FOOTHILLS HOME, GARDEN AND LIFESTYLE SHOW

The Rotary Foothills Home, Garden, and Lifestyle Show is coming on April 13th and 14th At Conifer High School.

The show is a joint project of the Evergreen and Conifer Rotary clubs. Net proceeds from the event are distributed as grants for charitable causes through the Evergreen and Conifer Rotary Foundations. Since 2005, over $300,000 has been raised to support these causes.

Visit the show’s website at www.foothillshomeshow.com. You can learn more about these two Rotary clubs and the work they support and evergreenrotary.org or rotaryconifer.org.

To volunteer, please sign-up HERE

Area 8 Social April 24th
Sign up for a night of social fun Wednesday April 24th with fellow district Rotarians.
Reserve your place by paying now, cost is per person:
 
Reservations for the Area 8 Social
 
 
  • $25 for Rotary Conifer club members
  • $40 for guests
 
ATTENTION YOUTH!
Want an adventure that just might change your life?! 
A leadership-training program sponsored by Rotary - paid for by your local Conifer Rotary Club.
For current 7th graders and high school sophomores or juniors.
For more information, or to apply - www.rockymountainryla.org
 
End Polio Now
Rotary is an international community that brings together leaders who step up to take on the world’s toughest challenges, locally and globally. The eradication of polio is one of our longest standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good.
 
Learn more by visiting: 
285 Backpack Pantry Program
 

 

Children who are hungry have difficulty staying focused for learning. They experience mood swings. They have trouble participating in athletics and other activities. They experience stomach aches, headaches and fatigue. Chronic hunger impacts kids for a lifetime.

One in five children in Colorado belong to families that cannot afford food or do not have regular access to food.  The 285 Backpack Project is here to help.

The 285 Backpack Project is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Conifer and the communities of Conifer and Bailey.  We help children who do not have enough food to eat at home by providing them with easy-to-prepare weekend meals and snacks throughout the school year.  By helping to sustain these children, we want to not only help meet their nutritional needs but also promote their physical, cognitive and social development, and enhance their overall sense of well-being.

  • Rotary members order the food from the Food Bank of the Rockies to fill our 285 Backpack pantry and every week during the school year, volunteers from the community meet to fill bags with a variety of easy to prepare, nutritious foods for kids to take home.  
  • The school arranges delivery of the bags to the children whose families have requested the food.  Any child is eligible.  All families are invited by letter from the principal to participate.

 

Want to make a difference?  You can help by volunteering through the sign-up genius below, by making a donation to the Conifer Rotary Foundation or by helping to get families signed up.

 
 
Join us! 
Conifer Rotary meets Tuesday mornings at 8:00 AM in a hybrid format either at the Mountain Resource Center or online via videoconference over Zoom. Evening meetings are currently being held in person every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 5:30 PM at Our Lady of the Pines.
 
Visitors please join us, email us at rotaryclub@rotaryconifer.org and we will send you the information you need for the meetings.  Club members, check your email for online meeting details from our President.
Meeting Programs
President – Stan Harsha
Apr 23, 2024 8:00 AM
Club Assembly
No Meeting
Apr 24, 2024
Dark
No Meeting
Apr 30, 2024
Dark
Lauren Molchan, DPM, AACFAS, Co-Founder & VP
May 07, 2024
Essential Strides
Rich Hopkins, Presentation Consultant, Author
May 14, 2024
Presentation Skills
Rotary Foundation Donations
Join us in our Conifer Rotary Foundation efforts to make our local community and the world a better place. You can donate to the charity in general or name a specific project, including the 285 Backpack project (food for kids); Hilldale Pines Fuel Break, Ending Polio and others.
 
 
Join us in supporting the Rotary International Foundation's many national and international humanitarian projects by clicking HERE.
Upcoming Events
Subscribe to our Club Bulletin (No SPAM, Unsubscribe any time)
Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

 
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Jeff Lewallen
    April 9
  • Ute Meyer
    April 12
  • Jesse McKean
    April 26
Member Dues Payments
Club members can make dues payments here.
 
Select
Rotary Conifer News
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • April 7 is a club social, starting at 3:30 p.m. Brazilian theme in honor of Julia’s birthday. It’s at Marlys’ and Steve’s house. Please RSVP to Tom. Seeking Brazilian music.
  • Stan gave his mid-term report: He takes suggestions. Ruth mentioned the microphone ball and we now have one. He opens the meetings on time. We wanted to fund an exchange student and another project after the peace park last year. This year, Bridget and Yvonne mentioned  Mindfest. It was really successful. Jonathan and others raised thousands of dollars for the Rohingya refugee family, and they are on their path to success. The father is about to start work at the meat-packing plant. He attends every evening meeting and it remains in place and could grow. 
  • It was announced that about 300 people attended Mindfest. Planners hoped for 500.
  • Maria spoke as part of our getting-to-know-you. “I have been a member since 2008, started in Evergreen. I grew up in many different countries, went to university in Switzerland, then married and moved to Oklahoma! I moved to Colorado in 1984; and to Pine Junction 3 years ago. I have been involved in international development work. I started what is now called Rooted Africa, which helps micro-enterprises, and another group that just changed its name to Daring Girls. Africa Network took vets to Kenya, and we provided rabies vaccinations to animals under a tree at a crossroads of two dirt roads. My job was to line the people and patients.  I am now a nature-connected life coach. I support people who want to change the way they live, when they are asking, “Who am I now?” Also, I guide people on the Camino de Santiago.”
  • Visitor Frances Rady introduced herself. “I come from advertising and sales, including educational sales. I spent three years as a high school teacher, and just moved here from Texas. I have thought about doing real estate, but now I am thinking something artistic, maybe volunteer. Usually, I help my neighbors and friends. I wanted to see what type of projects you work on. I got a small taste of it, volunteering at Mindfest. I’m concerned about wildfire. We have to preserve our community. I will probably enjoy getting involved in proj that.”
  • Visioning discussion: Ruth said that the leaders wanted to be sure “we are embodying the vision of the entire club,” not just people who came to the event in January.
    • Committee: Ruth, Jeff, Charles, Stan, Maria and Charlotte.
    • Generally, we want to be a leader in community-based service within the 285 Mountain  Corridor. Jonathan is collecting other ideas for branding who we are.
    • Ruth will send out the results of the discussion separately.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • April 24: Area 8 social is at the El Rancho brewhouse. They are brewing two beers for the event! Price has dropped from $60 per person to $40 including free beer or glass of wine, after Finn renegotiated.  Club subsidized price for Club members also dropped to only $25 person. Please RSVP. It runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Entertaining historian will speak and each club will report on what they are doing.  Come early and mingle.
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • Stan gave the Conifer (Connie-Fur) award to Ruth for organizing all the Visioning information.
  • Ed provided an update: Four people will be labeling books at Deer Creek Elementary School with Rotary donation label.
  • Charlotte shared that Platte Canyon School is so excited about the books coming today.
  • Janine shared that Foothills Home and Garden show is 50% filled with vendors. We need more. It’s April 13-14. Please remind people. We get about 1000 attendees.  
  • West Jeff is planning an anti-hate day.
  • Ruth shared that Destination Imagination team won first place in Jeffco, first step to global. They took on a community project challenge: Gathering food donations for Mountain Resource Center. They collected 250% of their goal. Their show is a cute play on solving a puzzle. Neil shared they had to navigate the bureaucratic systems, to write letters to the principals to get permission to put boxes in the schools. They had to do it all themselves.  5-6 kids on the team, 10 years old. This rivals the challenge of athletic teams.
  • Neil Rose was inducted into Rotary.  Congratulations!
  • Ute updated everyone that Rotary has a variety of awards. Applications are due by Aug. 1. Look on the District website for the list for nominations you’d like to suggest. For example, there is one for work at the club and district level; and a literacy award. There’s one for Rotarians for Mental Health. We need to get an application in for that for Mindfest. We also can apply for new project of the year. District awards are harder to get: A mental health project award; outstanding Interact club. Also service by a non-Rotarian.
  • Ann offered wildflower seeds for Operation Pollination at cost of $5 per ounce. Ask her if you would like any. Great time to plant is before the snow, so they soak into the ground. (And of course, Ann is the one who forgot to sow her seeds….)
  • Ann asked anyone interested in service day to tell her.  She needs help. You can help even if you don’t have ability to do physical labor on wildfire mitigation.
  • Visioning process discussion, part 2, led by Ruth and Jeff: Their notes to follow later.
  • Stan updated everyone that two weeks from now he will give his mid-term report on what he has done and then we will go to discussing Visioning.
Upcoming Events
 
  • Foothills Home and Garden is April 13-14
  • April 20 is the Operation Pollination Earth Day event in Crown Hill Park.
Updates & Announcements
 
Beth Ramsey, Jonathan’s mom, joined us for her 3rd visit; Colleen Hughes for her 5th visit.
Mark Rehm, former member, stopped to visit. He built a house in North Carolina. “We’re spending 10 days a month there and moving completely in May.”
Announcements:
  • Jonathan provided an update that we’re going to get the public image committee started. Send anything you have.
  • Conifer tree award was given to Suzanne for everything that she does.
  • Colleen told everyone that Miles Garrison, co-head of student council at the high school, contacted her about volunteering.
  • Dave Willman, from Aurora Gateway Rotary, District 5450 Foundation Chair for the past 5 years updated on the following: Wild polio cases have been at zero for 18 weeks! “We’ve had one of the best giving years in the district, in all categories. Our 118 year-old Rotary Foundation is in a good position. This club has given $165,000 lifetime to the Rotary Foundation, which is 4-star rated in Charity Navigator, and in the top ten of all charities in the US.” He also thanked and congratulated the Paul Harris fellows for their $1000 donations over time, presenting the most recent pins to:
    • Janine Payton, Paul Harris fellow plus 2
    • Mark Rehm, plus 7
    • Suzanne Barkley plus 7
    • Ed Steinbrecher, plus 2
    • Stan Harsha
  • Suzanne shared the following story: I joined in Winnetka, IL. I was just divorced and started an interior design firm; I was the second woman in a club of 120 people. Almost immediately, I was invited to do polio immunizations in Ethiopia. We saw the people called “crawlers” -- beggars in the streets, on their knees and elbows dragging through the streets due to polio. So, when we came back, you bet I gave to polio. Some years later, the Winnetka club received a $350,000 grant from Rotary to go to Uganda and set up a loan program for women, in a remote area. HIV was rampant, Idi Amin was the ruler. We developed a banking system and started giving out micro-loans. One went to a coffin-maker. Another to a little beauty shop with no electricity. We went back two more times to make sure it was working the way that it should. Then a group of us went to Carol Carper’s project, Sasa Harambee, in Kenya. I then visited a women’s business group, and it turned out that half of the people there were women we gave loans to, years earlier. They gave me sole credit for the whole thing. Then they had to take us to see all the businesses. That’s the whole point of Rotary, being on the ground helping.
  • Stan shared that the money we donate to Rotary International multiplies 3 x over 3 years, and then we can get it back for projects.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • Foothills Home and Garden Show is April 13-14. Booths are half price for artists, free for nonprofits.
  • The District social on April 24; Leslie is our chair. $30 dinner for members. Come and meet members from 5 clubs.
 
