The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance coordinates a small army of volunteers who have established meaningful relationships with more than 450 local at-risk children. But there are 170 more public school children waiting for someone to help them in school and in life.

Sonoma Valley residents interested in establishing one of the most meaningful and rewarding relationships they will ever have are being invited to attend a wine reception at MacArthur Place to learn what it means to be a mentor, and how the process works.

For all mentors, careful attention is paid to assure that the best matches are made, so that the hour a week each mentor commits to a mentee is as fun and rewarding for both.

There is a Mentor Center at eight public schools, overseen by Mentoring Alliance staff, and complete with tools to help mentors build lasting friendships with each child – board games, computers, art projects, puzzles, sports equipment, rocket-building kits, foosball, air-hockey, pool table, and more.

Ongoing training and support is also provided, as well as an array of field trips, social events and extra-curricular activities that help to foster relationships. There is no cost to become a mentor, just the investment of one-on-one time spent building trusting, caring friendships in a safe and supportive environment.

Children who have been nominated for a mentor are kids who need a hand-up, not a hand-out. They are children with unrealized potential, who will quickly benefit if someone helps open the doors to new experiences and challenging opportunities.

The reception will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at MacArthur Place, 29 East MacArthur Street. There will be complimentary wine, appetizers, door prizes, and “no-obligation” information.

For more information, call the Mentoring Alliance at 938-1990, or to