Volunteer Effort – Sister Friends Together http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 07:43:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Volunteer Effort – Sister Friends Together http://www.sisterfriends-together.org/ 32 32 Animal Food Bank opens branch in Merritt https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/animal-food-bank-opens-branch-in-merritt/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 07:08:46 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/animal-food-bank-opens-branch-in-merritt/ Nicole Frey is the founder of Animal Food Bank. What started as a passion project has now turned into a large operation, spanning three provinces. In its efforts to expand its services, the Animal Food Bank is now looking to start operations in Merritt. The Animal Food Bank is a non-profit organization that serves pet […]]]>

Nicole Frey is the founder of Animal Food Bank. What started as a passion project has now turned into a large operation, spanning three provinces. In its efforts to expand its services, the Animal Food Bank is now looking to start operations in Merritt.

The Animal Food Bank is a non-profit organization that serves pet food and supplies to people’s loyal companions.

“It became a thing, all because I wanted to feed a homeless man’s dog,” she recalls. “I didn’t want him to worry about where the next pet food would come from.”

Originally from Winnipeg, Frey has always had a passion for pets, becoming involved in a dog rescue during his time there. She still wanted to work with animals to some degree after moving to Kelowna, but had no idea what exactly she wanted to do until a fateful encounter in 2019.

“I was in downtown Kelowna at the end of 2019 when I met a homeless gentleman with a pet dog named Odin,” she recalled. “I came home and wondered how this guy feeds his dog? I found out on Google that there were no pet food banks in Kelowna, so I told my husband we needed to start one.

With the help of her husband, Frey started the animal food bank. Since its inception, nearly 6,000 deliveries of pet food and supplies have been made to pet owners in need of assistance. “We are a non-profit organization run by volunteers,” she explained. “We provide pet supplies as well as veterinary supplies, if we have funds for it, to pets of homeless and low-income families.”

The organization’s services span across British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, with approximately 100 volunteers spread across all provinces. To access their services, pet owners can submit an application form available on their website. The application will be received by the corresponding branch for consideration by the branch manager. Once approved, volunteer drivers will deliver supplies to the animal in need.

“It’s a necessary service,” Frey said. “We fill a gap that most people aren’t even aware of. Our organization aims to keep these beloved and happy animals out of these shelters. She notes that there has been a massive disposal of pets across the country following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Animal Food Bank seeks to prevent this from happening to as many communities as possible.

“We currently do about 100 to 125 deliveries per month in the Okanagan, from Armstrong all the way to Osoyoos, so it makes sense to expand both east and west.”

The Animal Food Bank has a strong working relationship with Pet-valu in Kelowna. Frey spoke with their district manager and found a new opportunity to grow.

“She was mentioning that they were looking for an organization to support in Merritt,” she explained. “I told him we were considering expanding into Merritt and that maybe now was a good time to do so.”

Frey noted that the nonprofit has always served Merritt, helping donate food and water in conjunction with Kamloops’ Four Paws food bank during last year’s flood. The Animal Food Bank is now looking for a team of volunteers to launch its activities in Merritt.

Animal Food Bank volunteers host a pet delivery in the Tulameen area. Photo/Animal Food Bank

“We already have support for pet stores with Pet-Valu, we would just need volunteers and a place to sort inventory, which usually starts with a volunteer garage. Once we have them, we can begin operations.

Frey said the volunteers will help with donation collection, deliveries, fundraising, organizing events and managing social media. For more information on how to volunteer, please message the official Animal Food Bank Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/animalfoodbankcanada or email nicole@animalfoodbank.org.

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Elks Lodge is looking for Thanksgiving volunteers to serve meals to seniors https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/elks-lodge-is-looking-for-thanksgiving-volunteers-to-serve-meals-to-seniors/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 19:38:53 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/elks-lodge-is-looking-for-thanksgiving-volunteers-to-serve-meals-to-seniors/ Up to 300 meals will be prepared, cooked, served and delivered to residents of the community. GARDNER — It’s become something of a Chair City tradition every time this year — the annual Elks Lodge Thanksgiving meal for seniors. And now the organizers are looking for a few good volunteers to keep the holiday tradition […]]]>


Up to 300 meals will be prepared, cooked, served and delivered to residents of the community.

GARDNER — It’s become something of a Chair City tradition every time this year — the annual Elks Lodge Thanksgiving meal for seniors. And now the organizers are looking for a few good volunteers to keep the holiday tradition going.

The three-day event, held in partnership with the Gardner Senior Center, will see volunteers help prepare, cook, deliver and clean around 200 meals for local seniors.

“I know this Thanksgiving meal has been going on for decades at this point, and I know I’ve been overseeing it for four or five years, and it’s a great way for the Elks to partner with the Senior Center to provide a meal. for seniors in the Greater Gardner area,” said Tim Landry, Esquire at Elks Lodge.

Before the outbreak of the pandemic, meals were prepared and cooked by volunteers, and seniors would come to the Elks Club to sit down for their meals. With some seniors still reluctant to attend large gatherings, meal planners have added pickup and delivery service to the annual dinner.

“Bringing people together for the holidays is as much an American tradition as hot dogs and apple pie,” said Mike Ellis, director of the Gardner Council on Aging. “It brings people together for food, for camaraderie, for friendship, in the spirit of the holidays.”

It was especially important to reach out to citizens who, for whatever reason, might not be able to attend a family reunion or afford a holiday meal on their own, Ellis pointed out.

“It gives us a chance to come together as a community, to come together as a community, to break bread as a community, and to really celebrate all of those good things that the season means to us,” he said. he declares.

Work starts on Wednesday with meal preparation

On Wednesday, November 23, volunteers are needed at Elks Lodge to help prepare over 250 meals from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We usually cook a dozen turkeys on Wednesday to get ready for the day, we also do all the usual vegetable prep and any other food prep we’ll need for Thursday,” Landry said.

Jobs to do on Thanksgiving morning

On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers will be asked to prepare and cook food, prepare the meals, which will then either be served to club diners or packaged for pick up or delivery to the senior center. Volunteers must work between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Ellis said several of the people who had already pre-registered for a Thanksgiving meal said they would be eating at the Elks Lodge.

“Right now we have about 250 registered, and that’s about two-thirds driving, one-third dining,” Ellis explained. “So we will have between 70 and 80 people in the room. Which is exceptional, because it’s almost pre-COVID levels.

In addition to serving meals in the dining hall, volunteers were needed to help pack meals for delivery and bring them outside for drive-in orders.

“It’s a very intense volunteer effort because there are a lot of moving parts, but we couldn’t do it with just the staff we have,” Ellis said. “So whether it’s Lions Club volunteers, Rotary Club volunteers, Elks volunteers, senior community volunteers, elected officials, they make it all possible.”

Big Friday cleanup can always use more volunteers

Friday, November 25 is the big clean-up day, according to organizers. The kitchen and all plates and utensils will need to be deep-cleaned, Landry said. He added that the day after Thanksgiving is usually the day he needs volunteers the most.

“We have to make sure all the dishes are clean and we’re deep cleaning the kitchen,” Landry explained. “There are a lot of meals to cook in such a short time and the Elks Lodge doesn’t have the biggest kitchen in the world. But this is the day when we need the most help.

Landry said he was grateful to anyone who was willing to give up a few hours of their vacation to help others enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal.

“Thursdays we usually have a ton of people wanting to help out, but my attitude is anybody who wants to help out and make someone else’s day a little bit better, I’ll never say no to that,” he said. he declares.

Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to Tim Landry at 508-331-2675 or Michael Ellis at 978-630-4067.

Contact Stephen Landry at slandry@thegardnernews.com

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Mammoth flood relief effort by St. John Ambulance volunteers https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mammoth-flood-relief-effort-by-st-john-ambulance-volunteers/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 07:12:34 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mammoth-flood-relief-effort-by-st-john-ambulance-volunteers/ Volunteers gave 3,948 hours on a total of 332 shifts in Echuca, Shepparton, Tatura, Rochester and Bendigo, as well as the emergency command center, between October 15 and November 9. For each shift, two volunteer members were stationed to provide patient care for 12 hours at a time. A total of 57 volunteers served statewide […]]]>

Volunteers gave 3,948 hours on a total of 332 shifts in Echuca, Shepparton, Tatura, Rochester and Bendigo, as well as the emergency command center, between October 15 and November 9.

For each shift, two volunteer members were stationed to provide patient care for 12 hours at a time.

A total of 57 volunteers served statewide at disaster relief centers, while 33 members were deployed to the emergency command center to assist with communications, logistics and planning.

Across all centres, St. John Ambulance volunteers treated 647 patients for a range of clinical and non-clinical needs – from attending to first aid incidents, including two heart conditions, to providing psychological support.

St John Ambulance Victoria chief executive Gordon Botwright said this rapid response was only possible thanks to the organisation’s network of volunteers, equipment and facilities across the state, which is being put in place Placed by St John Ambulance Victoria and funded almost entirely without any state, federal or local government funding.

“To ensure that this response network is ready for emergencies such as fires, floods and pandemics, we instead rely on the support and generosity of our donors and the public and businesses that purchase training from us or products,” Botwright said.

“We have called on the Andrews government and the opposition to support our emergency preparedness, but we have no funding commitments yet to support this important work.”

With over 1800 volunteers across the state, St John Ambulance Victoria is the only first aid provider able to respond within hours with first aid support and field hospitals for communities affected by emergencies such as fires bush, floods and pandemics.

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The bells will ring | News, Sports, Jobs https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-bells-will-ring-news-sports-jobs/ Sat, 12 Nov 2022 06:06:43 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-bells-will-ring-news-sports-jobs/ The SALVATION ARMY of Dickinson County, Bread of Life Support Center Case Manager Jennifer Witte and Director Tara Blagec are gearing up for the Red Kettle Campaign, which kicked off this weekend. Bell ringers are needed to help achieve fundraising goals. To volunteer, contact new campaign coordinator Rebecca “Becky” Couper at 906-239-0810. […]]]>

The SALVATION ARMY of Dickinson County, Bread of Life Support Center Case Manager Jennifer Witte and Director Tara Blagec are gearing up for the Red Kettle Campaign, which kicked off this weekend. Bell ringers are needed to help achieve fundraising goals. To volunteer, contact new campaign coordinator Rebecca “Becky” Couper at 906-239-0810. (Terri Castelaz/Photo from the Daily)

KINGSFORD — The festive season is approaching, and with it comes the familiar sight of red kettles and bell ringers.

