Welcome to the Sunrise Spirit –
the Weekly Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise
We hope that you will attend one of our lively Friday meetings,
whether or not you are interested in joining Rotary.
We meet (almost) every Friday at 7 am in the Plaza View Room
of Arcata’s historic Jacoby Storehouse.
For more information, please visit the RCAS Website.
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create
lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
The RCAS Calendar
RISE: “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone“
- March 25 – BIG Adopt-a-Highway Event – be at the Coastal Nature Center at 9 am to participate!
- March 25-26 – Humboldt Steel Pan Festival in Blue Lake
- March 31 & April 1 – District Training Assembly
- April 21 – AHS Interact Spaghetti Feed at the AHS Fine Arts Building from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
- May 4-7 – District Conference at Konocti Harbor Resort
- May 27-31 – Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia
Several members of the Arcata High School Rotaract Club joined us, and we heard about their Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser, which will take place at the AHS Fine Arts Building on Friday, April 21st from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The proceeds will go to the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery, which fights human trafficking.
Terri Clark did some spring cleaning, and unearthed some Rotary Relics, including framed versions of the 4-Way Test, books and pamphlets, and a lot of club banners. All free to a good home. President Vanessa suggested that those who take any of these goodies might want to consider making a donation to the Rotary Foundation.
Don’t forget that March 25th is our next Adopt-A-Highway event. After working the highway, there will be a Community Days celebration under the Samoa Bridge.
Growing a Community
Our Featured Speaker, Mary Keehn, is the founder of Cypress Grove Chevre, which she recently sold. But she’s not stopping – about five years ago, she became the legal guardian for her granddaughter who has autism. Mary found that raising a child with a disability is challenging, with more community support needed than is actually available.
To help grow that support, Mary founded We Are Up, which is growing an inclusive, intergenerational community that creates income opportunities, housing, and other support services for adults with disabilities, for seniors, and others. After the sale of Cypress Grove, Mary purchased a 15-acre parcel in McKinleyville, where We Are Up plans to build a greenhouse, a community center, and ultimately housing units.
Mary told us that We Are Up is necessary because 80% of people with developmental disabilities live with family. And, she said, “More than half of young adults with autism haven’t interacted with a friend in a year.” She went on to say that the estimated unemployment rate for adults with autism is about 90%, and it’s even high (over 80%) for members of that population who hold college degrees. We Are Up intends to change those numbers. Mary believes that with the right support, people can move from dependence to independence.
The organization is raising funds to build a greenhouse on the property, and it hopes to soon see the community center and housing projects become realities. The plan for housing calls for a total of 50 units – one and two bedroom apartments and some studios. The community center will host activities for those who live at the facility as well as members of the greater community. The total cost of the housing project is estimated at three million dollars, and the process is underway. The organization has submitted the initial filings with Humboldt County to get things started.
In its first year, We Are Up secured the land, designed its logos, and established itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Currently, it is an all-volunteer organization. We can help by visiting their website and signing up for “UPdates”, by sharing your own stories, by supporting Charlie Jordan’s fund that honors the memory of her son Kevin Ebbert, and by reading and sharing the group’s Facebook posts. Oh … you can also make a contribution! To visit their website, click on the logo below:
Past President Ian Schatz noted that our Club is at the forefront of District 5130’s efforts to bring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the attention of Rotarians, and he said that members of our DEI Committee will be leading a session at next month’s District Training Assembly.
Full Meeting Video Link: