Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, February 18, 2020

New Member Inducation:  Gil Gulbrandson

  • The Evergreen Mardi Gras party is this Friday.  Advance tickets available on on the Evergreen Rotary website
  • Mountain Foothills Rotary has the Ice Melt fund-raiser in process.  Tickets are available in many businesses in the area.  
  • Area 8 (five mountain Rotary Clubs) Social will be Wednesday, April 8 at El Rancho.  Dinner is $25; cash bar with happy hour prices.  It is a great time to get to meet and socialize with folks from our sister clubs.  Contact Leslie to make a reservation, pay by check made to Conifer Rotary.
  • The Conifer Town Hall Meeting:  7pm Wednesday, February 19 at West Jefferson Middle School.  Our new fire chief, Jacob Ware, will be introduced and some of our elected officials will be speaking.
  • St. Patrick's Day Dinner Fundraiser
    • Save the date, Saturday, March 14, at Beaver Ranch.  This is a major fundraiser for our club so please plan to help.  We will send an online volunteer signup to everyone via Sign-up Genius.
    • Some of the work that is supporting this effort:  Dean will pick up the posters and tickets.  After the event we will need to set up tables and clean up to prepare for the VFW breakfast on Sunday. Yvonne will send Tom the menu to plan prep work.  We can set up the room Friday night.  Our decorations are in the shed and will need to be transported to Beaver Ranch—Pat will coordinate.  Pat will order soda bread.  Angela is in charge of the silent auction—she needs the items identified by this Friday; she is creating the program, which will include all the information about the event.  Finn has taken care of dessert; we will need someone to pick up the dessert.  We anticipate help from our Interact Club thanks to Suzanne and we will acknowledge them on the program.  Tickets will be perforated so that we can account for numbers; Yvonne has ordered. The dinner will be $30 for adults and children up to 12 years old $15.  
  • Home and Garden Show
    • Save the dates April 3-5 at Conifer High School.  Janine reports that we have 60 booths of 85 filled, including 10 non-profits.  We have some new businesses as well as returning businesses.  Chamber members get a discount, which has helped attendance.  Our title sponsor is Chuck Riddings, State Farm Insurance.  There will be a focus on Fire Mitigation/Firewise programs.  Tom is working with facilities at Conifer HS.   
    • For attendees we will have $5 tickets to give away or sell; or folks can bring food items (pudding, granola bars) for back packs and the MRC food pantry.  We have seminars filled for both days.  For volunteer help, Janine has a paper sign up, and there will be a Sign-up Genius.  Pat will be in charge of getting signage out in Conifer/Bailey; a volunteer from Evergreen Rotary will do Evergreen.
Program:  Planning the Summer Music Festival
Wes Paxton
Saturday, August 15, 10 am-8pm, at the Beaver Ranch soccer field and surrounding areas.  This is a fundraiser for the Conifer Rotary Foundation.  The profits will be allocated to the Foothill Forest Fire Mitigation grant Program, the 285 Back Pack Project, for graduating high school student scholarships, and for RYLA awardees.
  • Community Celebration and Conifer Rotary Foundation Fundraiser
  • Beaver Ranch Park
    • Soccer Field and Surrounding Areas
  • Community Causes:
    • Foothill Forest Fire Mitigation
    • Grant Program
      • 285 Backpack Program
      • Conifer Foundation Grants and
    • Scholarships
  • Logistics Committee:
    • Dean, Cathy, Mark, Tom and Wes
    • Beaver Ranch Board Approval
      • Soccer Field Layout for Stage, Beer Sponsors, and Vendors
    • Parking: Denver Mountain Parks Issues with Usage
    • Safety and Security:
      • Jeffco Sheriff's Office — Reserve in July
      • Elk Creek Fire Request Volunteer EMS and Firefighters
    • Liquor License: 60 Day Application Due by June 1 5th
  • Sponsorship:
    • Diana, Leonor, Dean, Tom and Wes
    • Tiered Sponsorship:
      • Top
      • Middle
      • Friends of the Conifer Rotary Foundation
    • Beer Sponsorship: Finn
  • Music:
    • Suzanne and Tom
    • Nashville Up and Coming Artist
    • Signature Band
    • Local Artists
  • Marketing:
    • Lee and Leonor
  • Vendors and Food:
    • Janine, Suzanne, Diana, and Tom
  • Transportation:
    • Pat and Nancy
  • Facilities:
    • Leslie and Charlotte
  • What's next?
    • Monthly Meetings
    • Sub-Committee Meetings
    • Timeline
    • Signed Contracts and Agreements
Guest:  Salesa Hancock
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, February 18, 2020 Charlotte Wytias 2020-02-18 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer, Meeting, January 28, 2020

  • District Conference: April 24 & 25 at the Westin Hotel - Westminster, 10600 Westminster Blvd.  The District needs volunteers to help, contact Finn.  Save the date information on the District 5450 website or just click HERE.
  • Evergreen has their annual Mardi Gras dinner February 21.  Tickets are available on their website.  This is a major fund-raiser for their Club.
  • Area 8 (five mountain Rotary Clubs) Social will be Wednesday, April 8 at El Rancho.  Dinner is $25;  Cash bar with happy hour prices.  It is a great time to get to meet and socialize with folks from our sister clubs.  Contact Leslie to make a reservation, pay by check made to Conifer Rotary.
  • District Governor nominations are open and members can provide input.  Contact Dean or Finn.
  • The Rotary Leadership Institute is this weekend, February 1st.   The Club pays the fee, this training is very helpful in understanding all aspects of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8th is the Rotary Polio dinner and fund-raiser and the speaker is John Hewko, CEO of Rotary International.  Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
Dean McCall, Club President
Notes emailed to club members.
Rotary Club of Conifer, Meeting, January 28, 2020 Charlotte Wytias 2020-01-28 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, January 21, 2020

  • District Conference: April 24 & 25 at the Westin Hotel - Westminster, 10600 Westminster Blvd.  The District needs volunteers to help, contact Finn.  Save the date information on the District 5450 website or just click HERE.
  • Evergreen is doing their annual Mardi Gras February 21.  Tickets are available on their website.  This is a major fund-raiser for their Club.
  • Area 8 (five mountain Rotary Clubs) Social will be Wednesday, April 8 at El Rancho.  Dinner is $25;  Cash bar with happy hour prices.  It is a great time to get to meet and socialize with folks from our sister clubs.  Contact Leslie to make a reservation, pay by check made to Conifer Rotary. 
  • District Governor nominations are open and members can provide input.  Contact Dean or Finn.
  • The Rotary Leadership Institute is February 1st.  It is three sessions and the Club pays the fee.  This training is very helpful in understanding all aspects of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8th is the Rotary Polio dinner and fund-raiser and the speaker is John Hewko, CEO of Rotary International.  Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
Guests:  Salesa Hancock
Program: Scott Brown, from Golden Rotary Club
Behavioral Investing:  The Surprising Necessity of Biases
Our awareness of our biases can help us: to deal with positive and negative aspects of our life.  Being aware is not difficult, but it can be life-changing. Bias are short-cuts, a function of the right-brain, to get to answers more quickly.
Scott talked about right/left brain functions and used “Rain Man” as an example of two brothers who used the two different sides of the brain.  He brought up the CNN/Fox News as an example of bias that he explained that their biases are not what we “think”.
Over-confidence bias, planning bias, availability bias, illusion of control are all documented biases. There are over 200 biases that have been studied.
Most people are OVER confident of their financial status—and are wrong.  A negative financial shock increases mortality by 50%!  STRESSFUL!
Bias can be good:  it can save your life.
Bias can be disastrous:  Immediacy bias can cause major mistakes.  The Tenerife air disaster in March 1977 that killed 583 people is a good example.
Here are Scott's slides from his presentation:
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, January 21, 2020 Charlotte Wytias 2020-01-21 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, January 14, 2020

  • President Dean attended the mid-year Presidents’ meetings Saturday.  He felt that our Club was on the leading edge in membership development as well as productivity and lots of fun.  
  • The Rotary Leadership Institute is February 1st.  It is three sessions and the Club pays the fee.  This training is very helpful in understanding all aspects of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8th is the Rotary Polio dinner and fund-raiser and the speaker is John Hewko, CEO of Rotary International.  Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
  • The second annual District 5450 Area 8 gathering will be held April 8, 2020, 5:30-8:30pm, at El Rancho.  The cost of the dinner will be $25. This is a great opportunity to meet Rotarians from the other Mountain Area-8 Clubs and do some great socializing.
  • Janine is directing this year's Foothills Home and Garden and Lifestyle Show, and she has us off to a great start.  30 booths out of 80 are already sold.  It will be April 4th and 5th at Conifer High School.  Janine needs help getting sponsors; they get many extras, including a free ad in the Canyon Courier brochure that goes to 15,000 homes in the area.  A $100 booth discount is available for local vendors by registering online and adding one of the 3 Chambers (Evergreen, Conifer or Platte Canyon) as the promotion code.
  • St. Patty’s Day Dinner Fundraiser planning is under way.  It will be held at Beaver Ranch, Saturday March 14th.  Please be thinking about the silent auction items.  Reach out to folks you know to get donations. 
  • Peggy Halderman sent information about sewing projects by Crafters for America for the animal victims of the fires in Australia.  Contact Yvonne or go to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild Facebook page at
Program: The Holiday White Elephant Gift Exchange, Frivolity and Fun for All!
New Member Inducted!  Our Sincere Welcome
Dual Schneider, Estate Lawyer
Guests: Jenny Durr and Anson Thompson, The Thompson Group.  Jenny and Anson are transplants from Indiana, lived for a while in Denver and moved to Conifer.  Anson was a member of the Denver MileHigh Rotary.
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, January 14, 2020 Charlotte Wytias 2020-01-14 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, January 7, 2020

  • Thanks to Marlis and Steve for hosting the Club Holiday party last Saturday. 
  • We are collecting The Rotarian Magazines, placing stickers over addresses and placing them in community offices.  Please bring your Rotary Magazines to club meetings after reading them. 
  • The Rotary Grants Seminar is this coming Saturday in Golden.  The application is on the District 5450 website.
  • The Rotary Leadership Institute is February 1st.  It is three sessions and the Club pays the fee.  This training is very helpful in understanding all aspects of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8th is the Rotary Polio dinner and fund-raiser and the speaker is John Hewko, CEO of Rotary International.  Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
  • The Platte Canyon Interact Club is continuing their coats and blankets collection for two more weeks. Contact Suzanne for more information.
  • Our next Club Social is The Trivia Night event on March 7th.  Contact Tom or Yvonne to form your team~!  This event supports the Booster Club at Conifer High School.
  • Planning for the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Fundraiser is under way.  The event will be held at Beaver Ranch and we will need lots of help from our members.
  • Our club foundation will be asking for funding for the Kenya Small House project.  More information will be coming. 
  • Our Conifer Rotary evening meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 5:30, now at the Conifer Community Church.
  • Summer Music Festival Announcement.  John Cerillo and his wife Ruth have been invited to help put our music together for our summer music fest, August 15, 2020.  John is a musician, song-writer and singer.  He works with young talent in Nashville, writing new music with the young artists.  Many of the artists are breaking out….John would like to bring some of the young musicians to our festival! He described the wide range of music that these young artists are performing.  
The event will have music, vendors, beverages and fun to raise money for our community projects.  
Program:  Alessandro Sachs
Clean, Uncontaminated Water for Oglala Lakota Sioux in Pine Ridge, SD
Pine Ridge, The Lakota Nation, is the third largest reservation in the US.  Unfortunately it has a history of the water contamination.  The US government retained the mining rights on the property when they 'gave' the Nation the reservation land.  Uranium is mined there and it has polluted their water supply
The government built a pipeline from Pierre South Dakota to the reservation—the largest water purification plant in the world with water pipes over 200 miles long.  The pipelines don't reach the dispersed native homes on the reservation, so the people are using wells that are mostly contaminated.  Many of the young mothers have been taught to feed their babies powdered formula, which requires the water.  Many members of the tribe left the reservation because of the contaminated water.  Their health is deeply affected by the contamination.  
Water is Life, is the name of the project.  Half of the reservation sits over the High Plains Aquifer.  Its goal is to construct water lines from the pipeline to the homes.  The county is the poorest county in the USA, so families cannot afford the piping.  There are 68,000 homes without adequate sanitation and water.
Boulder Rotary started a District grant with their Foundation funds last summer.  The Lakota Nation has an NGO: Running Strong for American Indian Youth, started by Billy Mills, an Olympic Gold Medalist. The focus is on creating a healthy community.
The Boulder Rotary Club wants to do a reverse Rotary grant in order to get a global grant for the Lakota Reservation. Running Strong is matching the Rotary dollars; they set the criteria for the households that will get the pipes.  Currently the monies are addressing one home at a time, as they launch the project.  Every $3,000 donation from Rotary is matched to meet the cost to get water to a home.  Money from Colorado Rotary Clubs (12 District 5450 Clubs are currently addressing other needs, but water is not the focus) can be sent to Boulder Rotary. 
The pilot project has brought water successfully to three homes.  Boulder Rotary will continue this effort while trying to get a Reverse Rotary Global grant.  
Alessandro Sachs's information handout is attached to this story.  Click the "Read More" button below the story on the club homepage.
Brandi and Christina (owners of new florist in Conifer/Kings Valley), Salesa Hancock, John and Ruth Cerillo, Eddie Frisk (Finn’s grandson), Gil Gulbrandson, Dual Schneider (who will be our newest member with induction scheduled for next week)
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, January 7, 2020 Charlotte Wytias 2020-01-07 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting December 17, 2019

  • We will NOT meet December 24 nor 31, 2019.  Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 7, 2020.  The program will be about a Rotary project in the Pine Ridge Reservation to provide safe water to homes.
  • Please sign up to be a Salvation Army bell ringer.  There are slots at King Soopers, the King Soopers Convenience Gas Station, and Moore Lumber in Pine Junction.  The link to sign up is on the Conifer Rotary website under the Weblinks tab, or just click HERE.
  • Rotary Leadership Institute for District 5450 is February 1st.  It is perfect for any Rotarian who wants to learn more about the larger world of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8th is the Future of Rotary Dinner and Polio Fundraiser in Denver featuring Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko. Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
  • The Conifer Rotary holiday party will be at Marlis McAllister’s home Saturday, January 4th.  More details to come.
  • Suzanne Barkley lost her mother last week.  Please keep her in your thoughts!
  • At the Board meeting last night, we reviewed a number of grant requests.  The Board took time to consider our priorities, since we have a number of grant requests that have come into us.  We will prioritize organizations with whom we have a relationship or connection.  More decisions in January.
  • The Board also learned how to make tamales at the meeting last night!  Thank you, Leonore!
  • Bring Rotary magazines.  We will put our Rotary information sticker in place of your address and distribute them in the community.
  • The Warren Miller film, sponsored by the CHS Interact Club raised almost $2000, which will be used for the Conifer High School Interact trip to Nepal next summer.  There were a number of donations from local businesses: Evergreen Mountain Sports—Door Prizes.  Never Summer Boards—Snowboard.  Icelandic Skis—pair of skis.  Many thanks for the support!
  • January 14 we will have our White-Elephant gift exchange.  Dr. Scott Brown of the Golden Rotary will present “The Brain and Behavioral Health” at our January 21st meeting.
  • There will be a Trivia night fundraiser March 7, at Our Lady of the Pines Church.  We need a second table of Rotarians - Be the “dark side” of the Star Wars theme for Conifer Rotary.
Program:  Foundation Grant Awards
  • West Jefferson Middle School PTA:  Sarah Miller and Salesa Clark:  $1000 for Teacher grants.  Teachers apply to the PTA for grant monies that have been collected by the PTA.  They gave 18 grants to teachers this year.  One was for special needs students that provide a life-skills class, including cooking classes.  They funded a vacuum pump for the science class.   The social science classes are focused on Colorado history, including an architectural focus, creating “historical” buildings.  The art department was given a bulletin board to hang student artwork.  These projects provide enrichment beyond the regular classroom teaching, and free the teachers from having to pay for materials from their personal budgets!
This year the counselors want support for “friends of Rachel club”, which honors the tragedy at Columbine and the focus on providing kindness awards. 
  • Conifer High School Robotics Team—TeamBlitz 2083:  The Robotics Club Students at Conifer High School, $1000.  The money will purchase a new computer for the process of designing and building their robot and to accomplish functional programming of the robot.  They are entering it into an International competition next year.
The Robotics Club provides the students with extra opportunities to learn and develop.
  • They learn electrical, mechanical, technical and marketing skills.
  • The competition they will enter gives them significant challenges to overcome.  Each year, new specifications are given.  In the past they had to complete the build in six weeks, but they will have more time to design, select and build for this next competition.
  • They have twice the number of students in Robotics Club this year compared to last year.  This is giving them more “minds” to create a more complex robot.
The students demonstrated the robot they built for this last year’s competition.
Guests: Gil Gulbrandson, Dual Schneider, and Scott Brown, Golden Rotary
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting December 17, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-12-17 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting December 10, 2019

  • The Club will not meet December 24 and December 31
  • We will have a Club Social at Aspen Peak Winery in Bailey Sunday, December 15, 2-5pm
  • The Holiday Party will be January 4, 2020 5-8 at Marlis and Steve’s home
  • The Conifer High School Interact Club will be showing the Warren Miller adventure movie "Timeless" at Conifer High School 7PM December 13.  There will be prizes and vendor booths.  The tickets are available on our Conifer Rotary website homepage at or click HERE to go to the Interact Club website for more information.  The funds raised will help fund the Interact trip to Nepal next summer.
  • Please sign up to be a Salvation Army bell ringer.  There are slots at King Soopers, the King Soopers Convenience Gas Station, and Moore Lumber in Pine Junction.  The link to sign up is on the Conifer Rotary website under weblinks, or just click HERE.
  • Rotary Leadership Institute for District 5450 is February 1st.  It is perfect for any Rotarian who wants to learn more about the larger world of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8 is the Future of Rotary Dinner and Polio Fundraiser in Denver featuring Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko. Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
  • Bring Rotary Magazines for distribution to the community.  We have Rotary “stickers” to place over your address label.  We will take them to doctor offices, veterinarian offices, other public places….be creative!
  • The Dolly Parton Imagination Library table at Conifer Holiday Parade was successful.  We talked with many folks and distributed many flyers.  A number of parents shared that they already are part of the Imagination Library and they love it!
  • Bill Downes is selling tickets for the Ice Melt contest on Evergreen Lake, a fund-raiser for Mountain Foothills Rotary Club.  The proceeds go to special needs kids and to the Food Bank.  Tickets: start at $1 for 3, on up to $11 for 20.  The top prize is $1000.  You can get your tickets from Bill or at many Evergreen area businesses.
  • Bill also reports that he and his wife met with Mat and Audrey Matson in Hawaii.  He suggested that Mat would welcome greetings from Conifer Rotarians.
  • Pat Hagan volunteered at the MRC Kids Christmas Party last Saturday.  MRC staff sends their thanks for the Toys for Tots picked up and delivered by Rotarians  Marlis and Hugh.  The party served over 60 families.
  • Next week we will award our final Conifer Rotary Foundation grants to community organizations.
Introducing our newest member:Bambi Moss
Born and raised in Conifer, Bambi and husband Ira have two children, both in college.  Both kids are very athletic.  Bambi has a degree in environmental studies.  Her career has involved various types of medical support work.  She worked for many years with Diana Phelps, who is now her Rotary Mentor.
Bambi enjoys volunteering.  She does emergency animal evacuation for small animals, a member of the animal protective league.  She volunteers with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC).  Right now she is providing home care for her elderly parents.
Program:  Club Assembly
The Rotary Grants Process by President Dean McCall
Dean led us through the Rotary Grant process in anticipation of our club becoming more involved with grants.
Guests: Gil Gulbrandson, Dual Schneider, Bill Downes, Mike Stark
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting December 10, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-12-10 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting December 3, 2019

  • The Club will not meet December 24 and 31.
  • We have a Rotary Social December 15, 2-5 PM at Aspen Peak Winery.
  • The Back Pack Project is being supported by Chill’d Yogurt in Conifer, across from Brooks Place by giving us coupons that will be given to Back Pack kids who return their t-shirt bags each week.  The t-shirt bags will help us reduce the use of plastic bags.  Please stop by Chill’d to thank Karin Watt for her generous contribution... and the yogurt is yummy.
  • We need more granola bars, peanut butter/cheese crackers, or cheese sandwich crackers.
  • $25,000 was raised for Polio Plus support by District Governor Curt Harris's 100 mile bike ride in Tucson.  It will be matched 2:1 by the Gates Foundation.
  • The Salvation Army needs more Bell ringers.  There are slots at King Soopers, the King Soopers Convenience Gas Station, and Moore Lumber in Pine Junction.  The link to sign up is on the Conifer Rotary website under weblinks, or just click HERE.
  • Rotary Leadership Institute for District 5450 is February 1st.  It is perfect for any Rotarian who wants to learn more about the larger world of Rotary.  Go to the District 5450 website to register or just click HERE.
  • February 8 is the Future of Rotary Dinner and Polio Fundraiser in Denver featuring Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko. Reservations sign up is on the District website or just click HERE.
  • The Conifer High School Interact Club will be showing the Warren Miller adventure movie "Timeless" at Conifer High School 7PM December 13.  There will be prizes and vendor booths.  The tickets are available on our Conifer Rotary website homepage at or click HERE to go to the Interact Club website for more information.  The funds raised will help fund the Interact trip to Nepal next summer.
PROGRAM:  Rotary Conifer Foundation Grant Awards
Today, we had three more deserving community organizations join us to receive grants from our club foundation:
  • Stage Door Theater: $1000.  Beth Campbell shared Stage Door Theater's benefits for young people who participate.  Life Skills:  problem-solving, collaboration and cooperation, integrity, time management, communication, leadership, mentoring, creativity and confidence.  Students learn:  tech booth, backstage, stage management, student directors.
Rotary’s donation goes to student scholarships for kids who cannot afford to participate in Stage Door.
  • Mount Evans Home Healthcare and Hospice, Camp Comfort. $1600.  Charlie Shemanski.  Charlie told us about Mount Evans Home Care and their Camp Comfort.  Rotary has been a supporter for over 10 years and have given over $25,000.  Twenty percent of the Mount Evans patients do not have funds to pay for the care they receive.
Their organization covers a very large area, they serve all the communities visible from the summit of Mt. Evans!  Home health services include post-hospitalization, rehabilitation, and palliative care.  Hospice care evolves from being diagnosed with an illness that will likely cause death within six months.  Grief support is provided for both adults and children.
Camp Comfort:  this is a weekend-long bereavement camp twice each summer, for grieving children ages 6-12 who have lost a close family member.  The workshops are balanced with recreation and group support services.  Children can return to be a buddy for new kids coming into the program.  The Camp was started 25 years ago and in that time, many similar camps have been established nationwide.  Most of the children need scholarships to pay for the camp, which is what the Rotary donation will do.
  • PeaceWorks:  $1746.  Lori Cuno.  Peaceworks enables the Mountain Peace Shelter, battered family member education and awareness, mobile advocacy, and support groups.  Their service area is 3000 square mile radius.  It is the only pet-accepting shelter in Colorado, and it includes large animals.  The funding will go to exterior cameras and thermostats.
Guests:  Dual Schneider
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting December 3, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-12-03 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting November 19, 2019

  • December 15, 2-5 at Aspen Peak Winery is our next Conifer Rotary Social---all are welcome, (especially our guests today)
  • The Holiday Party will be held January 4th, 5-9PM at Marlis and Steve’s home.  More to come.
  • Imagination Library has a link on the website for Conifer Parade.  We need volunteers to “wo-man” the table to share the project with our local families with little kids.
  • Please bring your Rotary Magazines; we will add a sticker with our Conifer Rotary meeting information and website address.  We will drop them at doctor and vet offices, tire and auto service centers---and more.  Your name and address will be covered over.
  • Diana reported on the Youth Exchange program.  Our Club has 2 out-bound students going to Croatia.  We have 2 host families for our in-bound exchange student, only one more is needed.  There are 14 exchange student kids in our District.  Diana reports that the Exchange program supports itself; it does not receive funds from the District or Rotary International --we may need to do some fund raising to help our kids---in bound and out bound.
  • Start to think St. Paddy’s! fundraiser!  Yvonne is starting the planning. 
  • Conifer Trivia Night will be in February—anyone interested in putting together a team, contact Yvonne, who will coordinate our teams.
  • Pat Hagan will attend the Grants qualification seminar January 11.  Anyone else who is interested, join Pat by signing up on the District website. 
  • Rotary Leadership Institute will be February 1.  This is a excellent training to acquaint members with all things Rotary.
  • Coats, blankets and other cold-weather gear are being collected by The Platte Canyon High School Interact Club members.  Bring them to a Rotary meeting to be delivered to Platte Canyon.  The Interactors will be distributing them with the school superintendent and his wife. 
  • We will be giving out more grants December 3rd and 17th.  These are fun meetings in Rotary - it is what we are about.
Program:  Cynthia Latham, Evergreen Rotary
In Harms Way: Scary Similarities Between Our Foothills Ares and Paradise California
Our area is one of the worst areas in the country for wildfire danger.  Cynthia showed us the many frightening similarities between our area and Paradise, California.  Even scarier is the extremely fast progression of the Paradise fire.  That fire was ignited by sparks from a power line seven from Paradise, in less than six hours Paradise was destroyed and 83 people died.
What happened:  Emergency communications failed.  There was poor defensible space on private property and old building codes for homes.  Escape routes were overwhelmed and blocked.
After the fire,  toxic debris had to be cleaned up-twice as much as from the World Trade Center after 9/11, 90% of the population moved away, there is no safe water supply until at least 2022 and $53 million dollars to restore.
Lessons learned:
  • Excessive vegetation along critical roads must be removed
  • Evacuation plans need to be improved
  • Emergency Communication must be improved, cell towers failed
  • Building codes must be updated
  • Need to widen right-of-ways and add shoulders along key evacuation routes
What Paradise had that Our Area does not:
  • Municipal government
  • Preparations for wild fire emergency
We have too much wildfire fuel.  Mega-fires that cover over 100,00 acres and sterilize the earth are becoming more common, more people living in the woodland urban interface (WUI), no coordinated government authority, residents are unprepared for wildfire.
It is not a matter of “IF” but “WHEN” we will have a devastating fire.
To become ready:  the READY, SET, GO website has valuable information, go to
  • Download the READY, SET, GO Information Book HERE;
  • Create defensible space around the home;
  • Use fire resistant landscaping;
  • Harden your home: roofs, vents, decks and porches, siding and windows;
  • Provide emergency responder access;
  • Know your escape routes; 
  • Sign up for CodeRED emergency notifications, click HERE.
Evergreen and Mountain Foothills Rotary are starting an organization to help prepare the community.  The goal is to have a Community Wildfire Protection Implementation Plan (CWPIP).  Grant money is available to help. 
Evergreen Rotary has an educational fire truck to educate the community; it is available for community events. 
We also need evacuation planning for disabled and elderly; get everyone signed up for CodeRed. 
Our local fire departments have many educational pieces available for free.
Addendum:  The Rotary Conifer Music Festival fundraiser on August 15, 2020 will be supporting our Fire Departments’ mitigation efforts.
Guests:  Rebekah and Steve Gordy, Dual Schneider
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting November 19, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-11-19 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting November 12, 2019

  • The Soldier Box project will be packing the boxes on Friday morning , November 15th, 9am, at Wild Game in Bergen Park.
  • End Polio:  Donate to Curt Harris’ bicycle ride fund-raiser.  There is a link on our home page, or simply click HERE
  • Toys for Tots for the MRC Holiday celebration toy pick up will be Friday December 6th; the Holiday Party will be Saturday December 7th.
  • The Board meeting will be Monday, November 18, 6 pm at the McCalls.  All members are welcome.
  • The sign up link for Salvation Army bell ringing is on our Conifer Rotary website on the Weblinks tab, or simply click HERE.
  • The Imagination Library table at the December 7th Conifer Christmas Parade needs volunteers.  Sign up on on our Conifer Rotary website, Weblinks tab, or simply click HERE.
  • Janine has a folder of all the newspaper articles Conifer Rotary has been featured in.  Great publicity!
  • There is a Rotary social this Saturday at Castles and Kitchens, 6-9pm, $40/pp.  There will be a cooking class and dinner, bring your favorite wine.  RSVP to Tom Becker by email at
  • Step 2 for next year's Rotary Youth Exchange will be this weekend.  Diana is on the outbound students interview team.  We have 2 outbound candidates and we requested 1 inbound student.
  • If you want to make year-end donations to the Rotary International Foundation or the Rotary Conifer Foundation, now is the time to start thinking about it.  Very good things happen in both places.
    • For Rotary International Foundation, Cathy Taylor can make it happen for you but contact her by December 10th to make sure it is processed this year.  You can also donate online at the Rotary International website by clicking HERE.
    • For our Rotary Conifer Foundation, use the Donate button on our Conifer Rotary website to donate online or just click HERE.  Another option is to simply give your donation to Mark Rehm, the club foundation treasurer, before December 31st.
  • Yvonne needs plastic water bottles for the greenhouse she is building.
  • Fire mitigation next with Cynthia Latham from the Evergreen club.
Program:  Awarding Foundation Grants to the Community
Today, we had three deserving community organizations join us to receive grants from our club foundation.  In random order, here they are:
  • Mountain Resource Center/Family Project  $1250.  Chris Johnson and Sarah Pervis
Outdoor Discovery and Play Area for the Mountain Resource Center early childhood program.  The space will be outside MRC and will enable the Family Project to engage a variety of outdoor activities for children and parents.  This a natural learning program that will encourage creativity and imagination, with a focus on preventing obesity.  It will engage parents in recognizing the outdoors as a natural play area for children.  The space will be available to other groups and community members as well.
  • Park County Senior Coalition/Senior Alliance of Park County  $800.  Bobbi Gore and Joyce Whittle
The Senior Alliance mission is to enable seniors to live at home by providing: assisted transportation, case management, chores, respite, rural area meals, homemaking, information and assistance, nutrition education and transportation.  This grant will be used to bring services to the Bailey area of Park County.
  • Resilience1220  $1250.  Heather Aberg.
Their program provides mental health services for young people 12-20 years by volunteer therapists. They provide their services with the help of 25 volunteer therapists.  Their programs include suicide prevention through group therapy, plus they address gender identity and transgender issues for youth.  They recently received their 501(C)3 status and can now provide remuneration to the director.
New Members:
Bambi Moss was inducted today!
Morti Longsdorf received her badge!
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting November 12, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-11-12 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer, Meeting, November 5, 2019

  • Wes Paxton presented $179 that was raised for Polio Eradication.  Conifer High School Interact raised the funds in several fundraising events.  Their next fundraiser: tickets for a Warren Miller skiing film will be on sale in the next couple of weeks.  The money raised will help fund the Interact Club trip to Nepal.
  • Conifer High School football team beat Evergreen last weekend.  They are undefeated this year and they are ranked  fifth in the State.  With a win next weekend they will be #3 in the state!
  • The Interact District Conference was last Saturday.  Our Conifer High School Interact Club received the prestigious Ron Prasher award.  It recognizes the club for overall excellence in projects and service.
  • The link to Salvation Army bell ringing sign up is under the Weblinks tab on our club website.  Or, simply click HERE to sign up to ring the bell.
  • There is a sign up genius for the Imagination Library table at the Conifer Holiday parade.  Joyce Snapp is needs someone to wear the Dolly Parton outfit!
  • Our District Governor, Curt Harris, is bicycle riding to raise money for Polio.  100 miles in the November 23rd El Tour de Tucson, supporting Rotary’s Ride to End Polio.  The link to support his ride is on our website; help him raise $20,000 to end Polio.
  • We need granola bars and peanut butter crackers for the back pack project.
  • Next week's meeting:  we will distribute foundation grant awards, induct our newest member, Bambi Moss and a report from the Conifer Rotary membership committee.
  • The Rotary Rose Parade float committee needs funds for a Rotary float. Our Board will discuss a possible donation.
  • The next social will be November 16th, 6-9 pm at Castles and Kitchens, enjoying wine and appetizers, making pastas and pasta sauce and EATING.  Flyer and RSVP info coming up.
Program:  Bob Rose
St. Helene, Bay Islands, Honduras, Water Projects
St. Helene is an island at the east end of the Bay Islands off Honduras, accessible only by boat.  There are no roads nor means for transportation around the island other than by foot.  The homes are on stilts, as are the toilet facilities, most of which hang out over the water.  There is no work on St. Helene, so many of the men fish or go out to sea to raise money.  There are 200 homes and about 1000 residents.
This is a long-term Rotary project consisting of several phases, using a global grant from the Rotary Club of Roatan and support from Evergreen Rotary and Edmonton Canada Rotary.
The project started in 2014 after a community needs assessment. There are six settlements on the island and each provides a member for their leadership team.  A play ground for children was the first project, which brought the six communities together.  The communities are developing a sustainable plan to meet their comprehensive needs.
The project received an education grant from Edmonton Canada Rotary.  It built a school and included teacher training.  Safe water is their biggest challenge.  They had hand-dug wells which are becoming brackish and failing.  They had to haul drinking water jugs by boat and then on foot to the homes.  Past water efforts were not sustainable.  Rotary's involvement was to first develop trust with the residents.  They now have two good Rotary wells.
The second phase, with a global grant, is focused on bringing water to every home.  Rotary's efforts also include training water board personnel to maintain the system and collect fees.
The next phase is latrines and economic development, with a budget of $210,633.  There are currently seven Rotary Clubs (four in Canada) that are supporting the Grant and have raised $51,853.
Guest: Richard Toussant, Evergreen Rotary

Rotary Club of Conifer, Meeting, November 5, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-11-05 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, October 22, 2019

No Meeting next Tuesday, October 29.
Come to the social this weekend.
  • Gail Sharp joined us to request donations for the Soldier Box Project.  It is a holiday season program to send personal essentials to our overseas troops working in remote areas where these items are scarce.  Please bring donations of personal care items, greeting cards with messages for soldiers, there is a collection box at MRC.  They will pack boxes to send on November 15, 8:30-10:30 a.m at Wild Game in Evergreen.  Last year the collections provided boxes for over 400 soldiers.  It costs over $17 for each box---$4000, so cash is also needed.
  • Thank you to Cathy Taylor and Lesley Landon for breakfast today.
  • Be sure to sign up for Salvation Army bell ringing.  There are sites in Bailey and at King Soopers and the KS Convenience Store in Conifer.  Click HERE to sign up, or go to Conifer Rotary webpage under the Weblinks tab.
  • The Board approved support for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library booth at the Conifer Christmas Parade and Market Place on Saturday December 7th.  We will need Rotarians to set up and man the booth in the tent.  We need someone to wear the Dolly Parton costume, those who weren't at the meeting are at the top of the eligibility list!
  • Support our District Governor Curt Harris’s 100 mile bike Ride to End Polio.  Click HERE for more information and to donate, or go to our Rotary Conifer homepage.  World Polio Day is Thursday, October 24th, share the news!
  • Day of the Dead party at the McCall’s is this Saturday, 6pm….potluck and optional costumes.  We will not have a morning meeting next week---this is our social event for this quarter.
  • The Rotary evening meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 23, 5:30pm at St. Laurence Church.
  • Thanks to Marlis, Dean, Lesley and Christy for help unloading the food bank truck Thursday, October 24, delivering to the Back Pack pantry.
Program:  Twitter tutorial
Leonor McCall
Sign up for Twitter and follow our club postings, add the app to your phone or their website at  It is an online micro-blogging (breaking news) app; short messages limited to 140 characters.  Your username (handle) is tied to email or smartphone (less than 15 characters).  You can choose to share privately or publicly, but beware - EVERYTHING can be shared by everyone.  Hashtags with a memorable word creates a link to conversations.  Our club account is https:///  Contact Lenore for more helpful tips.
“About Me, Morti Longsdorf
Morti (Matilda)---and many additional names—was born in New York City and grew up mostly in Brooklyn.  Family business travels had her living in Europe and Africa during her elementary school years.  She is multi-lingual, thanks to those early years.  A dedicated student, she graduated from SUNY Oswego with an MBA in four years!
Her post-college endeavors found her heading west, to Microsoft initially with a group of friends.  After a few stops along the way, she ended up in Denver.  She fell in love with the arts scene, the housing, and the community.  She worked for a small company for 14 years, then moved to Kaiser Permanente.  She is married and has a daughter, Sarah, who is nearly 14 years old and attends Fitzsimons Middle School.  She was attracted to Rotary because her mother was a Rotarian and Morti developed a strong gift for giving back.
Guests:  Gail Sharp, Evergreen Rotary
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, October 22, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-10-22 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting October 15, 2019

  • Mary Steinbrecker and the women of the DAR brought a donation of many boxes of granola bars for the Back Pack Project.
  • The Canyon Courier had pictures and a story about our evening of presentations by the RYLA youth.
  • Next week’s meeting:  Soldier Boxes, Gail Sharp; Twitter tutorial by Lenore McCall and Club business.
  • Day of the Dead party, 6 pm, Saturday October 26 at the McCall’s’ Come in costume or not!
  • Sign up for Salvation Army Bell Ringing at King Soopers over the holidays by clicking HERE, or go to the Community Links tab on our homepage.
  • October 24 is World Polio Day.  District Governor Curt Harris is making a Rotary fundraising bike ride to end polio on November 23rd.  Donate to his ride HERE, or on the District 5450 Website.
Program:  Marny Eulberg, MD, District 5450 Polio Chair
Update on Polio Plus
The reason Dr. Eulberg joined Rotary: she had polio at age 4.  She wants to ensure that other children do not suffer the disease and its related discrimination in many other countries.  Also, as many as 50% of people with polio develop Post Polio Syndrome as they age---which she has experienced.
Current statistics for polio:  in 2018 there were 33 cases of wild polio and 104 cases of vaccine derived polio.  The countries that have the wild polio:  Afghanistan and Pakistan.   This year, there are 88 cases of wild-polio and 95 cases of the vaccine-derived polio.  Polio is derived from ingestion of the entero-virus that is excreted in stool.  It is a water-borne disease.  Many people can carry the virus; only about 1% suffer paralysis. 
Fund-Raising  and events:
  • All donations are matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!
  • Conifer Rotary has a goal of $800 for this year.
  • District Governor Curt Harris is making a Rotary bike ride to end polio on November 23rd.  Donate to his ride HERE.
  • The Rotary International General Secretary will be in Denver for a fund-raising dinner Saturday February 8, 2020.
The cost to fully vaccinate a child with 3-5 doses is $3.  The estimate to globally eradicate polio is $3 billion for the period 2013-19.   The donations are matched by the Gates Foundation 2:1.  By the time polio is eradicated, Rotary will have contributed $20 billion, including the Gates Foundation matches.
More than 1 million Rotarians have supported the vaccine campaign by administering vaccinations, mobilizing awareness activities and engaging government officials.  More than 2.5 billion children have been immunized, resulting in a 99.9% reduction of the disease since 1985!  Since 1988, these immunizations have prevented more than 18 million people from being paralyzed by Polio. 
There are three types of wild polio virus.  Type 2 was eliminated in 1999, Type 3 has not been found since Nov. 2012.  Now only Type 1 exists and it is the only polio type being immunized currently.  If we stop vaccinating now, within 10 years there would be 200,000 cases of paralyzing polio.
Additional benefits of the Polio vaccination effort include an unrelated improvement in identification and treatment of other diseases, such as ebola.  The “+” in the Polio program name refers to giving Vitamin A drops, distributing mosquito nets and doing water/sanitation projects along with the immunizations.
Guests:  Mary Steinbrecker
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting October 15, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-10-15 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting October 8, 2019

Club Assembly and New Member Induction
Welcome!   Morti Longsdorf
  • The Club will participate in the Soldier Box project, to send toiletries for our troops at Christmas.
  • The Salvation Army is requesting volunteers to ring the Red Kettle bell at King Soopers.  Sign up at
  • Curt Harris is doing the polio ride; the link to make donations is on the District website.
  • The Clear Creek Rotary Touch a Truck fund-raiser was very successful---over 500 people and made about $7000.
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting October 8, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-10-08 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, October 1, 2019

  • Fitzsimmons Middle School needs tools for their STEM projects. Their requests are on the Rotary Conifer website and can be dropped at Moore Lumber or given to Suzanne Barkley.
  • CHS Interact will be presenting information about World Polio Day to the Conifer Chamber at the October Chamber meeting.  They will collect donations and paint finger nails of the donors, as happens for the children who receive the polio vaccine drops.
  • Joyce Snapp will attend the Imagination Library meeting.  She will bring a report back to the Club.
  • @Rotaryconifer is our new Twitter account.  
  • Next week’s meeting will be a Club Assembly.  We will discuss whether or not to support an exchange student.  
  • World Polio Day is October 24.  Share the news with the community. 
Program:  The Salvation Army in Conifer
Shelley Turkington,  Lois Helker
Shelley became involved when she worked for a local bank, where she became an annual “bell-ringer”.  She provided some history for us.  The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church, founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth in London, England.  The Salvation Army is supporting people in 131 countries, and it came to the United States in 1880.  There are four regions in the USA, Conifer belongs to the Western Region.
The Conifer Salvation Army serves people from Turkey Creek to Kenosha Pass.  They provide financial help with utility bills, rent assistance, water and sanitation, heating repair, mortgage assistance, food (with King Soopers gift cards), and vehicle expenses.  They also support children attending their summer camp in Estes Park.  During disasters, the Salvation Army is there to help.  
Their biggest fund-raiser is the Christmas Red Kettle campaign.  It starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas Eve. Last year they received $28,000 from the Christmas kettles, and they received an additional $15,000 grant from IREA for electric bills.  Donations are down from their all time high of $41,000 several years ago.  They also encourage planned-giving---Shelley suggests that the gift be designated for the Conifer Extension in order so that the donated funds come directly to our local chapter.  Ninety per-cent of all funds raised through the Kettle, stay in our area.
All Salvation Army Christmas ringers are volunteers.  They are reaching out to organizations to fill out the volunteer requirements.  Having a person ringing with the Kettle is the best way to obtain donations.  This year the Kettles will be at King Soopers and the Loaf and Jug, Moore Lumber, and perhaps at the Dollar General in Bailey.
The local Salvation Army also works with Mountain Resource Center and Widow’s Oil Pantry to fill Christmas food baskets.  145 food baskets were filled at Christmas last year.  In addition, twenty children and twenty seniors received Christmas gifts.  The Salvation Army does 6 senior luncheons each year, serving 70 seniors each lunch.  It is held the 1st Tuesday of every other month at Aspen Ridge Church in Marshdale. 
To sign up as a volunteer Kettle/Bell Ringer:  send an email to; or go directly to their SignUp Genius webpage at  There is a direct link in the Rotary Conifer homepage weblinks tab as well.
Guests: Bambi Moss
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, October 1, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-10-01 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 24, 2019

  • Applications for Foundation Grants are due this Friday September 27th.
  • The Conifer Rotary Foundation will meet after the regular meeting October 1, 2019; we will be discussing the music event for next summer.
  • Fitzsimmons Middle School Interact Club is requesting donations of tools for their STEAM project.
  • Student government at Conifer High School has filled the student pantry to support needy students.
  • October 24th is Polio eradication day.  Two of the students at Conifer High School will do a presentation at the Conifer Chamber meeting October 11.  There they, will collect donations for Polio Plus in exchange for painting fingernails pink.
  • Remember to put your volunteer hours on the sign-up sheet each week.
  • The Day of the Dead party will be October 26, 6pm at the McCall’s home.   Young Frankenstein will be shown at 7pm. 
  • Conifer High School Seniors are looking for business leaders to practice interviewing:  Tuesday Oct 1, 12:45-2:20pm;  Wednesday, October 2, 7:10-10:20am.  If you would like to help, contact Wes Paxton.
Club Assembly:  Revisiting the Vision
Rocky Mountain Rotary Youth Exchange
Diana Phelps gave a presentation about the Rotary International Youth Exchange program.  She explained the RI requirements and expectations of the Rotary Clubs and their members.  RI prefers that the students are hosted by 3 different families, 3 months each.   All members of the Club will have opportunities to interact and share their lives with these young people.  Applications will be coming in January. We will have a discussion and decision-making in two weeks. 
Guests: Morti Longsdorf, Bambi Moss
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 24, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-09-24 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 17, 2019

  • The workday at Beaver Ranch was a success!  There will be another workday to complete the painting project.  Watch for dates.
  • This Saturday September 21, the Rotary Club training from the District will be held at Red Rocks Community College.  More information is on the District 5450 website.
  • Touch the Truck, a Clear Creek Rotary Club fundraiser, will be September 22, 2019, at the Quarry off I-70.  More information is on the District website.
  • The Evergreen Rotary will hold it’s recycle event Saturday , Sept 21, at Day School in Evergreen.
  • Mint Edition, our St. Patrick's Day fundraiser band, will be playing at Aspen Peak Winery Sunday afternoon 2-5.
  • Our Club is supporting the Conifer Community Church service project to provide firewood for needy families this winter.  This is the second year that one of our members has donated money to the effort in our club's name.
Program:  MRC Update
Sarah Kinzer, CEO
Sarah brings a history of many experiences in the non-profit sector, with a focus on services for citizens in need.  A major goal for her is to engage appropriate funding/grants.
There is a new program focusing on “community health”, which can meet the needs of families who are transportation limited to get medical services.  JeffCo is developing a medical van service that can provide urgent care services; they hope to have the van at MRC one day a week. 
Other programs and projects:
  • The first program they are exploring is to augment Medicaid dollars for dental health.
  • They are also growing programs with mental health services through Jefferson County Mental Health.  
  • The Circle of Care parenting program is moving toward more mental health services focusing on support groups for parents of children with disabilities.  
  • MRC is working on a 5 years strategic plan with specific plans, goals and measures.  Staff and Board members are working together to develop this plan.  
  • Exploring a potential partnership with Boys and Girls Club to provide after school programming and tutoring.
  • MRC has received a substantial grant from the State to provide support for heating bills this year.
  • Sarah is working with other service organizations in the region to partner in increasing outreach to bring more clients to MRC and to share resources.  
  • JeffCo Connections:  a group that represents many of the service organizations in the county, who meet once a month.  They have many “task forces” to address various issues.  The Board of JeffCo Connections can connect organizations to grants/funding for specific needs.  MRC has been invited to join.
Marilyn Salzman, President of the MRC Board, gave an overview of the up-coming plans.  She reports that 70% of their funding comes from grants.  The Bowls after Dark is coming up Sept 26, 6-9 pm, at Mount Vernon Canyon Club; the Bowls lunch will be October 15 at Aspen Ridge Church.  Next year, MRC will celebrate 30 years and will have a number of special events and fundraisers. 
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 17, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-09-17 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 10, 2019

  • This Saturday, September 14, 10am-Noon:  We will be painting the TeePee Lodge at Beaver Ranch.  After the job, we will gather ad 3 Margaritas for lunch and libation.
  • Wednesday, Sept 11, 6pm, the RYLA kids will be presenting their report on RYLA at the MRC.  There will be pizza and soft drinks.
  • The next Board meeting will be Sept 23, 6pm at Dean’s home.
  • Next week, Sarah Kinzer will be presenting an update on MRC’s future.
  • Jim Sherwood, Evergreen Clothing Company, has donated 100 t-shirts for the Back Pack Project.  
Club Assembly:  Vision and Mission
Guests:  Bambi Moss, Mindy Hansen,  Morti Longsdorf
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 10, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-09-10 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 3, 2019

  • The Rotary Conifer Foundation Grants Application for this fall is available in the Downloads section of our website, or just click HERE to download automatically.  Grant Applications are due to the Foundation by Friday September 27th.
  • Bring your own mugs for breakfast to curtail the use of throwaway cups.  Lesley will make sure they are washed and stored.
  • There is a Rotary Social and Workday at Beaver RanchSeptember 14, 10am-12noon, after which we go for----you guessed it!  Beer!!
  • Next week, the Club will have a special meeting on Wednesday evening, September 11, 6pm for RYLA kids to share of their RYLA experiences.  Pizza and soft drinks provided.
  • On Sept 8, the in-coming exchange students will be climbing Rotary Peak at 9am.  Rotarians are invited to participate.
  • Vendor registration for the Foothills Home, Garden and Lifestyle Show is open. Interested businesses and not-for-profits can sign up at or contact Janine Payton at 408-799-9724 for more information. 
  • Next week’s Tuesday morning meeting will be a Club Assembly.  We will be reviewing and discussing the Mission and Vision of the club.
  • Sarah Kinzer, new CEO of MRC, will be our presenter in two weeks, September 17, 7am at the morning meeting.
  • 6pm September 23 will be the next Board Meeting at President McCall’s home.  All members are invited to participate.
Program:  Rwanda : Yesterday and Today
Bill Graf, Littleton Rotary
Genocide in Rwanda ended 25 years ago, but as in many areas of the world, there continue to be problems.  Rwanda is just West of Lake Victoria.  It is a country of about 12 million population.  The 1994 genocide resulted it the deaths of nearly 1 million ethnic Tutsi people by the hands of the majority Hutus.  Not all Hutus were in favor of the genocide and those opposed to it were also slaughtered.  The Tutsi have governed now for 20 years.  Most of the Rwanda’s population is Catholic.
To explain why the genocide occurred it is important to understand some of their history. The Twa were the first to live there; they were farmers.  Hutus arrived in the 5th through 11th centuries and were laborers. The Tutsi came later and were considered the rulers.  Germany colonized the country in 1885. Belgium gained control after World War I by mandate of the League of Nations.  In 1926 Belgium introduced ethnic identity cards, based on appearance. Up to this time, the three groups lived together peacefully, with each having a role in the country.
After World War II, the UN continued Belgian trusteeship of Rwanda.  In 1952, a Development Plan solidified Tutsi political, economic and social domination of the Hutu majority.  Civil unrest grew; Hutus rebelled and 150,000 Tutsis fled to Burundi.  In 1960, Hutus won local elections and the Belgians withdrew in 1962.  Tutsis further fled to Burundi and other neighboring countries, such as Uganda.  Violence grew worse over the next 20 years.  The Tutsi’s in Uganda started an invasion of Rwanda, but were turned away by French and Congo Troops.
In the 1990’s a militia of Rwanda Hutu were trained to massacre Tutsis.  When a coalition government started, the Hutus arranged for the death of the presidents of the two groups.  The Hutus blamed the Tutsis, which then led to the genocide of the Tutsis.  In 1994, there were clashes all over Rwanda.  The weapons of choice were machetes and clubs with nails.  The US and UN would not use the the word “genocide”, because it would require a response by the UN.  UN troops were pulled out, even though it is thought that only 2000 troops could have stopped the genocide.  Tutsi exiles in Uganda returned to stop the genocide.
Finally in mid-1990’s accountability came through local court systems.  The current President was the leader of the Tutsi’s who returned from Uganda to stop the genocide.  He has declared his presidency to continue to 2034.
For more information, Bill recommends the film “Sometimes in April” as well as "Hotel Rwanda". 
Guests:  Roderick Macaulay, Rita Lenz, Clyde Sacks
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, September 3, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-09-03 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 27, 2019

  • We are helping the planet by avoiding disposable cups, bringing our own Coffee mugs for Rotary breakfasts.  Leslie will wash them and have them ready for the next meeting.
  • The Triceratops Trail Hike last weekend was a great success, nobody got lost, fun was had by all.
  • Evergreen Rotary is having their Recycle Day on September 21st at Evergreen Country Day School.
  • Next year’s summer Musicfest Foundation Fundraiser planning committee meets after our meeting today.
  • Peaches deliveries went smoothly last Friday, 550 boxes.
  • We received a check from this year’s Home and Garden Show for $9300
  • Yvonne announced that our next social will be September 14th
  • We need volunteers to sign up to make breakfasts on the off weeks
  • Wes announced that life for him is very busy now that school is back in session.  He invited us all to homecoming on October 18th
  • Wes also announced that on December 13 the Conifer High School Interact Club will show a Warren Miller film to fundraise for their Nepal trip next summer.  Wes and Diana expect to take 12 Interactors on that trip.
  • Conifer High School Interact Club had their first meeting of the school year on Monday and there were over 30 students participating.
Program: Rafting the Grand Canyon
Barry Schwartz
Our own Barry Schwartz entertained us with his talk about his summer trip down the Colorado River.  For thirteen days, he and two friends enjoyed the hospitality of a professional outfitter as 20+ adventurers floated the entire 277 mile length of the Grand Canyon.  He emphasized that this is a very doable trip for 20 somethings through 80 somethings, that the guides were very professional.  Safety was never compromised.
They traveled in a group of six rafts and one motorized dory for supplies.  Four riders plus a guide in each raft, plus the option to ride in the dory.  Along the length of the canyon, there are limited places to camp and the guides knew the best spots.  Water temperature is 46, air temperature is up to 100, which made for a nice temperature shock for those who ventured into the water.
Barry was very impressed with the quality of the food, the cooking and even the meal presentation was First Class experience.  Although the full trip takes 13 days, about half of the travelers exercised the Phantom Ranch option.  That is, they left the group at Phantom Ranch and hiked up to the rim and were replaced by adventurers who hiked down the Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch to take the second half of the trip.
The group usually finished each day’s travel by 3:00 PM, plenty of time to hike some of the slot canyons along the sides of the canyon.  Barry found those side trips to be as interesting as the rapids.  There were 80 rapids up to Class 9 on the trip.  Some of them are world famous, names like Crystal, Granite, and Lava.  With 16,000 cubic feet of water per second traveling down the river, the rapids were very exciting.  For the more dangerous rapids, the guides would beach the rafts and hike ahead to scout the safest route through them.  In some cases, a mere foot off the proper line could mean big trouble.  Except for the rapids, most of the trip was floating along at a leisurely 4 mph.
Some interesting facts about the canyon:
  • 18 miles wide
  • 1 mile deep
  • Up to 3 billion years old at bottom
  • Side canyons were formed as the result of weathering and erosion
  • The layers of the rock in the canyon are formed from limestone, sandstone and then shale as you go up from the bottom
  • Human history in the canyon dates back to 1200BC
  • Documented history shows the canyon was discovered in 1540 by Spanish explorer Cardenas, part of the Coronado expedition
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 27, 2019 Lee Willis 2019-08-27 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 20, 2019

  • We have 540 boxes of peaches to deliver on Friday.  
  • Thanks to Ed for getting additional t-shirts for the backpacks---thanks to Mt. Evans Home Care and Hospice.  
  • Finn announced that there was a kazoo concert at the top of “Rotary Peak” a couple of weeks ago. Sept 8, the Rotary exchange students will hike the Peak.  
  • The Back Packs need granola bars.
  • The FaceBook fund-raiser for bicycles for Kenyan farmers met its goal of $2500.
  • For our Social event, the Club is going to Triceratops Trail, off of Fossil Trace Golf Course:  take 6thto 19thin Golden, and the first right into the parking lot.  Meet at 11 am.  
  • The planning committee for the 2020 Music event will meet after the Rotary meeting next week. Please plan to stay to help.
Program: Resilience for Life: Lean-in1220
Heather (Ning) Aberg, LCSW
Heather started Lean-In 1220 when she recognized the need that young people have for dealing with their worries and pains that are leading to suicide.  She shared statistics of youth suicide rates are much higher in our area than in the country at large.  The rates are highest among the LGBTQ students.
The name:  lean-into your emotions; the organization serves young people ages 12-20.  In Colorado, now young people can sign in for care on their own.  Lean-in offers free counseling up to 10 sessions.  There are 15 therapists who donate services.  They meet kids wherever it is comfortable and barrier-free, even taking walks or meeting in a coffee shop.  They serve kids in Evergreen, Clear Creek and are expanding to include Platte Canyon.  
Besides individual therapy, there are groups:  included are groups for the gay community, a “gifted” group who call themselves “the scream beams”—they do not want to be labeled “gifted”, a “resilience” group where they are learning how to live with stresses, and a grief group.  They are going to start a book Club: parents and kids will read the same books.  There will be a group for young boys.  The therapists also do outreach presentations with various groups where kids and families gather.  
How we can help: Sponsor the Evergreen Enchanted Fairy Festival (Sept 8 in Evergreen; Donate to  Participate in a Mental Health First aid course---October 6, at the Fire Dept in Bergen Park.  QPR training—a condensed mental health first aid.  
Guests:  Morti Longsdorf
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 20, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-08-20 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 13, 2019

  • The social event this month will be August 25, meeting at Dinosaur Ridge in Golden at 11 am, after which there will be lunch and beer.
  • Peach Sale update:  We have sold over $9000 on line, plus the orders that Angela has.
  • The date for our music festival fundraiser next year is confirmed for August 15, 2020 at Beaver Ranch.  
  • The Facebook fundraiser for bikes in Kenya ends soon.  Donations have reached almost $2000, please donate.
  • Back Pack update:  We have completed over 150 t-shirt bags for the food.  We start filling bags next week.  We need granola bars.
  • The Home and Garden Show planning is starting early this year.  The website is updated and will be ready for vendor registrations this week,
Program:  Harambee, Kenya Trip
Suzanne Barkley, Dean and Lenore McCall
Our own Suzanne Barkley, Leonore and Dean McCall provided us a behind the scene view of the successes and challenges facing the people in the Kenya region supported by Harambee.
Suzanne told us she was drawn into this summer’s trip to Kenya by her interest in serving people with disabilities, because of her family experiences with a child and grandchild with disabilities. In Kenya she learned that the services we have in our country do not exist in Kenya.  Most families do not understand what is happening when their children show signs of  a disability; diagnoses are very limited.  Less than 10% of these people have access to medical services. There are many misconceptions about the causes of disabilities in Kenya.
Mortality for children under 5 is almost 50% and Malaria is the leading cause of death for them.  Malaria also causes many neurological disabilities, including hearing, sight, speech, seizures and more.  Our visitors to Kenya observed two family focus groups and they learned the many issues that make life especially difficult for disabled people. Bathroom facilities are rarely handicapped accessible, transportation is limited, and medical clinic visits are very difficult to get to.  If they do get to a clinic, the waiting lines are usually very long.
Lenore reported on the “Small Home”.  It is a home for disabled children, from toddler to age 20, where they are housed and cared for.  The facility they visited has the playground that our Rotary Interact clubs funded and the Conifer HS Interact Club built last summer.  Lenore created a video, featuring the children and staff of the Small Home.
Carol Carper offered the positive news that Sasa Harambee has the support of the sub-county (counties are comparable in size to our States) Minister of Health.  One suggestion from Carol that the folks with disabilities be moved to the front of the line at the health care services has been enacted.  Residents are spreading information to the families of disabled people about the services that are available to them.  Carol is also raising money to improve the training of health care workers to better diagnose disabilities.  There are many health policies changing with the information that Carol is bringing to the Minister.
The Sasa Harambee farm program is growing exponentially, providing income for the families and training farmer educators so that the program is expanding to other counties.  Leadership training is part of the long-term plan to keep these programs growing.  
Guests:  Carol Carper, Morti Longsdorf, Bambi Moss
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 13, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-08-12 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 6, 2019

  • The Club Training Workshop organized by the District will be Saturday September 21st.  Click here for more information:
  • The social calendar is complete for the coming year and Yvonne will be sending it out via email soon.
  • 6 PM Wednesday, September 11, the RYLA students will make a presentation at Mountain Resource Center. 
  • Peaches are coming Friday August 23rd.  We have sold over $7000 of peaches.  The Sign Up Genius for passing out peaches will be posted soon, please sign up.  
  •  The Conifer Rotary Foundation will be presenting The Conifer Mountain Music Festival: Rock to Country on August 15, 2020 at Beaver Ranch.  Please volunteer to help with planning, contact Wes.  The next planning meeting will be August 27th at 8 AM, after the morning Club meeting.
Program:  The Youth Of Rotary: “Young Rotarians”
Cheryl O’Brien and Lee Mulberry, 
District 5450 leaders of the Youth Programs Initiatives
There are currently 51 Interact Clubs in the District with nearly a dozen more being organized.  Cheryl complimented Conifer Rotary for sponsoring four Interact Clubs, a remarkable accomplishment for our small club.  The District Interact Conference will be held November 2, 2019.  A save the date will be coming with information about the Conference.  Last year Interact students requested a means to stay connected. Cheryl created a Zoom conference so Interactors can stay in contact online.
Our District has the honor of establishing the first elementary school Interact Club in all of Rotary.  It is at an elementary school in Parker.  The students chose saving excess cafeteria food to give to a local pantry and for weekend backpack programs.   They even convinced the middle school Interact Club to join their program!
Lee Mulberry is the District Chair for Youth Programs.  He is very happy with Interact programs in our District and working to get more college students involved in Rotaract. He also described some of the magic of the RYLA programs.  Our District is very active with RYLA and we now have a RYLA Plus program for handicapped children.
The Rotary Youth Exchange of District 5450 sponsors 19 kids out and 19 kids in.  Currently there are only a dozen clubs in the District that are participating. He encouraged our club to rejoin this program.
The Conifer Rotary Foundation
Wes led the group in nominations for the three vacating members of our Conifer Rotary Foundation.  We received four nominations: Joyce Snapp, Pat Hagan, Ruth Moore and Wes Paxton.  We are having a secret online ballot which closes Sunday night, to determine which three of the four nominees will join our Rotary Foundation for this coming year.
Guest:  Morti Longsdorf
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, August 6, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-08-06 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, July 23, 2019

  • No meeting next week.  Come to our social event at CO Jones Mountain Lodge 5:00PM Wednesday July 31.
  • Dean announced that a suggestion was made at the board meeting for our members to have a CV/Resume.  Lee mentioned that there is a place on each member's ClubRunner profile to enter their biography.  Club members can review each other's biographies by viewing the respective member's profile page.
  • Dean mentioned that the budget for this coming year is in work.
  • Marlis is working on current By-Laws for the club.
  • Yvonne asked morning meeting members to please contact her to sign up to provide breakfast on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month.  The club will reimburse expenses for breakfast setup.
  • Club members please log your Rotary volunteer hours on the meeting sign-in sheets.  The District uses that information to show how much Rotary work our clubs do.
  • Contact Joyce Snapp to help with our Rotary scholarship program, reference the email she sent to everyone.
Program:  Bill McLaughlin, Elk Creek Fire Chief
Our own Bill MCLaughlin provided a serious look at the state of the wildfire prevention and firefighting funding available for our area now and into the future.  He segmented the issues facing our fire departments into three areas, Growth Projects, Wildfire Risk, and Challenges.
Growth Projects:
There is much interest by builders and contractors to build new construction single and multi-family units in our area.  Currently, projects requested by builders would increase the local population by 20%.  The transportation infrastructure in our community is already strained by the population we have.  First responders are averaging one accident per day on US285 now, the Kings Valley intersection had four accidents in the past two weeks alone.
Wildfire Risk:
Home losses to wildfire have increased substantially in the past 20 years.  Last year, there were 450 homes lost in Colorado alone, that is the same number that were lost throughout the entire country a mere 20 years ago.  Wildfire risk has reached such a high level that fire departments must resort to procedures for evacuating residents from areas that they cannot protect.  Home construction must be improved to limit fire risk from an adjacent home.  The California fire in Paradise last year quickly became a house to house conflagration.  Photos taken after the catastrophe show all houses burned to the ground yet trees remained standing.  That fire cost $200 million to fight the fire, $1 billion in economic losses and the future economy of that community will be devastated.  Up to 90% of the Paradise residents say they will not return.  For our Colorado area, weather systems have a very large effect on wildfire risk and the ability to fight wildfires.  The Hayman Fire claimed 16 miles of territory in only 6 hours, caused by winds.  Firefighters can only hope to evacuate residents in time to save lives, there is little chance of firefighting in dry, windy conditions.
There are a few things going well: the Elk Creek Fire Department chipping program has helped over 1500 homeowners mitigate their properties.  In addition, there is a 10 man fire mitigation crew at the fire department.  Third, the slash collection program is collecting loads of slash from residents, more information about slash collection is available at
Funding challenges caused by the Tabor Amendment will cause most of the mitigation efforts to loose funding after this year.  The Gallagher Amendment is forcing a $350,000 cut from the firefighting budget.  Elk Creek has already reduced their ambulance staff and may possibly have to stop service if the funding problem is not resolved.  That will force Conifer residents to have to use ambulance service from Denver suburbs.  Medicare and Medicaid only pay ~10% of the cost to operate the ambulance, the other 90% must be funded from other sources.
The mill levy passed in 2013 will sunset (go away) at the end of 2022.  It raised the mill levy for our fire department from 4.97 to 7.47 for 10 years.  Even at that level, our Elk Creek Fire Department has the lowest funding of any department on the front range.  In some cases, it is half what other departments receive.
Other challenges are caused by changes in demographics.  The numbers of volunteers are steadily dropping, the average turnout for a structure fire this year is seven people.  That is too few to be effective.  In addition, the mill levy impact will force the department to close smaller stations and ambulance service response will be slower.  As mentioned previously, we could even lose ambulance service.
Contact Bill directly if you would like a copy of his interesting slides from the presentation.
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, July 23, 2019 Lee Willis 2019-07-23 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, July 16, 2019

  • President Dean passed the sign-up for breakfast preparation.  Please help by signing up to provide breakfast every other week. 
  • We need a rep for the Imagine Library.  There is a quarterly meeting—Joyce volunteered.
  • Dean, Suzanne, Lee, and Yvonne have volunteered to pick up Back Pack food Thursday July 25, 10 AM at Pine Junction.
  • Bill McLaughlin will present next week on the state of our Elk Creek Fire Department
  • Our tents are being rented for Summer Fest by Cliff Bowron, former Rotary member.  Lee volunteered to coordinate with Cliff.
  • Marlis and Steve have an open house for their new home this Saturday.  All members were sent the invitation.
  • The Social Committee is requesting input for the year’s events.  They are also asking we consider a food drive for the Back Pack Project.  Tom and Yvonne are suggesting we morph the event planned for next summer into a music event with food for the Back Pack as entry fee. 
Club Assembly discussion notes will be sent to club members.
Guests:  Bambi Moss, Morti Longsdorf
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, July 16, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-07-16 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, July 9, 2019