Meeting program
 
Executive Director of Programs, Sabrina Fritts, Peaceworks
Admin: 303-838-7176; 24-hour Crisis Line: 303-838-8181; www.peaceworksinc.co
 
OVERVIEW:
 
Peaceworks runs a safe shelter, emergency shelter after sexual assault, intimate partner violence etc. It is a 501c3. It started in a woman’s home. We start with the basics, with safety. I’ve been with Peaceworks for 5 years on staff, previously a volunteer on the 24-hour safeline; you can call or text. We are confidential, unlike the justice system.  We also run a community wellness program. I am a survivor of domestic violence, twice. I didn’t learn the first time. I helped a man build his business, left because I was paid too little. I asked him to remove videos showing me, so he filed a lawsuit threatening me with breach of contract. I took an online course in how to win a court case and won after a year. Unfortunately, abusers do use the judicial system to exert control.  Immigrants have a particular hard time because they are afraid of being deported.
 
Why don’t they just leave? Lack of resources. Pets. We are one in six shelters that take pets. And we have a foster farm. Taspens offered a space for community wellness, on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. We offer counseling, restorative yoga, classes for releasing trauma. We often think that abuse is physical. It’s financial, emotional, psychological, using children. Isolation is a tactic.  We invest in personal well-being, and creating safe homes. Park County doesn’t patrol 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. which is when most domestic violence calls are. We are working with them on getting a response. When you are in trauma, nothing makes sense so victims can laugh. We also do mobile advocacy. We help get protection orders, and go to court with clients. One wrote to us: “You bring souls back to life.”
 
Peaceworks offers a safe place to heal. The first step is to call our 24-hour safeline. It takes a lot to make that first call. We operate in Park, Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. Our staff have really hard jobs and we need to increase our wages.
 
You in Conifer Rotary helped build our playground, by giving $2,000 for equipment and mulch.
 
We teach children how to use diaphragmatic breath to relax from trauma, which they even get from active shooter drills at school.  Children are absorbing everything in that home.
 
Please volunteer, share, donate. We need administrative assistance. We provide advocacy training. And share information about us with the community.
 
Boogie at the Barn contacted us to be a beneficiary April 14. Come after the home show. Black Cat Zydeco is playing at the Little Bear.
One victim in our own area was Michelle Scott who had a protection order and still was killed by her former partner.
 
Silence perpetuates violence. I was 17 the first time my boyfriend hit me. His mother told me to go home. I didn’t tell my mom or my friends. I was born unworthy in my religious group. I became an unwed mother at the age of 19. We want to reach teens to break the cycle before it can begin. If you know someone, encourage them to make that phone call.
 
Dean asked for urgent needs and Sabrina replied: Paper towels, detergent, hair dryers, full-size shampoo, coffee. And we need to put Kilz on the kennel building.
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • ​​​​​Everyone had compliments for Mindfest and the Mindfest volunteers.  Stan gave the Conifer Award to all the people who showed up to volunteer.
  • Tim provided the following update: Jeffco Open Space is holding an Earth Day event April 20 at Crown Hill Park. He wants to do a big group photo. He is now president of the Denver chapter of the Colorado Native Plant Society.  He asked people to please come to volunteer, for an hour or two. No time yet.
  • Suzanne updated everyone that she is the RYLA/young RYLA chair. Rotary Youth Leadership gives awards for high school and junior high school to learn leadership. It draws out the ability to lead. Camps are held at YMCA camp at Estes Park. They are one week long, run by Rotary volunteers. Adults are advisors in the background. The junior and senior counselors run the camp. When we are recruiting, we are not looking for the kids who are already running projects. We’re looking for kids who are shy, or forced to go by a Rotary grandparent. Last summer one kid reported he hated it and wanted to leave. He loved it by the third day and now is a junior counselor. We got to witness first-hand the RYLA magic. Tim’s son went.  One exercise has 12 kids standing on a mat and they need to figure out how to turn it over while all 12 are standing on it. It’s now time to apply online. This year we have space for 4 for seniors and 4 for young RYLA.  There are a lot of home-school kids we need to reach. There is no cost to families. Our club is paying 100 percent of the fees. Young RYLA is for current 7th graders; RYLA is for sophomores, juniors and seniors. RockyMountainRYLA.org. We will interview the end of April. Maria Rosa said she was a senior counselor for 7 years, and mentor to junior counselors. “It’s an extraordinary experience. The junior counselors have a team of 12. Senior counselor is there just to support the junior counselors, debrief, etc.”
  • Morti shared that our own Sara Gardner is vice president of wealth management at EP Wealth Advisors. She will speak about financial planning. She is a certified financial planner.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • April 13-14 is the Foothills Home and Garden Show. Janine is looking for sponsors and vendors. Non-profits can get a free space but need to sign up.
  • Earth Day event April 20 at Crown Hill Park.
 
Meeting program
 
The Importance of Financial Planning, Sara Gardner, Vice President of Wealth Management
 
OVERVIEW:
 
We look at everything: cars, home, insurance and estate planning. The idea is that if your plan won’t work for what you are planning, then we set goals and priorities. From jobs and careers to managing debt, home purchases, etc.
Common goals are:
  • Eliminate credit card debt. Powerpay.org, helps you eliminate credit card debt.
  • Establish an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses.
  • Open and contribute to a retirement account. She recommends the Roth IRA because it is tax-free when you take it out. People are ending up jumping tax brackets after retirement because they must take required distributions from other retirement plans and pay taxes on them. Start contributing 5% of your salary in your 20s and raise it over time. At 50, you are allowed to contribute up to $23,000 plus $7,500 catch-up.
Note that if your credit score is poor, your insurance rates will rise.
 
Diversify. We look at the annual returns of your assets.
 
We have an attorney who works with us on estate documents.
 
Ed suggested using a donor advised fund. You can put highly appreciated stocks into a donor-advised funds, irrevocably, as a charitable deduction. In one year with exceptionally high income, you make a huge donation so you are above the standard deduction, then distribute to the charities of your choice over years. 
Updates & Announcements
 
Neil Rose is partway through his application to be a member.  Guest Colleen Hughes came in as a guest again.
 
Announcements:
  • Art was online and happy to report he is out of the hospital!
  • Bill Taylor is moving to honorary member status. He served in Vietnam, received a degree in biology. Then he met a woman with two small kids, “a smart woman going to chiropractic college. I became a chiropractor as well.” He practiced 16 years in New Jersey, and started as a Rotarian in 1982. They moved to Colorado. His wife wanted to become realtors instead, which they did. “I got sick, was in a coma, and they gave me a 10 percent chance to live. After seven weeks in the hospital, I survived.” Both his appendix and intestines were removed. It cost $400,000 in medical bills, but we eventually paid if off,” he said.  Bill joined Conifer Rotary in 1996. “In 1998, I suggested a corned beef and cabbage dinner for St. Paddy’s Day,” and then ran a golf outing for 9 years. He also started working with veterans’ events. Lately he has been busy with a part-time job in a liquor store. He has three children who live in Texas, California and Colorado, with the last working at the post office in Pine.
  • Neil Rose is interested in doing something to help people as they age in place. He said his wife is in a wheelchair. “If I leave, I need to arrange care for wife, as well as dogs and horses. And everybody’s life is going to get like that, as one of us is hospitalized or otherwise.” He is thinking about creating small neighborhood groups who can be gotten together and get to know each other, and might be willing to help out with a ride, help with housework, or whatever people need from their neighbors. We will have a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Conifer library, at 6:30 p.m. Stan commented that this project is in the true spirit of a Rotarian.
  • Charlotte reported that Two Dads Restaurant in Bailey put up our MindFest poster and a $50 gift certificate for MindFest.
  • Stan reminded everyone that we have a peacebuilding activity. Rotary magazine article says we now have a Rotary Peacebuilder center in Istanbul. We plan monthly activities at the Peace Park in the summer.
  • Morti said she has received a lot of feedback from speakers, most of whom love our meetings, and questions.  One speaker complained we were not on time, and the speaker didn’t have enough time as a result. “Let’s be mindful of the 30 minutes that we allocate for speakers.” Morti also said she is trying to track down a speaker to talk about US 285 highway projects.
  • Ann noted that Elk Creek and Inter-Canyon Fire departments do individual home wildfire inspections for $100, and free chipping for a limited number of people. The sign-up is coming soon and ran out of space in an hour last year. Charlotte said the Platte Canyon Fire District in Bailey does free inspections, free chipping, and has 5 Firewise neighborhoods.
  • 2024 Conifer Rotary Foundation Recipients:
    • Boys and Girls Club of the High Rockies - $2,000
    • Destination Imagination - Elk Creek Elementary - $1,000 
    • Mount Evans - Camp Comfort - $3,000
    • MRC - Parent Workshop - $2,000
    • Rotary Wildfire Ready - $1500 
    • StageDoor - $1750 
    • WJMS - Teacher Grant - $2,000
    • 285 Literacy Project Funding Conifer/Platte Canyon Elementary Schools - $1,000 to match Club amount $1,000 
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • White elephant gift exchange will be Feb. 13.
 
Meeting program
 
Recipients of Conifer Rotary Foundation Grants presented:
  • Trish, who is a board member at Boys and Girls Club with Morti, accepted a $2000 grant from Conifer Rotary Foundation. She said the club’s goal is to enable all young people to reach their full potential, including academic success, healthy lifestyle, good character and citizenship. She said they promote physical activities and healthy eating.  For example, “We created a water balloon obstacle course, I teach a Zumba class, and we took them to Salida for a rock-climbing course.” She asked people to please become a friend of the club, join the board, and donate. “If you have questions, ask Morti.” “We need help, especially on Fridays when Park County has no school.” Or people can volunteer for chili cook-off and other events. The club encourages homeschooled kids to participate. It also needs volunteers after school, Monday through Thursday for tutoring, technology, reading to kids, nature walks. The kids also need male influence. This work directly with the kids requires a background check.
  • Ann received $1500 for Rotary Wildfire Ready from Conifer Rotary Foundation. She explained that some of this money will go to entry fees for local events like Elevation Celebration, and most will go to upkeep and improvements on the RWR app. www.RotaryWildfireReady.com has all the downloadable brochures with information for the public on preparing for wildfire, but the younger generation wants this on an app on their phones. So we are reaching a new audience with the app. Cindy Latham, who runs RWR, will be at a future meeting to demonstrate it because she is the expert. The other side of RWR is the Safety Committee, which Ann runs and has successfully helped get the power companies Xcel and CORE to install wildfire-spotting cameras all over Jefferson County. The one in Bailey will go in when the new tower is complete. Now the committee is looking at the enormous increase in insurance, which is caused by companies using big data and satellite photos to rate our neighborhoods for wildfire. A rating of 80 out of 100 can make it difficult to get insurance. One company rates Ann’s neighborhood as a 97. The committee is looking into the criteria being used and it looks like there are some significant inaccuracies. For example, one company says that a wildfire will reburn in 2-8 years. But the Hayman Fire burned more than 100,000 acres 22 years ago and there is still nothing growing there. We need these ratings to be transparent and accurate so that we are all on the same page on what projects are priorities.
Updates & Announcements
 
Guests who are potential new members: Neil Rose returned for the third time as a guest and is applying to become a member. Colleen Hughes came for the first time and is very interested.
 
