Volume XIII, Issue 16: October 24, 2014

On The Calendar
October 31 – Our last Foundation Final Friday meeting of 2014 – bring your checkbook! 
November 1 – Help prepare Marylee’s and Allan’s Garden for the winter – 10 am to Noon
November 1RISE EVENT
– Foundation Dinner North in Crescent City – 6 pm
November 20 – A Taste of the Holidays

Last Friday President Barbara noted that the RCAS Cross-Country, held the previous day, were once again a great success. And the lion’s share of the credit goes to Rebecca Crow, who has headed up the event since it began in 2010. Rebecca’s daughter Mary also deserves recognition – she made over 500 cookies for the event, complete with “Rotary Blue” sugar on top!

Kudos also to Sunriser Laura Montagna, who recently mentored a student from Arcata High School as part of the Humboldt Live! Job Shadow program. On deck to shadow are Rotary “Kid” Kate Breyer and former Rotary Exchange Student Logan White. If you are interested in being shadowed, please let Jessica McKnight know.

Our Exchange Student from Brazil, Mozara Abdalla, was recently in San Francisco for the District 5130 Youth Exchange “Bluesbuster Weekend”. She said that the trip was “awesome”. When President Barbara asked if she had a favorite part, Mozara replied, “San Francisco.” In honor of the trip, the Word of the Day was “ponte”, which is Portuguese for “bridge”.

In the photo above, Mozara and Barbara are exchanging Rotary Club banners. 

Lori Breyer and Rina Brodhag had a special presentation for Past-President Jessica McKnight – a scrapbook of memories from her Presidential Year. The scrapbook even has some foldout pages. 

The Loooong Pages of Jessica’s Scrapbook

President Barbara presented three deserving Sunrisers with shiny new Blue Badges last Friday. Chris Jelenik, Ray Noggle, and Jeff Stebbins are very engaged in our Club’s activities, and they all completed the New Member requirements quickly. Congratulations!

New Blue Badgers!

Last Friday, we honored two long-time Sunrisers – former Club Presidents George Cavinta and Craig Newman.

Before Dustin Littlefield began his tributes, President Barbara noticed the photo of George on the job as a Sheriff’s Investigator. George is on his cell, carrying an
automatic weapon. Barbara remembered the first time she saw the picture – she was sitting next to Bob Moore, and she said to Bob, “God – doesn’t he look hot?” Bob replied, “Everybody says that. You should see me with a calculator!”

Sorry – no photo of Bob Moore wielding a calculator

Dustin told us that George was born in Oakland, but his family moved to Eureka, where he was raised. George attended St. Bernard’s School for his elementary and high school years, then he moved on to College of the Redwoods. He joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1984, and moved up the ranks. He is now a Lieutenant assigned to the Drug Task Force and Criminal Investigations.

He and his wife Diana met at Valley West Fitness, and they married in 1991. They have four children – Briana, Georgie, Andrew, and Gabriela – and they are hosting a short-term Exchange Student from Japan for the fall.

Although he was “ordered” to join Rotary in 2004 by then-Sheriff Gary Phelp, George has enjoyed his time as a Sunriser, including his stint as Club President in 2012-2013. For more information about our Club’s Kahuna, check out Dustin’s tribute in the Recognitions section in the sidebar.

Dustin also recognized another former Club President – Craig Newman. Craig has served our Club (and the District) in many varied capacities. We learned that Craig was born in Burbank, California and that he grew up in Northridge. After graduating from high school, Craig wanted to go as far away as possible to attend college … without paying out-of-state tuition. So he came to HSU to study forestry (which sounded like camping).

He and Janice met in their algebra class in 1966. Since quadratic equations don’t make as much sense when you’re in love, they each received a D for the semester. But they had chemistry (the feeling, not the class), ’cause they’ve been together since. And they have two fine adult sons – Michael and Ryan.

Craig joined the Arcata Sunrise Rotary as a Charter Member in 1992, and he counts Charter President Jim Hamby and Jim’s successor, Harry Johnson, as his Rotary Role Models. Craig and Janice have attended seven Rotary International Conventions. 

You can learn more about Craig, as well, by clicking on his recognition link to your right.

Climb For The Fallen
Last Friday, Sunriser Charlie Jordan talked with us about “Climb for the Fallen”, a project that began shortly after her son, Navy SEAL Kevin Ebbert, died in combat operations in Afghanistan. Kevin enjoyed all types of outdoor sports, but he and a group of his fellow SEALs found that they shared a particular love of climbing. Kevin was new to the sport when he started, but he was a quick convert.

Kevin Ebbert in Afghanistan

In the summer of 2013, not long after Kevin’s death, his teammates Zach A and Seth sought to honor his memory by attempting to scale Cyclorama Wall, which rises nearly 13,000 feet above the Dumbbell Lakes in King’s Canyon, California. Their goal was to seek out a new route up the face of the wall, and name it after Kevin. This first attempt was unsuccessful, due largely to weather considerations and gear shortfalls. But they did not give up.

Charlie Jordan

In July of this year, Charlie and her husband Mark Ritz met the Climb for the Fallen team in Bishop, and they accompanied them for the first day of the hike to the base of the wall. She told us that it would take the group another two days to reach the base of the wall. 

The first crisis for the group was paring down the equipment they would be able to pack in. Charlie showed some photos of the climbing gear laid out neatly, filling a large section of the parking area. She told us that the climbers worked to evenly distribute the load. “Mark and I supervised,” she said. “I didn’t know they needed all that stuff!”

Charlie said that over the course of the day, she would find herself in one-on-one conversations with Kevin’s colleagues, “and every one of them would end up in tears,” she told us. “It was very meaningful for them to do this. It was very helpful.”

Charlie also told us that Zach M. was part of the group, although he had not deployed with the other climbers. His role was to serve as videographer for the effort, and his footage included some of the conversations that Charlie described.

The trailhead was at about 9,000-foot elevation, and the early part of the hike was pretty easy, according to Charlie. “Wow,” she thought. “We’re just going to make great time!” She said it was beautiful, and as it got to be steeper, “it started to feel like one of those step classes”. She noted that the air is pretty thin at that elevation, as well. 

Zach M. would often have the group wait a few moments while he rushed ahead to find a good spot to set up his camera equipment. He would then record the group as it passed by. Occasionally, he would ask for another take, a request that did not often meet with an enthusiastic response.

Charlie said that she grew concerned that she was slowing down her part of the group, so she told them to go on ahead and she would catch up. They refused the offer, and she said that she knew what was going on in their heads – “There is no flippin’ way I’m leaving Kevin’s Mom!”

Charlie said that there was a lot of water up there, which was good because it meant that they didn’t have to pack in as much water. But it also meant that there were streams and ponds to ford. They even encountered patches of snow along the way.

As the group approached Bishop Pass at about 11,600 feet, they made camp for the night. Charlie and Mark would remain here while the climbers continued toward the wall. Charlie and Mark were able to follow their progress via the GPS trackers the young men carried. The air had been thin at the trailhead, but the climbers found that these higher altitudes slowed their progress. It took another two days to reach the base of the wall.

This time, two members of the group reached the summit of the wall, despite the threat of rain. The route that they took was not Kevin’s Route, but they were justifiably proud of their accomplishment. They all realized that the undertaking was difficult and dangerous, but they had faced it.

The climbers reunited with Charlie and Mark for the descent, and they were able to say that they had done what only a very few had done before. “And,” Charlie said, “they did it for Kevin.”

To learn more about Climb for the Fallen, be sure to visit their website: