Welcome to the Sunrise Spirit –
the Weekly Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise
Our Next Meeting:
We will hear about the state of the labor market in Humboldt County at our next meeting, on Friday, February 24th. Please join us!
RISE Calendar … “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone“
February 25 – Arcata Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet – 5:30 to 9 pm (RCAS is up for an award!)
March 4 – AHS College & Career Center’s Annual Pancake Breakfast – 8 to 11 am at Arcata High School.
March 11 – The RCAS Spring Fundraiser! An elegant dinner with a “Phantom of the Opera” theme.
May 12-14 – The District 5130 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada
History Day: President Susan reported that several Sunrisers participated in History Day on February 11th at Humboldt State. She also said that Megan Martin, the Graphic Artist who works for her at HealthSport, also volunteered for the event after seeing the slides from our weekly programs. The members of our Club who helped out included John Gullam, Craig Newman, Alyson Hunter, Susan Diehl-McCarthy, and (of course) Jeff Stebbins. Thank you all!
Recognitions: President Susan recognized Matt Babich, since his company’s Manager, Keyera Mullins, was awarded Manager of the Year by RE/MAX International’s Regional Team. Matt was in attendance when Keyera accepted the award in Denver.
Tomas Chavez reported that he and his lovely wife Heidi are twice the parents they were at the beginning of 2017! On January 14, Andres Reimund Chavez joined his big brother Cruz to make the family a foursome. He said that everyone is happy and healthy, and that both grandmothers were in town for a while to help out.
Pancake Breakfast: Not much to say, other than please be there on Saturday, March 4 at the AHS Fine Arts Center. The breakfast is the fundraiser for the AHS College and Career Center, and it will take place from 8 to 11 am.
Spring Fundraiser: “At this point,” President Susan told us, “we have more tables sold [at this stage] than last year.” But there are still more to sell, and we still need to talk up the event. We also need to get the raffle prizes and items for the Silent Auction to HealthSport. There will also be a “Phantom’s Lair” which will feature several high-end Silent Auction items.
Swat Valley Project Update: Howard Stauffer told us that the World Community Service Committee has donated $1,500 to support construction of a new school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The plan is to contribute an additional amount next year and to apply for a Global Matching Grant.
The first item on the agenda for last Friday’s Club Assembly was the vote for our President-Elect Nominee (who will serve as Club President for the 2018-2019 Rotary Year). Ray Noggle was running unopposed, however the ballots were not officially counted by the end of the meeting, so we are left in suspense until the official announcement next Friday.
We also discussed some changes to the bylaws of both the Club and the Community Foundation. Terri Clark and Ray Noggle worked to present the proposed changes. The first proposed change to the Club bylaws stipulates that the Club’s Annual Meeting will take place by the end of December of each year. The other change (in keeping with the recommendations of Rotary International’s Council of Legislation) was to eliminate several sections that establish and reference attendance requirements. Terri noted that she and Ray “did not necessarily agree” with this proposal, but they felt that it should be discussed and voted on by the Club. Much discussion ensued regarding the way attendance at meetings (or other Club functions) impacts engagement with the Club.
The Club voted unanimously to change the date of its Annual Meeting to December (or before), but the attendance proposal was “sent back to committee” for further study. Concerns were raised that it would be difficult to track participation. Someone asked President Susan whether we should establish guidelines for participation and attendance so Sunrisers will know what is expected of them.
The proposed change to the bylaws of the Community Foundation involved the Vice Presidency of that body. The current document states that the position may only be held by a Past President of the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise. The proposed change would allow a Sunriser who was the President of another Rotary Club to hold the office. There was some disagreement as to the function of the Community Foundation’s Vice President, which led to President Susan sending the proposal back to the committee and the Board of Directors.
The Judy Report
Our Exchange Student from Taiwan, Yi Ting Chen (better known to us as Judy), provided an update on her activities. She told us that the previous Saturday, she went to the AHS Junior Prom, which was “cool”. The following Monday, she gave a presentation to the Girl Scouts. While she was there, she participated in an baking project.
Our Featured Speakers were Julie Atkins and Angela Dennis, who co-founded a transitional home for families in Blue Lake called Mercy’s Haven. Julie said that about eight years ago, she had the idea to develop a residence that would help reunite families that had been separated due to alcohol and drug abuse issues. The project grew from Julie’s and Angela’s participation in related programs, including Teen Challenge and Mountain of Mercy Mission Farm. These are residential rehabilitation programs, but Julie and Angela saw the need for the next step – providing a place where mothers who had successfully completed rehabilitation could regain custody of their children in a safe, supportive environment.
Mercy’s Haven is a faith-based program. According to a flyer, its vision is “more than transitional living – it is to be transformational living”. Julie said that when people complete rehab, “they are ready to tackle life”. They have confronted the things that led to their substance abuse issues, and they want to engage with the world again. Without continued support, some “go back to what’s familiar and what’s available, and the spiral down happens again”.
Julie told us of one woman who particularly touched her. “She finished the program at Mountain of Mercy,” she said. Julie transported her to a transitional facility in Brentwood, called Shepherd’s Gate. That facility has been operating for over 20 years, both in Brentwood and in Livermore. Julie saw the need for such a home locally, but it wasn’t until she discussed the idea with Angela when they met that Mercy’s Haven began to take shape.
The pair began searching for possible locations for the house, knowing that it should be close to various community resources. The location they found was in Blue Lake (where both women live) that was near City Hall and the St. Joseph Resource Center – a great location. “It’s a beautiful house,” Julie said, “that [the owner] was going to refurbish.” The owner remodeled the home with an eye to housing the families that would be taking up temporary residence there. The renovation will be done in about two weeks, and both Angela and Julie are very excited. They have been interviewing prospective residents, and they are almost ready to open. Julie told us that the Blue Lake community has been very supportive of Mercy’s Haven.
Angela said that Mercy’s Haven will provide support to the mothers, helping them develop the skills they will need to be good workers, to take care of their families, and to be successful in both roles. Residents will be required to take classes in parenting and budgeting, and they will have to volunteer in the community. “They need to be a part of the community,” Angela told us. “They need to be contributing, and to know what that means.” They will know their neighbors, and receiving and providing support within their neighborhood.
For more information, visit the Mercy’s Haven website by clicking on the logo below: