) 235-5107 or email

Matt Cole


Great night had by all

To the Editor:

The wonderful smell of garlic bread filled the air as people gathered in the fellowship hall at Grace Lutheran on the evening of Jan. 31. Kinship of Martin County held its annual mentor appreciation event in tandem with the weekly open door Wednesday night meal at Grace. The adage that “It takes a village to raise a child” was being lived out in the room as mentors, mentees and their families gathered just across the room from those dining at the open door meal at Grace.

We are so fortunate to have a program that fosters such awesome relationships between the youth and adults of our county, and we are also fortunate to have a county that is supportive of that work. For years, Grace has let us join in the meal, and not only is that beneficial for us, it also provides visibility for our program and the work that is done within it. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Grace Lutheran Church.

Happy conversations filled the room as everyone gathered, and adults and kids alike jumped right in to our “snort game” that resulted in lots of laughs as the group tried not to laugh while others snorted like pigs. Many mentors were recognized for their time spent in the program. It was a bittersweet night as we bid “see you later” to Anna Garbers, who stepped down as executive director last month to pursue her schooling, and the event marked the beginning of my time as the newest associate director to Kinship. Many, many thanks to Anna for all of the work she has done for Kinship in the last three years.

Finally, we are deeply thankful for our mentors and the time they pour into the lives of our children and youth. We are also grateful for our mentees and the families that share them with us. We could not make this happen without all of you.

Jen Kahler, associate director

Kinship of Martin County