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October 19, 2021
Piatti's Lunch Meeting
 
Week #15 - President Patrick O’Neil
(250 lb. pig?)
 
President O’Neil rang the bell starting the meeting at 12:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone to the “Best damn Rotary Club in Arden Arcade, that is our Rotary Club.”    
The Prez asked Carroll Cook, to lead the pledge and he did.  It was at this point that Johnathan Barker entered the room to a round of applause.  The Prez then asked Jonathan to lead the prayer.  Put on the spot, he did a fine of coming up with an impromptu prayer.  I am sure that in the future he will either be on time or make sure the invocation has already taken pace before entering the room.
 
Michael Caplan shared with the club a text from his son contemplating one of the spiritual mysteries of the world, “Do you know why God made man first? The Prez cautioned Michael that this was the 21st century and that joke may not be allowed at this point in time… One answer from the group was, “Practice, so he could make the woman better.”  This answer was well received by every woman in the room.  Michael, undaunted by the warning of the need to be politically correct, supplied the answer provided by his son that came with the text, “He didn’t need any advice.” Understandably, this answer was not as well received, funny, but not socially appropriate according to the standards of this day.  Michael is still a maverick, convention be damned.  The Prez, confessed that he, surprisingly, was missing Mike Grace’s jokes at this time.
 
Visiting Rotarians
There were no visiting Rotarians. 
 
Guests
Marion Biggler, Linda’s mom, was in attendance as a guest.  She was a regular spectator at the Rotary softball games.   
 
Bell Ringers
Tom Goode for his second wedding anniversary last week. The first two years has been awesome but Angie is still living in a different country. She was in town for three weeks ending this last Saturday.  They were able to visit with his brother in L.A. for a week.  Tom spun the wheel and it bounced back from a 4 to a 1.  The Prez, feeling sorry for Tom and the unfortunate spin, allowed Tom to re-spin only to receive the same 1 ticket result.  You can’t cheat fate.
 
Happy Bucks, Sad Bucks, Just Because Bucks
Rob Olmstead - $20 for a great weekend in Wisconsin with his daughter at the University of Wisconsin.  They got to attend a hockey game and football game. Rob spun the wheel and got 2 tickets.
 
Prez O’Neil, realizing he was still attempting to squeeze money from the club for no apparent reason, reported that he had good news.  He had Al Cady read a letter from the family of Sheila Romero announcing that, even though her will did not specifically mention the Rotary club, they were donating $10,000 to the club on Shelia’s behalf because rotary meant so much to her and the family appreciated our club’s support for their family, Mike, Pam, James and Stephany.   The Bell was rung in Sheila’s memory. The Secret word Is Romero.
 
News, Announcements and Stuff Like That
Prez O’Neil announced that the club will be purchasing a table for the District’s Foundation Dinner on October 30th and wanted was looking for people to attend the dinner.   Please let the Prez know if you would like to attend.  More information to follow along with a signup sheet.    
 
The Citrus Heights Rotary Club will be doing their crab feed on February 12th from 5:30 to 10:30, in the Citrus Heights Community Center.  Tickets are $65 per person.
 
Rob Olmstead reported on a few items that were discussed in the president’s meeting he attended on behalf of the Prez last night. 
  • It was noted that the district is looking for individuals that would like to be part of a disaster relief team.  The team will take the lead for all the district’s clubs on responding to disasters within our community.  Let Patrick know if you are interested.
  • The district has extra money to help fund imaging and branding efforts for all of the clubs.  $250 of free money can be used for anything that the clubs feel will help promote the club, social media, shirts etc.
  • The awards package application needs attention from Patrick and Rob.
  • The Dictionary program orders need to be made.
 
Linda Biggler suggested that the branding money be used to hire interns from U.C. Davis.  They are really, really good.  Prez O reminded people that we are still looking for high school student to manage our web site for a monthly stipend.  
 
P.E. Olmstead was impressed with just how good our club is doing after hearing from the other clubs at the meeting.  The other clubs were amazed at our club’s ability to raise $25,000 in a golf tournament and they wanted to know how we did it.  The Prez confirmed that $25,000 was the amount raised and that our club rocked it. 
 
Prez O announced that we will be purchasing the Community Chest square in RotorOpoly (providing it is still available) and hopes that our name will not only be on the board but on the cards as well. 
 
Johnathan Barker noted that this Sunday is world Polio Day and donation made on the Rotary International website will be matched 2 to 1 by the Gates Foundation.
 
Secret Word
Prez O asked for a show of hands, to save Lisa from being tackled for jumping all over this every week by those from those that knew the Secret Word.  As the words were leaving the Prez’s mouth and hands were politely being raised by almost a quarter of the club, Bill Hambrick, known for his competetive business acumen, never being a slave to convention, blurted out “Word.”  Clearly ¾ of the room had no clue why Bill was saying “word.”  Thinking he was mocking the sanctity of the beloved institution that the “Secret Word” had become.  The compliant members of the club who also knew the secret word were incensed that Bill would blurt out the answer to the question, snatching the opportunity for a free spin of the wheel from a deserving polite club member.  Never the less, the Prez awarded the spin of the wheel to the opportunistic Hambrick.  Bill announced “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying!”  
 
The club socialized while waiting for lunch to be served.
 
