Chamber Celebrates Valley Friendship Club’s New Space, The Hub
Susan Kane and Tara King cut the ribbon to celebrate the new offices and social space of Valley Friendship Club. Photo courtesy Artistic Product Photography.
April 2018. Stillwater, MN. The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce celebrated the new offices of local non-profit, Valley Friendship Club at a ribbon cutting celebration on April 5. Children, teens, parents, Board members, leadership and Chamber Ambassadors attended the event at their new offices and social space called “The Hub” in Stillwater.
As children with disabilities age, their world gets smaller and smaller. By the time they grow into teenagers they don’t have much of a social group or a social life. In 2010 a few St. Croix Valley families were experiencing this with their own children, decided to do something about it and Valley Friendship Club was launched! The club currently serves more than 700 members and is pulling families from all over the Valley & from the Twin Cities since there are limited organizations offering social opportunities, and only two other in the entire state of Minnesota.
Run by 100% volunteers, the mission of Valley Friendship Club is to promote and provide safe accessible social opportunities while fostering friendships. To this end, they aim to enhance community connections, empower club participants to strengthen important life skills and create greater social independence. The Hub, equipped with a donated pool table, foosball, darts, and couches, is a safe, supervised space where children and young people can hang out, play games, watch movies, enjoy other activities and cultivate friendships.
The Club also facilitates frequent outings and events outside of their space such as hiking, fishing, theater, bowling, martial arts, cooking classes and parties. They organized and facilitated over 75 events in 2017 and hosted over 900 attendees. One of their most popular events is an annual October Halloween dance for all ages which includes costumes, pizza, prizes and fun!
“The Hub is by definition the core, the center, the heart and that is what Valley Friendship Club strives to be” stated Susan Kane, one of the founders. “Members of Valley Friendship Club will welcome the whole community; The Hub is for all to belong. This also gives our members the unique opportunity to invite others to join us, rather than always hoping to be invited.”
Valley Friendship Club aims for community partnerships and support, in the form of both financial assistance and volunteers. Valley Friendship Club welcomes you to share your talents! More information is available on their website. On April 20, they are putting on a Masquerade Party at Oak-Land Middle School in Lake Elmo. All are welcome.
Valley Friendship Club
5620 Memorial Drive, Suite C
Stillwater, MN 55082