  • Curt Harris, Rotary District 5450 District Governor, presented the Conifer High School Interact Club the Interact Annual District award for their outstanding accomplishments.
  • Janine completed her year as President by handing out the remaining awards to her Board members. She presented awards at the Presidential Change Over Party last Sunday.
  • Next week's meeting will be a Club Assembly to focus on our vision for the coming year.
  • We will induct Leonor McCall as a member of the Club next week.
  • Center for the Arts sent a thank you for our support of their fund-raising.
  • Lee reported that we have 64 boxes of peaches sold as of last week.  The last day to order is August 12th, with delivery August 23rd.
  • July 27, Elevation Celebration---fund-raising for Conifer High School.
  • Clear Creek Rotary:  Sept 22nd fund-raiser, Touch-a-Truck, needs volunteers.  “Climb, learn, discover GIANT trucks: first responder vehicles, cars and motorcycles!”
  • Our next Conifer Rotary Social will be August 28---walk Dinosaur Ridge!
Program:  Curt Harris, Rotary District 5450 Governor
Our friend and now District Governor Curt Harris shared his story of joining Rotary when he moved to Evergreen.  Within three years he was the Club President.  He explained that his first Rotary trip to Africa was when he truly came to know the importance of Rotary in the world.
He shared that Africaid was started from the Evergreen Rotary to support young girls in Africa in provide mentoring and education.  It has reached thousands of girls. 
Members of our District 5450 started the first “Young” RYLA in Rotary International.  
Our District in conjunction with District 5440 spend over $300,000 a year to provide these leadership camps for teens.  
Curt’s theme:  Partnerships and Interconnectedness of Rotary Clubs
Rotary’s Vision:  Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe in our communities and in ourselves.
The District needs to grow our membership; they have committed resources to help each club.
Up-coming District 5450 events:
  • September 21, 8 am-12:15—Club training workshop at Front Range Community College.
  • January 25, 2020—RI Presidents dinner.
  • The District Conference, April 25, 2020 in Westminster, will focus  on Club successes.
  • The RI convention will be held in Honolulu June 6-10, 2020.
Big News:  Nigeria should be the next country to be Polio Free. This will leave only  Afganistan and Pakistan with endemic polio.  There is a call for $50 million dollars to be raised through the RI Foundation Polio Plus program, which will be matched with 2:1 = $100 million from the Gates Foundation.
Guests:  Greg Pod (Evergreen Rotary), Melina Lewis (Conifer High School Interact), Morti Longsdorf
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, July 9, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-07-09 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting June 25, 2019

  • The new District Governor, Curt Harris, will be visiting the Conifer Rotary meeting July 9.  Please come to this important meeting.
  • Wes Paxton thanked for everyone who participated in Run the Ranch.  The financials are still coming in and will be reported at a future meeting.
  • Thanks to Diana for her amazing help with youth programs in the absence of Wes Paxton and Suzanne Barkley.  
  • Our Conifer High School Young Rotarian Club received the prestigious District Ron Prascher Young Rotary award this year.  It is is presented to the Interact Club that is considered to have been most successful in accomplishing meaningful service projects, developing leadership skills, and maintaining strong student participation during the school year.  More information is available on the District website by clicking HERE.
  • July 4 is the Freedom Run for the Mt. Evans Hospice and Home Care.  Ed needs parking volunteers that would need to available at 6:30AM.  He will be sending a request to club members.
  • Changing of the guard celebration will be Sunday July 7, 3-7PM at the McCall’s home.  It will be a heavy appetizer potluck, and cake counts as an appetizer.  Consider bringing chairs.
  • The Deer Creek Elementary Green House committee sent a thank you to Conifer Rotary for the donation for the green house at the school.
Conifer Rotary Foundation Annual Meeting
Our Club Foundation is the arm of Conifer Rotary that raises funds that we use to support good causes in our community.  Typically, we support other non-profits, provide college scholarships, and RYLA scholarships.  These funds are not used for any Club expenses.  In the 11 years it has existed the Foundation has given $213,549 in college scholarships, RYLA scholarships and grants.
Wes Paxton, Chair of the Foundation, presented the financial report. Our income was impacted by the limited return from the Home Show this year.  We will need to consider additional fund-raising for the coming year if we want to provide the same level of grant awards to the community.
The fund-raising  for 2019-20 will include our St. Patricks’ party, the Foothills Home, Garden and Lifestyle Show, Peaches Sales, and a new event:  Music and Beer Festival—to be held at Beaver Ranch next summer.  It will be an “All Hands on Deck” event.
There will be three open positions on the Foundation Board this year and elections will be in early August.
Guests: Mary and Hilde Moore
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting June 25, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-06-25 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, June 18, 2019

  • PEACHES:   Ordering information is on our website and emails were sent.  Orders are coming in at a quick pace.  You can order your peaches by simply clicking HERE!
  • Next week the morning meeting will be our annual Foundation meeting and there will be an evening meeting.  See our website calendar,, for changes in the meeting dates and special events.
  • Our Change of the Guard event will be July 7 at Dean and Lenore McCall’s home.  It will be an appetizer-potluck, which includes cake.
  • The Pleasant Park road clean-up last Saturday was very successful.  Thanks to Mark and Judy Rehm, Craig and Donna Kubik, Lee Willis and Cara Camping, Pat Hagan, Lesley and Tom Landon, Diana Phelps, and Barry Schwartz.
  • The next Board meeting will be July 17, 6pm at the McCall home.  All are welcome
  • Dean shared the members of his proposed 2019-20 Board; approved by the meeting members today.
  • Marlis McAllister will be our club President after Dean.
Program::  Friends of Mt. Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness (FOMELC)
Peter Vrolik
Peter Vrolik, FOMELC President, joined us today to talk about their organization.  His first topic was to thank us for supporting FOMELC at the Foothills Home, Garden and Lifestyle Show this year.  The show organizer discontinued special pricing for non-profits and our club stepped in to pay the fee for FOMELC.
The FOMELC volunteers cover a huge area.  Mt. Evans Wilderness has over 74 thousand acres and 120 miles of trails, and Lost Creek Wilderness has just under 120 thousand acres and 130 miles of trails.  Peter went on to explain that wilderness areas are protected Federal Lands by the Wilderness Act of 1964.  No mechanized items are allowed in these areas: no bicycles, chain saws, etc.  The goal is to retain the primeval character of the land without permanent effects from humans.  The Forest Service has oversight and care for the Wilderness areas because they are part of our National Forest land.
Friends of Mt. Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness is a volunteer organization with about 80 members.  Their efforts provide support to the Forest Service, providing education, trail  assessment and maintenance, invasive weed species eradication.  In 2018, they worked were 4596 volunteer hours.  All of the Mt. Evans 23 Wilderness trails and the 13 Lost Creek trails were patrolled---with identification of many issues then reported to the Forest Service.  Eradicating invasive weeds involved 1300 hours of volunteer work in 2018 alone.
Anyone with a love and appreciation for our local forest treasures is welcome to join.  check them out at
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, June 18, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-06-18 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, June 11, 2019

  • JOY International is hosting a Barefoot Mile Fundraiser Saturday June 22, 2019, 9 AM in Marshdale Park.  Register at  Walk a mile in solidarity with impoverished and trafficked children.
  • Board Meeting:
    • Planning for the Home and Garden Show has started.  Janine would like to increase the number of artisans—if you have suggestions, please let her know.
    • Dean presented his new Board.  The Club will vote on the new board at our next Club meeting.
  • The Pleasant Park road clean-up will be this Saturday, at 9AM.  Mark Rehm needs more volunteers.
  • In two weeks, we will have our annual Conifer Rotary Foundation meeting.  Mark Rehm will be fundraising chair.
  • We will be filling an additional Young RYLA position using Community Service funds that were not used this year. 
  • Bruce Ward was in the RI Rotarian Magazine again, promoting our Rotary Peak!
  • Charlotte presented an update on the 285 Back Pack Project.  They provide weekend food for about 100 children every week, plus snacks for the Boys and Girls Club of the High Rockies in Bailey.  We are currently providing Boys and Girls Club snacks for the summer; they have 40-50 kids a day!  Starting this fall, we plan to switch to reusable bags for back pack food, made from t-shirts.  If you have un-worn t-shirts that we could make into bags, please bring them to the Club meetings.  We can use any size but small size t-shirts are preferred.
Program:  Boys and Girls Club of the High Rockies Coming to Conifer
Amy Carman, CEO
Today's presenter, Amy Carman, grew up in Evergreen. She has been associated with Rotary since her childhood. as a RYLA awardee and a Rotary scholarship recipient.  She moved into the Boys and Girls Club CEO job from Human Services for Park and Teller Counties.
Boys and Girls Club of the High Rockies is a busy organization, currently serving 480 kids in Park County.  They want to continue their growth eastward to develop a presence in Conifer.  She explained that kids in Conifer and Evergreen are more isolated than the kids in Fairplay.  She sees Boys and Girls Club as a place for kids to get support, build friendships and to be supervised in a safe place.
Her organization is involved in conversations with a Conifer school regarding bringing their services to Conifer.  It would be an after school program until 6:30pm.  There will be formal meetings at the end of summer. She is hoping they can get a program started so that they can demonstrate the need and the value, in order to be able to get grants and other funding.
In Bailey the middle school will be added to their Club this fall.  Boys and Girls Club will have a permanent location in Deer Creek Elementary. All the Club students will be in the same location, which will make it easier for parents.  Bus service via the school district will also be available.
The children have tutors and help with homework; they also have a variety of activities.  Boys and Girls Club is expanding its programming to address the varied needs and interests of the children.  The staff works directly with teachers to ensure that school work is being done, plus they coordinate other support services for kids.
Funding comes from a number of sources, including Park County, the Dept of Human Services and many other grant funders.  Our Rotary Foundation is holding a grant for this program.
Tuition is a reasonable $30/month for full time club membership.
Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, June 11, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-06-11 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer, Meeting, May 28, 2019

  • Run the Ranch will be this Saturday, June 1, 7:30 a.m. at Beaver Ranch.  Registration is on-line at
  • Last week, Pat Hagan and Janine Payton presented the Rotary Scholarships at Conifer High School (3 scholarships) and Platte Canyon High School (six scholarships).  Our Club Foundation gave nine $1,000 scholarships.  
  • Diana Phelps reported on RYLA.  We are sending six students to RYLA and four to Young RYLA.
  • Suzanne shared her story of when she was in a Chicago Rotary Club and went to Uganda twenty-three years ago to help make micro-loans for women.  The project is continuing!  Rotary started the project, but now all the loans have been repaid and the funds are now available for more loans, including for men.  They have 800 loans out at this time.  
  • The Changing of the Guard party will be Sunday, June 7 at Dean and Leonore's house.
  • Thanks for help with the 9 Health Fair and Veterans’ Rendezvous.
  • The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 5, 6pm at Janine Payton’s home.  All members are welcome.  It will be a combined Board meeting, this year’s Board and the new Board.  
Program:  A Glimpse of Kenya
Dean McCall
Dean and Leonore McCall and Suzanne Barkley just returned from Kenya, visiting the projects that our former member, Carol Carper started .  They took several suitcases of medical supplies, malaria test kits (which were funded by Interact Clubs), bandages, sanitation products and 120 canes.
They found that there is a dearth of basic supplies and poor infrastructure.  A major focus for their visit was on people with disabilities.  Carol has worked to design and implement a survey to identify the numbers of disabled in that region and their needs that are not being met.
Our volunteers also checked on the protected springs that our Conifer/Bailey Interact students raised money to build.  Of the 13, twelve are working well.  The report is that water-borne illness has dropped significantly!  The springs are also a source of community gathering.
Other accomplishments included:
  • They visited the farms that are supported by Sasa Harambee for sustainable agriculture and economic development.
  • They visited the Small Home which provides care and education for children with disabilities. This is where the special playground is, that our own Wes Paxton and Conifer Interact kids built last summer.
  • A visit to a Masai village and the Masai Mara---a huge grassland that melds with the Serengeti in Tanzania.
At the end of the visit, they want on safari and had wonderful photos of the animals and landscapes.
We invited them back for more show and tell! 
Rotary Club of Conifer, Meeting, May 28, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-05-28 06:00:00Z 0