Chicks In Crisis, Inc. A Family Resource Center
Linda Biggler introduced guest speaker Marya Cooley of Chicks In Crisis, Inc.  They are located in Elk Grove.  Chicks In Crisis (CiC) was founded in 1997.  Marya will be talking about their program and the farm they have in Elk Grove with a 250-potbelly pig and 72 lb. tortoise and chickens and gardens and a barn. 
 
Marya thanked Linda for the introduction.  She went on to inform the club that CiC was founded in 1997 in a garage by Inez Whitlow and centered around teens and young adults aged 11 to 25.  Their program assists young parents with baby items provided they stay in school and maintain family size.  CiC is also widely known in the Sacramento are as being one of the top adoption facilitators.  Saving babies is their mission and ensuring that each child receives love, a stable home and a forever family.
 
Inez saw a need in the Sacramento area for homeless pregnant women.  She used to go down to the homeless camps and bring dinners to everybody.    She noticed that these women had nowhere to go so she brought the home to sleep on her couch.  She eventually got into facilitating adoptions for the babies that the women could not take care of. They have facilitated over 500 adoptions over the past 25 years.  This equates to a savings of over $250 million dollars to the tax payers by keeping these children out of the foster care system, $18,000 per year per child. 
 
Inez had a dream of having a ranch on a bus line to allow people to get to them at a location that could facilitate their mission.  Six years ago, her dream came true.  She bought a three acre, dilapidated dairy farm, just off of East Stockton Blvd, right off of Highway 99, between Bond and Elk Grove Blvd.  They have completely transformed the ranch over the last six years. 
 
They help pregnant and parenting teens, 11 to 25, both teen moms and dads. The intent of the program is to keep the teens in school.  They need to graduate, Junior High, High School, College, Trade School.  As long as they maintain their family life and stay in school they will help them every thirty days with diapers, wipes, formula, cloths, and hygiene items. Every month, they are sent home with about $250 worth of goods.  They want the parents to become successful because you can’t be poor in California.  The cost of living here is too high to survive being poor.  The goal is to have then graduate the program, school, have no more kids, become self-supportive and self-sufficient.  If the parents do not stay in school, they can only get assistance very 60 days.  However, they are constantly being asked about registering for school if they are not in school.  They are always looking for ways to help them succeed. 
 
CiC does not get any state or government funding.  They operate from donations and fees collected from adoptions and now facility rentals.  There are only two paid staff, Inez and Marya.  They run the programs and maintain the farm.  Marya worked in the corporate world for many years and couldn’t travel any longer and take care of her three girls.  She started her own marketing website and utilized social media.  A good friend of hers, in the Sunrise Rotary, introduced her to Inez.  She started helping Inez with her social media needs.   They formed the best partnership ever.  She is now her director of operations and marketing.  She does all the fundraising, grant writing, social media, day-to-day operations.   Not only are they saving babies but they have started saving animal. 
 
Covid hit them hard, no birth moms, no adoptions.  They normally do 10 to 15 adoptions a year and last year they did 2.  This year there has only been one.  Birth control and Plan B pills are helping.  They need to find ways to generate funds to keep their doors open.    They had a staff of five and had to lay people off.  There is just the two of them working around the clock transforming the ranch so they can make money off of it.  They had their first wedding rental in October of 2020.  They have done six weddings since.  They are now doing luncheons and parties.   They are providing pumpkin patch experiences. They are doing an Oktoberfest on October 30th.  They will have a band, food and beverages, including alcohol.   They have their big fundraiser for the year, the Thanksgiving Day Gobble Wobble, a family fun run.   Their other main fundraiser is the Big Day of Giving in May.  They have barn dances and concerts.  They are doing whatever they can to raise funds to keep their services going for their clients.  The helped over 5,000 people last year and had over 60 graduates from high school or college. Many young dads graduated from trade schools. Over 237,000 diapers, wipes and or clothing was distributed last year. The previous year they did 168,000. They can always use diapers, especially the larger sizes.  Full size hygiene items are also needed.  All the items are donated, they do not purchase any items. 
 
They track their clients service histories.  Parenting and financial workshops are offered.   They are attempting to create a mobile unit to take the services to the parents.  Transportation is the biggest issue for their clients.  A lot of them are too young to drive and have to rely on other people. 
 
They are hoping to write a grant with the Kaiser Foundation but they have to be invited to send in a grant request.  If anyone has a connection with Kaiser, they could use the referral.
 
They accept donations of food and clothing, good quality clothing only. Les Gudger offered his moving services to help with the donations of furniture. 
 
They also facilitate court ordered supervised visitations and the farm setting is a great opportunity for fun interactions in a supervised environment. 
 
Prez O’Neil thanked Marya for the presentation.
 
Opportunity Drawing
President Patrick O’Neil pulled Rob Ford’s ticket, and he drew the six of clubs. Another number was drawn belonging to Bill Hambrick.  He donated the beer he won to Chicks in Crisis.  Al Cady offered to give them more beer as they sell them for $5 a bottle at their events.   Bill selected envelope #3 which contained the Piatti’s gift card.
 
President Patrick O’Neil rang the bell at 12:55 P.M. closing the meeting.
 
Respectfully (more or less) submitted by,
 
Mike Grace
 
 
Linda Bigler
Guest Speaker Introducer
Guest Speaker
Marya Cooley
Tom Goode, Bell Ringer
Happily Married, Two Years
Rob Olmstead
Stepping up as President Elect
Fob Ford
Loser, 6 of Clubs
Bill Hambrick
Piatti's Winner and Beer Donator
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