Dear Members (and other interested readers):
Our October 6 meeting was at Seascape (that isn't going to be news for awhile).

We had 27 attendees in person and Jimmy K on zoom

CO-Prez Laura hosted

Sue Lawson's former French exchange student Celine returned after 8 years.  Celine was a sophomore at AHS in 2014 and is now a landscape engineer, traveling the world before starting work. C'est un femme charmante.  Unclear why she is not a Rotarian with all of our positive influence.
Rotarian Sue Lawson with her Rotary Youth Exchange daughter Celine! Celine was our exchange student 8-9 years ago. She is from Angé, France.   It’s been so wonderful to have Celine joining us again! 
 
Paul Duren attended again as Michele's guest.  The announcement that he has submitted his application for membership was met with tumultuous applause.

Anders also attended and gave a thoughtful thanks .

Dr Art, sporting a Bear Bryant hat ( for those too young ,it makes a cameo in Forrest Gump) delivered the thought for the day, which was a bit easier to understand written than oral, "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group in a society, over time they create a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."   Timely and well said.

Also special wardrobe shoutout to Anissa who was wearing one of her "over 300" t-shirts.

Nice to see Karen again- let’s lobby for making that a regular occurrence, AND she attended the Nisene Marks walk too (see below).

Sam led us again solo on his electric guitar in the welcome song with a country flavor to it and 4 way test with its homage to the melody of Running Bear.  Trivia- Running Bear was written by "The Big Bopper" but he did not sing the hit record- he died the year before it was a hit in the plane crash with Richie Valens and Buddy Holly.  Which in turn was the inspiration for "American Pie" (The Day the Music Died) by Don MaClean.

Laura reminded us that the District Governor will be at our lunch on 10/27. 
Kendra added that particularly since our lunch attendance is starting to consistently be above 25 please RSVP so she can tell Seascape how much food to prepare so we don't run short.

Win- reminded us that grants application closes 10/20 and that the Grants committee will be meeting soon

Trish told us that Soquel High Rotaract students are impressive

Lori announced that the avenues of service meeting is in San Jose 10/15 8am-4pm- contact her for details and volunteering

Also, Santa Cruz Rotary is re-enacting the dedication of Big Basin park on Oct. 22, which is the 100th anniversary thereof,  at 11 am at Big Basin- lunch is available for $20

Michele reminded us of the Willy Roast, the impending renewal of Red Badge meetings at Seascape bar on Wednesdays starting soon and the first renewed membership Monday at Vino Cruz on 10/24, as well as the hazards of attending Rotary lunches unprepared as she tripped standing up to make her announcements without a drink and in flip flops.  Vertically challenged as your author is, as for liability purposes it may be best  that she have a mandatory warmup cocktail and wear heels.  Can I get a second? An amen?

Al didn't attend so stand in detective ___________ had members talk about their favorite Halloween costumes.

Anissa was Wonder Woman  (not recently, lucky for Gal Gadot)
Michele dressed herself in small breakfast cereal boxes with knives in them and was a "cereal killer" (Captain Crunch was always a bit spooky)

Rich Hamlin told about his cool Spider Man costume that unfortunately fell apart so he ended up carrying it around in his undies.  Years ago, we hope. 
 
 
Mel Defe, executive director of Siena House 

Our guest speaker was Mel Defe  who is the Director of Siena House.  She  came to be director recently after a career in silicon valley- she was the yoga instructor there and was essentially appointed by acclimation when a new director was needed 2 years ago.
Laura did career counseling there and Michele was their banker
Anissa Novak (Club Speaker Coordinator) , Mel Defe (of Siena House) with CPOM Laura Grinder! 

Siena House was founded twenty three years ago by Wayne Schafer as a shelter for homeless pregnant women.  It is on the grounds of a convent but is non- denominational. 

Most of the women were drug users, mentally ill  and/or victims of abuse or neglect with no place else to go.  In addition to teaching the women basic life skills and how to care for babies, the goal is to get them off drugs or into therapy and/or on medication so they can care for their children and themselves.  Siena House is the first functional family environment for many of the women.  The environment is nurturing, educations, non-violent and non-profane.
They aim to change the women's lives, end abuse, break cycles, and make them good parents.

Mel estimated they have a 60 % success rate, but unfortunately many of the residents end up having their children taken away  by CPS because they do not learn how to safely parent.

The program has a few paid staff members but relies heavily on volunteers.  It is funded about 85% by private donors

They usually have 6-8 women in residence.  The young mothers relocate soon after their babies are born- usually with the assistance of a number of social programs and subsidies.  Occasionally the young mothers reconnect with their families.

Win noted that Siena House is a grant applicant.  Mel said they need a new kitchen- the present one is from about 1955, and they would love it if we could donate an oven.  Fabulous idea.

The Nisene Marks hike 10/9 was attended by 10 folks foolish enough to let deposed President Ken lead them into the forest without maps.  3.5 miles and 2 hours later the fortunate survivors recouped their courage at a rehydration ceremony on Ken's front yard.  There are plenty of leftover adult beverages to supply the next hike- 10/30.  BTW campers, "leave at 10 am" means leave Ken's house to start the hike at 10am, not leave your house at 10 am to get to Ken's house.....
 
 
Best excuse for not attending- Michele B was in Vegas celebrating her anniversary.  That also explains the leftover booze...
Special post- hike guest was Ken's neighbor Harry Koue who just stopped downhill skiing at 91 years old (2 years ago) and told stories about driving a dynamite truck for the US Army in the Korean war....

See everyone Thursday!