Talbot Mentors Top-of-the-Season Cheer!

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Dozens of mentees—plus their families and mentors—personified holiday spirit at the Talbot Mentors year-end party. The kids played, ate, and filled the Teen Center at the Easton YMCA with the sort of joy that Talbot Mentors specializes in!

“We had over 100 attend, and every mentee received a holiday gift,” says Rachel White, TM’s Program and Event Coordinator for more than three years. “The gifts were generously donated by community members of Easton Club East and Talbot Mentors board members.” Indeed, with all the presents brightly wrapped, the party space looked like Santa’s workshop.

Natalie Costanzo, surrounded by mentees, mentors, families and board members.

A good measure of the party food came courtesy of the Talbot Mentors cooking group known as Food For Thought, currently composed of three high school students who work with Chef Jean Butler. On the team are Javion Emory, Yubitza Galvez, and Ty’Asia Johnson.

“Food For Thought is usually a baking group but for the TM Christmas Party we were asked if we cook the main dishes,” says TM Case Manager LaToya Brooks, who works out of the TM St. Michaels. “The kids and the chef came up with the menu, chicken enchiladas and chicken cacciatore,” she continues. Since October, the Food For Thought trio has been busy. “We have baked for two events,” says LaToya. “Our very first event was the TM Boatwright play at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and our second event was the Art & Craft Marketplace, where the kids baked pumpkin pies and sugar cookies to sell for a donation to Talbot Mentors.” A small portion of the events’ proceeds went to the bakers themselves.

The TM holiday also included a bittersweet element. It was time for everyone to say goodbye to Natalie Costanzo, the universally adored Executive Director of Talbot Mentors who with her family is leaving the organization to head back to Australia.

TM’s new Executive Director, Gerson Martinez, sums up the festive holiday party this way: “The evening was a testament to the strength of Natalie’s leadership of this organization. It was truly inspiring to see so many joyful children and families celebrating Natalie with their mentors,” he said, adding, “I am so thrilled and humbled to take on this responsibility going forward.”

Here’s to a vibrant and joy-filled New Year!

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

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