NEXT MEETING: June 29, 2018
Bike East Bay Speaker
Bike East Bay promotes healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun and accessible. It is committed to improving access to biking, walking and transit, with particular attention to communities and areas that have been underserved. The organization promotes bicycling as a way to improve the health, economic vitality, and happiness of our communities.
These are admirable goals that can be difficult to achieve in a culture so committed to cars as the primary mode of personal transportation. How are they doing? Let’s find out.
Incredibly, no one rose to make an announcement today. President Connie could not accept the unusual absence of anything to announce so called on David Brown. Our treasurer promptly stood and announced that dues were due (why do you think they call them “dues”?). If you haven’t done so already, you can meet your obligation by handing him your credit card or a check at the next meeting.
You can also click the yellow Donate buttons on the right, one for the Rotary dues and the other for your contribution to Rotary International. Considering the state of international affairs right now, you may rest assured that donations will be put to good use.
MEETING OF June 22, 2018
For the last time in her term as president, Connie called the meeting to order. She will be out-of-town next Friday and past-president Alan Blavins will preside.
Nick led the Pledge of Allegiance and Herb invoked peace, justice and freedom on Earth. [Depending on your perspective, nowadays these rituals are either hollow and pointless, or more justified than ever. – Ed.]
Syd had a soothing thought-for-the-day, though: “Children are a great comfort in your old age, and they help you reach it faster, too!”
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
Oscar did the honors.
Jan had a birthday. She told us she and Byron went to see the Mr. Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Wow, talk about marking the passage of time.
Jim Findley rose with sad dollars. Jim will miss his cousin, a dear friend, who passed away last week.
Nick was happy to have the executive director of YES, Eric Aaholm, back at the Rotary. It’s been about 3 years since his last visit.
YES, Nature to Neighborhood. What does that mean?
Our speaker on this day was executive director of YES Nature to Neighborhoods, Eric Aaholm. In his introduction, Nick reminded the club that Richmond Rotary has donated many thousands of dollars to YES over the last decade. Therefore, Eric’s presentation was an opportunity to learn how our dollars are contributing to the experiences of youth in our community.
Since its establishment in 1999, YES has brought 5,300 Richmond and surrounding West Contra Costa County youth to week-long, residential summer camps and more than 1,000 families to weekend Family Camps in the Redwoods. YES organizers realized early on that bringing both children and their families on the weekend camping trips created opportunities for reinforcing the value of these retreats from urban routines by creating occasions for better communication, and just being together in a relaxing environment filled with new sights and sounds.
In recent years, YES has built its capacity to provide services throughout the year, not just during the summer, when week-long and family weekend camping is most suited to students and families.
YES has broadened its ability to partner with other organizations serving youth in Richmond, such as the RYSE Center. These partnerships create synergies that widen the effect of the positive experiences these collaborations can offer.
Eric noted that through its programs YES also promotes high school achievement, including college and career readiness. An example is the focus on completion of a-g courses, required for admission to the University of California.
Eric used the word “leadership” multiple times. YES strives to lay foundations for personal development— by building good communication skills, promoting healthy nutrition, cultivating an appreciation for our environment, focusing on college- and career-readiness, and more. These supports, opportunities and nudges all add up, gradually changing the faces of leadership in Richmond.
Nick Despota, Pinch-hitting scribe