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Magical masquerade

Companions for Children is an organization that has been in the Minot area for over 40 years. It has helped to match volunteer mentors with kids 6 to 18 years old from the Minot area. One way the program has survived is by hosting various fundraisers throughout the year.

The organization will have a fundraiser, “Martini Masquerade,” from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday in the Grand Hotel in Minot to help fund various things in the program, including the mentor screening process. The evening will include live and silent auctions, appetizers and dueling pianos. The event is sold out.

Heather Johnson, executive director, notes that martini sampling and masks are coupled together for the fundraiser. This is the second year the fundraiser has been held.

Companions for Children also hosts a yearly golf tournament. This tournament has been a signature fundraiser for the organization.

Recently, the organization has seen a rise in numbers. The organization is always looking for new volunteers to serve as mentors.

According to the Companions for Children website there are various advantages of having a mentor, including some statistics indicating these children are more likely to attend school and show less signs of aggression.

According to Johnson, the screening process involves background checks, approval and the volunteer finding commonalities with a child.

Volunteering may take on several forms, but mentors are asked to dedicate four hours or more a month for a year to spend with the child. Those interested in volunteering must be at least 18 years old.

“We encourage them (mentors) to volunteer. We also encourage them to figure out hobbies or sports-things they may be interested in,” Johnson said.