Announcements:
  • Stan gave the weekly Conifer award to the Rohingya refugee team: Half of us went to Walmart and got them shoes. Carrie shared they had a huge group in Walmart, they seemed to gravitate to colorful and sparkly shoes. Stan shared they were given a choice of living in a dangerous neighborhood because of their economic situation but we are working to find them a place in a safer neighborhood.  
  • Stan gave a special new award to Charlotte, which he thought was an orangutang. He was told it was a Sasquatch and that she won it “because she leaves such a big footprint everywhere she goes.” It was for collecting a $2000 donation from City Wide Banks for MindFest.
  • Yvonne shared an update on MindFest: we need people to post posters and we need small items for a free raffle.
  • Wes provided an update that we’re starting to plan ConiferFest.
  • Stan brought a Throw-a-Ball microphone to try at meetings so that the Zoom audience can hear audience comments.
  • Wes shared that this year we will fully fund our grants.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • Home and Garden Show is coming up in mid-April. Janine told everyone they need sponsors and vendors and non-profits.
  • Trivia Night: High School Fundraiser March 2 CHS.
 
Meeting program
 
Recipients of Conifer Rotary Foundation Grants presented:
  • Karen Aalund, director of resource development at Mount Evans Hospice, spoke about Camp Comfort, which is receiving $3,000 from the Conifer Rotary Foundation today. This is a free grief camp for children 6-12 who have lost a loved one. Mount Evans would like to expand the camp. She said they also do hospice services in home around the mountain area. Medicare pays for only a 15-minute visit, and our people often stay longer. They also do home health care.
  • Elk Creek Elementary Destination Imagination PTA Coordinator Lauri Woulfe, Elk Creek Elementary and West Jeff Middle School. The Goofy Eagles team of six kids at Elk Creek Elementary received $1,000 from the Conifer Rotary Foundation to go to global finals. Last year they won state. Ruth and Julie have kids on her teams. There are eight teams at two schools. DI starts in kindergarten and becomes competitive in third grade. It is considered a STEM+ including art, writing etc. There’s also time management. When they get to high school, high school is a breeze.  It has been selected as one of top education programs in the world. There are different challenges, with all the components of STEM+. The kids found out how many kids in Jeffco schools are food-insecure, and figured that could be 50 kids in their own school, and were blown away. They could not believe it. They decided to do a food project for MRC food bank. No one can tell them what to do. It’s hard to not speak up and help. They put boxes in each classroom to collect food, collected 600 items and took it to MRC. It costs $140 for the year to parents for after-school program, which is very low. We need volunteers to run teams and there is a waiting list of kids. Anyone 18 years or older.
  • Stage Door Theater’s education department received $1750 from Conifer Rotary Foundation. She told the story of a mom who had pulled her daughter from school because she was being bullied. Then she was becoming withdrawn with home schooling. But she was interested in theater. So she came and observed. She told her mom that this was the first place that she felt welcome, that felt like home. It’s most important that the kids feel like they belong. This is a scholarship fund. We don’t turn kids away because of finances.  
  • Wendi Van Lake guest teacher in Jeffco, West Jeff Middle School PTA. Julie Winters, West Jeff Middle School PTA. They received a $2000 grant from Conifer Rotary Foundation for teacher requests for something innovative. The PTA has matched the $2000. Already, they have received requests for a New York Times magazine for teens and a science teacher’s request to learn 3D printing so he can teach it to his students.
 
Updates & Announcements
 
Visitors included: Lynn Womack and Neil Rose
 
Announcements:
  • Service Day. Ann suggested trying to create a Rotary plus community wildfire mitigation team, like the one in NoFloCo where the guy in charge has a list of about 80 people and once a month sets a day and gets 20 people to come out and volunteer. We should do a very visible project like on Hwy 73.
  • Bill is planning a Sunday in front of King Soopers to promote Mindfest.
  • Neil has a couple of projects he is interested in getting started. Please talk to him if you are interested: Eldercare and community service.
  • Stan mentioned that we might do a Carnival or a Mardi Gras of our own.
  • Yvonne has MindFest flyers to hang up. Be sure to like and share our Facebook page to promote the event.
  • Jonathan updated everyone that the refugee family arrived at the airport. They seemed very delighted to be welcomed. Flew Kuala Lumpur to Turkey to Denver. Stan has been translating. Good to ask every time if you want to use a photograph of refugees.
  • Ruth provided an update on the Visioning results. Some members said they would circulate the top-level ideas. Do we represent the views of the whole club?
  • Ed gets the tree award for all his work on our literacy program. We gave dictionaries and thesauruses in schools, then moved to Nook readers, we’ve done math programs and robotics. We ask the schools: What are you doing that we can assist with? Deer Creek Elementary School has requirements for reading improvement. They noticed that kids get a lot of fiction reading early, and not enough informational reading.  So we will provide books for that. For example, a book for their grade level about George Washington. It costs $750 to buy books, and we label the books with, “This book is donated by Rotary” and it includes the four-way test.
  • Another school is doing One Book, One School. In the lower grades, the parents read to the kids. Older kids read the book to their parents. Everyone discusses the book in school.
  • We might work on adult literacy with MRC. Or the library literacy programs. We have an extra $500.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • Denim and Diamonds at Evergreen Rotary, next week Friday.
  • MindFest: Live Your Best Life ~ Saturday, February 17th 9am-2pm @ Our Lady of the Pines Church
  • April 13 - 14 Foothills Home and Garden Show
  • El Rancho dinner in April: Members will pay half price $30 instead of $60. April 24, 5:30 p.m.
 
Meeting program
 
Braver Angels, Ann Johnson & Teresa McPhail
www.braverangels.org
 
 
OVERVIEW:
 
Johnson is a long-time Rotary member. Retired teacher of the deaf, ordained Episcopal priest.
 
Teresa explained that Braver Angels is concerned about ugliness in individual conversations. We tried to put 10 red and 10 blue voters in the same room, brought in a family therapist and set rules.  
 
Ann said the organization and website www.Braverangels.org were created to bridge the political divide. There’s a lot of tension, and we need to get past that. And to strengthen our democracy. If you sign up, you get a list of workshops that are happening, such as a fireside chat about civic renewal. There are podcasts. There’s a Zoom national debate: Should Trump be on the ballot? A person who thinks the Covid response was deeply flawed, and a discussion of the politics of contempt. There are groups at the local level and national, including one in the Denver area.
 
Teresa: It broke my heart when I realized my own daughter didn’t feel welcome at the dinner table because she was on the other side of the political divide. I think social media is at the crux of the division.
 
Ann: This fits Rotary’s mission of bringing people together. You can look up activities by Rotary and Braver Angels.
 
Teresa: Nobody is a deplorable. We are all friends. We are more than who we vote for.
 
Teresa: I need to respect her truth, not believe it. When data comes into the conversation, we ask, “What brought you to that belief?” The back story of how a person came to that is way more interesting. You can ask a question of the moderator. You cannot address the red or blue person directly.
 
We have workshops on how to have a family conversation when you are on different sides of the political equation.
 
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • Please sign up for Visioning for the club on Jan. 20.
  • The Rotary area social likely to be April 24 at El Rancho, $59 per person, all-inclusive. It has a great menu.
  • The Mindfest website is up and running, sign-up genius is up and running at the bottom of the page. Please follow and like our club Facebook page, which has this. We have a goal of 500 attendees, so we really need to get the word out. I have flyers for you to hang up. One good place is the back of restroom doors. All of our speakers are lined up. Keynote is the leader of Mental Health Colorado. His topic is what a healthy community looks like and steps to get there.
  • Stan sent out a notice to all of the Rotary metro presidents and president-elects about Mindfest and got a good response. This group is really well-organized.
  • Ann reported on the Ukrainian family, where the women have job offers from the Amazon warehouse for the end of January.
  • Ann also reported that Rotary Wildfire Ready is trying to find out the criteria used by companies that are rating our neighborhoods for wildfire, then selling the data to insurance companies. This is why our insurance rates are skyrocketing. RWR is concerned that the rating criteria has not been ground-truthed, and we all need to be on the same page as far as which dangers are worst and need to be addressed.
  • Ann also reported that she is suddenly working much more on a fuel break for her neighborhood because the adjacent Denver Mountain Park contractor, who is needed for removing logs through the park, is starting work as soon as this week, instead of summer.
  • Dean and Suzanne have donated $1250 toward match for a Rotary grant for Sasa Harambee’s teen program in Kenya. After the funds are matched (more than 4 times), the money will be used in a low-income area of Nairobi, and in Siaya county, where Sasa Harambee operates. This includes sex education, teaching respect for females, teaching a responsible lifestyle. Carol Carper explained the program at a club meeting a few months ago.
  • Maria Rosa has a family of Burmese Rohingya refugees arriving Wednesday Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. They are mom, dad and three daughters. “What an amazing team this is preparing for their arrival,” she said.  We will take them to their short-term lodging, and they will be moving to permanent housing in February. Stan will do a grocery run before they arrive. Stan said the Rohingya in general are stateless, traumatized, and often have been tortured.
 
Meeting program
Cale Gould, State Patrol Program
 
OVERVIEW:
 
The State Patrol program is focused on reducing car theft, which has doubled in Colorado from 2019 to 2022, from 20,000 to 41,000. There have been another 5000 attempts.
 
Thieves are not youth looking for a joy ride or thieves looking to sell the car. It is mostly adults, stealing cars to perpetrate other crimes, such as robbing a bank, dealing drugs, etc. They are armed now.
 
Colorado has very high recovery rate, likely 90 percent for 2023. This is partly because the cars are dumped after the crime. Colorado is the number one state for car theft per capita, so we have an auto theft coordination center. Car thefts are expected to have fallen in 2023, roughly 21 percent.
 
The most commonly stolen are Chevrolet Silverados, Sportage, Ford F250 and Honda Civic and the rest of the top 10 are Hyundais and Kias.
 
An organized crime ring was indicted in fall and car thefts at the airport were nearly eliminated.
 
Thieves target vehicles they suspect have firearms in them to steal. That includes vehicles with gun stickers, trucks, SUVs, outdoor vehicles.
Keep your fob away from the vehicle, don’t leave the car running, don’t leave spare keys in the vehicle. Some 30-50% of thefts involved owner apathy, such as not locking the car.
 
www.Lockdownyourcar.org  has a map of hotspots for theft. This includes your house, parking lots, gas stations, park and rides, large parking lots. Chances are that some of these cars are unlocked.
 
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • Tree award: to the Interact Club of Conifer High School. They showed the Warren Miller ski film as a fundraiser. They were so proud to be in Interact. They raised $3555, used their charm to get great things to donate, including a ski board worth $600. They sold out both nights.
  • We are working on April 24 district dinner at El Rancho.
  • Stan: I’m looking into buying breakfast burritos, $5 each for next Tuesday.
  • Pat and Stan attended the international committee meeting in Evergreen.
  • Bambi: This weekend, she and Diana went to the Georgetown Christmas Fair and found a Rotary beer mug, so we bought it for a Stan Mug Award. We all know how Stan loves awards.
  • Diana: 285 Backpack project. Carrie is doing all the food ordering for backpack now. Discussed coordination with schools. Can use our connections for backpack at the schools.
  • MindFest updates:
    • Yvonne: For Mindfest in February, we have 21 ambassadors signed up for booths, including play therapy, yoga, eating disorders, compassionate communications, National Association for Mental Illness, nutritionist, Girl Scouts, acupuncturist, Girls on the Fly, vibro-acoustic therapy, VFW. Right now, we just have “save the date” on the Rotary website. Our webmaster is swamped. We have the layout for the auditorium. We have tables at the church.
    • Diana: We have tablecloths etc in the shed.
    • Charlotte: We have a sketch of how many people we need to help. Slime-making station. Mental health first aid.
    • Ann suggested Lee might be able to help with posting things to the website. She will introduce Yvonne to Carrie Brewer for grief counseling and relaxation yoga. Ann also suggested that we really need Jefferson Center for Mental Health to give its information on mental health first aid. And we need Wes to ask the Interact members what teens would like to have an MindFest.
    • Divide up the schools at the next MindFest meeting.
    • Stan: Will talk to Wes about Interact, principal at CHS, about what do teens want to see at this. Bullying already, activities.
  • Stan explained a District 5450 initiative to fund the WAKAM Global Grant, Rotarians against Malaria Rotary Action Group project in collaboration with a consortium of 20 Kenyan Rotary Clubs. Each club that participates with $1000 of funding will be paired with a Kenyan club.  I’ve had malaria, it can be controlled and eradicated. The goal is to eradicate. Nets over bedding with insecticide in them. Anti-malaria medicines.  Many methods. We want 20 districts in Colorado to support this. Suggest $500 from our international fund, $250 from the refugee fund and ask for donations of $250 to make it $1000. 
  • Amanda: We fund international projects through the club, while the foundation funds local projects.
  • Stan: They are trying to do a global grant and apply by the end of March.
  • Diana: Fundraising for this year goes to projects for next year. When Charles is president.
  • Stan: In the club we budgeted $1000 for international projects. Stan is requesting $500 for Sasa Harambe and now $500 for this, from the club. We can ask members to donate to the foundation and earmark it for this project.
  • Diana: Rotary international action group part of Rotary International Foundation. Members probably can donate directly to that. We should find out.
  • Stan: Jonathan has raised over $3000 from the community for the refugee family. So he’s giving up $500 of our $1500 to Sasa Harambe the malaria project.
  • The club voted to spend the $1000 from international budget plus $500 from the refugee budget to fund $750 for the international malaria project and $750 for Sasa Harambe Project. Dean and Suzanne will pledge funds for Sasa Harambe with the hope that members will match those pledges.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • Mindfest meeting: Monday 18th 6 p.m.; then after Jan. 1
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • Sandy went down to the 26th and Zuni and helped refugees in the tent city.
  • Ukrainian refugees are settled and had a house-warming.
  • The Tree Award is the Banyan Tree award today, named after tree that is huge. One in India is size of Manhattan. Kristin Davis donated $1000 to Mindfest to cover costs, matched by Microsoft. Thanks, Kristin!
  • Tim Berg had a highly successful party for Operation Pollination.
  • Luna’s Mandala has been collecting contributions to the peace park.
  • On Jan. 9, we’ll have a white elephant gift exchange.
  • Mindfest: We have vendor participants for 23 of 32 spots.
  • No Rotary club meetings on Dec. 26th and Jan 2nd
 
Meeting program
 
Mountain Libraries Manager, Kat Lefevre, Conifer Library Project
 
 
OVERVIEW:
 
The community engagement report on the Conifer Library project is 145 pages. They had a graphical representation of the results. We want to lease or buy, not build. Community wants no more buildings. We want single story because libraries are heavy. Typical second floor office building holds 80 lbs per square foot and we need 250. We also need good ADA access. And we need to be able to drive a delivery truck right up to it, because we move books a lot. We want easy access from US 285. We could start smaller and expand into adjacent space later.  We’d like 4,000 sf but can be flexible. We would like community suggestions and reactions on a good place to put the library.
 
Ann noted that one of the supermarkets might close if the Kroger/Safeway merger goes through, despite all of Colorado’s objections.
 
She said the current books belong to Jeffco library, not the school.  The goal is to leave the school in a good spot. We are listening to what books the school wants. They need a book management system.
 
Libraries are about information, so we will need to focus on digital literacy.
Jeffcolibrary.org/conifer-opportunity/
Updates & Announcements
 
Our Rotary exchange student, Julia Lima Ambrosio, joined us. Stan also joined online.
 
Announcements:
  • On Thursday night, there will be a meeting about ConiferFest to figure out what can be done better.
  • Yvonne provided a MindFest update. We are making a PowerPoint presentation to pitch grants and sponsorships. Save the Date is up and we are working on a website. We have two speakers and one vendor. Jin Halderman will be speaking on anger management, Carrie Lehtonen on stress management, Bryn Murphy does play therapy and will bring her toys. We have ten fun facts to know about your brain. Event will be at Our Lady of the Pines on Feb. 17. We need to educate parents to see when their kids are struggling.
  • Wes updated everyone about Resilience 12-20 group sessions that are available to everyone in the foothills and shared that all the schools have access to Hazel Health counseling services online. Free to the students.
  • Peaches will be delivered on Saturday and this will most likely to be our most profitable fundraiser.
  • There will be no September 12th morning meeting; it will be combined with the evening meeting and will be held on September 13th at the Mountain Resource Center from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Topic: Ryla Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) participants to present on their RYLA experience to the entire club.  
 
Meeting program
Social Services for Seniors, Mary Anne Wesoloski, Seniors Alliance of Platte Canyon
www.seniorsalliance.org
 
 
OVERVIEW:
 
Mary Anne Wesoloski of Seniors Alliance of Platte Canyon spoke about discovering that the reason Bailey was receiving so few services for elderly and others was the result of its location. It is in the Pikes Peak region for social services and Bailey is hard to reach from Colorado Springs. The alliance opened just before Covid struck. They work to connect seniors to advocacy, education, socialization and resources. They’ve had a 9 HealthCare Day in Bailey, helped people register for vaccinations because many people can’t get internet, and offered classes in fire evacuation in connection with Fire-Adapted Bailey and Platte Canyon Fire Department. The majority of disaster victims are older. They’ve added a food pantry, a food van, and a blood pressure and foot clinic, as well as the popular lending closest for crutches and other medical equipment. We are looking for funding for a half-time volunteer in our office and could use help with grant writing.
Updates & Announcements
 
Announcements:
  • Stan sent out an email with training opportunities, including Rotary 101 and a leadership course.
  • The club board voted to create an Environment Committee, with focus on Wildfire Ready. We felt it is so important that we should have an ad hoc committee to manage that. Ann Imse will chair it. It also will include Operation Pollination. Ann suggested starting with Tim or someone from Colorado Native Plant Society as a speaker to the club.
  • The board also discussed having a better understanding of the club and its budget, vs the foundation, which has its own budget.
    We will have a meeting in September and Lee will talk about that. We have a large surplus in the club, $17,000. We are running a $7,000 deficit for the year. Some things we funded this year: Mindfest Project; the exchange student was cancelled last year and came this year; the refugee program; Polio Plus, $1,000 to international programs. We want to spend down the big surplus. In the past, our income has equaled our expenses.
  • We need to elect the foundation board in September for this current year, starting July 1.
  • Stan’s tree award goes to Bill Taylor for selling all the Rotary glasses and raising money for Conifer Rotary Club. He will be at Safeway on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lee shared that it was Dean’s birthday. Everyone sang Happy Birthday; we were actually a pretty good singing group!
  • Stan reminded everyone to purchase peaches. The deadline to sign up is Aug. 18.
 
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • Wes reminded everyone that this Saturday is ConiferFest. Please sign up to help, please ask family and friends to sign up.  Weather now 30% chance of rain.
 
Meeting program
 
Goals, Grit and Grace, Sarah Thomas, Ultra-Marathon Swimmer
 
 
OVERVIEW:
 
The speaker was Sarah Thomas, 41, of Conifer, an ultra-marathon swimmer and world record holder for swimming 104 miles in open water in Lake Champlain. Then she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at 35. She had full-on treatment, and then crossed the English Channel, as well as swam Scotland to Ireland, both ways. She is a veterinarian recruiter.
 
Sarah: You can achieve good things if you just believe in yourself. The rules for open-water marathon swimming: No wetsuit. You’re allowed a swimcap, earplugs and goggles. It’s about the human body versus nature. So, I swam 67 hours with no breaks, no hugs. "It takes goals, grit and grace."
 
I was a college swimmer but never thought I would be a marathoner. Teammates on an adult team talked me into a 10k in Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. I resisted, but I did it. Later, I did a race around Manhattan. “It’s a really neat way to see New York.” People from a restaurant ran out with a glass of champagne.
 
