Volume XIII, Issue 13: October 3, 2014

On The Calendar
October 9 – Sneak Preview of Lost Coast Brewery – 5:30 pm
October 11 – Adopt-A-Highway – meet at the Coastal Nature Center at 9:30 am
October 14 – Club and Foundation Board Meetings at the Golden Harvest Cafe – 7 am
October 16 – New Member Social – Plaza Grill – 6 pm
October 18 – Mad River Rotary’s Fall Festival at Pierson Park in McKinleyville – 5:30 pm
October 23 – Arcata Sunrise Cross Country Championships
October 25RISE EVENT
– Spirits & Spirits – Lost Coast Rotaract’s Walking Ghost Tour of Old Town Eureka – 3 times available!
October 27 – Firehouse Demolition – 12:15 pm
October 31 – The last Foundation Final Friday meeting of 2014
November 1RISE EVENT
– Foundation Dinner North in Crescent City – 6 pm
November 20 – A Taste of the Holidays

Special Daze
On September 20th, Bob and Susan Johnson celebrated 34 years of marriage! “You know,” Bob told us, “there’s a restaurant we like to go to for our anniversary.” Maybe they went there, maybe not. But they did go to see the play “Equivocation”, which he had a little trouble following, although he did appreciate the depth of theatrical talent within our community (and our Club – Jessica McKnight was the stage manager for the production). “At least I didn’t fall asleep,” he said. Jessica responded, “How could you fall asleep? There was a swordfight!!”

On the same day, Ian Schatz celebrated his birthday. He went to his parents’ house to enjoy “probably the last really good day of the season before the rains hit.” They had a great time.

Rotarian of the Month – September

President Barbara & The Ian Schatz

President Barbara really loves presenting the Rotarian of the Month award, because it always goes to a truly deserving person. Her honoree for the month of September was Ian Schatz. This year, Ian is playing a lot of roles (none involving swordfights … as far as we know). He is serving as the District’s Outbound Youth Exchange Coordinator while also serving on our Club’s YE Committee. He and his family are Rotary Youth Exchange Student Felföldi Martin from Hungary. Ian also serves on our Club’s Fellowship Committee, and he is a member of a Rotary Family – his daughter Jasmine was a Rotary Exchange Student to Sicily in 2011-2012,  a couple of weeks ago, his wife Elizabeth joined the Old Town Eureka Rotary, and now his younger daughter Brianna has been chosen by the Eureka Rotary as their Exchange Student for 2015-2016!

At the beginning of the year, President Barbara introduced the Participation Grid. This is a 100-square matrix on which Sunrisers are to inscribe their names when they have done one of the following:

  • Attend a RISE (Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone) Event
  • Participate in an Arcata Sunrise Committee Meeting
  • Work on a Service Project
  • Attend a Rotaract Meeting or Event
  • Make a “date” with our Youth Exchange Student, Mozara

As each grid fills up, it gets cut up, and each square is placed in a container, and one is drawn. If your name is on the square that is selected, you win a Paul Harris Fellowship! Well, last week was the time – and the winner was  … Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth! Congratulations, Romi!! And be sure to add your name to the new Grid – it’s filling up quickly!!

There were two special recognitions last Friday. Ceva Courtemanche once again provided heartfelt tributes to two awesome Sunrisers – Laura Montagna and Karen Burgesser. To read Ceva’s accolades, check out the “Recognitions” list at the top of the sidebar to your right. If you missed them earlier, you can also find information on Cam Appleton and Matt Babich. 

Ceva’s email reminded me that I missed out on congratulating Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth for winning the first-ever Sunrise Selfie Drawing! She won $25 PHF credit on Final Friday! You could be the next winner – just take a selfie and sent it to Ceva. You’ll be on the screen and in the running, so don’t wait!

Food for People
Our Featured Speaker last Friday was Anne Holcomb, Executive Director of Food for People. She thanked our Club for its support of their programs, especially the Backpacks for Kids program.

Food for People has been serving Humboldt County since 1979, and it has been housed at its current location on West 14th Street in Eureka since 1998. Its mission is to work to “eliminate hunger and improve the health and well-being of our community through access to healthy and nutritious foods, community education, and advocacy”.

Anne Holcomb

The organization runs 14 programs that serve over 12,000 people each month. This is about 10% of the county’s population, and Anne said that the majority of the people they help are children and seniors. She said that there is a fairly high rate of poverty in Humboldt County, and that about 40% of adults in the low income category are at risk for hunger.

Anne told us that 28% of the children in the county are living in poverty. Over 53% of the county’s children qualify for free or reduced meals at their schools. Many of these children are also served by the Backpack for Kids program. The agency also operates the After School Snack Program and the Summer Lunch Program to help children in need.

To combat hunger, Food for People distributes food to low-income households throughout the county. It does this via several avenues. It operates 16 food pantries, including the Choice Pantry, located in its Eureka headquarters. The Choice Pantry operates much like a grocery store, minus the cash registers. It provides an average of 1,230 households per month with nutritious food.

Food for People also provides bags of groceries to 100 county residents who are disabled or too ill to leave their homes. The Senior Brown Bag Program also provides groceries to 400 residents over 60 years of age. 

Anne told us that from May through October, the agency holds produce distributions that are similar to farmers’ markets. These are held in Eureka, Garberville, Fortuna, and Redway. They also operate a Mobile Produce Pantry, a refrigerated truck which travels the length and breadth of Humboldt County on a monthly basis.

The organization also participates in the local chapter of Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Their role is to work closely with other groups to ensure that food is available if a disaster strikes. 

Anne said that Food for People also provides nutrition education and outreach for all ages. The program, called “Hunger 101”, shows the difficult choices that a low-income household faces in trying to obtain adequate nutrition. They also provide monthly cooking classes and healthy recipes.

The agency also provides assistance to low-income residents as they apply for the CalFresh program (formerly Food Stamps). More than 18,000 people in Humboldt County participate in the CalFresh program. This benefits both the participants and local grocers – last year about $2.5 million was spent locally. The program is supplemented by Humboldt Market Match, which offers bonus dollars for recipients when they use their benefits at local farmers’ markets.

Last year, 113,000 pounds of food were donated to the organization through food drives. These drives were held with the cooperation of schools, businesses, community members, and local organizations. The agency was also able to glean 74,000 pounds of fresh produce and meat from 53 local farms, ranches, and backyard gardens.

Anne reminded us that Food for People is always grateful for volunteers, which she said are the heart of the organization. The group averaged just under 400 volunteers per month, who donated a total of 33,000 hours. She encouraged us to hold a food drive through our workplace or community group, or to volunteer directly with Food for People. For more information, visit their website by clicking on the logo below: