December 19, 2008

President Mark recognized Hal Fitzpatrick for his recent (December 2nd) birthday. When asked how old he is now, Hal said that the birthday was “my second anniversary of forty”.

Speaking of anniversaries, Craig and Janice Newman recently celebrated their 37th! They went out to dinner, of course, but they did start the day with a Rotary meeting.

Our Exchange Student from Denmark, Kasper Troelsen, gave a report on his activities since his last visit to our Club. He and the Newmans have been “decorating like crazy”. Janice noted that Kasper was able to place the star on top of the tree without standing on a chair or ladder.

Kasper said that the traditions surrounding Christmas are similar in Denmark, but the traditional dinner is duck with rice pudding. Our Club continued one of its own long traditions by giving Kasper a (yet-to-be-published) Arcata High School yearbook.

Randy Mendosa heads up our Financial Assistance Committee, and he and President Mark presented a check from our club to the Humboldt Red Cross. Executive Director Barbara Caldwell said that the funds would be used to help replenish the local chapter’s Disaster Relief Fund, which has taken several unexpected hits lately. There have been “an extraordinary number of fires” recently, leading to an unanticipated depletion. If you would like to make a further donation, visit the chapter’s website at

Event Chair Bob Johnson gave us a quick update on the Taste of the Holidays. Although we experienced a “significant drop in revenue,” he noted, “that was to be expected given the economy”. Still, Treasurer Kathy Fraser provided an income report showing that we did net over $10,000 for the event.

The 2008 Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament is now history. George Cavinta said, “The Arcata Tigers won for the first time in 13 years!” Thanks to all who participated. You can still help by purchasing an AIBT t-shirt – contact Lori Breyer for details.

On December 27th, Harry Johnson will be traveling to Mexico to volunteer at Project Amigo, and he hopes to take clothing along with him – children’s clothes, new or gently used are sought.

Our esteemed Finemaster, Jessica McKnight, asked Chuck Giannini about a not-too-recent trip to Sacramento. Sir Charles said that he visited his grandchildren, but he got another thrill – he got to ride along in a race car. “We did five or six laps at 110 miles per hour,” Chuck said. He didn’t get to drive, but it was exhilarating. It was also “hot, noisy, and small” in the vehicle.

Terri Clark was in Kauai for Thanksgiving, and while there, she made up at the Rotary Club of Kalepa Sunrise in Lihue. For her travels (and for the fine she paid), Terri is now Bold and Gold, and she has a new magnetic Rotary pin to prove it.

The Madrigal Choir made its traditional holiday pilgrimage to our meeting. Director Carol Jacobsen told us that the group will be working very hard to raise funds to participate in a festival this fall in Verona, Italy. In the short term, they will travel to the Bay Area to attend a festival somewhat closer to home.

The group performed White Christmas, No Rocks (Cryin’ Out for Me), The Holly and the Ivy, Santa Baby, Cool Yule, and Carol of the Bells.