Volume XII, Issue 9: September 6, 2013

A Moment With Alex
Last Friday, Exchange Student from France, Alex Rialet, told us that he had played in his first football game as a receiver. President Jessica asked whether he made it into the game, and he did. He didn’t catch the ball, but he did catch a Ferndale player. He said that he was looking forward to his second game that evening.

Jessica reminded us that the Youth Exchange Welcome Barbeque will take place at Merryman’s Beach House at Moonstone Beach on Wednesday, September 18th. The Arcata Noon Rotary will join us for the festivities.

Save the weekend of October 12-13 – we will be doing a SWOT work day at the Boys & Girls Club in Eureka. More details will follow.

Jessica announced the opening of a new play at Redwood Curtain Theatre – “Becky’s New Car”. The comedy will run through September 28th.

If you do a make-up to replace a regular meeting you missed, please be sure to contact our Club Secretary Lori Breyer. She will ensure that your attendance is properly accounted for.

Ceva Courtemanche returned to the podium for last week’s Recognitions Round. She posted the photo below of the 1984 Fulton-El Camino Stingrays Swim Team. She asked us to identify the “little red bullseye” at the center. To help us guess, Ceva provided a few facts about this Sunriser:

  • She used to sing and dance in a show called “Best of Broadway”
  • She was a river rafting guide in her 20s
  • She swam competitively from 6 to 16, and she could only be beat by a girl who went on to the Olympics (Summer Sanders)

Amy Bohner admitted to all of these accomplishments. Any’s hobbies include motorcycling, and Ceva asked what type of motorcycle she and Steve have. Amy said that they got a Harley a few years ago, and they’ve gone on many rides since. The best thing about her job at Alchemy Construction is that they have built a family with their employees and their customers. Bob Johnson, a former customer, attested to that. She devotes a lot of time to volunteer work for Rotary and Planned Parenthood.

Ceva said that she worked closely with Barbara Browning on the Taste of the Holidays, and “she is by far one of my favorite people to work with”. Whenever Ceva sees Barbara and her husband Ron Sharp, they are always smiling and laughing, and filled with energy. Ceva asked Barbara about herself, and here are some of the responses:

Ron Sharp & Barbara Browning
  • She was a massage therapist for about 20 years
  • She spent three months traveling through Italy, and learned Italian in the process
  • She will become the new Chief Operations Officer for the California Center for Rural Policy later this month

That last point occurred as a result of the original SWOT Extreme Makeover that took place at the McKinleyville Family Resource Center.  Barbara visited the staff at the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State to discuss the idea of adopting nonprofits that she and former Sunriser Kevin Collier came up with. At the end of the meeting, Barbara said, “Oh, here’s my resume. If there’s anything you need help with, please let me know.” She was hired on the spot.

 Her interests include community service, personal growth and exploration, and languages – Barbara speaks English, Spanish, Italian, “and I’m learning French”. She is also involved with dance, aromatherapy, gardening, design, and she likes to travel. Her favorite thing about her work is that she is able to help people create order in their business and personal lives. Although she joined Rotary to help her grow her business, but she has stayed for the service work and the friendships she has gained.

Special Days
Carol Vander Meer and her husband Steven celebrated their anniversary on September 4th with a hike and dinner at Larrupin’s. “Everything was great,” she reported.

Howard Stauffer was recuperating from his bicycle on his August 10th birthday. Fortunately, he did a lot of the celebrating in advance, in July. However, on his birthday, he received congratulatory calls from his kids. He reported that his four cracked ribs are healing well, and Howard is on his way to a full recovery. He said that he is relieved that the accident happened here rather than in Sri Lanka. He also expressed gratitude that he was wearing a helmet – it was cracked, but not Howard’s skull.

Following Up on Our First SWOT Project
Hillarie Beyer of the McKinleyville Family Resource Center was our guest speaker last Friday, and she talked about how the “Extreme Makeover” that our Club spearheaded in August 2010 has changed her life professionally and personally. As noted above, the project was the result of an idea that former Sunriser Kevin Collier and Barbara Browning developed where our Club would adopt a nonprofit for a while. We would bring our skills, labor, and expertise to the table, and help the agency rise to a new level. The volunteers would be a SWOT Team – Serving With Our Talents.

Hillarie Beyer

Hillarie said that the project was successful in elevating the Resource Center. Even the relatively simple act of replacing their couch has had a positive impact. She said that people now think, “They have a couch – they must know what they’re doing!”

The Resource Center has a new volunteer from Humboldt State who is in the process of establishing a “street paper”, produced by homeless people for their peers. One of the participants is writing about the fact that the Resource Center is the one place he can go where he can sit down and lean back.

Hillarie said that before the Makeover, she had aspirations, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish them. “When you met me, I was … thinking small,” she said. What she learned is that the possibilities are huge. She said that she has learned many skills, and she has received a lot of help and encouragement from our Club.

She noted that “it’s like the SWOT project never ends.” When the Center’s computer was stolen recently, she mentioned it to Barbara. Barbara in turn said something when she was attending the Mad River Rotary Club’s meeting. Soon after, Hillarie received a call from a man named Brian, who was able to provide some computers.

The long-term impacts of the Makeover have included:

  • Improved management practices at the Resource Center
  • A more attractive agency to potential donors
  • Increases in the operating budget
  • Growth in staff size
  • Increased program offerings
  • More volunteers

Hillarie said that the impact of our Club’s efforts “has gone beyond the physical improvements”.