The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, May 20th

UC Berkeley's International House

Richmond Rotarian Liliane Koziol will acquaint us with the International House at UC Berkeley—a multi-cultural campus residence and program center serving students, the local community and alumni worldwide.

The mission of International House is to foster intercultural respect, understanding, lifelong friendships and leadership skills for the promotion of a more tolerant and peaceful world.

Meeting of Friday, May 13th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

On a bright Friday 13th, we were all lucky to be at Rotary as President Alan rang the bell and called us to order. Proud and weary new father EJ Shalaby led us in the Pledge. George Egan offered a moment of silence for peace and freedom. Hank Kelman’s thought was that Osama bin Laden was now rightfully sleeping with the fishes.

Rotarians with Guests

Connie Tripp, who has been visiting local Rotary Clubs, is a CPA and Doris Mitchell, who has visited us on a couple of occasions, is in estate planning.

Sunshine Report

EJ Shalaby gave a “self-report” on his family. His twins are healthy and have gained a pound since last week and wife Jeannine is also doing well.

Announcements

  • Alan reported that the San Pablo Rotary Tequila Tasting went well and that he had some good ideas from that event that he may use for our Club
  • Alan reminded all that Poker and Ribs were on the agenda for his house on 5/13. Funds raised to go to Werner’s Fund.

Recognitions

After received a rousing round of applause and paying $5 for it, Jimmy “The Beav” immediately asked Mark Howe to stand up and be recognized for his birthday. Mark had started the celebrations and will be continuing them into the weekend.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Alan was happy to see EJ at the meeting and going along with that stream of thought David Brown was also glad to see EJ; Richard Alexander was happy that his son Nate was on a ship in The Gulf; Rafael Madrigal was happy to have spent some time with his granddaughter; Beav has some happy dollars for his day spent catching a Giant’s game at ATT and had to admit it’s a better ball park than the Dodgers park; John Nicol was happy that his daughter and granddaughter were coming in to town; Jim Young gave us some convoluted comparison between California and Greece…just too deep for Your Scribe to understand; and Edgar DeLeon, trying to sneak in late, was proud of his son being named Outstanding Student at St. Marys.

Norm's Nonsense

More ponderisms:
- What do you do when you discover an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?
- Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
- There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.

PROGRAM

Enriching the Lives of Richmond's Youth

Family at YES camp

Webmaster Nick Despota introduced our speaker Eric Aaholm, Executive Director of Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES), who has an MSW in Management and Planning.

YES was started in 1999 by Diane Mintz, a Berkeley realtor, who was a volunteer at Coronado Elementary School. Diane felt that youth in Richmond could benefit from attending resident camp. Diane walked across the street to partner with the Coronado Community YMCA and send 80 kids to YMCA Camp Loma Mar. Diane’s passion for sending kids to camp has blossomed into YES. In the past 10 years over 4,000 youth have attended summer resident camp.

YES has also expanded its program offerings to include: Family Camp; PeaceTalk which teaches youth how to handle conflict in a non-violent way; Day Outing Program which works with East Bay Regional Parks to bring the “away” camping experience to local venues; and Camp to Community a program where youth can get volunteer and paid experiences with Outdoor jobs. Eric highlighted YES’s Family Camp program which grew out a need to have parents experience what resident camp was all about so they would feel comfortable sending their kids to resident camp over the summer.

Beyond the benefits originally expected, Family Camp has been a catalyst for bringing families closer together, improving communication between family members, families getting to know other families in their community, and families wishing to work together to improve the Richmond community. Families pay on $25 or less depending on need to attend resident or Family Camp. With a budget of just under $400,000 YES relies on donations from many sources including individuals, foundations, and local corporations like Chevron. If you would like more information or make a donation to YES check out their webpage www.yesfamilies.org

(Scribe note: YES is an exceptional program that has grown from one woman’s dream of offering urban kids a chance to catch the magic of resident camps into a program that has a tremendous positive impact on kids lives, has brought many families closer together and through its many programs is improving the quality of life in the Richmond community.)

- Your Scribe, The Menehune