Volume XII, Issue 44: June 13, 2014

Isabelle, Fabrice, and President Jessica

Reports & Announcements

Our Exchange Student from France, Alex Rialet, was not with us last Friday – he had attended the Safe and Sober Graduation Celebration until 4:00 that morning, so he was sleeping in. We hope to hear from him at our next meeting. We did have his parents with us – Isabelle Gaboriau and Fabrice Rialet. They were here to watch Alex graduate from Arcata High School. Alex is our first Exchange Student to earn a full diploma from AHS – congratulations!
President Jessica thanked our Sergeant-At-Arms Committee for working to set up the previous week’s meeting. Preparing for more than twice the number of attendees was challenging, but they pulled it off without a hitch!
We are still looking for a third host family for our Inbound Exchange Student for next year. The family does not need to be part of our Club, or even a Rotarian’s family. But they do need to be willing to open their homes and enrich their lives for a few months in 2015.
President Jessica also issued a “Last Call” for her tripartite President’s Challenge:
  1. Keep your attendance up. If you weren’t there last week, please be sure to come this Friday and next. (It may be habit-forming!)
  2. Reach out to a friend or co-worker and ask them to consider making Rotary a part of their life.
  3. Make a personal donation to the Rotary Foundation. “Every Rotarian, Every Year” means that each of us makes a contribution – even a small one – each year, to support the Foundation’s mission, which is to “enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty”. If you click anywhere on this part of Jessica’s challenge, you will be taken to the Foundation’s Donations Page. Click now – we’ll wait.
All Sunrisers will be contacted soon to provide input about the Spring Fundraiser. Now that the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department has stepped out of the picture, we have the opportunity to reshape the event, and your thoughts are important to the process. Bob Johnson sent out an email to “prime the pump” before you receive the call. Please ponder the questions. It was pointed out after Friday’s meeting that our important “Backpacks for Kids” program was inadvertently omitted from the list of programs supported by our fundraising efforts – there may be others as well, so please keep that in mind as well. 
On June 21st, the Friends of the Dunes will host their annual Sand Sculpture Contest in Manila. The North Bay Rotaract Club will be participating on our behalf, so please go out there and cheer them on.
The North Bay Rotaractors will also be holding a Social and Membership event from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, June 29th in Redwood Park. The event will be pot luck, and it counts as a make up!
Scott Heller and Dustin Littlefield are designing and procuring RCAS-branded t-shirts. We’ll let you know when these are available for purchase.
Cindy Sutcliffe told us about a project that our Foster Youth subcommittee took on this year. The group put together “Graduation Kits” for those leaving high school and the foster youth program. The kits included many essential items for those starting out on their own – kitchen items (including pots and pans), bath items, and many others. Cindy said that they also provided canning equipment.
Kathy Fraser told us that last Friday’s meeting would probably be her last for the summer. She and her husband Bill are heading for a summer home to be near their grandchildren in Reno. She said that she looks forward to seeing us in September.
Welcome Chris and John!
We welcomed two new Sunrisers into our Club last week:
Chris Jelinek was proposed for membership by Lori Breyer, with a classification of Fire Services. Chris is a Battalion Chief for Humboldt Bay Fire, and he and his wife Kim have two daughters – 16-year old Emma and Alyssa, who is 14. Chris earned his BS in Nursing at Humboldt State University, and later took Executive Fire Officer Training at the National Fire Academy. He enjoys trail running, surfing, woodworking, and ferrying his daughters to swim practice and swim meets.
John Gullam’s sponsor was Romi Hitchcock Tinseth, and his classification is Community Blood Banking. John has transferred his membership from the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka, which he joined in 2006. He and his wife Denise Fitzgerald have three children – son Jack is 14 years old, his brother Sam is 13, and their sister Molly is 12. John earned his BA in Social Science and his MA in Education from Humboldt State, and he has worked at the Northern California Community Blood Bank since 2005. John enjoys family, photography, and travel. 
Romi, John, Chris, and Lori


Last week’s Recognitions Session was hosted by Ceva Courtemanche. She turned to Kyle Visser, saying, “You have been in the news a little bit with Shred Tec.” Kyle said that his company held a contest to come up with a new name, since the trademark for the original name was held by the Canadian company Shred Tech. Kyle said that the other company was gracious about the situation – the CEO called him personally, warning him that a “really aggressive letter from our attorneys” would soon arrive. Kyle said, “They treated us much nicer than they needed to, since they held all the cards and we held nothing.” The new company name is “Shred Aware”. He said that a lot of excellent names were submitted, but most were already taken and/or trademarked. Ceva then asked about his son, Damon. “He’s awesome!” Kyle said in a hushed voice. “He’s real timid sometimes, but other times he surprises you.” Damon is walking now, and his first birthday was May 31st. His personality is coming out, and he’s becoming stubborn, according to his dad. Finally, Kyle was interviewed recently on KHSU, as part of a panel on the new Humboldt Business Challenge, which which is the successor to Humboldt Fuel. Kyle is a past winner of the former competition, and he was asked what he liked and what he learned from it. 

