October 13, 2013

Resource Network to reflect on successes

Those who wish to get involved can attend Thursday.

By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune

---- — Members of the Cass County Resource Network have had a busy year. Community leaders are preparing to reflect on the network’s successes Thursday at the CCRN summit.

At the summit, there will be a motivational speaker and the network’s five task forces will discuss projects completed over the past year.

The Cass County Resource Network is made up of more than 50 organizations as well as individuals who are divided into task forces to improve the community. The task forces cover childcare/preschool, employment, neighborhood, family stability and food security.

Each task force has a different goal, including preparing children for kindergarten, coordinating programs to create a more employable and educated workforce, supporting neighborhood change, promoting resources for families and making sure every person in Cass County has enough to eat.

The intention of the CCRN is to get everyone in the community working together, said Joyce Mayhill, executive director of United Way of Cass County.

At a planning meeting last week, CCRN executive committee members got together and discussed the upcoming summit. On hand was Rick Hollering, who will be the motivational speaker of the summit.

At the monthly CCRN meetings, each task force gives a progress report. Mayhill said they want to be able to report results to the community. Those reports will be available at the summit.

Lita Rouser, director of impact strategies and community investment at United Way of Cass County, wanted people to know anyone can be involved.

“It’s almost a perception people have that you have to be with an organization to help and that’s not true,” Rouser said.

Maria Rogers, a member of the CCRN executive committee, participates in the food security task force.

“I started in food security because it is a passion of mine,” Rogers said. “People can sign up for the task force depending on what their passion is.”

Rogers said it’s great because no one wants recognition, they just want to get the job done.

Mayhill said the goal is to work together to maximize community resources, minimize duplication of resources and improve people’s lives.

Rogers agreed, saying they were also minimizing frustration by being able to supply people with answers to questions they might have.

Mayhill said they would like to get people, in addition to those already participating in CCRN, to attend the summit to see the difference the task forces are making in the community that affect businesses and their employees, residents and their neighbors, families and their needs.

“They can see there are people and organizations working together to improve our community, how we are doing it, and what has been accomplished,” Mayhill said. “We invite them to make a move and help to take action.”

”If you want to see an example of people working together, come to CCRN,” Mayhill said.

CCRN president Anthony Cozzello agreed, saying instead of complaining, people should do something effective.

Rogers said the summit would be a good time to do that.

Time and “finishing the race” will be essential to the message of the CCRN summit, which will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Calvary Presbyterian Church.

The event costs $5 to attend and includes lunch. Those who wish to attend should contact the United Way of Cass County by Tuesday at 574-753-3533.

Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or Follow her: @PharosAES.

If you go: • WHAT: CCRN summit • WHERE: Calvary Presbyterian Church • WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday • COST: The cost is $5 and includes lunch. • MORE INFOR: To RSVP, call Lita Rouser at United Way of Cass County at 574-753-3533.