Mediation Services celebrates 25 years

Mediation Services of Anoka County’s 25th anniversary and volunteer recognition celebration will take place Friday, Nov. 16, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Harvest Grill at Bunker Hills Golf Course, Coon Rapids.

There will be dinner, silent auction and a wall of wine. Tickets are $35 per person.

“We will take a look back at the success we’ve had, lift up the volunteer mediators who make it all possible and share stories of the exciting future for our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,” said Dave Bartholomay, executive director.

According to Bartholomay, Mediation Services for Anoka County has streamlined its operation to cut costs and is strengthening its online tools to be more efficient, but it faces a growing need for services while at the same time trying to fill a budget gap left by tight public budgets and the loss of United Way funds due to its changing priorities.

Mediation Services is planning a new initiative for 2013, developing new online resources and train new partners so that it can reach more people and resolve more conflicts before they become a costly burden for police departments, courts and the communities, Bartholomay said.

According to its website, Mediation Services is in its 25th year of providing low-cost or no-cost peaceful dispute resolution alternatives.

The organization now provides mediators for the community (neighbors, landlords and tenants, employees, schools, family communication, elder issues); conciliation court; shared parenting (post-divorce co-parenting issues); restorative justice (court-referred cases); and peaceful alternatives classes (a community or court-mandated program to help youth learn to make better choices).

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