Volume XIII, Issue 21: December 5, 2014

On The Calendar

December 11, 12, & 13 – Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament (AIBT)

December 12 – Club Elections!!
December 26 & January 2 – We are dark (no meetings)
January 9th – First meeting of 2015!! Don’t miss it!! George Cavinta will discuss drugs in Humboldt County.
January 31st – AHS College & Career Center Pancake Breakfast at the D Street Neighborhood Center

Donnie Rosebrook has returned. He stepped away for a bit while he and the family moved to a new house. “We’re still in McKinleyville,” he assured us.

“Taste [of the Holidays] was amazing!” That’s the official verdict from President Barbara. She noted that we are still waiting for final figures from the event. We will have those as soon as everyone gets in their ticket money.

Another (more recent) success was the Foster Youth Dinner, which took place the night before our meeting. Barbara reported that a large number of Sunrisers were there to make sure that ” everyone had a really good time.” She said that even District Governor Kevin Eisenberg helped out, peeling potatoes!

President Barbara had a chance to catch up with Exchange Student Mozara Abdalla,  who has been very busy lately. Following a short video of Mozara zip-lining, she told us that she ate a lot at Thanksgiving, which she spent with her Host Family, the Darts. She also went with the family to Sacramento to cheer on her Host Brother as he played in a basketball tournament. Our Word of the Day was “bonita” –  “beautiful” in Portuguese.

Jeff Stebbins told us that our Vocational Service Committee is looking for nominees for this year’s Vocational Service Award. You can nominate a business or an individual not currently affiliated with Rotary. The nominees should, however, exemplify the ideals of the organization. The deadline will be in early January, so be on the lookout for candidates!

Susan Diehl-McCarthy and Kimberley Pittman-Schulz of the Arcata Noon Club stopped by last Friday to thank our Club for partnering with them in a project helping residents of La Trinidad in Costa Rica. The focus is on economic development in this rural community, and this first in a series of projects is offering micro-credit loans for women who are working to start their own businesses. Susan said that we are putting together a trip to La Trinidad in Spring 2016 to continue and expand the efforts there. 

Awards Season!

President Barbara’s selection for Rotarian of the Month for November was close to home. In fact, he lives in her home! She bestowed the award on the deserving Ron Sharp. Barbara cited some of the many reasons for her choice:

  • He serves on the Financial Assistance Committee
  • He co-chaired this year’s Taste of the Holidays and mentored a new co-chair
  • He serves on the Sergeant-at-Arms Committee
  • He cleans the house, does the laundry, washes the dishes, and makes Barbara’s coffee

Ron also designs our Participation Grids, and he is a great Sunriser. In addition to the special pin he received, Barbara laid a big kiss on him. 

Barbara then presented a new honor she created – the Rising Star Award, which will be presented to newer Sunrisers who have put forward great effort to support our Club. The inaugural recipient – Ray Noggle – exemplifies that spirit. Barbara noted that in the short time he has been in our Club, Ray …
  • Co-chaired Taste of the Holidays
  • Serves on the Sergeant-at-Arms Committee
  • Serves on the Vocational Service Committee
  • Is a candidate for a seat on our Board of Directors

However, he does not clean Barbara’s house, do her laundry, wash her dishes, or make her coffee, so he didn’t get a kiss. But he did get a pin and a well-deserved round of applause.

Finally, this month’s Selfie Award – a $25 Paul Harris Fellowship contribution – was won by Julie Vaissade-Elcock!

Recognizing Ray
Last week, Ceva Courtemanche recognized Ray Noggle, and she did it in a back-and-forth style. She asked Ray where he grew up and went to school. He said that he was born in Marysville, California, but his family moved to Humboldt County so long ago that he considers himself a local. “I went to school here, I stayed here,” he said, “and here I am!” 

Ceva found that Ray prefers paper books to a Kindle, but he is not opposed to e-books; he likes technology. Ray was momentarily stumped when asked for a favorite movie, but he came up with “Fight Club”. We learned that Alaska is the only state Ray has not visited. “When I was a kid,” he told us, “my parents loved to drive everywhere.”

Ray prefers books to television, and even though he owns an RV, he would prefer to camp out in a tent. When asked whether he prefers swimming in a pool or in the ocean, he said that “pools are for swimming, beaches are for drinking.” He didn’t have a preference between cruise ships and sailboats. (“You can drink a lot on a cruise ship.”) He prefers to play sports rather than watch. If Ray was stranded on a deserted island, he would want his wife with him. “It wouldn’t be stranded,” he said. “It would be a no-electronics vacation – that’s actually my idea of fun.”

His wife, Holly MacDonell, wrote, “Ray is a thoughtful,

Wedding Photo of Ray & Holly  

intelligent person. He knows what is important in life – his friends and his pets. He would do anything and everything for them, whether they are able to ask for it or not. We have a lot in common, but one of the best things about our relationship is how we share hobbies with each other. I learned to shoot guns and play strategy games; he watches almost every one of my music performances, and I can’t imagine life without him by my side.”

Ray said that all of his favorite memories have included pets, and the best of them all was when he was a firefighter. He fought a fire on Christmas twelve years ago. He was crawling on the ground, and he saw a kitten, which he stuffed into his pocket. The house was a total loss, but he was able to hand the little girl who had lived there her beloved pet.

Make-A-Wish Granters!
Deni McFarland and Sunriser Alyson Hunter are local Wish Granters for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Greater Bay Area. They talked about the program and how much it means to the people involved – the children, their parents … and the Wish Granters!

Deni said that she has been helping grant wishes for about seventeen years, while Alyson has been with the program for about eight. They work with children between the ages of 2.5 to 18 years old, who have a diagnosis of an illness that is life-threatening (not necessarily terminal).

The Wish Granters!!

For Alyson and Deni, the process begins with a visit to the family. They work together – one of them works with the child while the other works with the child. They determine what the child’s wish is (often via a drawing by the child), and they send the information to the San Francisco headquarters. Once the arrangements for the granting of the wish are completed, the team presents a certificate to the child, and helps the family prepare for the trip. When the wish is completed, everyone comes together for a party to celebrate.

Deni and Alyson shared some recent wishes that have been granted. Katie and Jesse wished for a horse, and they received rescue horses. Kaden wished for a treehouse, which was granted when volunteers from the Fieldbrook Fire Department helped build an elaborate treehouse. This was the first treehouse wish in Northern California. C.J.’s wish was to meet the San Diego Chargers – which took place in November 2012. And Sebastian will soon meet the LA Dodgers. One of the most heart-warming wishes was made by Thomas, who asked for a shopping spree – not for himself, but for the Sequoia Humane Society, who had provided him with a beloved pet.

For more information about the program, check out the Make-A-Wish Facebook page or the website of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. To volunteer to be a Wish Granter, talk with Alyson!