As a parent, I have appreciated what the Mudd Nick Foundation has provided for my daughter. She participated in Odyssey of the Mind at Garibaldi. This after school program provided opportunities to learn problem solving strategies and teamwork skills. She worked with a team of students to produce presentations and plays in front of regional judges and other schools. This experience helped her develop confidence and cooperative learning skills. She traveled to Odyssey of the Mind World Competitions with her team and school staff. They traveled to Iowa, Michigan and Maryland for these competitions. This would not have been possible for the Mudd Nick Foundation. She also participated in a goal setting conference – PX2 – at Twin Rocks Camp. This was also made possible by the Foundation. She learned skills that will help her as she travels her way through high school. Thanks to the Mudd Nick Foundation for these opportunities!

Testimonial by Parent Angel Honts

Over the past 15 years I have had the pleasure of witnessing hundreds of children’s lives changed because of the Mudd Nick Foundation program, lives that were enriched with new experiences, broadened by exposures to new places and deepened by introductions they most like would have missed without it.

Testimonial by Parent Kristine Hayes

Words don’t seem enough to express the lasting memories and learning opportunities that the Mudd-Nick Foundation has generously provided for our students in the Neah-Kah-Nie School District. Without the support of the Mudd-Nicks, many students would not have the opportunity to travel outside of Tillamook County.

Cynthia Grelck – Nehalem Elementary Teacher

Over the past several years, the field trips and the accompanying dinners have made a great difference in my students’ lives. They talk about the play and going out to a “fancy” restaurant until the end of the year. Kids enjoy the connection between the play they have seen and the book that they receive as well. In class we do activities that deepen their knowledge and understanding. In addition I have observed students learning manners when we go to the restaurants such as The Old Spaghetti Factory. In addition it provides opportunities to see ‘the big city’ of Portland. As a parent I think it is very powerful to provide these activities to all the children to broaden their background knowledge. The new knowledge helps them when reading and writing. Thank you so much as a teacher and a parent for these opportunities!

Angel Honts – 1st/2nd Grade, Nehalem Elementary school

I am so excited about the field trip that the Mudd-Nick Foundation is sponsoring for the 7th grade this year. Through the foundation we are going to be able to travel to Portland and spend the day at the zoo. The students will have the opportunity to observe the diversity within the animal kingdom first hand, and witness the specific necessities for multiple species. Thank you Mudd-Nick Foundation.

Fred Bayouth and The 7th Grade Team – Neahkhanie Middle School

Our kids and teachers have been enjoying reading the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory books and looking forward to the upcoming Children’s Theater presentation of it. Their reading skills have been given a motivated boost through their anticipation. This weekend Mr. Simpson is taking a group to the symphony. An opportunity to get all dressed up, hear the beautiful classical music, experience a formal event, be inspired by the musician’s skill could also lead a child to a lifelong passion. I wanted to take this minute to express my appreciation for the gifts you are giving the children and the community in general – the generosity, and a positive belief in possibilities will be traits that will continue to benefit all of us for a lifetime should your good examples rub off and stick!

Heidi Buckmaster – Principal, Nehalem Elementary School

Dear Mudd Nick Foundation Members:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Mudd Nick Foundation for making a difference in the lives of students at Garibaldi Grade School. About 65% of our students come from families living in poverty. We serve 170 students in grades K-5, so that means 110 of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Because we are rural and isolated, kids at our school have very limited experiences outside of their community. The largest store is Fred Meyer which is located 10 miles away in Tillamook. The activities funded by the Mudd Nick’s have helped expand the horizons of children at our school. This year, we were able to take 2nd – 5th graders to see the play ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ in Portland at the Newmark Theatre. Prior to the fieldtrip, students were given their own copy of the book; teachers read it in class and did lots of activities to prepare them for the play. The day of the fieldtrip, we boarded four buses to make the 2-hour trip to Portland. The kids were wide-eyed and excited as they got off the bus and entered the beautiful theatre in downtown Portland. After the play, students posed for pictures in the lobby, rode the elevators, and checked out the view from the third floor balcony. Next we boarded the buses again and headed to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. As everyone settled in, the room buzzed with wonderful conversations. After dinner, we headed back to the coast with full, tired, happy kids. As adults we think the highlight of the trip is the main event, but for the kids it’s a variety of things. It’s getting a book of their own; it’s seeing the city through innocent eyes, ‘…look how tall those buildings are, just like in the movies’; it’s seeing people of every nationality; it’s being able to eat in a nice restaurant and order from a menu, “I had the best chicken alfredo in the world and the bathrooms, they’re pretty cool too”. Those are the comments that make you smile and warm your heart. Through the generosity of the Mudd Nick Foundation, students at Garibaldi Grade School have been able to attend plays, see a Blazer Game, go to OMSI and Gilbert’s Discovery Village, enjoy high tea at La Tea Da, see Cirque du Soliel, attend summer camps, participate on Odyssey of the Mind teams, and experience fine dining during our Student Art Reception and Dinner. The experiences are always first class from beginning to end. The Mudd Nicks really do make a difference in the lives of children at Garibaldi Grade School.

