Volume XII, Issue 11: September 20, 2013

The Latest From Alex

Alex at Moonstone Beach

Last Friday, Exchange Student Alex Rialet reported that  that he had a great time at the Welcome Barbecue at Moonstone Beach. Our Club and the Arcata Noon Rotary jointly put on the event, which also honored their Exchange Student from Germany, Julius Thoben. 

Alex also said that he was looking forward to that evening’s football game versus the McKinleyville Panthers.

President Jessica thanked Rina Brodhag, Cindy Sutcliffe, the Fellowship Committee, and the Youth Exchange Committee for putting on the Welcome Barbecue. There were two cakes left over that were put to good use, and an Eddie Bauer vest was found.

We have some exciting stuff coming up – here’s the list:

  • Tuesday, October 1st – Rotary Youth Exchange Information Night at Arcata High School
  • Friday, October 4th – The 2013-2014 edition of Backpacks for Kids kicks off following our meeting
  • Saturday, October 5th – Fellowship Tailgate Party at HSU Football. It’s the Jacks vs. the Central Washington Wildcats
  • Saturday/Sunday, October 12th & 13th – SWOT Operation at the Boys and Girls Club in Eureka

President Jessica presented Gold Stars to three Red Badge Sunrisers who were ready and willing to give their Craft Talks last Friday. , Gregg Foster was one of the recipients, although he was not called to speak due to time constraints. Who were the other two? Read on …

Gold Star Craft Talk Part One
Julie Schaefer said that she does not enjoy public speaking, but if you put her “behind a chair and in front of a mirror, and I’ll talk your ear off.”  That’s because she owns and operates the New Image Hair Studio and Spa in Sunny Brae Center. 

Julie’s family has a long history in Humboldt County. They owned a ranch in Ferndale in the late 1800s, and became involved in the timber industry as well as ranching. Julie grew up in Myrtletown, which was “a wonderful place to grow up”, with great places to play. The only rule was to be home by dark. She was part of a large group of kids that grew up together. They were very close, and this year at their 30-year reunion, they realized that “we kind of had a gang out there, huh?”

Julie said that her adult life started when she “traded in my 1964 Chevy Camaro savings account for my first apartment and a husband.” Their first daughter was born in 1981 while Julie was still in high school. She graduated with her class in 1983, and in the fall of that year, she had her second daughter. Eventually she realized it was time to trade in the husband and make sure she still had that Camaro savings account. 

“In ’86, I finally met my soulmate,” Julie said. She and her husband Jim have been together since, marrying about five years later. The couple had two more daughters, one born in 1991 and the other in 1993. 

Julie graduated from College of the Redwoods after completing the Small Business Certification Program. She then went on to “Fred’s and Chuck’s” and earned her beauty college license. She has been in the industry for almost 25 years, and she has owned her own business for most of that time. 

Her family is extremely important to Julie, and she said that she and Jim have five grandsons and one granddaughter.  Two of her daughters live at home while attending college. 

She and Jim love to camp and they consider themselves “river rats” who run rivers all summer, which is her favorite time of year in Humboldt County. 

Julie came to Rotary “through the back door”. Barbara Browning is a friend and client who invited Julie to join her on a trip to Project Amigo in Colima, Mexico. She was amazed by the dedication of the Rotarians there and the work that they were doing. “I really fell in love with Rotary at that point,” she said. 

Gold Star Craft Talks Part Two
“I feel really lucky that my husband and I live right on the shores of Humboldt Bay,” said Carol Vander Meer. Carol and Steven have lived with their two cats in Manila since about 1996. She told us that she can grab her kayak and just walk to the bay to put in.

Carol grew up in Nebraska, which is where she earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Biology. Part of her Masters work was performing studies on the Niobara River in the Sand Hills of Western Nebraska, an area she called her “spiritual landscape”.  When she was ready to leave the midwest behind, the sand dunes of the North Coast drew her in. Carol returns to Nebraska often to visit her family, including her grandparents who just celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary.

Carol said that living with her husband of 14 years is “kind of like living with a cartoon character”. Steven is an artist; his Meer Images company does animation, drawing, and rubber stamps. They recently acquired studio space in Manila, which has led to the couple becoming landlords. Carol and Steven like to camp and Carol likes to backpack, but that’s not Steven’s thing.

Although Carol and Steven don’t have any kids, “but you may see me around town with Jacy”, a seven-year old. About 11 years ago, Carol was the Big Sister to her mother, Kendahl, and the relationship has carried on.

Carol works at Friends of the Dunes, and her office is in the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, housed in the Stamp House, which our Club helped renovate a few years ago. Her goal as Executive Director is to introduce people to the beauty and natural diversity of the dunes. She said that she would love to have the Club come visit at some point. 