The Salvation Army of Dickinson County, Bread of Life Assistance Center, kicked off its annual Red Kettle campaign this weekend.

The biggest fundraiser of the year will continue until Christmas Eve, December 24.

The non-profit organization relies heavily on volunteers to help make the campaign a success each year.

Every shift that doesn’t have bells means the Salvation Army is missing out on revenue that could be spent on its programming and pantry because they don’t leave kettles unstaffed, the director of the Salvation Army, Tara Blagec.

“Those two hours of ringing can provide several meals for a family of four,” Blagec said, emphasizing how valuable volunteers are in achieving their goals.

The maker’s campaign outlines the help they are able to provide for the whole year, not just at Christmas. “Funds raised allow us to do everything we do here – it’s huge for our customers we serve”, she says.

The Salvation Army encourages everyone to take a few hours and try the bell.

Volunteers can be of any age — it can be a family event, even involving young children. It’s also a great way for high school students to accumulate volunteer hours.

As in the past, they strongly invite friends, groups or organizations to make it fun by challenging each other, even singing or playing Christmas music.

“We love a good challenge – like service groups, local sports teams or even public safety departments making it a competition,” said case manager Jennifer Witte. “Any business or organization can also issue a challenge, make it fun.”

Organizations, groups and businesses can plan an entire day or even an entire weekend at one location.

“We hope local business owners will allow their employees to take a few hours off to do community service and give back by ringing the bell for the holidays,” Witte said.

Volunteers are asked to work a two-hour shift between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. at one of their kettle locations: Walmart’s two entrances, Super One Foods, Tadych’s Family Market, Pat’s Foods in Norway, and Northwoods IGA in Niagara, Wis. They also have a kettle from 10am to 6pm at Kingsford Ace Hardware. They noted that these hours may vary in some stores due to a lack of staff.

If a person can only commit for an hour, they’ll be more than willing to work anytime, Blagec added.

The Salvation Army recently welcomed a new Red Kettle Coordinator, Rebecca “Becki” To cut. Anyone wishing to call can contact Couper at 906-239-0810.

They are also offering a cashless way to donate this year with a new “electronic kettle.”

“Donors will be able to use their credit/debit card to ‘tap to give'” Blagec said. “They just have to scan their card on the reader for the amount they wish to donate – $5, $10 or $20 – it’s very simple.”

The local office currently only has one device available, so there will be a rotation of locations.

Community members who cannot participate by ringing the bells can make a difference by participating in other ways, such as choosing to adopt a family or children from the Angel Tree program.

Angel Tree tags will be available on trees at Walmart or by contacting the Kingsford office.

“Donors have the option to choose a child, family or simply purchase a toy to donate that can be used for the program,” Blagec said. “We asked that children’s gifts be given unwrapped, as we want parents to be able to enjoy the wrapping.”

The Salvation Army is accepting applications for its programs. Local offices strive to be good stewards of their resources. “We are continuing our efforts to ensure non-duplication of service”, Blagec said, explaining that people who have registered to receive donations elsewhere will not be eligible for this Christmas program.

Funds raised during the campaign are not only used for holiday relief programs, but to help those in need with their pantries, clothing, social service programs and emergency expenses. All donations remain local.

“A successful season is key to ensuring our agency is able to deliver on our mission every year – boots on the pitch all year round,” Blagec said. “With the support of the community, we can continue to help people in crisis.”

“We are very grateful for the support we receive each year,” Witte added. “Our community has always gotten away with it.”

Those wishing to donate cash can send checks to The Salvation Army, 145 Roseland St., Kingsford MI 49802 or PO Box 218, Iron Mountain, MI 49801.

Those with questions about a program or interested in adopting a family for Christmas can contact the Salvation Army office at 906-779-5717.



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Alabama Power Volunteers Celebrate the Dedication of the Habitat for Humanity House https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/alabama-power-volunteers-celebrate-the-dedication-of-the-habitat-for-humanity-house/ Tue, 08 Nov 2022 22:19:56 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/alabama-power-volunteers-celebrate-the-dedication-of-the-habitat-for-humanity-house/ The long-awaited day for Desinee Lawson and her two children, Elijah, 9, and Emoree, 3, finally arrived last week. Lawson received the keys to his new home, built with the helpful hands of volunteers from the Magic City Chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO). “God is a punctual God, and he knew how […]]]>

The long-awaited day for Desinee Lawson and her two children, Elijah, 9, and Emoree, 3, finally arrived last week. Lawson received the keys to his new home, built with the helpful hands of volunteers from the Magic City Chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO).

“God is a punctual God, and he knew how much I needed this house for me and my children,” Lawson said, noting that his apartment lease had ended days earlier. “I thought, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, but God, I’m going to trust you.’ When I learned that my house would be built in two weeks, it was just perfect. I want to thank the Alabama Power Service Organization and Habitat for Humanity for making this possible. I am delighted to be able to afford this house.