She swam the English Channel, Loch Ness, Lake Champlain for the record. “I felt like I could do anything.” Two months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent full treatment. Then, “I swam Horsetooth, and I could say, “I won. I beat this.” But she now gives herself the grace of saying it is ok if she doesn’t make the distance.
Updates & Announcements
 
Visitors included: Virgil Scott, visitor from Rotary of Denver. Potential new members: Dr. Joshua Mongillo, Jeff Lewallen
 
Announcements:
  • Happy dollars are going to the 285 Backpack project, food for kids who need it on the weekend.
  • Dean recommended viewing the documentary, “Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine,” on Netflix, with images from the space telescope.
  • Ann thanked everyone for help with the Ukrainian refugee family who arrived July 14.
  • Charlotte introduced new prospective member Jeff Lewallen; who saved us today with his knowledge around Zoom.
  • Bill Taylor introduced a guest attending today, his friend Dr. Joshua Mongillo, a chiropractor.
  • Stan gave the Tree Award to the MindFest team for winning a matching DDF grant from Rotary for their upcoming event. The grant is $3,000, for a total of $6,000 budget for the mental health fest that is being planned for February.
  • Stan thanked everyone who helped at Elevation Celebration with the Rotary Wildfire Ready fire truck and education.
  • Lee updated everyone on the Palisades Peaches sale: at least 200 boxes of peaches have been sold online and Angela has approximately 30-40 sales as well.
  • Stan provided an update from Tim Berg (the evening meeting chair): He would like us to join Operation Pollination. It’s a national/international project. The district governor-elect is fully behind this. He’s asking us to sign a resolution saying we will promote pollination for habitat. This is part of a Rotary International Environmental Sustainability Action Group project, signed by previous RI President Jennifer Jones and District 5450 President-Elect Tammie Fennell. He’s hoping that signing the Pollination Resolution which simply asks the Rotary to carry out activities to educate and promote plants that will contribute to pollination. One idea is an event in early November spreading native wildflower seeds at the Peace Park with children, educating them. Discussion around this topic:
    Lee: As club treasurer, we are stressed this year. What is this going to cost us?
    Stan: I have the budget for $100 for wildflower seed for the Peace Park but I don’t expect any other additional costs.
    Dean: I have space in my yard.
    Almost everyone raised their hands as supporting.
  • Update on schedule from Stan: From Aug. 13 to Sept. 3, he will be in Indonesia to set up a student exchange program for CU-Boulder. NO MORNING MEETING on August 15, 2023.
  • Update from Stan: There was an International Refugee Committee training yesterday. We have a core group of at least 7-8 to mentor a refugee family, probably in late fall.  With the $1500 Rotary budget and other donations, we will have over $2000 for this, and IRC will help us to raise more funds.
  • Bill continues his great work distributing Rotary glasses for donations!! Thanks to him for all his great work!
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • REMINDER: Please sign up to volunteer for ConiferFest.
  • Diana needs help on Aug. 9 between 12:00pm and 6:00pm at Mountain Resource Center’s School Supply Market. Lots of families come to this to get school supplies; this is how we get a lot of our students signed up for our Backpack project.
  • The Visioning exercise is being moved to October because of the upcoming Sept. 30 District 5450 Conference.
 
Meeting program
 
Colorado Rotary Endowed Fellowship for Pediatric Mental Health at Children’s Hospital, Debbie Doig and Shrin Murthy, Highlands Ranch Rotary
 
 
OVERVIEW:
 
Speaker was Debbie Doig from Highlands Ranch Rotary, which raised the money for the Colorado Rotary Endowed Fellowship for Pediatric Mental Health at Children’s Hospital. She was accompanied by Shrin Murthy, also from Highlands Ranch Rotary.
She showed a video of our new Rotary International president Gordon McInelly, who told the story of his brother Ian, who developed depression, hid it and then took his own life.
 
In 2021, Children’s Hospital declared a state of emergency for youth mental health. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Colorado’s children aged 10-24. Studies show 15% of Colorado kids 65,000 age 12-17 are depressed. In the U.S., one in five kids have a mental health disorder, and less than 50% will get treatment. Families take them to the Emergency Room, thinking somebody can help them, and they sit there for days, weeks.
 
Highlands Ranch Rotary decided to raise $500,000 for an endowment for a pediatric fellowship at Children’s Hospital. A fellow is a psychiatrist who has completed his residency and decides to do a deep dive into Pediatric Psychiatry for two years. The average fellow will have 1500 patient visits a year. Long after we are gone, there will be a cohort of fellows seeing kids. They have raised $465,000.
 
For donations, please make checks to Highlands Ranch Rotary Foundation Inc. PO Box 632118, Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-2113. Note restricted to: REF4PMH.  https://rotaryclubhr.org/donate/ref4pmh
Updates & Announcements
 
Stan opened the meeting by introducing our Rotary guests: Jeff Lewallen and Olivia Pollcicchio, Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity Community Outreach Organizer
 
The following announcements & updates were shared:
  • “Creating Hope in the World” Pins were handed out to everyone.
  • Ukranian Refugees arrived last week. Several people helped welcome them and get them settled.
  • Leslie will talk to Art about Roadside Cleanup
  • Marlis shared an update on from Blue Creek Eagles and their Destination Imagination event; shared a thank you card.
  • Janine has 1 family cleared to go for exchange student (who arrives in 1 month). She’s still trying to pin down 2 other families.
  • This Sunday Stan is hosting “The Transformative Power of Communicating with Compassion”; details in the calendar. Please join him.
  • Bill: We have Rotary glasses, a lot of them! He’s going to be at King Soopers every Tuesday 11-1 up until Coniferfest to try and get donations (maybe more frequently the week leading up to C-fest). Looking for volunteers to join him. All money goes to Foundation.
  • Sandy will be August Sargent in Arms.
 
Upcoming Events
 
  • CONIFERFEST Update: we are $3k behind in sponsorships; please help!
  • Elevation Celebration update: Wes is going to drive the firetruck. We're being charged for only 1 space, even though we need more than that. Volunteer registration is full.
  • Mindfest Update: The committee had 2 guests join them from Highlands Ranch Rotary. Charlotte shared information about a program that Highlands Ranch has started to get a fellow (or 2) that would focus solely on Mental Health and Wellbeing at Children’s Hospital. They’ll visit the Rotary on 8/1/23.
  • “Rotary day at the Rockies” – Stan will send out notice. It’s on 9/17/23. If we purchase 8 tickets or more, the club can sit together. $28/ticket; $5 from each ticket goes to eradication of Polio.
Meeting program
 
The Future of Our Fire Protection Services, Jacob Ware, Fire Chief of Elk Creek, Skip Shirlaw, Fire Chief of Inter-Canyon, Curt Rogers, Fire Chief of North Fork
www.mountainfireresources.com
 
 
OVERVIEW:
 
Background: This initiative started 3-4 years ago because call volume is increasing. They are also battling a volunteers problem, down 17%. Increase call volume, decrease in volunteers. They started looking at ways to improve situation.
  • Consolidation study with 4 groups: Inter-Canyon, Elk Creek, North Fork
  • Indian hills decided to drop out of consolidation.
At age 65, you’re three times more likely to need EMS services and our population is aging.
Jacob been fire chief for 3 years.
 
Avg home price: $700k now. More people are working now; a lot of people who used to volunteer are working now. They’re always going to need volunteers.
 
Avg 3.5 people needed to respond per call; 4 professionals working per shift. 27% calls are overlapping. Sometimes they have as many as 4 calls at the same time. Which is one of the reasons they started this consolidation – the districts had need for mutual aid.
 
They conducted surveys: 1,160 completed surveys. Great response. 63% said they didn’t have sufficient resources. 75% said they supported a tax increase. 69% said they support a consolidation. 100+ people have come to open houses to learn more about the consolidation.
 
Boards will decide if this goes on the ballet and then it goes to a public vote.
 
Most busy time: Thursday afternoon
 
They want three staff stations across the district. HQ would be Inter-Canyon. That cuts out traffic problems in commonly busy areas. Elk Creek station and North Fork would be the other two stations. Decisions were made based on proximity to population and covering high-risk territory.
NO stations will close. None of the stations are failing right now, but in 2-3 years (or sooner), they will be.
 
Future: “Conifer Fire Rescue”:
  • It’s going to be called ‘Conifer Fire Rescue’
  • 400-mile square district
  • 18 more people will be hired
  • They will respond with the “closest resource” – one central dispatch system à therefore reducing response time
In order to anticipate how this will affect your taxes, view tax calculator on their website: Conifer Fire Districts V1 (mountainfireresources.com). Avg of $10/month Also can add assessment rate for property.
 
Q&A:
 
Q: Would it be possible to form a secondary group of volunteers? To help the volunteer firefighters who have to go serve? A: Traditionally, the volunteers had to be an EMT or skilled some way. But they want to meet people where they’re at. A lot of people may just want to drive an ambulance. Or organization, grants, at station, etc. Now, they’ll have more resources to pool together to manage that. Consolidation isn’t just bringing more responders to the emergency, but how else can we impact the community.
 
Q: The plan should have enough paid firefighters to have enough people to fill a truck. A: They’ll have 10 people available for each call
 
Q: Fire insurance, will this affect our ratings? A: No, they’re two separate things.
 
Q: Why have you decided to call it Conifer Fire? A: They explored all kinds of ideas. What is most prominent mountain? Conifer mountain. What’s on the news when they talk about weather? Conifer. It’s such a big focal point. It’s on Weather maps. They went with the name that was most recognizable.
 
Comment: This is a great way to create an oppty for greater community, within three districts. A wider network. A: Yes, Outreach in so many areas. We have so many people who are passionate about so many things.
 
Q: Will you have a shared dispatch? A: They all use Jeffcomm for dispatch right now, but independently. With the consolidation, they’ll centralize dispatch.
 
A: Discuss the board and political process. A: There are three different boards right now. All three boards need to agree to put on ballet, then it goes to public for a vote.
 
A: There aren’t a lot of fire-wise communities up here. A: Agree. They’re going to meet with our Wildfire ready group.
 
Q: Do any of you have time to be a member of our Rotary? A: That is something they would like to be part of. Once they get past November.
 
Q: When is chili cookoff? A: September 9th
 
Q: South metro pipe district is adjacent to Jefferson district. Does it make sense to merge with them? A: They have a different ISO rating. Also, they have different radio systems/infrastructure.
 
Q: As developers continue to build in the community, will they share the burdon of cost? A: The fire protection services have no control over land use; they have to provide service to everyone. But, they do work with developers to try and share costs, such as implement a Services Agreement with builders. Fire districts have no authority over growth, but they try to work with developers to have them pay their own way.
Updates and Announcements
 
In attendance:  Tim, Stan, Kimberly, Angela, Yvonne, Arturo, and Christy. 
  • Tim’s first meeting chairing the evening meeting.
  • Tim wants us to agree on starting and ending the meeting close to on time as these are Rotary International practices.  After discussion of how to accommodate our members who might be late coming to the meeting from work and other business, we agreed to start the meeting by around 5:35 unless someone calls and says they will be a few minutes late, then can wait a little longer. But the meeting will need to end on time so that persons who need to leave can leave. 
  • We unanimously voted to devote Happy Dollars to the Backpack project. We collected $13 which Angela will deposit.
  • Angela needs a PO key to collect the peach checks. Stan will check.
  • Tim:  Proposed that along with Happy Dollars, we can express if have too much going on, want to do more, or need help. He wants to integrate Compassionate Communications into the meetings. Everyone liked both ideas.
  • Many members requested more Rotary brochures by next in time for Elevation Celebration. Need 500 for Elevation Celebration, Coniferfest, Town Hall meetings. 
  • Yvonne and Diana cleaned out the shed. Will use the golf balls for MindFest marketing. We have tons of beer classes. 
  • Yvonne has two vendors and a speaker for MindFest: Reslilience and Peaceworks. Jim Halderman speaker on anger management.
  • Tim: Expressed need for better coordination for Bailey Days with Platte Canyon Council and Wildfire Ready people in Conifer and Evergreen. Others concurred.
  • Stan summarized the main points he made during his first morning meeting as President. See July 11 morning meeting minutes.
Updates & Announcements
 
Stan opened the meeting with several announcements:
  • Thanked everyone for the large in-person and on-line turnout, and for all the warmth and enthusiasm.
  • Happy dollars will go to Backpack Project for now.
  • We will have two members interview each other so we can get to know each other better.  We also will take time at some meetings for different members to brief on aspects of Rotary that perhaps is not familiar to many. 
  • Kristin is our webmaster; we have an Instagram account now thanks to Janine.
  • District governor Jim Johnson will visit Sept. 19.
  • He wants to promote peace education at schools, using the Compassionate Communications model. Need help to meet with school officials to discuss.  Maybe start with peace clubs in fall 2024. Ed suggested linking this with Rotary buddy benches at schools. A kid sits on it and friend comes and helps
  • Tim sent e-mail that on the CSU Wildfire Ready website, the Jefferson County link for local resources is Rotary Wildfire Ready.
  • Wes: For ConiferFest, we need sponsorships, more volunteers, etc.  We have three beer sponsors, margaritas. Sign-up genius will go up today or tomorrow.
  • Lee:  Peach sales are getting as many as two hits an hour.
  • Jonathan: We are setting up IRC training for the Afghan refugees.
  • Some people recommended Duolingo app to practice English.
  • Video from Gordon McInally, new RI president. Focus on mental health this year. Provide authentic care to each other. Ask “How are you really?”  His other main focus is Peace.
  • Charlotte: I sent an email to newest members to look at Rotary magazine story about McInally’s brother’s unfortunate demise due to depression. The issue also has stories of all the RI and Foundation officers.
  • Yvonne: Let’s switch from using the term “Mental Health and Wellness” to “Mental Wellness and Health.” The suggestion came from Dean.
  • Stan: In September, we will have a Visioning exercise with the whole club, but limited to 30 persons who can attend.  Later, Stan will talk more about mental wellness, peacebuilding, Rotary Action Group for Peace but I don’t want to ask you to do more than you are already doing or want to do.  Stan also will prioritize youth:  Youth projects  include RYLA, Interact. A Brazilian exchange student will be at Charles’ house. Jonathan is chairing our Public Image committee. Janine is doing Facebook page and Instagram. I want a new story on the webpage regularly placed high on the page. Maybe people will think it is an interesting page and support our fundraising. We can spotlight one member a week with a very short story and a photo.
  • Highlights of the Morning Meeting 
    • Visioning 
      • Date: Thursday, September 28th 
      • Who: 28-30 people can attend  
      • Location: TBD 
        • Angela will see if Our Lady of the Pines is open 
    • Training for People that want to Sponsor Refugees 
      • Date:  Monday, July 31st  
      • Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30  
      • Location: 1250 Bergen Parkway 
        • Information on club runner  
    • Conifer Fest 
      • We have more sponsors than last year 
      • Yvonne needs help with the children’s area of Conifer Fest 
    • Compassionate Communications Completed
      • When: Saturday, July 22nd  
      • It was well attended. 
  • Peaches 
    • Date: August 26th  
    • Time: Pick-up starts at 9:00 AM and will end around 4:00PM  
    • People who order online will be required to bring a receipt.  
    •  Volunteers are needed to move peaches on delivery day
      • 3 people needed per shift, 2 shifts  
    • Stanley will pass a volunteer sign up hardcopy around in the morning meeting.  
  • District Training Conference 
    • Date: September 30th, 2023 
    • Costs: 
      • The cost to attend will be reduced this year. 
      • 1st-time attendee cost is always cheaper. 
    • Location: Front Range Community College 
  • Operation Pollination 
    • Started in 2015, then in 2020 Rotary International decided it was a priority. 
    • It has lots of momentum on the East Coast  
    • Approved: All attending night members approved to sponsor this work and get more involved.  
  • Rotary Wildfire Ready 
    • Endorsed by CSU, Colorado State Forest Services, JeffCom 
    • Preferred partner for JeffCo 
  • Club Spending 
    • The whole club to make decisions on how to spend.  
    • Idea: Use funds to purchase shirts for new folks  
    • Idea: Sponsored Rotary membership for Olexander and Lena 
    • Idea: Discounted rotary fee for folks that don’t make as much money so that they are able to be members at a reduced rate  
 
Updates and Announcements
  • Bill T. Needs help soliciting donations at King Soopers on Tuesdays. He is giving our Rotary glasses to donors.
  • Our Exchange student is arriving August 8th! Any club members can join the welcoming group at the airport.
  • Stan has a new weekly award for the club. Finn wins the first weekly award for getting 4, $1000 sponsorships for ConiferFest!
  • Rotary magazine. Check out the July issue: https://my.rotary.org/en/news-media/magazines/rotary. There are a number of great articles: from our RI President- mental wellness; Freedom in Ukraine; Polio vaccinations; Membership - create the club you crave.
  • Wes. We need help with ConiferFest sign-ups. Right now, he is organizing a group to prepare the ConiferFest site, 9AM Saturday August 5th. Go to Sign-up Genius at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4ea4af22abfa7-coniferfest1#/.
  • Suzanne. She has posters for ConiferFest; there are articles in the newspapers – Canyon Courier.
  • Marlis. Sponsors for ConiferFest; we now have more sponsor money than last year, but still need more. This is for our Foundation. Please continue to solicit sponsorships. Our website has links for vendor and sponsor contracts.
  • Yvonne. She needs help with the children’s area at ConiferFest. Contact her directly.
  • Yvonne. Aug 3rd social at Aspen Peak cellars, RSVP to her by August 1st.
  • Conifer’s Elevation Celebration is this weekend, https://elevationcelebration.goconifer.com/. They need volunteer help, sign up here: https://elevationcelebration.goconifer.com/volunteer.
  • Evergreen’s Center for the Arts Summerfest is also this weekend, https://evergreenarts.org/summerfest-2023/. Help is still needed, go to Sign-up Genius at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4cafaa22a5f9ce9-2023#/.
  • Charlotte. Next week’s program: Rotary Endowed Fellowship for Pediatric Mental Health, with our District Governor Elect, Tamara Fennell, also Shrin Murthy and Debby Doig from Highlands Ranch Rotary. They met with our MindFest group 2 weeks ago and are giving us full support. They will be sharing about the mental health support of their Club and many others. Also, the support provided by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center for children's mental wellness
  • Jonathan. Refugee training next week: Monday July 31, 9:00AM-12:30PM at his office. Address: 1250 Bergen Parkway, Suite 8220, Evergreen. If you can join, please RSVP to Jonathan 303-887-6089, director@ramseypro.com.
 
Meeting program
Combating Child Slavery, Dr. Jeff Brodsky, Founder and President of Joy International
 
Dr Jeff joined us today for a return visit to talk more about his organization, Joy International (https://joy.org) and their tireless effort to save children from slavery. His story is best told on his website: “JOY International® has built key strategic relationships and works diligently to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children while helping to provide those who are rescued, a renewed hope and JOY for living through approved Safe Houses.”
 
Some highlights from his talk, sanitized because the stories he told were graphic and very upsetting:
  • Joy International has been active since 1981 with Dr. Jeff leading the charge.
  • He has been barefoot since July 2010, an acknowledgement of the plight of children around the world living in squalor with so little that they have no shoes.
  • His world headquarters is right here in Conifer and he encourages visits.
  • His interest and devotion to this lifetime effort was first inspired by a visit with Mother Teresa in 1979.
  • Having worked undercover himself, he has seen it all, first hand.
  • His organization has rescued children as young as 4 years old from brothels around the world. The average age is 12-13 years old. They live a life of vile servitude until they are no longer desirable and then thrown into the streets. He said their average lifespan is 5 to 7 years.
  • He said that statistics show that slavery is the fastest growing crime in America. Estimates are that in our own country, there are 200,000 to 300,000 children up to age 18, living in slavery.
  • That number is inconceivably greater worldwide: 49.6 million slaves in the world today.
  • His organization is dedicated to not only rescuing children from this life, but also preventing it. They are very active worldwide, training law enforcement to identify and bring slave traders to justice
  • He challenges all Rotary clubs to raise money for Joy International and their cause.
 
Guests
Jeff Lewallen, Olexander from our Ukraine refugee family, and Dr. Jeff Brodsky.
Meeting Events
 
  • Four Way Test
  • Happy Dollars
  • Update on Bailey Day Event
    • Fire Ready and the fire truck were present
  • Elevation Celebration
    • Notes:
      • Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce (not hosted by Rotary Club)
      • We used to have a table there, but we don’t have one anymore
      • Some Rotary folks volunteer 
  • Conifer Fest
    • Date: August 12th
    • Stan got some more sponsors during the Bailey Day Event
  • Gifts
    • Angela gave out some gifts from last weekend
    • Yvonne - apron
    • Art - hat
  • Board
    • Meets 1x monthly
    • The person chairing the evening club is on the board
    • Anyone can attend, but only certain folks get to vote
  • Evening Meeting Governance
    • Action: Tim will map out some ideas about how we will host Wednesday Meetings and bring it to the next meeting
    • Action: Group let Tim know if they have ideas about standing agenda items
      • E.g. Peaches, timing of meetings, etc.
      • E.g. Folks emailing Tim when they have items
  • Peaches
    • The Peaches blast will go out before Friday
    • $ Helps local groups
  • Evening Meeting Group
    • Group Vote: Voted in Tim as the Chair of the Evening Group for the next year
  • Happy Dollars
  • Group Vote: Voted to have Happy Dollars go to the 285 Backpack Project
Updates and Announcements
 
  • Valerie Pollitt from Elk Creek Elementary School joined us for the meeting.
  • Peace education: Stan and the peace group are planning to do something at the new peace park. Compassionate communications may be introduced to the schools. Stan thanked everyone who helped at the park dedication. Many people who are not part of Rotary helped too.
  • Rotary Club of Conifer Peace Park held its grand opening and blessing ceremony on June 11, with songs, poetry and messages of peace.  Funded by Conifer Rotary with a matching Rotary District 5450 grant, the communities of Conifer, and neighboring Pine Junction and Bailey, were deeply involved in the Peace Park’s creation. “Peace is the absence of want,” District 5450 Governor Nnabuchi “Buchi” Anikpezie said to the audience of over 80 Rotarians and members of the community who braved heavy rains to attend the ceremony, adding that Rotarians look at the root causes of peace. Incoming District Governor Jim Johnston remarked, “Peace is a cornerstone of Rotary’s mission.” Stanley Harsha, the Conifer Rotary incoming President, said he hopes the Peace Park can be a place for peace education for local school children.
Upcoming Events
 
  • We need volunteers for wildfire education at Bailey Days, Elevation Celebration and ConiferFest. Please think of people outside Rotary as well. There are people with interest in this in the community that we can recruit.
 
Meeting program
Seeding Hope, Charly Frisk, Yale School of the Environment
charly.frisk@yale.edu; 303-653-6295; @charlyfrisky
 
OVERVIEW:
 
Charly Frisk is originally from Colorado, and grew up among the Rockies, where she learned to have a deep care and appreciation for the planet. In 2021, she graduated from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Peace Studies. After, she attended Yale School of Environment, where she focused on storytelling within the climate movement. A few weeks ago, she graduated with a Masters of Environmental Management, and will be working with a few communications networks on climate remotely as she spends her summer in Denmark. She is Finn Knudsen’s granddaughter. She did young RYLA, RYLA and then was a counselor for young RYLA.
 