Carol Kearns – Principal

We are so grateful for the Mudd-Nick Foundation. They provide life changing opportunities that otherwise would be unavailable to our students. In addition to the wonderful educational experiences provided by the sponsored field trips and programs, students have gained insight into their abilities to make positive impacts, both in their personal lives and in their communities. For example, after visiting the Medical Teams International Real Life Exhibit last year, students were moved to fundraise and send donations to the program, as well as organize a second fundraiser for another worthy cause. Also, through college visitations this year, students who may have never considered higher education have had their eyes opened to the fact that they can go to college. These are just two of many examples of Mudd-Nick funded activities that are not only making positive impacts now, but will provide lasting effects for our students and their communities. Thank you to everyone involved with the Mudd-Nick Foundation! Thanks for all you do!

June Ekborg – Neahkhanie Middle School

The Mudd Nick foundation has done so much for my boys in and out of school. Two of my sons were able to go to OMSI camp for week. They both loved it and didn’t want to come home. They both wrote an essay on Lewis and Clark and were chosen to attend the camp. Without the Mudd Nick foundation that would not have been possible for them to go. During the school year the Mudd Nicks also do so much for all the kids in our school district. Most of the children would never get to do any of these things without the Mudd Nicks help. Thank you for all that you do.

Delora Elinsky – Parent – Garibaldi Grade School

Because of your generosity in providing some of the scholarships for our program we had a super successful soccer season! We are sincerely thankful!

Susan Davis Brown – Youth Director – NCRD & Mary Grothe – Youth Sports Coordinator

Mudd Nick Foundation – KUDOS to You …for supporting the NCRD/Nehalem Elementary Swim Instruction & Water Safety Program. Your GENEROUS DONATION to the 21st Annual POOL-A-THON impacts the lives of every student!! Your OUTSTANDING FOUNDATION is the TREASURE of our COMMUNITY.

North County Recreation District Aquatic Staff

As you know, Rachel Coleman and her Signing Time program made a big impact on our students last year with her school assembly and the Buddy Walk concert. My students watch her videos during a 30 minute block every day at school. It has been amazing to see how much students’ signing has grown as a result of her enthusiastic presentation in these videos. I work with students that have struggled with their communication skills, but together we have grown with sign language as a way to communicate while they are working diligently to expand their verbal communication and articulation skills.

Stacey Schuring – Nehalem Elementary School Special Education Teacher

Thank you MNF. You have again enriched our kids’ lives by exposing them to an art form that even many adults have never been exposed to. I had two different parents see me in the community this week and ask about the opera…their kids had raved about it at home to them. You continue to make the school a great place to learn, to have fun, and to be exposed to what is out there in the big, big world. We appreciate you.

Kristi Woika – Principal – Nehalem Elementary School

Watching Students grow with this Program has been a Great joy for me as a Coach. Thank you for continuing to support Odyssey of the Mind. I feel it is making a difference in the Students who participate and they are learning valuable lifetime skills.

Terry Houchins – Garibaldi Grade School

The Mudd Nick Foundation, this entire organization is so very essential to the fabric of the Neahkahnie School District. You all do so much for the community that a simple thank you is not and will never be enough to express our gratitude towards you wonderful people. I do not believe there is any word or set of words that can ever do that. Although, as I have no better words – Thank you so much. I know that the Mudd Nick Foundation helped put me through 4-H and NOSB Nationals, which were some of the most influential weeks of my life. I’m sure I’m not the only person who could say that.  I hope one day that I can do something as substantial as you all do on almost a daily basis. One final time even though it’s not enough – Thank You.

Nathan Imholt – A Grateful Student

The Mudd Nick Foundation Board received the following letter from a grateful student in October 2014 after she attended a 4-H summer camp. Dear Mudd Nick Foundation, Thank you so much for the scholarship you gave to me so I could go to the 4-H summer camp.  I had a blast shooting archery, going on the huge swings, and canoeing on the lake. I especially loved the themed meals and the dance that was held at the end of the camp. This was my first trip and last year at camp, as I am in eighth grade, and I was so sad to have to leave.  I wish it could last all year. I am so happy that you provided me with the opportunity to go to camp.  I am thoroughly disappointed that I won’t be able to go back as a counselor and try to provide the same amazing experience I had at camp. Sadly I will be moving out of state. I absolutely loved camp, and again am so grateful for the scholarship you were able to grant me. I hope that 4-H camp will be able to continue giving other kids amazing experiences for many years to come! Sincerely,

Emma Hammond – Personal Thank You

Thanks to Mudd Nick Foundation funds, our schools in the region are able to provide experiences for kids who would never have an opportunity to explore them on their own. Last year at Powell’s Bookstore, Garibaldi students were in awe of a building with three levels of used books. Each child was given $10 to spend.  Some kids were bargain shoppers, others wanted a new book that no one had used before, and others wanted to save most of their money.  After leaving the book store, we walked down the street to have a delicious lunch at PF Chang’s. Everyone tried a dish he or she had never eaten before and most enjoyed it. I’m sure it’s a trip they’ll never forget.

