Coming Distractions …
May 6-8 – District 5130 Conference – Marriott Napa Valley Resort & Spa
May 29-June 1 – RI Conference in Seoul, South Korea
June 11 – RISE EVENT – Rotaract Color Run
June 18 – RISE EVENT – 26th Arcata Oyster Festival – providing beer to the thirsty
July 4 – RISE EVENT – Independence Day on the Plaza – volunteer at the RCAS Family Comfort Station
July 9 – RISE EVENT – Friends of the Dunes’ Sand Sculpture Festival
- President Howard once again thanked Barbara Browning, Susan Jansson, and Julie Vaissade-Elcock for their work in submitting our applications for District Awards. We will see how we fare at the District Conference in Napa on May 6th through the 8th. We hope to see you there!
- Once again, we had good attendance at the District Training Assembly, which was held on April 9th in Ukiah. Among those who attended were Lori Breyer, Susan Jansson, Dustin Littlefield, Barbara Browning, Ian and Elizabeth Schatz, Claire Ajina, Nick Torres, Craig Newman, and Sophia Waern-Bugge.
Costa Rica Microcredit Project Update
Pablo “Chespi” Elizando of the Club Rotario San Jose Noreste was on hand last Friday to provide an update on the La Trinidad Microlending Project. His club has partnered with the Rotary Club of Arcata, the North Bay Rotaract Club, and our Club on this effort to help people in the mountainous La Trinidad area of Costa Rica. Chespi told us that the application for the Matching Grant has been submitted to the Rotary Foundation for final approval.
He said that his Club has been brainstorming about the possibilities for this project. He said that they “have invested a lot of time in understanding the story of these people.” The Rotarians are trying not to impose their ideas of what is needed, but are working with the residents of La Trinidad to help them determine how our Clubs can best help them.
Chespi quoted a line that he saw on Facebook recently: “Si supieras lo que rotary hace, serias rotario.” This translates to, “If you knew what Rotary does, you would be a Rotarian”. Chespi hosts a television show in Costa Rica that mostly deals with nature themes, but he recently used his time to tell the story of families in La Trinidad that grow blackberries. Currently, the fruit is sold fresh, and since the berries are not preserved, the selling season is relatively short. With funding, the families hope to be able to preserve the fruit, making jams, jellies, and even soap. These items could then be sold throughout the year, and shipped to other locations.
Chespi showed a list of things we can provide to the people of La Trinidad – our financial support (the microlending program, specifically); our business support and expertise in areas such as capacity building, bookkeeping, branding, and marketing; and providing contacts and building relationships.
Last Friday, we welcomed the newest Sunriser – A.J. Gonzales, who manages Umpqua Bank’s Arcata store. A.J. was born in the Philippines, where his father worked for the State Department. He graduated from Humboldt State University in 2004 with a BS in Environmental Science. Prior to graduation, he had been working for the local Bank of America branch, and he became the Manager in 2006. In late 2014, A.J. moved to his current position.
|AJ’s Sponsor Tom Tellez, AJ Gonzales, and Inductor Nick Torres|
He has volunteered for many organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Planned Parenthood, Arcata Main Street, Food For People, and many others.
He lives with Amy Jester and their “furry friends” Samijo and Zeke, and his parents and his youngest sister live in Henderson, Nevada.
We are delighted that A.J. has joined our Club – welcome!!
Lost Coast Camp
We were joined by Josie Brown, the co-founder of Lost Coast Camp (LCC). Josie told us that the organization provides a meaningful camping experience for young people from 5 to 18 years old. Many of the attendees rely on “camperships”, financial assistance that our Club has long supported. About 170 campers participate each year, and Josie told us that “many come back year after year”.
The sessions include Explorers Day Camp, for ages 5-7; Ranch & Wild for 8-11 year-olds; Makers Camp for those 11 to 13; River & Adventure for ages 9-12; and Teen Back Pack for 13-15 year-olds.
Josie told us about a boy from Scotia who sent her a letter, asking to attend the Teen Back Pack session this year. He was homeless for a number of years, and he has attended LCC for the past three years. He wrote that he has been preparing for the camp “by hiking with my friends, taking long walks, and going on long bike rides”. His letter continues, “I’ve prepared myself mentally by taking a lot of ‘me time’ and focusing on my goals. Last summer was the funnest summer of my life. It’s making me push my goal for becoming a Junior Counselor for Lost Coast Camp. I don’t only want to prove it to you, but to myself as well, that I can do this hike.” He added this in a PS: “I have also aggressively mowed the lawn and worked out my thumbs on my iBox controller and on my phone playing Pokemon.”
For more information about Lost Coast Camp, please visit their website: LostCoastCamp.org. Josie also invited us to join her and the campers for breakfast. If you’re interested, please contact President Howard.
Arcata Interfaith Gospel Quartet
The Director of the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir, Louis Hoiland, told us that “singers do not get up early’, so he asked three stalwart members (Jenni Brown, Barb Culbertson, and Jeff Brown) to join him to perform as a quartet at our meeting. And perform they did! Check out the videos below to hear the five songs that started our Friday!