January 16, 2009

George Cavinta’s birthday was December 29th, and President Mark asked him about it. George said that he had dinner with his wife and some friends. Oh, yeah – he had a cocktail. “A” meaning “one”?

Scott Heller celebrated his recent (January 13th) birthday by skipping the morning’s Sunrise Board Meeting, then having a special lunch and a special dinner. “Lots of eating was involved,” he said.

Dick Johnson (aka Your Editor) forgot that he had a birthday not long ago – it was December 20th. His son Brody was not much help in remembering the event, but Dick said that a dinner out with the family was definitely a large part of it.

Last Friday was Leslie Lawson’s birthday, and she quickly invoked this seldom-remembered Arcata Sunrise tradition: when your birthday occurs on a meeting date and you actually attend said meeting, the fine is waived. Her savings were slated to help fund a dinner at the Sea Grill and a movie that evening. In a few weeks, she and Bette plan an excursion to Tahoe.

Randy Mendosa’s birthday was Monday, January 5th. He celebrated by working all day, then taking in an Arcata City Council study session. “Did they sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you?” asked President Mark. Sadly, no.

Once upon a time, there was a baby born on New Year’s Day named John Wesa. His parents earned a $20 United Airlines gift certificate for their timing. John said that he asked his wife Rita for something special, and as he finished that line, WHOOOOSH!!! He shot flames from his hand over the head of Janice Newman, seriously violating her air space. John showed us the device he used to create the effect, saying, “I’m working on ones that shoot out of other parts of your body.”

Michael and Sharon Boreing celebrated their anniversary on January 2nd with a special dinner out and a movie.

Later in the meeting, Kathy Fraser volunteered that on December 28, she and husband Bill celebrated their 38th anniversary. “We only remember it about a third of the time,” she laughed. So maybe it’s really their 38th year, but only their 13th anniversary?

Kathy Fraser reports that our Inbound Exchange Student, Kasper Troelsen is very busy. Almost every night after school he has rehearsals for the upcoming Arcata High School musical. Watch this space for more information about the play.

Bryan Reeser said that several members of our Club were on hand to distribute dictionaries to 140 third graders at Jacoby Creek School, Pacific Union School, and Arcata Elementary School.

Amy Bohner told us that our Club received a grant that will help us provide scholarships for the swimming lessons that we are sponsoring in conjunction with HealthSport. The lessons will be twice a week, with each session lasting four weeks. We will offer 16 full scholarships and several partial scholarships.

Amy also said that the Historical Homes Walking Tour has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 21. A signup sheet was passed about at the meeting, and it will probably resurface this Friday.

President Mark said that the Ferndale Rotary is holding its annual fundraiser on Saturday, February 7 – a steak and lobster dinner. The event will take place at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds.

The theme for this year’s spring fundraiser is DISCO! (Stayin’ alive … stayin’ alive …) As always, this is an all-hands event, and we need each member to sell a table, sell individual tickets, and/or provide an auction item. Live auction items will be valued at $750 or more, and some of these may be smaller items combined with a common theme. Bob Moore is once again the point person for the live auction.

Our Club recently provided $700 to the Fieldbrook Fire Department so they could acquire CPR training mannequins. It was proving to be difficult to borrow this equipment from other agencies, but with our help, they were able to purchase four adult-size and four baby-size mannequins.

Our guest speaker last week was Sabrina DeLashmutt, the Community Outreach Coordinator for Hospice of Humboldt. Sabrina said that when her mother was dying a few years ago, she did not understand what hospice services were. Her mother was in North Carolina, and Sabrina traveled there to help her as she could. After her mother’s death, she learned about some of the services that hospice agencies provide. She received bereavement help from Hospice of Humboldt, and soon found herself volunteering with the group. Not long ago, she joined the staff.

Hospice of Humboldt is 30 years old and serves about 100 patients, half of whom are diagnosed with cancer. Serving those patients are 70 paid staff and about 150 volunteers. The staff includes a doctor, nurses, aides, and social workers. Volunteers often provide respite to family caregivers.

Hospice workers deal with pain – physical pain, of course, but also mental and emotional pain. This help is provided to the patient and to the families. Bereavement counselors help family members deal with their grief, both one on one and in groups.

Referrals to Hospice come from a variety of sources. Doctors and other medical professionals are a common referral source, but family members and concerned friends can also refer patients to the program. Self-referrals are common. The program serves patients who have received a diagnosis indicating that they have six months or less to live. Sabrina said that this is not a rigid rule. If a patient is clearly in declining health or has been admitted to the hospital for a chronic illness more than twice in the past year, he or she may be a potential Hospice patient.

Sabrina noted that most Americans with health insurance have a hospice benefit in their policy. Others may have long-term care insurance. However, Hospice will not turn a patient away who is unable to pay for the service.

There are several ways to support Hospice of Humboldt. Monetary donations are gratefully accepted, as are donations to the Hospice Shop. And you may choose to volunteer, as Sabrina did. For more information, visit the Hospice of Humboldt website.