Charly said she wants to create cultures that help justice. She studied in Nordic countries, and visited urban farms and seed saving facilities trying to protect biological and cultural diversity.
 
Bombing in Syria hit a major seed bank there.
 
She visited the arctic Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and visited the seed vault there, which contains more than a million seed varieties from all over the world. It is built into a mountain.
 
She said we are losing seed diversity at an alarming rate and have lost 75% of seed diversity.
 
We need diverse seeds in the ground and younger farmers. We need to revitalize the food tradition and culture.
 
Evergreen Community Garden has free seed exchange in the spring. In Broomfield, there is a seed bank where you can get five varieties every year.
 
In planting seeds, there is an aspect of hope. You can plant heirloom seed in your home or garden planter.
 
Q&A:
 
Q: What about genetically engineered seed from Monsanto, which farmers are not allowed to replant?
A: I met a woman in Denmark who had a terrific garden including many varieties of peas. In Denmark and other countries in Europe, it was illegal to trade seeds even among friends, because Monsanto lobbied for these laws. Some ladies got the law overturned.
 
Q: What about natural selection? Over centuries, Peru grew potatoes at successively higher altitudes, now at 14,000 feet. Don’t you lose that development in a seed in a seed vault?
A: People select for drought tolerance, pest tolerance, and other things. That is a risk of the seed vault, because you are taking the seed out of their natural environment where they would evolve.  Look for non-GMO seeds. Seed from a community-based event may be far better than seed you buy.
 
Q: How much of the produce we buy is coming from a Monsanto seed? Versus a more natural seed?
A: I don’t know. We don’t have access to that information as consumers. So going to a farmers market is a way to address that.
 
Q: How do you know if heirloom seeds are native to that location? How does that impact native seed?
A: Be sure you are not buying invasive species. Colorado is one of the states best at identifying invasive species.
 
Q: How do you balance need for diversity versus the need for high yield for food?
A: That is a tough issue and a systemic problem. For example, Monsanto sent seeds to Haiti after a disaster and now people in Haiti are stuck with produce where they can’t collect and use their own seed.
 

 
Meeting Events
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • 4 Way Test 
  • Happy Dollars! 
  • ConiferFest 
    • Stan. Right now, ConiferFest doesn’t have enough of the sponsors they need for the event. 
  • Bike Park 
    • Stan. During the morning meeting, they had a presentation from the Bike Park sponsors.  
  • Mindfest 
    • Bridget. Provided updates on the purpose, date, location etc.  
  • Vision: 
    • Stan. Will develop survey monkey to solicit input from the club to help set up a future vision exercise.  
  • Peaches: 
    • Angela. Peaches will cost $40 beforehand, will cost $45 the day of.  
  • Action Item: Send budget input items to Stan.  
    • BCB. Send $ projections to Stan for Mindfest.  
Updates and Announcements
 
  • Jonathan Ramsay asked that everyone interested in helping a refugee family fill out the survey.
  • Marlys said we have $4800 in sponsorships for ConiferFest. That’s about half of what we need to pay for the show, so please help find sponsors.
  • Janine said Charles is hosting an exchange student from Brazil. She also found another host family for several months and needs a third.
 
 
Meeting program
The planned Shadow Mountain Bike Park, Phil Bouchard
 
OVERVIEW:
The state has more than 6,000 bike trails. He and his partner came to realize that a chairlift-access park would be unlike anything at ski areas. They seek to fill a void for Colorado’s mountain bike community.
 
This idea started as a concept 3 years ago. During the first years, we had so many unknowns. Recently, we applied to Jefferson County for a special use permit. It is 500 pages long. We are super thankful to organizations like yours who let us come in and explain the project.
 
We plan an engineered, directional trail system with a visitor’s center and a low-impact electric chairlift. We come from a tiny town that had a bike park, not unlike Staunton or Flying J. It will be professionally managed. That should reduce overcrowding on public trails. We bike in this area now. There are many more hikers and bikers on our trails. Jeffco lacks a dedicated mountain bike spot. We plan 16 miles of trail, 6-15 feet wide, not like a wide ski trail. It will have 830 feet of elevation change. The chairlift will be electric-drive and the noise level will be 70 decibels inside building, like a washing machine.
 
There’s a meadow, but only one section of the meadow is affected. The Stop the Bike Park sign is not on our property.  There’s a wetland we want to protect. There is a fence now, for a cattle ranch.
 
Q: Jeffco often requires ponds for wildfire firefighting; she asked if Jeffco is requiring one from them.
A: They haven’t mentioned it.
 
The State Land Board owns the 300-acre site. They generate money for their trust. They buy, sell and lease land. They do a lot of extraction and oil and gas. They were struggling with what to do with this property. Colorado State Land Trust wants it to generate money. They’ve put $17 million into Jeffco schools over the years, via revenue from leases like ours or selling land. That’s how the land trust and we got together. They were looking for something to do with this 300 acres.
 
Q: Is this a fit?
A: They think it is a conforming use. It is one mile as the crow flies from Staunton State Park and Flying J Open Space nearly touches it. There are state land trust parcels in Staunton.  They will mitigate the entire 300 acres for wildfire. Bicyclists are not known as a fire risk. The site has had no mitigation, and it is a disaster right now.
 
We plan no bar, no restaurant. Initially, there was a bar, but we dropped it when the community didn’t like it. There are lots of existing businesses who can sell to the bikers. Thousands of bikers come to this community every year and pay nothing.
 
Regarding traffic: We plan to manage visitation by managing parking. No more than 300 cars will be allowed. We project under 50 percent capacity on weekdays.
 
Vehicles on the road number about 2600 a day now; we expect to add 15%. We proposed roadway improvements to the county. We are willing to pay for this.  We are closed in the winter or for unseasonable weather.
 
Regarding emergency medical services: We will have our own EMS center. We will need local help from the fire department only if a person needs transportation to a hospital. We expect the park to add .12% to incidents.
 
In response to concerns that the bike park will pay no taxes, he said that Jeffco can impose a fee of up to 28% of lease payments. If we were paying $500,000 to the state land board in lease payments, we would pay $125,000 to Jeffco. (He didn’t say the actual amounts, or how much the fire department would receive.)
 
I am least concerned about big game. I worked a bit at the Evergreen Golf Course and used large mowing machines. There are lots of people, and lots of elk. It is a safe place for the elk. I am more concerned about managing the riders AND the elk, not driving away the elk.
 
Q: What if we need to evacuate for a wildfire that starts close by while the park is open?
A: The park won’t open for the day if there is fire nearby. If a fire starts during the day, bikers won’t be packing up a home, just putting a bike on car and get going. In the worst case, we believe it could increase evacuation time by 15 minutes.
 
We expect to use 500,000 gallons of water per year from a commercial well. A home uses 100,000 gallons per year. (Note: This includes outside watering.) We will have a commercial septic system.
 
Hours will be 9:30 or 10 to 6 or 6:30.
 
Q: How do you keep people from illegally accessing the park?
A: The parking reservation system will help. You can put up fences and a ton of signs. I think we will be digitally managing the boundaries. We’ll know if somebody crosses the boundary, and our staff will deal with that by limiting the pass. There will be no road access from the top of the mountain. I don’t think anyone will see the top of the chairlift from their house.
 
Staunton State Park has 270,000 visitors a year and it is open 24 hours a day. We may have 50,000 visitors a year.
 
That property is worth $20 million. It won’t stay in its current state.
Updates and Announcements
 
  • Club Service positions available:
    • Sergeant-at-Arms for June & July - Join the fun at the Tuesday morning meeting by welcoming members!!
    • WebMaster - If you would like to be the webmaster, please email Diana P. for information.
  • Diana: MRC is offering day camp in June, so rotary can’t meet in its current location that month. We need suggestions for alternate locations for June.
  • Stan: Provided update on International Peace Conference: Rotary sponsors about 100 master’s degree fellowships for peace fellows at universities around the world. He’ll send an email with details. Dr. Bernice King and Jennifer Jones spoke.
  • Charlotte: Thank you to everyone who helped at the Health Fair on Saturday. She provided an update on the logistics and outcomes of the event. There were approximately 160 attendees. Next year’s location may be Elk Creek Elementary
  • Ann: Ann and Tim need volunteers for Rotary Wildfire Ready for three events this summer in Conifer and Bailey.
 
Upcoming Events
  • Rotary Social - May 20 is a social at Tim’s house from 4-8 p.m. Bring Italian food to share and donations for Backpack Project in honor of Yvonne’s birthday.
  • Bailey Days - June 24 and 25; Tim is in charge.
  • Conifer Elevation Celebration - July 29 and 30; Tim is in charge.
  • ConiferFest - Aug. 12; Ann is in charge of volunteers; please contact Ann or Tim to help.
  • Wildfire Training - If you need information about wildfire or want training, there are two events coming up:
    • May 23 at Evergreen High School at 6 p.m., there will be a wildfire forum and questions will be answered.
    • June 3 at 9 a.m. at Evergreen Fire on Bergen parkway, Jess Moore will explain defensible space and home hardening.
 
Meeting program
 
Mental Health First Aid Services, Sara Bass of Jefferson Center for Mental Health
 
OVERVIEW:
We are a nonprofit covering Gilpin, Clear Creek and Jeffco counties, 23 locations, office or school based. We serve anyone and everyone. Also have mobile kiosks and crisis response.
Mental health first aid: Teaches community members to identify and react. Training options include 8 hour all day sessions, which is an internationally recognized certification. Includes 2 hours of pre-work at home. We get grants so it is free to the community; offered monthly. There is a 15-person minimum for a private course. Mostly virtual now. It’s very skills-based. It is quite useful.
Also offer community trainings 1-1.5 hours; topics include de-escalation, trauma care.
Online information at Jefferson County Mental Health First Aid Training link: https://www.jcmh.org/mental-health-first-aid
 
Q&A:
Q: How do I know the mobile clinic is coming?
A: Usually find out from school or office clinician or doctor.
 
Q: What services do you offer?
A: Medication management and therapy, counseling. Preventative care through community engagement etc.
 
Q: There are lots of people who don’t have a physician. How do you reach those communities, for people who don’t get referrals, and don’t have insurance?
A: We are not for the private sector mostly. We are partnered with hundreds of organizations including Mountain Resource Center. Our navigation team will explore funding for people with no insurance, no Medicaid, etc. Rarely do we have someone who doesn’t get enrolled using Medicaid or something.
 
Q: Who pays?
A: Several huge fund-raising events and grant funding. 60% of our patients are on Medicaid.
 