APSO volunteers gathered with the Lawson family in Pleasant Grove on Friday afternoon for the dedication of the house. It’s the 25the Habitat for Humanity house built by the APSO Magic City Chapter.

Alabama Power, Southern Company volunteers complete the Habitat for Humanity home in Pleasant Grove from the Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Construction began Oct. 24, and Lawson worked alongside more than 100 volunteers who came to build the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Volunteers wielded hammers, paintbrushes and other tools, lifting the house off the ground in just 10 days, said Anna Chandler, president of Magic City APSO and accountant for the Southern Company.

Desinee Lawson in her new home, with Anna Chandler, president of the Alabama Power Service Organization, Magic City Chapter. (Michael Sznajderman/Alabama Press Center)

“Seeing Desinee’s excitement as she watched the house come together was so much fun,” said Chandler, who added that this was her first Habitat project. “It was also very rewarding to learn how to build a house. Habitat has been very helpful and patient in working with us.

Chandler said the project was a team effort, with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and volunteers from Alabama Power’s Miller plant partnering with the APSO Magic City chapter on the project. .

“Alabama Power’s leadership in Generation, Distribution and Transmission has been absolutely supportive and willing to allow employees to participate, and we really appreciate that,” said Keith Gilliland, assistant business manager, IBEW System Council. U-19. “We are proud to work for a company that allows its employees to take the time to volunteer in the community.

A volunteer from the Alabama Power Service Organization puts the final coat on a door. (Michael Sznajderman/Alabama Press Center)

Southern Company electrical design manager Paul Taylor and his team worked on the house as part of a department’s community service effort.

“I’m a servant leader,” Taylor said. “Here I have been able to serve a family who are getting a new home. And not only that, it means the world to me to have my team here with me this week, helping to serve this family who are getting a new home to live in. .

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham builds and repairs homes in partnership with low-to-moderate income families in Jefferson, Shelby, Walker and St. Clair counties. It makes affordable housing available to those who cannot otherwise afford a home.

Homes are not free. Qualifying families are required to pay off an interest-free mortgage, complete 300 hours of work on their home or another Habitat home, and 20 hours of homeownership education workshops.

The APSO Magic City Chapter has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham to build homes since 1998.

Charles Moore, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham, welcomed the Lawsons to their new home during the dedication ceremony.

“You couldn’t have had a better sponsor,” Moore told Lawson. “The Alabama Power Service Organization has been with us for so long. Thank you APSO for being such a great partner and sponsor, and for the good work you do outside of Habitat as well.

Desinee Lawson and her daughter Emoree in front of their new Habitat for Humanity home in Pleasant Grove. (Michael Sznajderman/Alabama Press Center)

Myla Calhoun, vice president of the Birmingham Division of Alabama Power, said the company appreciates the APSO volunteers and their commitment to helping families like the Lawsons realize their dream of owning a home. APSO is a volunteer, nonprofit organization made up of employees of Alabama Power, Southern Nuclear, Southern Linc, and Southern Company Services and their families. There are nine APSO chapters across the state, helping to support a wide range of nonprofit and community organizations.

“It’s always heartwarming to see a Habitat home completed and the keys handed over to the new owner,” Calhoun said. “This one is special because it’s the 25e built for the Magic City chapter of APSO, and it highlights Alabama Power’s mission to uplift the state of Alabama. It makes me extremely proud for everyone involved.

To learn more about the good works of Alabama Power employees and retirees, visit powerogood.com and click “Volunteers.”

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The case of ex-volunteer JB Pritzker is a problem in the race for the attorney general https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-case-of-ex-volunteer-jb-pritzker-is-a-problem-in-the-race-for-the-attorney-general/ Sun, 06 Nov 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/the-case-of-ex-volunteer-jb-pritzker-is-a-problem-in-the-race-for-the-attorney-general/ A 2018 JB Pritzker campaign volunteer who was indicted last year for allegedly scamming the Illinois State Police Merit Board is now at the center of a campaign battle over whether she is expected to face additional charges – a matter that troubled the Nov. 8 race for counsel. general. But it may take a […]]]>

A 2018 JB Pritzker campaign volunteer who was indicted last year for allegedly scamming the Illinois State Police Merit Board is now at the center of a campaign battle over whether she is expected to face additional charges – a matter that troubled the Nov. 8 race for counsel. general.

But it may take a judge to determine the next move.

Republican challenger Thomas DeVore has accused Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul of burying a potential fraud case to keep Pritzker and other fellow Democrats from further political embarrassment. But Raoul insists ‘there was no effort to try to cover up anything’ and that he declared conflicts of interest because other cases his office is handling might be considered. as having an impact on the potential fraud case.

“I have nothing to hide,” said Raoul.

Amid the political wrangle is Jenny Thornley, the former Merit Council finance director who was charged in September 2021 with stuffing her extra $10,513 paycheck into unauthorized overtime. She pleaded not guilty in Sangamon County Court to counts of theft, forgery and official misconduct.

