With gathering restrictions in some cases leading to isolation, the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many. Recognizing the struggles, some community members are hoping to lift others up.

Kerri Kane worked with Waunakee High School health and physical education teacher Alyson Schaefer to organize teen groups long before the pandemic. The students gather periodically to talk and support one another. Now Kane is coordinating a group led by her husband Mark Kane.

IMPACT – Individuals Making Progress Across Communities Together – is a men’s group. The first meeting drew 17 people to their home. If it grows larger, M-N-M’s Coffee House has offered up space the future.

Kerri Kane describes the group’s goals as learning to make a difference, or to become inspired and bring light to the community.

The IMPACT Men’s Group’s next meeting is May 4 from 6:45 – 8 p.m. Martin Aalsma, a former Navy SEAL, will talk about his experiences in combat. Kane described it as a “group of like-minded people coming together.” The hope is to make an impact after the past year and its effects on the community. Attendance will be restricted to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.

Anyone interested in attending can contact Kerri Kane at kerriakane@gmail.com.

In addition to IMPACT Men’s Group, a mental wellness retreat is planned for teens. See the Real Me will take place May 15 and will be a day packed with engaging speakers and mindful activities. To learn more about the retreat, see Mental Fitness 4 Teens on Instagram and Facebook.

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