Q: What are the biggest challenges? For example, a mentally ill New York man was killed in the subway.  It sounds like this training is one of the solutions.
A: Yes. There is a lot of fear in interacting with persons with mental health issues, and a lot of fear of asking for help. The average age for first aid trainings is 22-30; other programs skew older.
After the pandemic: People are really reactive. People want language for how to handle escalated situations.
We partner with Red Rocks Community College.
The training talks about how to have the person call us. The person may be suicidal.
Comment from audience: I have taken mental health training. You might see someone flaring out, and not know what to do. It will help you recognize the symptoms before the flaring out. It is really good program, the equivalent of stopping the bleeding.
 
Q: How do you help people cope with normal life? 
A: I think that is therapy at its finest.
 
Q: What do you think of this name for our mental health fair in February? “Mindfest: Living your best life.”
A: Members really liked that name.
Updates and Announcements
  • We still need sponsors for ConiferFest, at various levels. FirstBank is in.  5280 is a presenting sponsor. CORE is in.
 
Meeting program
Domestic Violence, Kelly Andrews, Therapist
 
Kelly Andrews is a therapist in private practice in Evergreen, specializing in women’s issues, including domestic violence, eating disorders, and social anxieties.
 
Kelly: One in three women will experience domestic violence. It affects the nervous system, like flight or fight. It makes a person need to be on the lookout for threats; it affects mental health. It damages relationships because the person who is supposed to love us and care for us is putting us in danger. This can affect relationships lifelong.
 
Once violence has been introduced into a relationship, it’s always there even if it is not actively happening. A person ends up expecting violence and flinching even without anything new happening.
  1. Intimidation: throwing things, banging things, abusing pets.
  2. Emotional abuse: Name-calling, putting her down, wearing down over time.
  3. Isolation: Often people don’t realize it is happening. Like putting a frog in a pot of water and gradually increasing the heat, and the frog doesn’t notice until it’s damaging.
  4. Denial: The perpetrator denies that the incident happened and makes a person forget their own worth. It’s gaslighting, meant to make the woman feel that “My reality is not right, because so often I’m told I am wrong.” It feels like one is going crazy. Then police come and don’t believe the woman, because the man is confident and convincing, and the woman isn’t sure what really happened. This can take a long time to come back from. It takes years to rebuild the feeling that, “I am valid.”
  5. Using the children.
  6. Blaming: It’s your fault.
  7. Economic abuse: This is things like being forced to work and hand over the paycheck. Or not being allowed to work.
  8. Male privilege. This is based on history. Men legally owned their wives, had a duty to punish the wife. It’s the woman against these systems. Not all men are violent. A man can make changes and be a huge help to our society.
  9. Coercion and threats.
Put yourself in these shoes. Imagine constantly living in this, and the depression and PTSD that results.
 
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:
Self-actualization (creativity etc. Not reached by all.)
Self-esteem
Connection
Safety needs
Physiological Needs
 
The woman may not be able to sleep due to being alert, afraid. Maybe she is not allowed to eat certain foods or forced to be on a certain diet.
 
People don’t understand: Why don’t people suffering this just leave? That may mean giving up housing, money for kids, basic needs. If there are ongoing concussions or oxygen deprivation from choking, that can cause disorientation, mental fog. This impedes people from getting help. Perpetrator can be calm, and victim is labeled as crazy or hysteric. Women used to get institutionalized for being hysterical. It may be the result of traumatic brain injury. It’s hard to get out.
 
Women are seven times more likely to die when they are leaving a relationship. My safety plans are three pages long.
 
If a woman hits back, she worries that she is escalating the abuse, or that she had a role. Women internalize this.
 
Be aware that this is going on in our society; and how hard it is to ask for help. Don’t say, “You should leave.” Because it has to be her choice.
 
Ask, “What do you need from me?” Do you want to leave a go-bag at my house?
 
Contact info: kelly@sunhearted.com
 
Dean: This is symptomatic of our society undervaluing women. Doctors telling women you are not having a heart attack, you’re just hysterical, go bowling. How much of this is part of undervaluing people?
Kelly: Yes, it’s absolutely tied together. Women may be stigmatized for having too many emotions, and men are being stigmatized for the opposite.
 
Q: I have a friend with a 2-year-old, and she is still parenting with this person, and expressed concern about what’s happening to the 2-year-old. What are the courts doing in this type of situation?
A: Mom may feel like the child is less safe because she is not there to protect the child. Courts sometimes make the wrong decision. This happens to a lot of women, and it is a huge problem.
 
Stan: There are also kids with both parents who are abusive. It seems like there is nothing in the system to help. It seems like the foster care system is a problem.  Do other societies do better?
A: Often there is a controlling abuser, and the other person lashes back. We live in a more individualistic society; others may have more services.
 
Ann: I had a friend who left an abuser before I met her. Her father had abused her, and she grew up thinking this was normal, and married an abuser.
A: If the nervous system is constantly feeling threatened, it can’t unwind. The nervous system is no longer able to distinguish that one is no longer under threat. That’s why a soldier with PTSD might be panicking in a supermarket.
 
Suzanne: We do now have an interim director for Peaceworks, the domestic violence shelter. Apparently, a lot of things have broken down since it was shut down.
Kelly: It’s great that they take pets. That’s often an obstacle to leaving.                  
Suzanne: We built the pens.
 
Diana: I have been in victim services.   A victim advocate can make all the difference, so victims do not focus on the danger.
Kelly: It’s important to have a victim’s advocate go out on those calls. Women can think they’re not worth anything. But there may be a small light of resistance to that idea. The perpetrator can be very charming. Three women a day die from domestic violence.
 
Club Meetings
 
Morning - Are held every Tuesday, 8:00 AM at the Mountain Resource Center on Kitty Drive.
Evening - The next evening meeting will be Wednesday, May 18th at 5:30 PM at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Conifer.
 
Announcements
  • We are looking for sponsors for ConiferFest. This funds our grants. Please look for sponsors, and then run them through Marlys and/or Janine. Website is ConiferFest.com.
  • Club Service positions available:
    • Sergeant-at-Arms for June & July - Join the fun at the Tuesday morning meeting by welcome members!!
    • WebMaster - If you would like to be the webmaster, please email Diana P. for information.
  • Mental health and wellness far - Bridget and Yvonne spoke about a plan for a mental health and wellness fair. We want to demystify, de-stigmatize and normalize mental health care.  We’re thinking of everything from aromatherapy and creative journaling, yoga, meditation, therapy dogs. We’ll also have organizations that have resources for mental health, such as Resilience 12-20, Mount Evans hospice, Mountain Resource Center, and a pharmacist to explain drugs. We can have a neuropsych physician to explain how to break a nervous habit, and mental health first aid.
    It will be on Feb. 17, 2024, at Our Lady of the Pines, from 10 to 4. We will finalize the grant application and in mid-May we will do vendor outreach.
    Topics include: “I matter,” and “It’s ok not to be ok.” It will be aimed at adults and youth, LGBTQ, vets.
    Ann suggested a stop smoking unit and an introduction to non-violent communications, but to call it “How to get along with people who disagree with you.” Another title could be “How to cheer yourself up,” instead of “Depression.”
    More suggestions were: Second Wind, UC Health, whole person health, Mind-Body-Spirit connection, love yourself for Valentine’s Day, child psychologist, equine therapy, and pet a puppy. Marketing is essential.
    Diana: Contact Bridget and Yvonne through email through Clubrunner.
 
Upcoming Socials - All are welcome!
 
  • May Italian Potluck Social hosted by Tim Berg on May 20 4-8pm.
 
Guests
Welcome back Carrie L.
 
Upcoming Events
 
Rotary International Conference - May 27-31, 2023 Melbourne, Australia
 
Coniferfest - August 12, 2023 In the event field behind Our Lady of the Pine.
 
Program Rotary Tuesday AM 4.25.23 - Wyatt Yates, Beaver Ranch Community Park
 
Morti: Welcome Wyatt Yates, who is here to speak about the Beaver Ranch community park. He was a CPA, then worked for a private equity firm. He is president of the board of the non-profit that runs the 450-acre Beaver Ranch Park.
 
Wyatt Yates: Beaver Ranch Park is jointly managed by us and Jeffco Open Space. We have worked on a master plan. The park is funded by the disc golf company and the zip line operator and rentals for events like weddings.
 
In the Conifer Area Council survey, people asked for a playground. There is a small one now, with not much shade. The school district told us there are 500 students with physical or mental or behavioral disabilities within a 5-mile radius.
 
Our vision is a new playground, three times as large, accessible to all. There will be little cubbies, places to roll a wheelchair around or usable with crutches.
We did lots of outreach and now have some designs on the website. Now we are on step two, fundraising. The county is supportive, but it can’t allocate dollars from the budget for playground. Our designs cost $600,000 to $1 million. We’ve applied for some grants. This project checks a lot of boxes for funders. We are working with a fundraiser.
We can incorporate shade with the playground structures.
 
County is selecting a design/build contractor for the overall project at the park. The event area will become a parking lot, with the trailhead near the front. The project will improve access and pave the roads. It places most of the parking near the entrance. There will be a road to the dog park and Tipi Lodge, but with limited access. Disc golf will get a new pro shop.
 
We will apply for over $5 million in grants. Jeffco is helping us with grants. Please email us suggestions. Please spread the word.
Jeffco received $1.1 million from the sale of the Broncos, to be used for youth activities. Jeffco is still finalizing the program; and we have contacted them. Also looking at a recreation grant from Covid relief dollars, and Conservation Trust Funds.
 
Q: Will there be an adult exercise section?
Wyatt: Most playgrounds are set up for a certain age, but we want to incorporate features for teens and adults. We will include STEM items, such as interactive items to touch and feel. It won’t be just traditional play structures, because we have the room. We will have swings for parent and toddler facing each other; and merry-go-rounds at wheelchair height, set up so kids can face the other kids.
 
Janine: San Jose Rotary built a park that’s incredible.
Wyatt: Our timeline calls for completion about 2025, maybe 2024. Rubberized surfacing has to be installed during the summer. The actual playground only takes a month to build. There will be two shaded structures.
 
Q: Security?
Wyatt: Two maintenance people and a park director are on site most days. The county has rangers who come in. There also is a ranger at Reynolds Park who comes up quite a bit.
We now get 90,000 visitors a year. About 17% use the playground. We expect that to double. We will use a certified playground installer because there are requirements for fall heights, spacing etc. There could be a 15-year warranty on equipment from the manufacturer.
 
The lodge needs work, like an ADA bathroom. That’s on hold until we do the playground.
I took a year and a half off with Covid, saw my family and realized I needed to make a change. I took my daughter on her first back-packing trip at age 4 and she went 15 miles the first day. I started my own business called Rugged Financial, which does outsourced accounting for companies. His wife is a professional runner, and her company is called Rugged Running.
 
Charlotte commented that she has a family wedding due this summer at the park and she loves the space.
 
Wyatt: It’s one of the most accessible mountain parks in the whole country. Disc golf course is the 11th best in the world. We are thinking we could do a short disc golf course where the current dog park is, so it could be wheelchair accessible.
Janine: We helped get track chairs for Staunton State Park.