Volume XII, Issue 25: January 17, 2014

What’s New With Alex?
At our last meeting, Exchange Student Alex Rialet said that he was completing three days of finals at Arcata High later that day. He did make time for baseball tryouts and a movie. He also planned to attend last Saturday’s Fortuna Sunrise Rotary Formal. Alex has also been following the NFL playoffs, rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles alongside his host dad, Craig Reed. Sadly, the Eagles lost, so most of the crowd encouraged him to cheer on the 49ers. We’ll have to hear who he favors in the Super Bowl.

Due to the lack of precipitation in Northern California, the traditional District 5130 Youth Exchange Ski Trip has morphed into the Youth Exchange Winter Retreat. It will take place this weekend (January 24th through the 26th), close to home. The students will gather at the Samoa Women’s Club, but their activities will take them to Eureka for a service project and roller skating. 

We have been asked to provide dinner for the Exchangers on the first night of their Retreat (Friday, January 24th). If you can help with this, please contact Ian Schatz.

Next week, we will be delivering “Dictionaries for Third Graders”. Sunrisers will be on hand at Arcata Elementary on Monday, January 27th at 9 am. The following day – also at 9 am – we will attend Pacific Union School, and following our Friday meeting, members of our Club will travel to Jacoby Creek School for an 8:40 am assembly. Click on this link to sign up for one or more of the events.

Be vigilant – we have a “hands-on” event coming soon, although the exact date is not known. Our Club will be helping the HSU Natural History Museum move from its current location to the old Figueiredo’s building across the street.

It’s a date! Or at least, there is a date for our Charter Night Celebration. The event will take place at Eureka’s Ingomar Club on Wednesday, February 11th. There will be a no-host bar and hors d’oeuvres as we celebrate our Club’s 22nd birthday. The cost will be $20 per person, and you are definitely encouraged to bring your spouse or significant other.

On  February 8th, the Rotary Club of Fortuna Sunrise is presenting “Crabfest 2013”, its annual fundraiser at the Fortuna Veterans Hall. The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for kids, which gets you all the crab, salad, and pasta you can consume. If you’re in a hurry, they do have a drive-thru option. 

And don’t forget our own fundraiser – the Pirates’ Ball, to be held at the Arcata Community Center on Saturday, March 8th. Please sell tables and work on getting your auction and raffle prizes. The auction/raffle teams will be announced at next Friday’s meeting.

Returning Scholar Discusses Cal Poly and Alexandria
In 2010, Thomas Salamunovich received the four-year RCAS Memorial Scholarship
to help fund his education at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He visited us
last Friday to provide an update on his studies in architecture.

Thomas receives his check from Julie Vaissade-Elcock as Jessica looks on

studio work is not offered at Cal Poly, Tom said that he was sent to
Alexandria, Virginia for some hands-on work. The town reminds him of
Arcata, and the school he is working with is small – only about 200
students. President Jessica noted that with a small student body, “if
you miss class, they know.” Tom agreed, saying, “One of my professors
was actually my upstairs neighbor.”

classes are great,” he said. “I really like working in the woodshop.”
In a Design-Build class that he attended, he had the opportunity to work
on a spiral staircase. Tom also was selected for an internship at a
remodeling firm, where he hand-drafts plans, sections, and elevations.
“I can’t wait to get back!” he said.  When he returns to California, he will have one more year at Cal Poly. And before he left, we provided the final installment of his scholarship.

Highlights from the Board Meetings
The Club and Foundation Boards met last week, and President Jessica provided the following highlights:

Club Business

  • Attendance for December was 62.8%, down from November, but better than the previous December. Please try to do make-ups when you can’t attend our Friday meetings.
  • The Treasurer’s Report and the Agenda (containing Committee Reports) are available on our website, in the members-only section (scroll to the bottom of the page).
  • The Club budget includes an amount to support the President-Elect if she or he opts to attend the Rotary International Convention. The Board has decided to offer those funds to other Club members to attend the events if they are not used by the P-E. If you are considering attending an upcoming Convention, please contact Jessica or a Board Member to discuss the options.

Foundation Business

  • The Treasurer’s Report and Agenda for the Foundation are also on the website. President Jessica said that the net income for Taste of the Holidays was $14,081 – 8.3% above our target budget! Hooray!! And thanks to Ron Sharp and the others on the TOTH Committee!
  • The World Community Services Committee had requested that an amount be set aside each year to build a fund for future Rotary Foundation Matching Grant projects. The Board did not act on this request, noting that any project that requires funding beyond the committee’s budget for that year can be presented to the board for consideration. Historically, such requests have been looked on quite favorably.

