Welcome to the Sunrise Spirit –
the Weekly Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise
We hope that you will attend one of our lively Friday meetings,
whether or not you are interested in joining Rotary.
Usually, we meet on most Fridays at 7 am in the Plaza View Room
at Arcata’s historic Jacoby Storehouse,
however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are meeting online.
Please visit the RCAS Website for the meeting links.
(Please note that we will not be meeting on December 25th nor January 1st.)
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change
– across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
The Calendar …
RISE: “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone“
- December 9th – Sunrise Swednesday – Holiday Party
- December 12th – Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup at 10 am
- December 12th – The Rotary Club of Arcata (Noon)’s Drive-By Lasagna Dinner
- January 20 & 27 – RCAS Equity & Diversity Workshops
Opportunity Door #1: Club Stuff
Once again, we kicked off our meeting with “Club Stuff”. President Maggie reminded us of the RCAS Equity and Diversity Workshops that will take place on January 20th & 27th. They will run from 5 to 7 pm. Sunrise Swednesday is also at hand – our holiday version of the Fellowship Event will be online at 5:15 pm on Wednesday, December 9th. Maggie also reminded us to sign up for and use Slack. This is a great tool for keeping us all in the loop.
Barbara Browning reported on our Public Relations Committee meeting earlier in the week. She reminded us that all of our Club’s actions are newsworthy, so if your committee has activities to report, please contact her – especially if you have photos!
We were encouraged once again to become part of the Polio Plus Society. You’ll recall that your donations of $10 per month (or $100 per year) to Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio will get you into the Society. It will also go a long way toward ending the disease.
Congratulations to Vanessa Griffin, who has been nominated for RCAS President for the 2022-2023 Rotary Year! We are also seeking nominations for board members who will begin serving in July 2021.
Opportunity Door #2: Service / Fundraising
A gentle reminder … if you haven’t already sent in your $25 to support A Taste of the Holidays, please do so ASAP. Your contribution, which can be made by check or via Venmo, will help us provide assistance to the vendors who stepped up in the midst of the current pandemic to help make the “Home Edition” such a success!
As of the morning of our meeting, we had received about 40 nominations for our “Gratitude for Frontline Workers” goodie bags. In addition, our Club is working with the North Bay Rotaract Club to provide financial assistance to health care workers who are struggling. Each Club will provide up to $600 to support this effort to help those who are helping our community.
Carly Robbins of the Eureka Rotary was on hand to provide an update on Food for People. She said that her organization is accepting contributions of non-perishable food items during the holiday season, and they always welcome financial support. Click here to visit the Food for People website to learn more and/or make a donation.
Our Backpacks for Kids program will soon transition into the winter, and a new group of Sunrisers will be tapped to help pack and deliver the bags. Lisa Hemphill gave a shout-out to some volunteers who have stepped up recently – Cam Appleton, Stephanie Lane, John Gullam, and Romi Hitchcock Tinseth. Thank you all!
Members of our Club have begun making “Masks with a Message” – high quality masks that bear a message of social justice and peace. All of the proceeds from sales will support equity education projects and programs that support black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) youth in our community. The masks are priced at $15, but you are welcome to round up to $20 to help these young people. You are also encouraged to participate by sewing masks. If you’re not handy with a sewing machine, you can cut fabric, donate fabric, and help to spread the word!
Crystal Perez recapped our Transitional Age Youth internship program. This project is funded by a Rotary Foundation grant, and it will provide at least seven young people with 32-hour internships with local businesses. Crystal said that the program is looking for an additional four businesses to participate. President Maggie reminded us that Sequoia Personnel is handling the processing and payroll for the project at no cost. (Thank you!)
The Adopt-a-Highway cleanup scheduled for Saturday, December 12th will be properly distanced, said Carol Vander Meer. We will not gather as a group; instead, each participant will be assigned a section of the highway that they should be able to clean up in about an hour. Carol noted that Samoa Boulevard is very much in need of some RCAS TLC!
Our parent Club – the Rotary Club of Arcata [Noon] – is presenting a Holiday Drive-By Lasagna Dinner, also on December 12th, from 4 to 6 pm. You can pick up your yummy dinner at the Bayside Presbyterian Church, but only if you order ahead of time! Click here to visit the Arcata Rotary website, where you will find the magic ordering button.
Opportunity Door #3: Helping to Empower Immigrants
Our Featured Speaker, Mary Ann Hytken, has been a teacher for many years. She worked with Japanese students at Humboldt State, she taught English as a Second Language at a middle school in San Diego, she taught in Tanzania, and she ultimately returned to Humboldt and taught ESL again, this time at College of the Redwoods.
However, when CR canceled the program for a semester, about five years ago, her students asked her to continue to work with them, even offering to pay her themselves. What they needed most was help with social integration. So Mary Ann found a place at the Jefferson Community Center to teach, and she created a program to help immigrants, under the name English Express Empowered.
Mary Ann noted that many of us don’t see the immigrants in our communities; they often work two or more jobs, and when they are not at work, many keep to themselves. She helps them learn about activities and assists them in making connections. Before the pandemic, Mary Ann would take groups on field trips to local businesses and organizations. They also went on Madaket cruises and other adventures. Now, those in-person treks are curtailed, but they are still taking virtual field trips. The pandemic has also impacted the organization’s fundraising. Mary Ann said that she prefers face-to-face fundraising, but she and her group are adjusting.