January 23, 2009

President Mark recognized Cam Appleton for his birthday, which (once again) fell on New Year’s Eve. Cam said that he went out for a very nice dinner, and he noted that each year “there’s always a great celebration”. Just remember, Cam – the loudest cheering starts at the end of your birthday.

Lynda Moore’s birthday was more recent – Sunday, January 4th. She had some friends over, and they enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather. They went outside and “pretended it was summer”.

On January 19th, Brett and Tracy Johnson celebrated their very first anniversary. They also wanted it to feel like summer, so they scooted over to Mt. Shasta for the weekend. Brett said that they had a very relaxing time, especially since he (“literally”) forgot his cell phone.

Club Foundation Chair Terri Clark was in San Diego recently for the 2009 Rotary International Assembly. Bill Gates was also there, and he announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would award $225 million to Rotary International to help our fight against polio. Terri said that there are still four countries where polio still exists – Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. For more information on the Gates Challenge Grant with links to more information about Rotary’s fight against polio, click here.

Marty Lay of the Southwest Eureka Rotary (he moonlights as Terri Clark’s husband) was here to invite us to participate in his Club’s upcoming fundraiser. On Saturday, February 28th, they will hold an “Indoor Miniature Golf Extravaganza” at Redwood Acres. The group is seeking businesses, groups, and individuals to sponsor one (or more) of their many (mini) holes. Sponsors are encouraged to participate in the design of their hole – and how often do you get an offer like that? Proceeds will support their many community and international service projects. If you have questions or if you would like to sign up, please call Marty at 441-8855 (work) or 839-2389 (home). The operator is standing by.

Cam Appleton provided an update on the health of Hal Fitzpatrick, who has been dealing with heart difficulties for the past few weeks. Hal is out of the hospital, and is steadily progressing. He was scheduled for an appointment this week at Stanford Medical Center, so keep him and his bride Marge in your thoughts and prayers.


Former Sunriser Mark Gorge and his Daughter Ashley joined us last Friday to accept our Club’s donation to Special Olympics – Humboldt County. Our contribution will help the organization continue to serve deserving young athletes like Ashley. In the photo above from right to left, Mark and Ashley accept the $500 check from President Mark and Financial Assistance Committee Chair Randy Mendosa.

Our Finemaster, Jessica McKnight, awarded Brett Johnson the coveted Gold Pin last Friday to commemorate Brett’s achieving “Bold and Gold” status with the recognition he paid for his anniversary.

Orrin “O.P.” Plocher is closer to that exalted status because Jessica caught wind of a recent real estate deal. Orrin said that his company, Freshwater Environmental Services, recently relocated its offices. Previously operating out of the principals’ dining rooms and breakfast nooks, the firm now has a home away from home (literally) in Sunny Brae Center.

The theme of relocation was echoed when we heard that the CPA firm of Jackson and Eklund has relocated from Arcata to McKinleyville. Along for the ride were two Sunrisers – Janice Newman and Bryan Reeser. The new digs are near Thomas Home Center, and Janice and Bryan agree that they are very comfortable. They don’t have a sauna, but they do have a shower.

Jessica had Bryan continue to stand, and she asked Donnie Rosebrook to rise as well. Now, I didn’t catch all of the details, but the two apparently went to a sporting goods show together in Las Vegas. There, they worked “twenty-four hours straight”, according to Donnie. At what, I don’t know.

Donnie took another trip, and this time he took his wife, Jennifer. They traveled to Pittsburgh to watch the AFC Championship. The bad news? They weren’t dressed for the cold. The good news? There was a Macy’s nearby. The really good news? They were rooting for the Steelers. Next stop Tampa?

“I know tans fade a bit,” said Our Finemaster. But Scott Heller had one, and the vestiges remain. The hue was a by-product of a recent trip to Cabo San Lucas. The trip was rather spontaneous – he and Danette “just decided to get away” for a five-day jaunt.

When Jessica called out John Wesa’s name, he groaned, “What now?” And Jessica admitted that the story was a bit stale, but John’s photo was in the paper. It was an article about John’s show a few months ago at Redwood Memorial Hospital. John doesn’t do many shows at hospitals, but the staff and administration at RMH really appreciate the art, and there is a growing sense of community among the artists who show there.

Our guest speaker last Friday was Erin Derden-Little, the Program Director for Redwood Roots Farm. After she graduated from Arcata High School, Erin served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. Erin then interned at Redwood Roots Farm. She earned her Masters Degree from UC Davis before returning to the Farm to develop its educational programs.

The Farm’s mission is to serve as a community center and resource, and to cultivate stronger connections between people, their food, and the natural environment. Janet Czarnecki is the Farm’s sole proprietor, and her strong background in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) led her to offer shares to others. Shareholders pay between $450 and $550 per year, for which they receive a weekly supply of organically grown vegetables throughout the growing season.

Erin was asked to develop educational programs for the Farm, and she has taken on four major areas: Farm internships, community workshops, youth programs, and education internships.

In her talk, Erin focused on the Farm’s youth programs. Her approach is to give young people a hands-on, garden-based learning experience, with a “fresh food emphasis”. She also tries to relate the things students have learned in school to a practical environment. To that end, she helps organize field trips to the Farm for elementary school students. She seeks a collaboration with the students’ teachers. The Farm’s education programs reached about 500 students in 2007 and 475 in 2008. These students are from 12 local schools.

Erin plans to “grow” the program, looking to establish ties with after-school programs, summer school, and community groups. She hopes to build on the students’ experiences by scheduling repeat visits that will expand upon what was learned in previous trips. She is also looking to set up a summer camp in the near future.

Erin says that she hopes that children who visit the Farm will be encouraged to make better food and health choices, that they will leave more ecologically literate, that they will be empowered with strengthened life skills.

To visit Redwood Roots Farm online, click here.

One comment on “January 23, 2009

  1. Dear Sunrisers!

    Oh how I miss my home Rotary Club. Colorado is beautiful and life is super-fantastic for me! However, I yearn for the familiarity and fellowship from all of you!

    Hugs to all,


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