Volume XII, Issue 38: April 10, 2015

On The Calendar 
April 14:  Board Meeting at the Golden Harvest Cafe
April 18RISE EVENT! – “Run For A Cause” – North Bay Rotaract’s Fun(d)raiser to benefit the La Trinidad Project in Costa Rica
April 22:  Earth Day Adopt-a-Highway! Meet at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center at 3 pm
April 24-26:  District 5130 Conference at Yosemite!
May 4-8:  Fireside Meetings (no Friday meeting)
May 3:   Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir Prayer Breakfast
May 7RISE EVENT! – The Living Rooms perform at Chapala Cafe
May 22RISE EVENT! – Progressive Dinner Substitute (Watch this space and save this date)
May 31:  Kids, Crabs, and Rotary at the Arcata Ballpark 
June 2-9:  Rotary International Convention at Mozara’s place (aka Brazil)
President Barbara talked about Committees that have recently held meetings. The World Community Service Committee met, and John Gullam said that they reviewed this year’s projects, and began developing their 2015-2016 budget. Maggie Kraft has a connection with a Peace Corps worker in Macedonia, which may lead to a project there. Brandi Easter said that the Mentorship Committee met to wrap up their year, and to do a “status check”.  And the Spring Fundraiser Committee did its own wrap-up. The revenue and expense situation is close to being wrapped up, and it looks like our net earnings from the event will be between $35k and $39k!

Our Rotary Exchange Student, Mozara Abdalla, spent part of her Spring Break at Pismo Beach. She was joined by Michelle Lack, an Exchange Student from Switzerland. Michelle is sponsored by the Calistoga Rotary. When President Barbara asked what she did, Mozara said, “We ate a lot.” She said that they had some really good food. Michelle came up to Arcata for the weekend so they could spend a little more time together. Mozara’s Word for the Day was “praia”, Portuguese for “beach”.

We welcomed Randy Mendosa back from Amsterdam. He had traveled there as a chaperone for the ArMack Orchestra. He had a great time, and the Orchestra took home a Silver Award at the festival held at Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam!

Special Daze 
Ed and Beth Christians celebrated their 14th anniversary on March 3rd. “We’ve got so much going on in our lives,” Ed told us, “that we just decided, since Thursday’s in the middle of the week, we’ll just do the usual – dinner at Larrupin’s on the weekend.” Barbara asked whether that’s their usual weekend hangout, but it was an anniversary special. Next year, they plan to spend their 15th in Hawaii.

Jim Schaefer spoke up, saying that he and Julie had celebrated their 29th anniversary on April 10th. It’s not their wedding anniversary – it’s when Julie “took me home” from a restaurant in Old Town Eureka. Congratulations to a sweet couple!

Rotary Star!
President Barbara promised us an award each week for the remainder of her Presidency, sooooo … last Friday, she presented the Rotary Star Award to the deserving Brandi Easter!

Brandi is a great Sunriser who has served our Club in many ways over the year. Currently, she co-chairs the Mentorship Committee and serves on the Membership Committee. She is also part of the Community Service Committee. Barbara noted that she also “has a huge heart, and she puts 100 percent of herself into whatever she does”. Barbara continued, “She was my sponsor, and I will be forever grateful to her for bringing me into Rotary”.

Humboldt’s Secret Garden?
It’s not really a secret, but the Humboldt Botanical Gardens deserves to be better known. Susan MG Tissot, the HBG Executive Director, was our Featured Speaker last week. She is a former member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver, and she has also lived in Wyoming and Hawaii. She and her husband Brian have two children who are in college. Susan joined the HBG staff last year. 

Susan MG Tissot

Susan noted that, at 44.5 acres, the Humboldt Botanical Gardens are bigger than Disneyland, “but not as well-funded, unfortunately”. The site features formal garden spaces with themes, hiking trails, and the Gardens offer educational and recreational opportunities. The site is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm, and it is adjacent to the College of the Redwoods Campus on Tompkins Hill Road, south of Eureka. 

The Gardens were established in 1991, and boast 5 themed gardens and a 3,200 square-foot greenhouse. The group has raised over 3,200 pounds of food, which is donated to local organizations. To date, about 2.5 million dollars has been invested in the site.

Humboldt Botanical Gardens hosts many events throughout the year. It is a popular site for weddings, and Susan noted that if you time it right, you won’t have to pay for a florist! They also present a “Music in the Garden” Summer Concert Series, which features local musicians twice a month in June, July, and August. They also hold their Garden Gala on the Saturday following Labor Day (this year’s date is September 5). The Gala is the main fundraiser for the group, and it includes music, art, a silent auction, and local food and beverages. 

The next HBG fundraiser is much closer, however. They will hold their Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, May 2nd, from 9 am to 3 pm. However, members get a special opportunity to purchase a day earlier, starting at 5:00 pm Friday, May 1st. If you’re not a member, you can sign up that evening and take advantage of the early deals. 

Susan told us that the dedication ceremony for Sara’s Garden will take place on Saturday, May 16th at 1:30 pm. This garden is dedicated to the memory of Sara Goosby, and it features many of her favorite plants.