A Taste of the Holidays Update
Ron Sharp is heading up the committee that is organizing for this year’s Taste of the Holidays (aka TOTH). He said that he has a great committee, and they are asking three things from all Sunrisers:

  1. Sell tickets for the event. Ticket sales and generating attendance is what makes TOTH a successful fundraiser.
  2. Provide a raffle item. We are looking for a minimum value per Sunriser of $25. The raffle teams are encouraged to pool resources to provide an items of greater value. 
  3. Work at the fundraiser. This is one of our “all hands on deck” events, and your help is needed for setup, selling raffle tickets, helping at the front tables, and any of the other tasks. 


Bob “The Mullet” and Susan “Hands-On” Johnson

Last week, Karen Burgesser was in charge of recognizing some of our members. She started with Bob Johnson, showing a couple of photos of Bob and his wife Sue in pseudo wedding attire. The photos were shown in honor of the couple’s 33rd anniversary, which was last Friday! Karen and Bob also talked about his relatively new dog, a recent class reunion, and a performances in Oregon by Bob with an “all-star” band from high school.

Craig Newman was recognized for being a quiet but hard-working Rotarian. Karen told us that he was born in Burbank (“I won’t say the year”), the oldest of six kids. He and his father belonged to “Grey Y”, an Indian guide father-son organization sponsored by the YMCA. He said that the group did a lot of things that you probably can’t do now, like firing .22s and bows and arrows in a lot in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. The two were assigned the Indian names “Little Hook’em Fish” and “Big Hook’em Fish”. Craig played trombone for a while in the junior high band, (“‘Cause you had to take music”) but he said that his two sons are the musical ones in the family. Craig said that in high school, he wasn’t very social, so he played football. His jobs included being a camp counselor for the YMCA at both day camps and mountain camps, and deliveryman for a liquor store. “I got paid a $1.25 per hour,” he said, “which was the minimum wage at that time, and then you got tips. That’s where you made your money, taking alcohol to alcoholics.” 

Craig and a friend

Craig also worked for a while in food service for the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital, which was established to provide care for those who once worked in the movie industry. While there, he met an aged Bud Abbott of Abbott and Costello fame. Craig’s vehicle during this time was a 1946 Jeep, with “no top, no doors, no seat belts, no nothing.” His wife Janice used to help him push start it at times. Janice said that there were a lot of those times. Craig came to Humboldt to attend HSU because it was the college that was the farthest north in California. He looked at the catalog, and chose Forestry “because it sounds a lot like camping”. It wasn’t quite like he had imagined, with loggers cutting tree 18 feet in diameter, but he’s been at it for 42 years.

Karen reminded us that Craig is a Charter Member of our Club, as well as a Past President. He has organized a number of Club projects, including the defibrillator project and Dream Houses for Kids, and he initiated our Foundation Auctions. He also served as the District Secretary under District Governor (and Sunriser) Harry Johnson, and he has twice served as Assistant District Governor, and has served on several District committees. He and Janice have attended several Rotary International Conventions. 

Community Service Committee Report
Rebecca Crow, who co-chairs the Community Service Committee with Dawn Ellsbree, reported last week on their projects. Howard Stauffer and Kathy Fraser are heading up Backpacks for Kids this year. During the school year, our Club prepares and delivers 18 backpacks to Arcata Elementary School, and 9 bags to Trillium School. Each week, we need one person to pick up the food on Thursday and deliver it to our meeting the next morning, five people to load the backpacks, and one person to deliver the backpacks to the schools before noon. Check your e-mails for the Sign-up Genius information.

Laura Montagna initiated the Bookcase Project to help promote literacy by providing a portable bookcase with children’s books to families with infants. Laura designed the prototype bookcases, which were then built by the students in Rand Hall’s Woodshop class at McKinleyville Middle School. The final touches (assembling, painting, and stocking the bookcases) was done by Sunrisers.So far, 10 bookcases have been delivered, and 6 more are needed.

Amy Bohner said that the Committee will once again be supporting Northcoast Children’s Services through its Pastels on the Plaza fundraiser. This year, our Club will purchase two squares, to better showcase our projects. This will also be the third year that we will hire artists from the Arcata Arts Institute to create our display.

Scott Heller reported that Kyle Visser is continuing to head up the Adopt-A-Highway program. We will be performing clean-ups on our three-mile stretch of Samoa Boulevard each quarter.

Later in the year, we will see the Every 15 Minutes program return to Arcata High School, and the 4th Annual Cross Country Championships will take place on October 24th. 

Spring Fundraiser Report
Ceva Courtemanche told us that the Spring Fundraiser Committee has narrowed potential themes for the event to four: “Enchanted Forest”, which could be romantic, scary, or both; “Game of Thrones”; “Showboat”; and “Pirates”. She asked us to vote for our favorite via Sign-up Genius.