Although Thornley has been charged in the case, DeVore has maintained that there is enough evidence to pursue additional fraud charges for tens of thousands of dollars spent on workers’ compensation and disability benefits that she has received. But DeVore maintained that a case against Thornley was not moving forward because of Raoul’s Democratic ties to Pritzker. The Tribune revealed in December that Thornley had come under intense scrutiny for receiving the benefits and that a memo from the merit board said a senior insurance agency official considered the collecting benefits from Thornley as a “clear case of fraud”.

An insurance agency spokeswoman said the department “does not comment on ongoing workers’ compensation investigations.” Thornley’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

Raoul takes issue with DeVore’s position and said the attorney general’s office is fighting Thornley in other civil cases, including a case in federal civil court in which she charges wrongful dismissal from her position on the merit board. Raoul’s office said he recused himself from criminal prosecution because he did not want to be in a position that could even give the appearance of leveraging a criminal case against Thornley to solve a civil case or vice versa.

The payroll case is being prosecuted by the state appellate attorney. It ended there after Sangamon County’s state attorney also recused himself because he is pursuing a case in which a member of Thornley’s family allegedly crashed with hit and run.

The workers’ compensation issues arose because, just as the internal investigation into the payroll allegations against her was wrapping up, Thornley alleged that her boss had sexually assaulted her. Pritzker became entangled after it was revealed that Thornley emailed Pritzker’s top aides and even texted his wife, MK Pritzker, about the allegations. Deputy Pritzker texted Thornley back: “I better not get involved” and advised Thornley to contact the administration and follow proper procedures.

An outside investigation determined Thornley’s sexual assault allegations were unfounded, but the state said last week it paid more than $87,000 for its workers’ compensation case alone – including more than $63,500 in disability benefits and nearly $21,000 to “investigate his claim and determine that it was false.”

Seeking to pressure Raoul into action, DeVore distributed a copy of a July 29 email to the attorney general’s office from David Robinson, the chief deputy appellate prosecutor. DeVore urged more action while noting that the email said the appellate prosecutor needed a court order expanding his authority to include benefits for Thornley. Robinson did not respond to messages left for him.

But soon after the email was sent, Raoul said, his office contacted both the state’s attorney and the appellate prosecutor. Raoul said appellate prosecutor officials have indicated they want to ‘reserve the right’ to use the workers’ compensation issue as an aggravating factor in the payroll padding case or indict Thornley in a separate case.

Raoul called this approach “perfectly appropriate” and logical given that the appellate prosecutor is already dealing with the payroll case. But Raoul said his office will not weigh in on that decision “because we have a conflict. Plain and simple.

How, or if, a potential benefits fraud case might move forward can take a legal roadmap due to differing legal views.

Special Counsel Jonathan Barnard, who is handling Thornley’s payroll padding case for appeals counsel, said his office would need a judge’s approval to take up any matters. additional compensation for workers. This would require a motion in court, for example from a state attorney, because the appellate prosecutor cannot extend the scope of his authority unless a judge agrees, said Barnard.

“That didn’t happen,” said Barnard, a former Adams County state’s attorney, adding, “Our appointments are case specific.”

Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright, a Republican who recused himself from Thornley’s original payroll case, said he saw nothing beyond the January memo on the workers’ compensation allegations, but that he would recuse himself again if a genuine investigation into the allegations of benefits fraud by Thornley were to come before him.

Ty Fahner, a former Republican attorney general, said one way to fix the problem would be to “let the courts figure it out” by asking a judge to determine who should handle or investigate potential benefits fraud.

“Kwame could do it, the local state attorney could do it, a state legislator could come in and say, ‘Do your job'” filing a motion appointing who is not performing the duties they should accomplish, Fahner said.

In turn, Raoul cited a law dealing with the appointment of lawyers and special prosecutors in the event of a conflict, stating that “any interested person may request the appointment of a special prosecutor. Nothing prevents the prosecutor of the Republic of appeal who has a file in progress with this defendant to seize the court “to seize the question of the allowances.

Retired jurist Gino DiVito, a Democrat who served as a judge on the Illinois Court of Appeals, was of a similar view.

“If the appellate prosecutor needs permission to act,” DiVito said, “it’s up to them to make that request to a judge. It seems to me that it’s such a simple request that they should do it.

In January, Pritzker’s Central Management Services Department, which administers state benefits, sent a memorandum to Raoul summarizing Thornley’s case and concluding “it is clear that the sexual assault did not took place,” according to the document obtained by the Tribune.

Most, if not all, of the more than $87,000 spent on the workers’ compensation case does not include the roughly $550,000 the merit board spent on its external investigation that looked into the misconduct allegations. Thornley’s sex and payroll records.

Rlong@chicagotribune.com

DPetrella@chicagotribune.com

@RayLong

@PetrellaReports

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Local Brothers Highlight Disaster Relief Efforts https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/local-brothers-highlight-disaster-relief-efforts/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 11:04:21 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/local-brothers-highlight-disaster-relief-efforts/ Aaron and Nate Davis, from the Plant City area, have gained national attention for their work helping charities in the aftermath of natural disasters. Aaron and Nate Davis grew up on a 10-acre farm in Antioch, just outside Plant City, used to hard work. Eventually, the brothers would run their own businesses, with Aaron taking […]]]>

Aaron and Nate Davis, from the Plant City area, have gained national attention for their work helping charities in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Aaron and Nate Davis grew up on a 10-acre farm in Antioch, just outside Plant City, used to hard work.

