Volume XII, Issue 7: August 23, 2013

Checking in with Alex

Banner Exchange

President Jessica asked our Exchange Student from France, Alex Rialet, about his week. He said that he had traveled to San Francisco with Lori Breyer and her family. Alex got a real taste of Americana – they went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and to a baseball game!
Alex brought a flag from the Toulouse Rotary Club, along with a gift for President Jessica. (Photo courtesy of Angelo Baciagaluppi.)
Alex started school this week, and we should hear about that at our next meeting.

Jessica thanked Bob Goodman for hosting the previous night’s Board of Directors meeting with District Governor Helaine Campbell.

We will officially roll out the welcome mat for Exchange Student Alex on Wednesday, September 18th at Moonstone Beach. Please mark your calendars. Good weather was guaranteed.

President Jessica had a mini-help wanted classified ad section last Friday:

  • We are looking for at least one more host family for the 2014-2015 Rotary Year.
  • She was looking for someone to act as the Club liaison to the committee planning the “Every 15 Minutes” event to be held this spring at Arcata High School. (Joyce Hinrichs signed up for that position right away – thanks, Joyce!)
  • We have two foster youths, a brother and a sister, who are interested in music. The young man is a guitarist and vocalist, and he would like to connect with a metal band. The young woman would like to learn more about music, but she does not know what instrument she wants to focus on. If you know a music teacher/tutor who plays a range of instruments, please let Jessica know.

 The new Rotary International website was unveiled on the Monday following our meeting. If you haven’t yet taken a look, click on the link to the right – it has a fresh new look. Our own Arcata Sunrise website is due to be unleashed soon, as well. (The site will feature a brand new Club photo, which was taken after Friday’s meeting.) The link in the sidebar now sports our new logo, as a preview of coming attractions …

We received a thank you from Orick School for our support of their activities, including their student trips to Washington, DC. Every couple of years, about a dozen students and chaperones travel to our nation’s capital. For many of the students, the trip includes their first airplane ride, and for some, their first trip away from the North Coast.

Jessica of the North Bay Rotaract Club stopped by to say hello. She thanked Angelo Baciagaluppi and Tomas Chavez for attending their most recent meeting, and she invited all of us to join them on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at the offices of Jackson and Eklund in McKinleyville. The group is trying to increase its membership for their planned re-chartering, so if you know a likely candidate between 18 and 30, bring ’em along! It should be someone with a lot of drive – Tomas said, “They’re not afraid to take on the world.”

We welcomed back Howard Stauffer, who was sidelined for a few weeks as he recovered from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident.

Sunriser Maggie Kraft was absent last week. She was traveling to Botswana to provide support for the family that hosted her when she served in the Peace Corps there. Her host sister, Sophia, gave birth to a healthy boy on August 5th. Tragically, a blood vessel burst in her neck that went to her brain. She never regained consciousness, and she died on August 17th. Maggie started a fund online to provide help for the “honest, hardworking family” and especially for the new baby, Ofile. [Editor’s Note: Maggie’s goal for the fund was to reach $2,000. At press time, the balance in the fund was just under $2,400.]

New Members Welcomed
Last Friday, we saw not one, not two, but three new members join our club:

New Sunrisers and their Sponsors with the DG
  • Jeff Stebbins works as an Programmer/Analyst for Humboldt State University. He and his wife Rachel were married in 1996, and they have two children – 14-year old Adora, and Ayla, who is 10. His sponsor is Ian Schatz.
  • Ed Christians is the Vice President of Information Systems for Coast Central Credit Union in McKinleyville. He and his wife Beth have been married since 2001. 
  • Gregg Foster is a familiar face at our Club. He served as our Club President for the Rotary Year 1999-2000. In 2003, he transferred to the Eureka Rotary Club. He has two sons – Riley, who is 17 and 13-year old Will. Gregg works for Redwood Capital Bank as a Vice President/Commercial Relationship Manager.

Friday’s Recognitions were presented by Kyle Visser, who asked Sunriser and Arcata City Manager Randy Mendosa about his recent appearance in H2O. Randy “designated the Town Dunk” at a fundraising event. I hope I can find a copy of the photo …

Laura Montagna was rightfully recognized for some of the many, many things she does to support our community. Kyle said that he spoke with several people she has worked with, and they agree – she is driven, she’s a very hard worker, and she is dedicated to her children. Laura is also involved in “Random Acts of Comedy”, an improvisational comedy group that performs monthly at the Arcata Theater Lounge. She started the group about five years ago. That doesn’t keep her busy enough, so she also is on the Board of Directors for Redwood Curtain Theater, and serves as its Casting and Conservatory Director. Redwood Curtain Casting serves television, movie, and commercial productions filming in our area. For most people, that would be plenty, but … Laura is also working on the TEDxYouth@HumboldtBay. This is a local offshoot of the popular TED Talk program that kicks off Imagine>Ignite on November 17th, with Kyle Visser as a featured speaker.

When Kyle goes Facebook Fishing for information on a Sunriser, there’s no telling what (or who) he will find. At least our Scott Heller doesn’t wear his Superman Undies on the outside. At least not on Fridays.  In the morning.

Susan Jansson … Stretching

What Kyle found when he looked up Susan Jansson was more accurate. He discovered that she recently visited Whistler, British Columbia. She was there for a yoga fest, and she made time to bust a few moves by the river. (Photo at right shamelessly lifted from Facebook.)

On July 26th, Bryan and Kim Plumley celebrated their anniversary with a trip to Washington, D.C. Bryan said that visiting the Smithsonian Institution was a highlight.

August 21st was the 31st anniversary for Terri Clark and Marty Lay. Terri said that for years, her involvement with Rotary has caused postponements in celebrations, but what goes around, comes around. This year, Marty is the President of the Southwest Eureka Rotary, and his Club’s board meeting was scheduled for that evening. When Marty got home around eight, Terri said, “Happy anniversary, honey.” Marty’s reply was, “Yeah, we’ll catch up one of these days.”

District Governor Helaine Campbell
If you haven’t had an opportunity to chat with District Governor Helaine Campbell, I encourage you to find a District event and seek her out. She is a wonderful person, a delight to talk with, and a superb Rotarian. All of those traits were in strong evidence last week as she made her official visit and presentation to our Club.

Helaine told the story of a woman whose father was in Rotary, whose husband became a Rotarian, and whose father-in-law was a member. Finally, after forty years on the periphery of the greatest service organization in the world, Helaine was asked to become a Rotarian. 

Helaine Campbell, Governor of District 5130

She knows we are engaged, since we helped raise over $108,000 in our District to support polio eradication. Helaine told us that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has now pledged to donate $2 for every $1 donated to the Rotary Foundation to fight polio. 

Helaine realizes that members of our Club are very engaged in our Club’s activities, but she said, “I challenge you to become engaged outside
your Club.” She encouraged us to visit other Clubs and to attend
District events. She said, “I’m not asking you to give Rotary more, but
to give it your best.” Consider joining a District committee, as many Sunrisers have over the years. Check out the District 5130 website by clicking on the link in the sidebar, and continue to Engage Rotary / Change Lives.