Volume XII, Issue 43: June 6, 2014

Last Friday, we welcomed the top 10 percent of Arcata High
School’s Class of 2014 and their families. Those students included our current
scholarship recipients, and we had past scholars in the crowd as well.
President Jessica acknowledged the contributions of the parents of the
graduates, helping their children reach this academic summit. She also reminded
the students that “commencement” is a synonym for graduation; signifying that
it is a beginning, not an ending.
Jessica shared some information with the students about
Rotary International and our Club. She said that Rotary is “a service
organization made up of business and professional men and women around the
world.” We share a dedication to improving our communities and the world
through service. She told them that the Rotary motto –  “Service Above Self” – manifests itself in
international projects that include providing safe drinking water in developing
areas, promoting education and literacy, and our long-standing goal of ridding
the world of polio. She told the seniors that we are “this close” to achieving
that goal.
In our own community, Jessica said that we have partnered
for several years with the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department to provide Arcata
and surrounding communities with up-to-date facilities to reduce the
Department’s response times, allowing them to save more lives. We also support
Food For People’s “Backpacks for Kids” program, helping to provide
underprivileged children needed nourishment. 
Each year, we also host a Rotary Exchange Student from another country,
and sponsor a student’s Exchange to another country. This program works well to
enhance mutual understanding and respect for diverse cultures. We also provide
a dictionary to every third grader in the local school districts each year as
part of our commitment to literacy. And we also sponsor “Every 15 Minutes”, a
program staged at Arcata High on a four-year cycle that demonstrates the
potential consequences of impaired driving.
President Jessica encouraged the graduates to check out the
two Rotaract Clubs in our area – the Lost Coast Rotaract, which meets at 6:30
pm on the first and third Mondays  of
each month at Los Bagels in Eureka and the North Bay Rotaract, which meets at 6
pm on the first and third Wednesdays at Robert Goodman Wines in Arcata. These
Rotaract Clubs and others around the world share Rotary’s vision of service,
and are designed for young men and women from 18 to 30 years of age. Most
cities with universities have at least one Rotaract Club. Jessica also
encouraged the parents in the audience to consider becoming Rotarians.
Reports and Announcements

  • We are looking for a third family to host next
    year’s Exchange Student – a girl from Brazil. We need someone to serve as hosts
    from April through July. If you are interested, please contact President
    Jessica or a member of the Youth Exchange Committee.
  • The Arcata High School Graduation will take
    place at 2:30 on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Exchange Student Alex Rialet and a
    few Rotary “Kids” will be picking up diplomas.

The Top 10 Percent
President Jessica introduced AHS Principal Dave Navarre, who
expressed his admiration at our Club’s ability to get going early in the
morning. He thanked us for our contributions to the community and especially to
Arcata High. He singled out the “Every 15 Minutes” program as a wonderful
program. He told us that they appreciated our involvement, noting that in
addition to financing and planning the event, Sunrisers were there working. “We
were getting ready for our assembly,” Dave said, “and it was just a few minutes
away when somebody said, ‘We need more tissues.’ Scott [Heller] happened to
walk right by at that moment.” Dave asked him if he could get a couple of boxes
of tissues, and a few minutes later, Scott returned with a case of tissues from
Murphy’s Market.
Top Ten Percent of the AHS Class of 2014
Dave then talked about the top ten percenters. “They are
outstanding,” he said, “and it’s a pleasure and an honor to serve our
students.” He told us that the graduates care a great deal about each other and
about their school. And “they care about their planet,” he said, “they care
about their community. They are really top-notch kids in every regard.” Here is
the list, with the school each plans to attend in the fall:

  • Piper Bazard – Reed College, Oregon
  • Lauren Blake – Willamette University, Oregon
  • Kira Burnett – UC Davis
  • Alex Campbell – College of the Redwoods
  • Hannah Christen – Hood College, Maryland
  • Rachael Green – UC Berkeley
  • Stephanie Giori – UC Davis
  • Hannah Goldan – Hannah plans to travel for a
    year before pursuing pre-med studies
  • Jose Lopez – UC Santa Barbara
  • Lauren McCoy – Westmont College, California
  • Suzannah McFarland – Colorado State University
  • Hayden Parker – UC Davis
  • River Sween – UC Berkeley
  • Sophia Yamas – Columbia University, New York
  • Alex Yeoman – University of Southern California

We also heard from the recipients of this year’s Rotary Club
of Arcata Sunrise Memorial Scholarships – Piper Bazard, Alixandrea Flint and Alex
Yeoman each won $1,000 scholarships, and River Sween received a renewable
scholarship worth a total of $6,000. In the photo from left to right are President Jessica, Scholarship Chair Julie Vaissade-Elcock, Piper, Alixandrea, Alex, and River. Congratulations to all four scholars!
Our featured speaker for the day was Rollin Richmond, who
will soon retire as President of Humboldt State University. Click on the link
below to hear his comments.