Our Next Meeting:
Please consider joining us for our January 13th meeting. Our Featured Speaker will be JoAnn Schuch, who will tell us about a new program from the Area 1 Agency on Aging – Redwood Coast Village.
RISE Calendar … “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone“
January 21 – Adopt-A-Highway cleanup. Meet at the Coastal Nature Center at 9:30 am.
January 21 – “Sunrise Seafood Boil”, presented by the Rotary Club of Fortuna Sunrise. The fun starts at 5:30 pm at the River Lodge in Fortuna.
February 11 – History Day at HSU – Judges and other volunteers are needed!
February 18 – Charter Night at Baywood! Our annual RCAS birthday party!!
March 11 – The RCAS Spring Fundraiser! Put it on your calendar now (or as soon as you purchase a 2017 calendar)!!
May 12-14 – The District 5130 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada
- President Susan reminded us that our Spring Fundraiser will have a “Phantom of the Opera” theme. So press your tails and cummerbund, and get ready for an elegant evening!
- Our Featured Speaker, Jon Sapper, was also a Visiting Rotarian last Friday, and he made a pitch for the Fortuna Sunrise Rotary’s “Sunrise Seafood Boil”, which will take place at the River Lodge on Saturday, January 21st. He promised a host of delicacies from the sea, and a great time.
- We also heard that our Club is one of three groups nominated for recognition by the Arcata Chamber of Commerce as the “Nonprofit of the Year”! President Susan spoke with Chamber representatives last week to help them understand the breadth and depth of our many programs. Click here to see a video of the interview.
- Bob Johnson said that he is now “Bob the Ragman”, since he is hawking RCAS t-shirts and long-sleeved polos. This clothing cache is being turned into cash, which will support our Club expenses, including keeping our breakfast costs down, at least for a while. Both styles are available for $20 per shirt, so be sure to bring a few Jacksons this Friday!
- John Gullam alerted us to an opportunity – the Rotary Club of South Ukiah and the Ukiah High School Interact Club are holding a raffle to help fund their support of a school in Jalisco, Mexico. Tickets are available online for $10 each, or 12 entries for $100. The prize is a week for two at your choice of over 4,000 RCI Resorts around the world. Click here to purchase tickets. The drawing will be held January 19th.
The Judy Report
Judy, our Exchange Student from Taiwan, was at our last meeting, but her voice wasn’t! Her host father, Steve McHaney helped her with the Report. “She had a really great time over Christmas,” he said. Judy really loved getting a Christmas stocking and having a tree. Steve told us that one of her friends came to visit over the break, although she was sick for a couple of weeks. Judy helped cook Christmas dinner for the McHaneys. See the clip below for the entire Judy Report (featuring Steve McHaney)!
Healthy Moms Donation
In December, our Club’s Financial Assistance Committee approved a donation of $750 to help Amy and Steve Bohner support the Healthy Moms Program. Each year, Steve dresses as Santa, and he and Amy purchase presents for all the kids helped by the program. However, the number of affected children more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, so we kicked in some financial support.
Program Director Sue Grenfell visited last Friday to offer her thanks for our donation. “[Santa Steve] and Amy have been doing Santa and Christmas gifts for Healthy Moms for the last five or six years,” she told us. “Healthy Moms is an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for moms who are pregnant or have young kids. These women are trying to make amazing changes in their lives; they come to our program for around six to twelve months.” While the mothers work on their recoveries, their children are in the child care program. It’s a difficult process, so having Santa come with gifts for the kids is a real treat. “This year was our biggest turnout for Santa ever,” Sue said. “We had our whole living room just full of moms and kids.” The kids were dressed up by their mothers, and they had pictures taken of them on Santa’s lap. Sue told us that “it was a really wonderful day”.
Lasting Effects of Childhood Trauma
Jon Sapper was introduced by Cam Appleton, who told us that he is the Deputy Superintendent of the Humboldt County Office of Education. As mentioned previously, he is also a member of the Rotary Club of Fortuna Sunrise, and he is now known as “the best boss in the world”. [This brought thunderous applause from Lori Breyer, who provided that accolade.] Jon is a native of Humboldt County, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, a master’s degree in Psychology/Counseling, and a doctorate in Leadership and Management. In addition to his service in education, Jon chairs the Board of Directors for SHN Consulting Engineers and Geologists, and he is a board member for the McLean Foundation.
Jon said that about five years ago, when he and Superintendent Garry Eagles were pondering the questions, “What’s going on in this county? What’s going on with children and families?” They realized that the issues that were cropping up at that time were unlike the issues educators had faced in the prior three or four decades. They were observing and dealing with higher levels of family dysfunction and behavior issues than they had seen earlier in their careers.
“Then we heard about some work that had been done,” he said. The work was called ACES – the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Jon then showed us a video of a TEDTalk featuring Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, which is embedded below:
Jon noted that the adverse experiences described by Dr. Harris in the video are common. “Two-thirds of the population,” he told us, “have experienced at least one ACE. Twelve percent of the population have experienced four or more.” Jon said that three California counties – Humboldt, Mendocino, and Butte – have reported that over 70 percent of their populations have experienced four or more ACEs.
Jon noted that the percentage of students who are identified as having “special needs” (those who require individual education plans) is about 10½ percent statewide. The percentage of special needs students in Humboldt County is the highest in the state at just over 20 percent. “Although there has been no correlation [study] that has been done,” Jon said, “I personally believe that there is a relationship … between ACEs … and those who have been identified as special needs.”
Programs are underway to deal with these issues. Behavior issues are being addressed by involving health professionals and others. “All of us see the effects of these kinds of issues,” Jon noted, “in our children, our families, and in our community.” He provided us with the ACES questionnaire, which you can take online by clicking here. He also provided copies of “The Hidden Crisis Report” (click to access the report), detailing the problems faced by individuals who have experienced a high number of ACEs. The report also offers suggestions for each of us – starting with raising our awareness of how ACEs might affect those in our families and others close to us. The report also asks us to work to increase access to mental health services for both children and adults. Jon also encouraged us to become mentors. He said that when a child has a significant adult in his or her life who provides support and guidance, he or she can counter some of these negative experiences. Jon told us that many people (including Rotarians) have told him that “if it wasn’t for so-and-so, I’d have been …” Another avenue of service?