No Meeting for Rotary Club of Conifer May 21st, support Run The Ranch

There was no meeting this morning for Rotary Conifer because of the snow.  Remember the Conifer High School Interact Club Run The Ranch Fundraiser is June 1st at 7:30AM.  Two events: a 5K cross country race and a 5K fun walk.   Come enjoy the beautiful scenery of Conifer's Beaver Ranch Park while supporting a very good cause.  For more information and registration click HERE.
No Meeting for Rotary Club of Conifer May 21st, support Run The Ranch Lee Willis 2019-05-21 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, May 14, 2019

  • A review of the June calendar:  
    • June 1, 7:30 am, is Run the Ranch at Beaver Ranch.  The money raised will go to the Interact Nepal trip summer 2020.  It is a 5K and can be run or walked.  Register on line.  Tax deductible donations can be given through our Conifer Rotary Foundation, with a notation for Conifer Interact.
    • June 4:  NO morning meeting
    • June 5:  Board meeting at Janine’s home at 6:00pm
    • June 11:  Regular morning meeting
    • June 12:  Regular evening meeting
    • June 18:  Regular morning meeting
    • June 25:  Regular morning meeting with Club Foundation presentation by Wes Paxton
    • July 2:  NO morning meeting
    • July 7:  Changing of the guard 
  • The Conifer High School graduation is this Saturday, May 18.  Wes needs more volunteers.
  • The Veterans’ Rendezvous is this Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m.-12 noon.  Rotary volunteers for tear-down:  11:30.  Thanks Lesley and Pat!  Other volunteers are needed!
  • Scholarships will be given this Thursday at Conifer HS and Monday the 20th at Platte Canyon. All 9 students will be given $1000, due to the generosity of Conifer Rotary members.  Please contact Joyce if you can help make presentations to the winners.
  • We received a thank you note from Katherine Dahlin, the recipient of a Rotary Scholarship for Bootstraps, she went to Africa last year with Conifer Interact.
Program:  Colorado Life with TABOR and Gallagher
Ed Steinbrecher
Basics of taxation:
  • We are governed by Colorado Constitution and Statues.  The Constitution can be amended by citizen initiatives or by referral by the legislature to citizens.  The State Constitution and Statues authorize taxation.
  • All taxes are determined by Rate X Value = Revenue
  • State income tax is currently 4.63% X Federal taxable income
  • Property tax rates depend on the different types of properties:  residential, agriculture, commercial, industrial, and natural resources.
  • Property taxes use mill rate.  One mill is $1 per $1000 assessed value.  40 mils would be 4%; or $40/$1000.  
Gallagher.  In 1982, legislator Dennis Gallagher proposed a Constitutional amendment to address inequalities in county assessments. County assessments were not standard and required more money from the State to cover expenses.  
Gallagher states: The amount of revenue raised by Residential real property tax shall not exceed 45% OF THE TOTAL in perpetuity.  All state revenue from other property taxes will be 55%.  To meet state income needs in 1982, residential was taxed at 21% of actual value.  With fast growth and increasing home values, the Gallagher limit forced the state to reduce the rate and it is now 7.2% of actual value.  Every special district has to use to the state set assessment rate, regardless of Residential values.  Some districts may not have had increase in new residential properties nor increase values of existing properties.  This forces a reduction in revenue for special districts (i.e. fire departments).  Next week's meeting will have Fire Chief Bill McLaughlin discuss the negative impact on our Fire Department.
Tabor.  Constitutional amendment passed in 1992, it forces a spending limit on the state to not exceed year over year growth plus inflation.  Revenue cannot increase by more than growth plus inflation of the prior year.  There is a property tax revenue limit.  This works, until there is a recession, and the years following that recession are restricted to the previous year's numbers.  This puts state revenue well below the level before the recession.  There can be no new taxes nor increase rate unless approved by voters (De-Brucing).  If there is excess revenue above the limit, that money overage must be returned to the taxpayers.
    Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, May 14, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-05-14 06:00:00Z 0

    Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, May 7, 2019

    The program in two weeks will focus on our fire department, including information and next week we will learn about our tax notices and what they reveal about where our money goes and how TABOR and Gallagher affect the financing of our special Districts.  Bring your JeffCo Property Tax Notice next week to learn where your tax money goes.  Chief Bill McLaughlin will talk about the issues facing the fire Department.
    The Board report from President Janine:
    • We have a new slate of officer applicants that we will vote on this month.
    • Wes agreed to be President-elect, although since he was recently President he will relinquish if another member is interested and able to step into the position.  He will continue as Chair of the Club Foundation.
    • We need a new Rotary International Foundation Chair.
    • Hugh is requesting a new person to replace him as Chair for the evening meetings.
    • Cathy Taylor: treasurer
    • Marlis McAllister: Secretary
    • Charles Harrison and Charlotte Wytias: co-chair the Membership Committee
    • Amy Baker: Youth Services Chair.
    • Leslie Landon: Community Service Chair
    • Pat : International  Service Chair
    • Suzanne will be RYLA chair
    • Mark Rehm: Fund-raising Chair
    Rotary announcements:
    • The Club Foundation will have its annual meeting and election for Board membership by June.  The Board will elect a Chair once formed.
    • Beaver Ranch will offer their site to Rotary for a music festival fundraiser.  In addition to music we plan to have vendors, food trucks and beer, which will be held August 15, 2020.  More information to come!
    • Run the Ranch will be June 1, at Beaver Ranch to support the Interact Club at Conifer HS for their Nepal trip summer 2020.
    • Lee Willis received his Paul Harris award, plus two!  Congratulations and thank you.
    Program: Dinosaur Ridge, Erin LaCount
    Erin LaCount joined us today to share her enthusiasm for the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge.  The organization works with Jefferson County Open Space to maintain this 150 million year old site.  They don't own the land, they just supervise its use as caring custodians of this paleontologic site.  Friends has been in existence for 30 years, founded by Dick Scott in April 25, 1989.
    Their mission is to educate the public about, and ensure the preservation of the natural and historic resources of Dinosaur Ridge, Triceratops Trail and surrounding areas.  There are several areas of dinosaur tracks and bones along a four-mile long ridge.
    The current history of the area began in 1877 when Mr. Arthur Lakes, a paleontologist, was engaged to find and excavate dinosaur sites.  In 1938, the Work Progress Administration was building Red Rocks Park and they discovered fossils and dinosaur tracks.  The Denver Museum of Natural History came to survey the tracks and gathered bones that are in the Museum.
    There was little activity at the site until March 1989 when Martin Lockley led tours to study and set up preservation efforts.  In 1993, money became available to start construction projects to stabilize the area and create visitor walk-ways.  They have since built stairs to give easy access to bone sites and now have an educational/viewing area.  There are 335 identified foot prints so far.  Their site is popular among tourists, partly because it is close to downtown Denver.  In the past 10 years, the annual visitor count has gone from around 25,000 to 235,173!  
    Future plans are for Rooney Road to be re-routed to allow for a formal parking area and a new visitor center, track site cover and other enhancements.  The roadway will have designated bike lanes and a dedicated walkway.  There will be picnic areas, and hiking trails as well.
    The Friends of Dinosaur Ridge has many fundraising events to raise funds for maintaining their current visitor center and to help build future resources.  They need more volunteers, with many options for helping both with the public and behind the scenes.  The Friends do adult field trips: Wild Wanderers go to many areas in our region.  More information is on the website:
    Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting, May 7, 2019 Charlotte Wytias 2019-05-07 06:00:00Z 0

    Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting April 2, 2019

    April 2, 2019
    PROGRAM:  Peggy Catlin, District N, RTD Board
    Peggy was appointed to the Board of RTD last year for Jeffco.  Jeffco is the largest geographical district transportation district for RTD.  She has a 35-year experience in transportation as a civil engineer and worked for CDOT for many years.  She was elected to her position in November as a permanent position.
    The “G” Line is opening! The “G”  line is a commuter-rail service and is an extension of the “A” line to DIA—thru Wheat Ridge/Arvada. There have been delays due to regulatory issues with several organizations with complicated issues.  
    RTD is the largest transit region in the USA
    This month is the 50thanniversary of RTD.  This anniversary year there will be extensions into the SW region of the area.
    RTD is looking at broadening a comprehensive commuter system, including partnering with UBER and LYFT.  They will be looking at under-served areas.  The UBER-app will provide information about all the transport possibilities, including a way to pay for full partner trips.  There is a driverless car that is being tested at the Panasonic facility off the “A” line.  
    There are issues with low ridership.  RTD has “flex-ride”, green bus, and may be used for fixed rides on low rider routes in addition to the “call and ride”.  Peggy is advocating for this type of transportation for the mountain communities.  She is also talking with the Senior Resource Center to address needs of seniors.  
    Tickets can now be purchased on your phone.  
    If you want more information or have suggestions, please contact Peggy at or 720-656-0670.
    The 9 Health Fair will be held at Our Lady of the Pines on Saturday April 27.  Conifer Rotary will be volunteering at Registration.  Please sign up with Charlotte for the early or mid-morning shifts. 
    The Home and Garden Show had about 1000 attendees.  There was an additional expense for the webpage this year, which may reduce our income. Dean has confirmed that Janine will coordinate the event in 2020.  
    The District Area 8 dinner will be held at El Rancho tomorrow night at 5:30.  This will be an event that is focused on social interactions and meeting Rotarians from the other Area 8 Clubs!  Drop-ins are welcome.  The price is $25.
    The Clear Creek Rotary has a fund-raiser Saturday May 25 11 a.m. in Downtown Georgetown:  “CALL TO DOO-TY”!!  The funds will benefit The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.  
    Janine has created a tri-fold representing and explaining Conifer Rotary.  She also has “business cards”/invitations for our meetings. Pick up yours and invite new people!
    Run The Ranch will be June 1, 201 at Beaver Ranch.  The routes will be different than other years.  The web site will be up this week.  It is a walk or run event and supports the Conifer Rotary Interact trip in 2020 to Nepal.
    We will have a big fund-raiser at Beaver Ranch August 15, 2020.  Watch for more information!
    A Club Social will be Saturday April 13, 2-5.  The details will be coming in an email an announcement on the web site.
    Rotary Club of Conifer Meeting April 2, 2019 CHARLOTTE WYTIAS 2018-05-22 06:00:00Z 0

    The Rotary Four Way Test

    The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say, or do:

    1. Is it the truth?
    2. Is it fair to all concerned?
    3. Will it build good will and better friendships?
    4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

    For many decades Rotary Clubs and Rotarians have used The 4-Way Test as an instrument to develop respect and understanding among peoples.

    Rotarians around the world use the 4-Way Test in business, government and schools as an effective measuring stick for conduct, a guide to right thinking. If memorized and constantly applied to relations with others, it will contribute to more effective and friendlier relationships.

    By getting into the habit of checking your thoughts, words and deeds against the 4-Way Test, experience shows that it will help you become happier and more successful.

    The Rotary Four Way Test Lee Willis 2013-02-10 07:00:00Z 0

    Rotary Monthly Themes

    • January:   Rotary Awareness Month
    • February:   World Understanding Month & R.I.'s Anniversary
    • March:   Literacy Month
    • April:   Magazine Month
    • May:   Rotary Education Month
    • June:   Rotary Fellowship Month & R. I. Convention
    • July:   Transition Month * New Rotary Year Begins
    • August:   Membership and Extension Month
    • September:   New Generations Month
    • October:   Vocational Service Month
    • November:   Rotary Foundation Month
    • December:   Rotary Family Month
    Rotary Monthly Themes Lee Willis 0