PALentine’s Dinner Celebrates Friendship, Mentoring

February 14, 2019 , Jennifer Severson

Big Brothers, Big Sisters and their Littles celebrated their friendship at Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities’ 3rd Annual PALentine’s Dinner hosted by Amore Uptown on Monday, Feb. 11. Forty matches – 80 guests in total – enjoyed a fun and fancy evening in Uptown Minneapolis.

Little Sister Fiona was excited to spend a special evening with her Big Sister, Nina.

“You get to go places you don’t usually go with your family,” Fiona said when asked what she likes best about Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities’ mentoring and youth development program.

Big Sister Nina and Little Sister Fiona enjoy a table near the window at Amore Uptown.

Both Nina and Fiona wore special dresses on Monday evening and enjoyed a table near the window facing West Lake Street. Fiona, a 3rd grader with stylish blue curls, has ambitions of being a makeup artist. Nina and Fiona have been matched eight months. They’ve roller-skated, visited a water park and done crafts together since being matched in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

The Palentine’s Dinner is a special night when many Matches – Big Brothers, Big Sisters and their Littles – practice social and conversation skills. They also enjoy a three-course Italian meal from a menu created especially for the event.

“We equate food with love,” Dr. Mohiba Tareen, co-owner of Amore Uptown and Tareen Dermatology, said. “Sharing an evening of food and fun is like giving each child a hug.”

Three staff members from Tareen Dermatology volunteered to bus tables and serve guests.

“Our staff at the dermatology practice volunteers in the community each month,” Dr. Basir Tareen, co-owner of Amore Uptown and Tareen Dermatology said. “February is extra special because they’re able to volunteer at the Palentine’s Dinner.”

In addition, many of the Amore Uptown restaurant staff specifically ask to work the annual Palentine’s event and some asked to donate their evenings’ wages to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Tareen’s two oldest children, ages 9 and 7, helped serve guests throughout the evening. The family handed out Valentine cards and suckers from the Tareen children’s five children.

The Palentine’s Dinner was co-sponsored by Amore Uptown and Tareen Dermatology, both owned by Drs. Mohiba and Basir Tareen. Tareen Dermatology has offices in Roseville, Faribault and a new location in Maplewood.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities provides mentoring and youth development programs to youth ages 8-18 in the Twin Cities Metro area. For more information, visit