Carol Kearns – Garibaldi Principal

There are 11 high school and 10 middle school students involved in the Peer Mediation program. When asked why the program is important to have or participate in, Willa Childress, a high school senior and longtime attendant of the annual training stated that “peer mediation is really important because it allows for alternative conflict resolution and teaches us active listening and other great skills. Trista Cooper, also a senior and longtime attendant of the trainings said, Being involved in peer mediation not only helps your peers, but it allows you, yourself, to be able to seek out resolutions that are accepted by both parties. It also gives you the ability to break confrontations that are happening in your own life. They [conflicts] don’t always have to be with other people to apply what you have learned. Everyone learns through this experience and our schools are very grateful to have the Mudd Nick foundation fund this training opportunity as well as the Peacemaking Conference.

Esther Troyer – Neahkahnie High School Guidance Counselor

As a parent of a middle schooler, I cannot fully express my heartfelt gratitude to the Mudd Nick Foundation for the many events my daughter has experienced through your generous funding. She has been able to attend summer camp for two years, where she made new friends as well as connected with old ones. Not to be forgotten, are the three years of field trips to the Children’s Theatre in Portland to see entertaining plays, always accompanied by a delicious meal afterward. Thank you for giving my daughter these wonderful memories.

Lori M. Noregaard – Parent

The Neahkahnie elementary schools are doing Battle of the Books once again this year.  Students are getting geared up to read the different books that were selected and eager to read and discuss with their teammates. This year, we are going to have the top two teams “battle it out” at Garibaldi in May 2014. All participants will come to Garibaldi and watch the final battle take place.  Students will then have a chance to celebrate all of their hard work this year by enjoying a party and celebrating their success in reading. Thanks for supporting this project, Mudd Nick Foundation.

Jan Marie Nugent – Neahkahnie Reading Specialist 

Dear MuddNicks, Thank you so much for giving me this splendid opportunity of having a tour of Oregon State University. I learned so much about the college and it expanded my knowledge of the world outside of Neahkahnie. It has inspired me to pursue my goals in life and keep up all my work in school and outside of school. I really enjoyed the class panel with real college students. Everyone asked them great questions and received great answers. I learned about credits required to graduate and being allowed to change what you’re majoring in and or minoring. That activity was a great experience. From when I first heard and understood the term “college” I knew it was going to be a place I want to go and experience. Both of my parents have great memories of their college life and from what they’ve told me it seems like a really fun and helpful place to go. So being able to go to the campus of one of the major colleges in Oregon just made me more motivated to go to college and succeed. However I’m still undecided on what I want to pursue in college. The ideas that I’ve had in the back of my head for some time is something related to math or science. Those two subjects I find intriguing and to me, I’m naturally good at it. Also, both of those subjects are related to engineering, which is what Oregon State mainly focuses on for education and their curriculum is great. Thanks again MuddNicks for letting me grasp a handful of what the college life is really like.

Sam Holm – Student

This past summer I was lucky enough to have four of my children attend a wonderful Art Camp that was sponsored and paid for by the Mudd Nick Foundation.  It was a five day camp, specifically designed for children with special needs.  My four children have Down syndrome, and living in such a small community, have never had this type of opportunity before.  My older two went to the camp held at the Bay City Arts Center, while my younger two attended the camp held in Rockaway Beach.

They had such a wonderful time.  Each morning a small school bus came to our home to pick up the children. They rode with other children to their camps, then spent the day working on various art projects, crafts, music, play time, and even had lunch prepared for them.  Typical children have these types of experiences every summer, whereas this was a first for my children.  They’ve never been able to attend camp before, as most camps aren’t set up for a child with a special need.  This was truly an experience none of them will ever forget.

On top of how much fun my children had, on top of all they learned and the friends they made, the unexpected bonus was that I got some alone time for the first time in fourteen years.  I had almost five hours a day for five days in a row, completely to myself.  My other children are older and don’t require (or want) Mom around, so I was able to catch up on chores, read a few books, and even go out to lunch with a friend.  This camp was a win-win for everyone.

Thank you Mudd Nick Foundation for all you do to change and enhance the lives of the children in our community.  Thank you for including children with special needs in your mission.  And thank you for the unexpected gift of a few hours, all to myself.

Debbie Sherman – Parent of special needs children