Businesses help mentors and kids with rewards

Craig Burton and his mentee Ben stop into JoMa’s Ice Cream in Murphys, a Mentor Rewards Partner with the Calaveras County Youth Mentoring Program.

When Jo Ann and Don Stump opened JoMa’s Ice Cream in Murphys in 2015, they could only hope their small business would quickly become a staple of the Murphys food scene and a magnet for visitors. Yet with all of JoMa’s success and notoriety, few people know how actively the couple supports the community.

JoMa’s supports many area businesses by offering specials to their employees, and regularly donates ice cream to fundraisers. For the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program, the Stumps “delighted mentors and mentees with a tour of the JoMa’s ice cream factory in Hathaway Pines a few years ago and offered special discounts on ice cream to program matches ever since,” says a release.

“We have been Mentor Rewards Partners since we opened,” said Jo Ann. “We are happy to support people who are giving their time to the community.”

In the Mentor Rewards Program, area businesses offer free services and discounts to mentors and mentees while they spend time together.

“Our matches are often looking for casual, fun outings, and ice cream is a huge hit!” said Katie Lackler, coordinator of the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program. “JoMa’s is one of the most popular food stops for mentors and mentees, and the discount offered to matches makes it an affordable option. There is nothing like ice cream to spark smiles and friendship!”

Several businesses have joined the Mentor Rewards Program by offering mentoring matches free services and discounts when they are together in the community. Other Mentor Rewards Program partners include Family 4 Fitness, the Pickle Patch, the Bret Harte Aquatic Center, Bistro Espresso, Sierra Nevada Adventure Co. and Bear Valley Mountain Resort.

“What goes around, comes around,” said Jo Ann Stump. “If you give to the community, you get it back!”

“We believe mentors in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program already make an extraordinary contribution by committing two hours a week to spend time with their mentees,” Lackler said. “One way we recognize this contribution is by encouraging our mentors to keep their outings low cost, and matches often go out to eat together as a great way to build friendship and to learn important social skills. This is where Mentor Rewards Partners play an important role in supporting our friendships.”

If you have a small business in Calaveras County, you can become a Mentor Rewards Partner.

“There are a number of other ways to support the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program, such as suggesting a possible mentor, inviting us to speak at your community gathering and getting the word out to the community,” the release said.

The Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program is seeking volunteer mentors for enthusiastic boys and girls in all parts of Calaveras County. For more information, or to discuss the rewards program, contact Lackler at 736-6078 or visit


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