Noëmi Schönenberger, our Rotary Exchange Student from Switzerland, recently received the Arcata High School Senior Award for “Best Personality”. Julie Vaissade-Elcock can attest to Noëmi’s winning personality, as they recently traveled to Las Vegas together. President Scott tried to ask, but Noëmi said, “I went to Vegas and I can’t talk about it.” But she succumbed to the Presidential Pressure eventually. She said that they had a great time, taking in the sights including the fountains at the Bellagio Casino. They also went to the Phantom of the Opera stage show and the Titanic exhibit. They even had time to do a little shopping!
Introducing the Newest Sunriser, Ian Schatz
|Joyce Hinrichs, Ian Schatz, and Cam Appleton|
Last week, we welcomed a new member into our Club – Ian Schatz. Ian’s classification is Alarm and Security System Operations, and his Sponsor is Cam Appleton. Ian is the Operations Manager for Advanced Security Systems. He manages their Central Monitoring Stations, and coordinates staff and implements software upgrades and standard operating procedures. He is also responsible for special projects, field training, and the office staff.
Ian is a graduate of both Arcata High School and Humboldt State University, and he and his wife Elizabeth have two daughters – Jasmine, who is 18 years old, and Brianna, who is 15.
Ian is a hiker and mountain biker who also enjoys swimming in our local rivers. His other interests include audio and video production and performing musical theater.
Sunday, June 10 We help move Orick School!
Cam Appleton read a letter from our Outbound Exchange Student, Grace Lovell. Grace is in Chile, and she said that she recently moved offshore to Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island. While there, she hopes to learn how to scuba dive. For more information, check out Gracie’s blog – the link is in the column to your right.
President Scott reminded us that next month’s District Conference is “virtually free”, since it will be held in Fortuna. Don’t miss the celebration!
Since Bob Johnson was in Hawaii, Jessica McKnight took the podium for Recognitions. She said that we have many new members who weren’t around to hear the Craft Talks of the “old, crusty members”. Although she’s not crusty, Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth was selected for an update last Friday.
Romi said that, although she was born in Hollywood, her father’s midlife crisis brought the family to Humboldt County. He initially hoped to live off the land, but “fortunately, there was an opening at HSU for a professor. The family moved in time for Romi to attend Arcata High, and then Humboldt State.
While at HSU, Romi was playing Ultimate Frisbee when she met her husband Glenn Tinseth. The couple moved to Corvallis, Oregon to work at Oregon State University. They have two wonderful daughters, Skye and Zoe.
Romi is back at Humboldt State working as an Outreach Coordinator, a role she loves. She gets to tell prospective students the wonders of attending HSU. She says that the biggest hurdle is the university’s lack of recognition; as she put it, “H – S – Who?” She traveled a lot in the past year, but she said that everytime she would drive home, “my heart would flutter”.
Jessica told Romi that “you really exemplify ‘Service Above Self'”. As part of their transition from Oregon back to Humboldt County, the family spent a year volunteering at Project Amigo in Colima, Mexico.
Guest Speaker Gabrielle Parkinson of the United Way
Gabrielle Parkinson has been with the United Way for about four years, and she was on hand when the local UW organization merged with United Way of the Wine Country. The organization is based in Santa Rosa, but it continues to have a strong presence in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties – the region that Gabrielle is responsible for.
Gabrielle said that she was also involved in the United Way about 20 years ago, but the current organization has a new focus. It looks at the needs of its communities and areas that can be strengthened. The agency concentrates its efforts in three areas: helping young people achieve their potentials through education, helping families and individuals become financially independent, and improving the health of the people it serves.
United Way’s “Schools of Hope” program was launched in 2010 to help raise the level of literacy of our children. There are 19 schools in Humboldt County that participate in the program, and Gabrielle said that the number will increase next year.
The Redwood Community Action Agency has partnered with the United Way in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA assists those with low to moderate income help preparing their taxes. Certified volunteers help these families and individuals get the most out of their returns.
Gabrielle also told us that the Community Switchboard, which has served our area for many years, will soon transition into the statewide “211 California” program. This will allow 24/7 access to operators who are trained to assist callers with non-emergency referrals and information.
She also let us know that the local VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) group will meet at the County Office of Education on Tuesday, June 12th from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. They will discuss ways to augment existing disaster relief funds. Gabrielle said that this group is a good fit with the spirit of Rotary.
For more information, visit the United Way of the Wine Country website.