December 12, 2008

Sir Charles and Lady Barbara of Giannini celebrated their 37th anniversary on December 11th. They had a marvelous time at a fantastic location, and they plan to celebrate again next year at roughly the same time. By then, I may be better at taking notes.

Kasper Troelsen, our Exchange Student from Odense, Denmark, has been busy again. In addition to being a regular member of the Arcata High School Jazz Band, he landed a role in the upcoming school play. Don’t forget to remember – if you have something interesting going on during the Christmas break, or at any time during Kasper’s Exchange Year, invite him along.

President Mark had a set of keys along with a check to our Club without an amount filled in. He gave Dan Collen an opportunity to fill in the blanks and retrieve his keys.

We welcomed Lynda Moore back from her leave of absence. “Everything’s good,” she said. “I’m happy to be back.”

The Firehouse Fundraiser Team is meeting on Thursday, December 18th at the Fire Station. The group is short a vital link this year, with Brian Stephens out on a leave of absence, so now would be a great time to step in and help out.

Last Friday’s program featured three young women who were foster children until recently. The first speaker, Chelsea, has been emancipated since April of this year. She found herself in many living situations in Orange County. Now that she’s emancipated, Independent Living Skills Program is helping her with many of the basics. Chelsea is now attending College of the Redwoods.

Amanda was placed in foster care at age 16, when her mother was arrested for child abuse. She ran away from many of her placements, but found that it was hard to get a job and even harder to find a place to live. The ILS program is helping her find both.

Rachelle, who was in foster care from the time she was 13 until she was emancipated at age 16, said that she never felt like a part of the family at any of her many placements. But she has found her way, she said. She plans to graduate from Humboldt State in May, and she works in the ILS program. Rachelle said that her successes are largely due to the fact that there have been supportive adults in her life to help her. “Foster [children] need the support of caring, stable adults in their lives,” she said. Rachelle also said that community support is crucial to helping foster youths succeed.

Our last speaker was Myrna Corder, who has been working with children for over 40 years. “I know what what it’s like to see these people day-in and day-out,” she said. The number one goal in the foster care community is making connections. In recruiting foster families, the program strives to keep kids in their neighborhoods and communities. They first try to find relatives to take in the children. If that is not possible, they branch out to others with connections to the kids. Myrna and Rachelle closed by thanking us for participating in the recent foster care holiday party and for providing gifts to many of the older foster youths in the area.