Eventually, the brothers would run their own businesses, with Aaron taking over a family business now known as the Florida Agency Network, a network of independent real estate titles and development agencies across the state of Florida, and Nate currently holding the position. President and CEO of Florida Mortgage Firm here in Plant City. But despite transitioning from farm life to offices, the two were never afraid to get their hands dirty when others needed help.

“We were both born in Antioch and went from guys who were used to working outdoors to the way we grew up, we both worked outdoors, I was on a stucco team , I was in the marines, so hard work is nothing foreign to us, but our jobs and our professions took us out of that and put us more in an office environment,” Nate Davis said. , strange as it may seem, sometimes we enjoy this work, we don’t want to every day anymore, but coming back to it is rewarding.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Nate posted a message on Facebook looking for other volunteers as he grabbed a chainsaw and set out to help TECO employees and other first responders clean up their own properties. as they helped others in the area in the same way. .

“I kind of knew what it would be like to have your own house in a bit of a mess – your yard and your limbs and everything are still down – but you’re working double and triple shifts for the next few weeks,” said Nate Davis. . “So every time you come home, your house is always ransacked while other people’s houses start to fall back into place, but you can’t always fix it because you’re trying to restore power and do all the things. than the rest we enjoy.

Nate and the group that had been brought together to volunteer took the following days to help the elderly, police officers, TECO employees and other community members in need as they continued to recover from storm. He also took the opportunity to involve his family and teach his children the value of hard work that he and his brother learned throughout their upbringing.

In 2021, Aaron flew to Austin, Texas, where his girlfriend was living at the time, seeking to help as her home had been flooded following massive snowstorms that wreaked havoc across much of it. of State. He sought out volunteer opportunities while there and eventually found himself helping a church in the town of Harper, which has a population of 1,200, a two-hour drive west of Austin. After donating 30 chainsaws and getting to work, a photo of Aaron with a chainsaw in his hands and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers cap on his head made its way onto social media and he was dubbed the “Tampa Chainsaw Man”. As the photo made the rounds, Aaron was contacted by People Magazine seeking an interview. He agreed and once the story broke, it quickly gathered enough momentum to raise nearly $100,000 for Harper’s nonprofit Volunteer Fire Department efforts over the next week.

More than a year later, Aaron was now in Texas when he was contacted by People Magazine again, this time following the devastation of Hurricane Ian across the state of Florida in late September. They asked if he was going to get the chainsaws out to help again and, coincidentally, he was actively planning his trip home to help, as Nate was already jumping from one building site to another, not wasting no time in taking action.

“When I was in Texas, I ended up buying 30 chainsaws and giving them to the fire department to give out to their volunteers and I said to Nate, let’s do the same thing,” Aaron Davis said. “Everyone is focused on food and water and some of the necessities, but often volunteers use their own chainsaws and professional organizations use their assigned chainsaws and there are so many people where, if you give them the tools, they will help you so we kind of adopted that “helping the caregivers” mentality.

While devising a plan on how to help Southwest Florida, Aaron came across a website for the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief that was looking for “food, resources and volunteers to run chainsaws ‘, and that was his sign. As fate would have it, while making calls to find where he could help, Aaron found himself on the phone with a former Plant City High School classmate, Richard Rigdon, who had recently left Hillsborough County Fire Rescue for take over as Director of Operations for Florida Disaster. Relief with the Florida Baptist Convention, actively working in Port Charlotte when they spoke.

“I look on Facebook and saw he was down at Murdoch Baptist Church in Port Charlotte and they had a whole rescue operation in place with volunteers,” Aaron Davis said. “They cooked 100,000 meals in the first week after the storm, they coordinated all these volunteers from across the state to help and they just put together this massive operation, but he said the only thing that they lacked chainsaws. The guys brought their own saws, they broke them left and right, they’re worn out, they’re 15 years old and he said that was the biggest blessing. If we could put chainsaws in the hands of these guys, it would help them keep working and working for weeks and months to come.

Aaron and Nate stopped at I-4 Power Equipment in Plant City, headed south, delivered the chainsaws, and joined a crew to help out.

Two or three days later, they were notified by People Magazine that their story had been compiled, presented to editors, and would be listed in their annual Kindness issue, an issue that highlights five different cases of Good Samaritans making their communities a better place. . And shortly after, after People Magazine pre-published the story to some of their affiliates and sponsors, People made another call to alert the brothers that not only People and GoFundMe would donate to the charity of their choice, but The Kelly Clarkson Show invited them to appear in an episode that aired last week.

One thing both Nate and Aaron emphasized strongly is that they believe in doing good deeds to help others, not to tell everyone about the good deeds they have done, so that their efforts to be broadcast to the world was something that surprised them a bit.