About the Humboldt Area Foundation
Patrick Cleary was our Featured Speaker last Friday. Following careers in banking and broadcasting, Patrick was named as the Executive Director of the Humboldt Area Foundation in 2012, and he recently joined the Rotary Club of Eureka. Patrick was with us to talk about the history of that organization and about its programs. 

Patrick Cleary

Patrick said that most of us have some knowledge of the Humboldt Area Foundation, but it has so many funds and programs, that “it’s relatively complicated to explain”. So he started at the beginning. Vera Vietor and her husband Lynn owned Eureka Boiler Works, and the couple built a home near Indianola in the 1940s. They lived there until Lynn died in April 1972, with Vera passing away only 10 weeks later. After Lynn died, Vera changed her will. Since the couple had no children, she left some money to her living relatives, but she stipulated that the bulk of her estate – her beautiful house and $2.5 million – be used to fund a community foundation.

Patrick explained what a community foundation does. “To over-simplify it,” he said, “basically, we take a sum of money, we invest it, and we pay out the earnings to good causes.” He said that he likes to view HAF using a “tree model”. He likened it to planting an apple tree and helping it grow, while harvesting the fruit periodically. 

The Vera P. Vietor Trust was the first trust managed by HAF, but it was soon joined by others, including the Hans Olsen Trust. Hans was an Arcata laborer who was well-respected in the community. Hans left $125,000 to the Foundation, a sum that has grown to over $500,000, and its proceeds are dedicated to programs that benefit young people in our community.

Patrick told us about the many types of funds that HAF administers according to the wishes of the donors. He said that designated funds benefit a specific organization or a specific purpose. He said that HAF administers the Vernon and Grace Brightman Memorial Fund, which supports the music program in the Bridgeville School District, and the William Foley DeBoice Memorial Fund, which provides resources for the visually challenged.

Donor advised funds are housed at HAF, but the distribution of funds is directed by an outside organization. Patrick used the example of the Cooperative Community Fund, which is controlled by the members of the North Coast Coop. 

“Every so often,” Patrick said, “people just leave us money,” asking the Foundation to use the money in a way that benefits the community. The William F. and Ruby Kennedy Fund is an example of such a fund, which is known as a flexible fund. Another example is the Orvamae Emmerson Endowment Fund.

Other funds mentioned include the Victor Thomas Jacoby Fund, which is committed to supporting arts and culture; the Marie Raleigh Memorial Fund, dedicated to companion animals; the Tracy Memorial Trust Fund, an education fund that supports the study of local history in a variety of fields, and the Humboldt Bay Recreation Enhancement & Water Quality Fund, which provides money to improve access to recreation and research, and to improve water quality. Many scholarship funds are housed and administered by HAF, and several nonprofit organizations use the Foundation’s investment clout and expertise to leverage their capital. 

Over time, Patrick said, the Humboldt Area Foundation has “created a little bit of an orchard.” The beauty of the foundation concept is that an individual does not need to have millions of dollars to make an impact – smaller donations can be put with one another to help a great many people.

The Humboldt Area Foundation’s sphere of influence extends beyond the county lines. They used to cover Mendocino County, but in 1993, the Community Foundation of Mendocino County was formed to serve that area. However HAF still administers the Trinity Trust, the Mountain Valley Youth Fund, and the Gates Family Endowment Fund in Trinity County, and it administers the Del Norte Area Fund, the Rumiano Family Fund, and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation for Del Norte County and Oregon’s Curry County

Other programs that HAF runs include the Cascadia Center for Leadership and the Northern California Association for Nonprofits (NorCAN). Its headquarters makes its meeting rooms available for public use, and the Rooney Resource Center is available for nonprofit managers to research available grants. They also provide help to those who are exploring planned giving options.

In response to a question, Patrick said that bequests continue to come in, despite the recent economic downturn. In fact these donations are on the rise. For more information, visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website.