The Hamel VFW is hosting a Dinner & Dance Night on Saturday, April 28th. Food from 5-8 with music from 7-10:30. The Arcades are back playing their great classic rock! Last month ‘Anthony’s Sock Hop’ drew 250 people. Call ahead to reserve a table if you have a large party. $5.00 cover charge. Bring some friends and we’ll see you there!

MN United Soccer Military Appreciation Match!

MN United Soccer Military Appreciation Match!

Who: Service members and their families
What: Professional Soccer
Where: Allianz Field, St. Paul MN
When: Saturday May 26 at 7:00 pm

Cost: discounted tickets start at $20

To purchase tickets:


For more info, contact Josh Elvig at josh.e@mnufc.com

Dunbar Family Update

Dear BTYR Communities,

It is with a warm and heavy heart that we at Family Programs extend our deepest gratitude for coming together to raise the travel funds necessary for Master SGT Jonathan J Dunbar’s MN extended family to attend his funeral. The “Youcaring” link is no longer up and the family was able to lay their loved one to rest today. Thank you for coming together as a network to serve those who serve us. The family wanted this statement to go out to you:

“Please forward to all involved.  Today we as a family were able to all come together in honor and to say goodbye to our loved one, Master Sgt Jonathan J Dunbar at National Arlington Cemetery.   Thank you to all who made this burden lighter through your support and words of condolence.  We as a family have sorrow and grief for his loss but know that he loved this country and his family and that is why he served.    It was amazing to see the strength and sorrow at the same time of the soldiers wearing Dunbar on their badges to honor him today.  Thanks again for all your generosity and kindness.   The Dunbar Family”


Tiffany KovaleskiMN State Coordinator – Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC)
Contractor – Alutiiq, LLC
MN National Guard/Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
8180 Belden Blvd
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
(O): (612) 787-2556

BTYR Family in Need

Dear BTYR Communities,

Unfortunately, the extended family (who live in MN) of a Service member are in need due to a tragic loss. Sgt Jonathan Dunbar was killed in active duty. The immediate family of this soldier have their costs covered but the extended family here in MN are travelling to attend the funeral in Arlington, VA via vehicle with limited monetary resources. They have stated they have the capacity to reach Arlington but would have to utilize credit to do so.

If your community would like to donate to help offset their travel cost, you are able to donate to the family’s “you caring” site listed below. At this time this is the only need, the family anticipates to have. The family has asked for privacy and no direct contact or outreach to the family is authorized at this time.

Please send any questions to MN National Guard Family Programs Director, CPT Adam Gades at (651)-248-2912 or adam.c.gades.mil@mail.mil

The following statement was given and approved by the family of the soldier,
“We are grieving the loss of our nephew, Sgt Jonathan Dunbar, cousin, family member from the IED bombing in Syria. Our family is close and big and several aunts, uncles and cousins would like to attend the service of Jon at Arlington National Cemetery for his internment. We know Jon would want us all there to support our loved ones. We are looking for funds to get us there from Minnesota to out east.  Plans for service are the week if 4/17 per government schedule. We have made the most economical travel plans including driving out. We are also staying 4 per room at the Virginian with a rate of 385.00 for 2 nights. We will have one hotel out and back, but uncertain where that will be or the cost depending on where we stop. RIP Jonathan Dunbar. He was an amazing father, husband, son, brother, and beloved family member.  It is sure different when it is one of your own. Thank you all for your support and care! The Dunbar Family.”




PBYR Assists Family to Attend a Funeral at Arlington Cemetery

On April 18, 2018 the PBYR Board  authorized $200 to assist the extended family of Sgt Jonathan Dunbar to attend his funeral.  He was killed in action. The family has expressed a desire for privacy.  Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and we acknowledge Sgt Dunbar’s service and sacrifice.

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon


PRINCE – Live on the big screen!  

PRINCE – Live on the big screen!
Presented by Paisley Park

Who:  Service Members, Veterans, and their families
What:  Buy one get one free ticket offer
Where:  Target Center, Minneapolis
When:  Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm – Changed to April 20, 2018
Why:  To celebrate Prince’s legendary career!
How:  BOGO DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY NIGHT!  Go to:  http://bit.ly/2018princebogo

Ironwood Spring Ranch – Family/Couples retreat opportunities

Who:  Service Members, Veterans, and their families
What:  “Operation Welcome Home” is a series of retreats hosted by Ironwood Springs free of charge
Where:  Miracle Lodge Retreat and Conference Center at Ironwood Springs, Stewartville, MN
When:  Various dates, see below
Why:  To strengthen marriages, develop strong family connections, and have fun!
How:  To register, go to their website, http://ironwoodsprings.com/operationwelcomehome
POC:  Tracy Bashore at:  tracy@ironwoodsprings.com, or (507)533-4315

Upcoming Dates:
April 20-22 – Military Marriage Retreat
July 20-27 – Camp Gratitude Family Camp week
October 19-21 – Fall Family Retreat

Youth Mental Health First Aid Class – May 11th

Attached is a flyer for a Youth Mental Health First Aid class that we are offering on May 11th at the North Memorial Health Specialty Center located at 3435 West Broadway Ave in Robbinsdale. This class is free, but space is limited – register early!  To register for this class, please visit northmemorial.com/events.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Class Flyer FINAL_May 11

Maple Grove Hospital and North Memorial Health are partnering with
the Minnesota Department of Health to offer this Youth Mental Health
First Aid class in our community.


April FAC Newsletter

Happy Spring! Please see attached the April edition of the FAC Newsletter. This month we focus on Month of the Military Child. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you in any way. There are some very useful and fun links in this newsletter that you and your child may enjoy.

2018 April FAC Newsletter

Have a wonderful day!


Yolonda Von Itter
Military Family Assistance Specialist
Skyline Contractor
MN National Guard Readiness Center
1536 Ben Franklin Dr
Arden Hills, MN 55112
Office: 651-282-4055

YMCA presents “A Run For Everyone” Minneapolis Fun Run

YMCA presents “A Run For Everyone” Minneapolis Fun Run


Family running together at the park.

Who:  Everyone!
What:  Family-friendly fun run
Where:  Bde Maka Ska (Formerly Lake Calhoun), Minneapolis, MN
When:  Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Register now at: https://www.zapevent.com/reg/event/15104

**Volunteer opportunities are available if you are looking for volunteer time or something to do while family and friends run.  Register to help at:  http://signup.com/go/eLxuhsJ 


Please help promote Crisis Text Line!



As of April 1, Crisis Text Line is offering Text-based suicide prevention services across Minnesota. People who text MN to 741741 will be connected with a counselor who will help defuse the crisis and connect the texter to local resources. Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Now we need your help in getting the word out!

Free Books


The Ridgedale YMCA just finished its annual media drive to help support our scholarship program. We always end up with extra boxes of media and would like to offer these to our community partners. We have about 70 boxes left of media items which include: vhs, dvd’s, cd’s, Books (teen, fiction, non-fiction and more). Please email Kit Swanson atkit.swanson@ymcamn.org if you would be able to use some of these at your sites or in your programs. These are free and available for pick up almost any time during the Y’s open hours.


Kit Swanson
Camp Christmas Tree Director &
Outreach Director of Ridgedale YMCA