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Letter of Introduction

Published on April 16, 2013

Dear Friends and Supporters of Building Bridges,


Please allow me to introduce myself…  my name is Kelly Lance and in March I took on the role of Executive Director for Building Bridges.  I began my relationship with Building Bridges in 2005. As a volunteer, I worked closely with Ron Reigelsperger.  His passion for the youth we serve was contagious!  I have the utmost respect for Ron and the amazing mark he left on everyone involved with Building Bridges. My hope and prayer is to honor Ron by continuing to build awareness and gain the support that we need to impact the lives of at-risk youth.

The future of Building Bridges has many positive aspects on the horizon.  I ask that you take a fresh look at our vision and mission as we move forward in a very focused direction.  Our vision is to save the lives of kids who have found themselves in extremely difficult circumstances and need a second chance to make better choices, turn their lives around, and find lasting success. The mission is to act as a "safety net" for troubled, disadvantaged, and misguided youth by intervening and redirecting their lives through innovative programming that offers discipline, structure, and opportunity in a compassionate and supportive environment.

One of our goals is to reach more kids at a younger age.  By intervening earlier we can become more preventative and less restorative. Our efforts will be focused on Work Therapy Groups, activities and events that will put youth in situations where they can learn new skills, give back to the community, gain self-esteem and find success.  Our resources will be used efficiently and effectively for these purposes.  Work Therapy is the foundation of the Building Bridges program with young people involved in more than 25 labor or therapeutic activity groups each week.  We hope to increase community partnerships and collaborations this year. A few of the new Work Therapy Groups that we would like to be able to start will allow us to partner with the Dayton V.A. Medical Center and T.J.’s Place of Hope. 

Building Bridges programming and Work Therapy Groups are planned and implemented by the Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Community Based Services (CBS) Team.  Luigi Dodieu, CBS Supervisor, and his team, work to develop a one-on-one relationship with each child in the program.  The kids are asked to set reachable goals for managing family relationships, improving social skills and elevating school performance. This relationship focused approach accounts for the program’s unmatched success rate.  7.5 out of 10 of the youth involved in our program will leave the juvenile justice system and return to our community as productive members of society. Currently our programming allows us to touch the lives of 200-300 young people per year.  We hope to expand that number significantly.

In order to reach these goals, we need your support.  We rely entirely on contributions to fund our program.  Your financial gifts will help us:  Build Relationships…Build self-esteem…Build foundations for success!                                          Build Bridges to opportunity…Bridges to a more promising future!

We hope that you will come alongside of us now, as we need your support to help the Building Bridges program continue in the future.

This coming Summer will be an eventful one!  The kids at Building Bridges have several activities to look forward to.  A few of the girls will be taking a trip to Pawley’s Island, SC.  During this trip, the staff will have an opportunity to work on interpersonal and communication skills, while building trust and rapport.   The boys will head to The Boundary Waters of Minnesota where they will focus on the values of hard work, respect for others, and the significance of teamwork.  

On August 9th we will hold the 14th annual Blazin’ Hot 5K Run/Walk at Wegerzyn Garden Center and plans are underway to once again offer the kids the amazing opportunity to participate in the “Building Bridges Baseball Clinic”.  This year’s clinic will be quite the event!

If you have any questions or would like more information, I would love to speak with you over the phone or in person. For those of you that have not had the opportunity to meet the staff and see the facilities, I invite you to do so.  If your business, church or social group would like to have someone come in and share information in regards to Building Bridges, please let me know.

Thank you for your support! Thank you for helping youth find success in life! 


Kelly Lance

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