“What we look at all the time is that it’s not really about us, it’s about why we do it, it’s about the disaster relief effort of the Florida Baptist Convention,” said Aaron Davis. “Because they do no advertising or marketing, they form a backstage group at thousands of Baptist churches across the country, or in our case in Florida, so that when disaster strikes, the organization takes additional tithes and donations to fund relief efforts. But besides that they are not exposed, that is not why they are in business. They are there to help. So we saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness and fundraise and help direct resources and tools into the hands of those who help.

Nate went on to say that not only is it a win when you can publicize organizations that are making efforts to help in the aftermath of natural disasters, but it’s also a ripple effect where some people don’t have maybe never knew how to get involved or even really thought about volunteering their time to help until they had a moment when they saw other people helping out.

“To me, it’s not about us and I don’t think our acts really deserve the level of attention they’ve gotten, but I also think that any time you get that attention, you can make a difference. one of two things,” Nate Davis said. . “You can just shut up and say I’m not coming on your show and I’m not doing an interview with People Magazine, or you say you know what, this is an opportunity to take that light and shine it. about the organization and the people behind it and in our opinion it is the Florida Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Team Group These people are the real deal, really helping, selflessly giving, doing all the real work in the field day in and day out, so at the end of the day, if it gives exposure to a big organization, I think that’s a win.

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Crist seeks to replicate Democrats’ Georgia strategy in Florida race against DeSantis https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/crist-seeks-to-replicate-democrats-georgia-strategy-in-florida-race-against-desantis/ Mon, 31 Oct 2022 12:06:42 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/crist-seeks-to-replicate-democrats-georgia-strategy-in-florida-race-against-desantis/ Charlie Crist delves into an unusual strategy to attract voters in his bid for governor of Florida: paying people to tell their friends, family and neighbors about his campaign. The tactic – dubbed “relational organizing” by political professionals – is relatively new to the world of electoral politics, although it is still untested. Sen. Jon […]]]>

Charlie Crist delves into an unusual strategy to attract voters in his bid for governor of Florida: paying people to tell their friends, family and neighbors about his campaign.

The tactic – dubbed “relational organizing” by political professionals – is relatively new to the world of electoral politics, although it is still untested. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) relied on the strategy ahead of his successful 2021 runoff campaign against former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Hoping to replicate that success, Crist’s campaign — in coordination with the Florida Democratic Party — is now working with Relentless, the same firm that helped put the strategy into action for Ossoff’s campaign. Crist’s operation has recruited more than 600 organizers statewide into the program, with efforts concentrated in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in South Florida, as well as Tampa.

The premise of the strategy is simple: instead of sending volunteers and campaign staff to have unexpected — and sometimes uncomfortable — conversations with strangers, relationship organizing relies on paid organizers or volunteers to have more natural and fluid political discussions with their knowledge.

Proponents of relational organizing say these conversations are often more persuasive and more successful in gaining people’s support than more traditional methods of voter education.
“We know that a conversation between people who know each other is about two and a half times more effective than a conversation between strangers,” said Greta Carnes, the former national director of Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign organization. and one of the co-founders. of Relentless.

“When you hear about [Crist] because your mom sent you three texts in a week about Charlie Crist, you’re gonna trust your mom,” she said.

The campaign estimates that its organizers will have had more than 20,000 conversations during the 2022 midterm cycle, the equivalent of knocking on around 300,000 doors.

Crist’s campaign is not the only operation to try a relational organizing strategy. The Texas Democratic Party launched a similar volunteer program earlier this year called Connect Texas, while another group, the Progressive Turnout Project, has invested in a paid relationship organizing program in battleground states. like Georgia and Nevada.

Crist’s campaign has spent about $1 million on the effort so far. He primarily targets low-propensity Hispanic and Black organizers, believing that these organizers will help the campaign effectively target other low-propensity voters in their communities.

“Florida is so big and there are so many voters that can be really hard to reach,” Carnes said, describing the Crist campaign effort as a kind of test. Such organizing tactics have not been deployed on such a large scale in Florida.

“How does it work specifically to organize Hispanic communities and organize this effort in English and Spanish?” Carnes asked, adding, “I don’t think we’re just running a cookie-cutter version of a program we’ve run before.”

Of course, the program may have to do some heavy lifting. A polling average in Florida’s gubernatorial race shows Crist trailing Gov. Ron DeSantis by nearly 10 points, an astounding margin in a state where top contests are often decided by a percentage point or less.

By comparison, an analysis of Ossoff’s relationship organizing program found that it improved turnout by about 3.8 percentage points among the 160,000 voters targeted by the effort. Ossoff ultimately won that election by a slim margin of 1.2 points.

Of course, this type of improvement cannot be applied at all levels, Carnes said. For one thing, relationship organizing is still a new concept, and Ossoff’s campaign used it for a few weeks before his runoff victory in January 2021. Crist’s campaign, on the other hand, has been going on for months. .

“The Ossoff program was the first program of its kind,” Carnes said. “From the start, it was really an experiment, so we can’t take this 3.8% increase and apply it everywhere.”

But Crist’s campaign sees the relationship organizing strategy as a longer-term investment that could help give Democrats a way forward in a state that has seen Republicans make significant gains in recent years.