Bryan Plumley noted that Rotary Kid Mary Crow’s hair was considerably shorter than it had been. Although she was being closed-mouthed about it, Mary recently cut off over 12 inches of her lovely hair and donated it to an organization that provides hairpieces to kids who have lost theirs during disease treatment. Although it was a wonderful donation, it should be noted that Mary’s new shorter ‘do looks “super cute,” as Bryan put it.

Bob Moore was recognized for changing jobs – he left Umpqua Bank for Coast Central Credit Union. Bob said that things have gone full circle. “I started my career right out of college at Coast Central.” Congratulations to Bob.

We played “Liar, Liar” with Jeff Stebbins. In this game, a Sunriser (Jeff, in this case) makes three statements. Two are true, and one is a lie. Another Sunriser (Lori Breyer this time) tries to determine which statement is false. Lori guessed correctly – can you? Here are Jeff’s claims to fame. The falsehood is identified at the bottom of this post:

  1. He lived in Colorado ..
  2. He bicycled through France and Switzerland
  3. He climbed Mount Rainier

Special Days
Randy Mendosa’s birthday was Sunday, January 5th, and it was “kinda quiet”. The family had been to Disneyland the previous week, so a little relaxation was in order. Randy said that they did have dinner at Larrupin’s.

Friday, January 10th was Bryan Plumley’s birthday was a busy day. The family realized that the only time that they would be able to all be together was in the morning. Sooooo, Bryan had cake for breakfast, and he received a bottle of scotch as a gift. (No, he didn’t use it to wash down the cake.)

Scott Heller thanked everyone for their kind thoughts and wishes as he dealt with the recent loss of Scott’s father. On his birthday, Scott had just returned from visiting with his family. On the trip home, he and Robin lingered for two days in Healdsburg. While there, they indulged in some spa treatments and food. If you visit, Scott recommends that you check out a restaurant called Chalkboard – Scott said that it was “a day of meat”.

Sunriser Maggie Kraft Discusses a New Grant Proposal
When Maggie Kraft was serving with the Peace Corps in Botswana, she was approached by a woman who asked for help for her son, Erto. The boy was born with clubfoot, and Maggie was initially at a loss, wondering what could be done. 

As Maggie looked into the disorder, she learned of an organization called STEPS South Africa. STEPS was founded in 1995 by Karen Moss, whose son Alex was also born with clubfoot. The two traveled to the United States in 2003, where the boy was treated by Ignacio Ponseti, who had developed a nonsurgical clubfoot therapy. 

STEPS now promotes the Ponseti Method in South Africa, and provided the first training sessions for the local orthopedics community in 2006. In 2012, practitioners from Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia were also trained. 

A child undergoing the treatment is initially placed in a cast. When the cast is removed, he or she wears a special brace for 23 hours each day for three to six months. After this initial period, the brace is only worn while the child sleeps, for the next four years. 

The Ponseti Method is a good match for Southern Africa, as it is less expensive and less traumatic than surgery. The therapy does require diligent attention from several parties: the doctor, who spends 6-8 weeks correcting the foot, and following up with the patient; the orthotist, who fits the brace at the initial consultation, then makes adjustments to the brace as the child grows; and the parent, who must ensure that the brace is worn as prescribed. 

Maggie said that our Club is trying to pull together $10,000 which will be leveraged into a total of $25,000 to be used for the following:

  • Develop, print, and distribute parent education materials. These will be provided to rural clinics to help parents understand the importance of early treatment and adherence to the treatment.
  • Purchase braces for 400 children.
  • Provide training materials for three training sessions of two days each for 60 professionals in Nelspruit, South Africa; Francistown, Botswana; and Oshakati, Namibia.
Maggie Kraft with President Jessica

STEPS will provide local support by assisting practitioners following their initial training. The organization will also train community educators and pay them to work with parents in local clinics. Country coordinators will also be paid in the three countries, and STEPS will pay the cost of training South African doctors in the Ponseti Method. 

Our Club has pledged $2,500 to the project, and individual Sunrisers have donated an additional $1,000. In addition, an anonymous Sunriser will match donations up to $3,000. The Rotary Club of Eureka is contributing $500, and the Rotary Club of Gaborone, Botswana will kick in at least $100. We need an additional $3,000 from local Rotary Clubs to apply for a Global Grant of $25,000. Talk with Rotarians from other Clubs and encourage them to help out.