On Saturday, March 26, Mercer Island Martial Arts (MIMA) will host a Parent’s Night Out as a fundraiser for the Seattle chapter of the Mockingbird Society, a non-profit organization that teaches foster children to advocate for themselves through leadership training for kids in the foster care system.
According to Krista Wells, Mercer Island Martial Arts co-founder, the idea to do the fundraiser came about because the mission of the Mockingbird Society is similar to that of their dojo. “They’re teaching foster kids to speak up and ask for the things they need to succeed, and we’re teaching kids to be confident and go out there and be leaders, so their mission meshes with ours,” Wells said. “We’re hoping to send at least 10 kids to their leadership training, which costs $250 per child, so we’re hoping to reach that goal.”
Several of the students they teach at MIMA are foster care children, so Wells and MeLisa Strongheart, the other founder of the dojo also hope to bring more recognition to this little-known organization.
The parent’s night out event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will be comprised of movies and pizza for the kids, while their parents have time together. Parents pay $20 per child, and can sign up for the event by calling 206-230-9050, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping by in person at 2630 77th Avenue SE, suites 106-108 on Mercer Island. Mercer Island’s Mo’s Pizza is donating pizza to the event, while Cellar 46 will be donating 10 percent of every dinner purchase to the Parent’s Night Out fundraiser.
Founded 14 years ago, MIMA has several fundraisers throughout the year, including a 21-Day “Homework Challenge” in September that has parents fill out a form to note kids getting their homework done each day, while the instructors at MIMA provide random phone calls to check up on their charges and see if their students are doing their work. The kids are rewarded with a party and are required to bring food for the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Food Bank as admission. “We like to teach kids to do great things for the community,” said Wells. For more information about the Mockingbird Society visit their website,http://www.mockingbirdsociety.org/