“The relationship organization sets our campaign apart and sets a roadmap for a new tactic Florida Democrats can use moving forward,” Sydney Throop, Crist’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “Our agenda isn’t just about connecting with Democrats, it’s about reaching Floridians, who are often excluded from the political process, and bringing them into the fold. This is how Florida Democrats will play to win for cycles to come.

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Mauti Cancer Fund donates $100,000 to Mary Bird Perkins Center | St. Tammany Community News https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mauti-cancer-fund-donates-100000-to-mary-bird-perkins-center-st-tammany-community-news/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/mauti-cancer-fund-donates-100000-to-mary-bird-perkins-center-st-tammany-community-news/ The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation received a gift of $100,000 from the St. Tammany Parish Mauti Cancer Fund to promote cancer prevention through screening events and educational programs. Since 2005, the Mauti Cancer Fund and the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington have worked in tandem to provide access to screenings in communities […]]]>

The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Foundation received a gift of $100,000 from the St. Tammany Parish Mauti Cancer Fund to promote cancer prevention through screening events and educational programs.

Since 2005, the Mauti Cancer Fund and the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington have worked in tandem to provide access to screenings in communities in the North Shore and South Louisiana Bayou region.

“Providing cancer screenings to communities that face barriers to health care is at the heart of what we do,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support and awareness at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. . “Without supporters like Rich Mauti and the Mauti Cancer Fund, our reach would not cover large swathes of Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. When a donor understands the essential role of early detection and prevention, our message is that much stronger.

Rich Mauti, former NFL player and founder of the Mauti Cancer Fund, lost his father to lung cancer in 1979. Soon after, he began a fundraising effort that continued throughout of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins.

In 1981, he started the nonprofit Rich Mauti Cancer Fund, which has remained an all-volunteer effort. In 1989, the fund launched its Mobile Screening Van, which offers cancer screenings and cancer awareness programs to residents of area communities.

The voluntary organization’s main fundraising event is the Mauti Tennis Classic, a mixed doubles tournament held the second week of April each year at the Stone Creek Club & Spa near Covington. The event, which draws participants and spectators from across the state, is a past winner of the Louisiana Charity Tennis Tournament of the Year award from the Louisiana Tennis Association.

The efforts of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization have resulted in thousands of free individual cancer screenings, which are available to all members of the community. They are specially designed for those who are traditionally underserved or do not have access to health insurance coverage.

“Early detection is key to improving survival, a mainstay of Mary Bird Perkins’ mission,” said Mauti, a west resident of St. Tammany Parish. “By detecting cancers earlier, we can improve outcomes in Louisiana communities. The more screening events we hold, the more residents we reach, which means the potential for more cases to be detected sooner.

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Warren County wildfire jumps ridge and continues to burn https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/warren-county-wildfire-jumps-ridge-and-continues-to-burn/ Tue, 25 Oct 2022 22:33:00 +0000 https://www.sisterfriends-together.org/warren-county-wildfire-jumps-ridge-and-continues-to-burn/ WARREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) – A wildfire in Warren County continues to burn, despite the round-the-clock efforts of volunteer firefighters for the past 36 hours. Several communities, including the community of Hills Creek, are now being asked to evacuate as a precaution. Harrison Ferry Volunteer Fire Chief Lynn Curtis knows exactly where and what he’s […]]]>

WARREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) – A wildfire in Warren County continues to burn, despite the round-the-clock efforts of volunteer firefighters for the past 36 hours. Several communities, including the community of Hills Creek, are now being asked to evacuate as a precaution.

Harrison Ferry Volunteer Fire Chief Lynn Curtis knows exactly where and what he’s up against.

“Right in that general area right there,” Curtis said, pointing to a map. “And those wind conditions too, I mean they’re fighting against us.”

The problem is – how can he set up teams to fight the fire?

“The location of the fire was down and under the cliff on the side of the mountain. And access to get in there was almost non-existent,” Curtis said.

Fire crews were therefore forced to watch 70 acres of wilderness around Spring Creek burn while firefighters surveyed all potential homes and structures.

“(We have) set up scene stations with several different fire departments throughout this area, and protecting structures as the fire moves up and out of the gulf,” he said.

The effort was round the clock for this purely volunteer force.

“I haven’t been in a bed since night before last,” Curtis said.

That is, until hope flies away with a chain and a bucket.

“Today we got lucky. We had a Blackhawk,” he said.

The Tennessee National Guard is a game-changer, as it can dump water from a nearby pond directly onto the fire in places where firefighters simply can’t get to it due to terrain. Once the guard arrived, it became the first chance to fight the fire head-on.

“It’s putting a hammer on it,” Curtis said, as he watched from a command post.

The wildfire started Monday morning near a yoga and spiritual retreat called Isha. According to the Warren County Sheriff, someone banished from the property set up camp and fired shots at Isha’s property, and it got out of control from there.

“That’s the least of my worries, how it started or who started it,” Chef Curtis explained.

All the Chief cares about is when this nightmare in Warren County can end.

“Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and do it,” Curtis said.

Fortunately, so far no homes or structures have been damaged by the fire.


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