Giving back, rolling onward, creating smiles

Eight months have sped by since I joined Norte as the Donor Relations Specialist. Over that time, I’ve taken in so much; learning the ins and outs of a new database system, meeting dozens of new and exciting people, and, after a few frostbite-inducing shifts, learning that the Norte Clubhouse does have heat and a thermostat.

It’s been a whirlwind and a challenge, but for all the right reasons. I like my job. And I know why. Part of my job is to connect Norte‘s donors with our mission and help them see the impact their contributions are making at the community, family, and individual levels.

I get to show supporters the power of kids coming together and pushing themselves to their limits, trying new trails and distances, and smiling the entire way. It’s because of our scholarship fund and kids’ bike library that many of those children can join us, and it’s our donors who make both of those programs possible. So it’s a treat sharing those positive vibes and stories with our donors.

One of the most rewarding experiences has been working with our local business community through our Business Champions program. These businesses, big and small, donate to Norte annually to support our scholarship fund and keep our programs rolling. You know all those smile-inducing pictures from our Bikes for All meetups this summer? Those don’t happen without 4Front Credit Union stepping up to say it’s essential enough to sponsor — they even showed up with ice cream for everyone a couple of times this summer. How about our Balance Bike Meetups? We could not have a fleet of balance bikes on hand for use without Traverse Dental Associates.

When I talk to business owners, I’m floored every time by their willingness to give back. This past year is a testament to the strength of northern Michigan, and I invite you to join me in supporting the businesses that support Norte. I’m reminded every day that we’re in this together. “Buy Local” may be a pithy slogan but supporting local businesses has profound impacts that go far beyond a single transaction.

I consider myself very fortunate to work with so many great coworkers, volunteers, and donors. As I continue to grow into this job, my goals for the organization only get more ambitious because, with such a wonderful and generous community around us, the only thing limiting us is our imagination. So, with your continued support, we’re going to turn up the heat and accomplish some cool stuff. I can’t wait to be part of it.

Rolling ever onward,

Wes Sovis

P.S. If you’re ready to donate to Norte, consider that a $150 donation covers a scholarship for one eager child gunning to join our Youth Mountain Bike Team. A $75 gift is enough to cover a child’s participation in Adventure Bike Club. Shoot me an email if you have any questions. 
? Above: Coach Wes bringing the energy this past spring.


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