• On November 7, at 6:00 p.m., the next meeting of the board of directors will be at Janine’s house.
  • On November 9, at 8:00 a.m., the Evergreen Rotary Club will be packing soldier boxes at The Wild Game in Bergen Park.
  • On November 10, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Red Rocks Community College, the District will host foundation and membership workshops. The club will pay the registration fee. If you want to go, please register online and ask for reimbursement.
  • On November 14, at 5:30 p.m, the club will hold its evening meeting. Our meeting will be followed by the Conifer Town Hall meeting at 7:00 p.m. at West Jefferson Middle School. Club members who attend the evening meeting have done a great job representing us at the Conifer Town Hall and they would love to be joined by some of those who attend the morning meetings.
  • On November 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the club will have its next social, which is an evening at Stage Door Theater. We will see a dress rehearsal of White Christmas.  There is a suggested donation of $10.
  • On December 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., the Conifer High School Interact club will show a Warren Miller film. They are working on getting a sponsor and hoping that JJ Madwell’s will provide catering. The money the club raises will go to Starfish to help young girls in Guatemala get an education.
  • On January 8, 2018 (this is a new date), from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the District will host the State of the State luncheon at the Marriott Denver Tech Center. The focus will be on mental health and wellness. Molly Bloom, the keynote speaker, will discuss her own struggles with mental health and substance abuse. This event sold out last year so, if you want to attend, you should register early.
  • On January 25, District 5450 will host the RI President’s Dinner and Polio Fundraiser at the Denver Marriott South. RI President Barry Rassin will be the guest of honor. The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and costs $75.00. You can stay the night at the hotel for $99.00 per room.
  • On March 16, we will have our annual St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser at St. Laurence Episcopal Church. Tom Becker will be cooking. We need to update the tickets and flyers and get them printed before the first of the year. We also need help with silent auction donations. More details to follow.
  • Suzanne attended the Interact Conference on November 3 with a group of our Interact students. We currently have Interact Clubs at West Jefferson and Fitzsimmons Middle Schools and at Conifer High School. This Thursday will be the first meeting of the newly formed Interact Club at Platte Canyon High School. The Interact Club at Fitzsimmons Middle School received one of only two Presidential citations for overall club performance, awarded by the District. Mark Rehm has graciously agreed to sponsor Interact t-shirts again.
  • We recently had a great Day of the Dead party at Dean and Leonor’s house. Janine thanked them for hosting and told them we are all eagerly awaiting the next event there so we can celebrate the progress of their kitchen renovation.
  • While hiking in the Pike National Forest recently, Mark saw Bruce Ward. Bruce asked Mark to say to say ‘hi’ to everyone in the club.
  • Ed noticed that Conifer High School was rated #3 in the country by the Washington Post. Wes got a round of applause.
  • In a recent edition of the Canyon Courier, the newspaper ran a story about the 285 Backpack program and Mountain Backpacks  (the Evergreen Rotary backpack program).
  • The Conifer High School Interact Club is in a competition charity drive and is collecting canned food Items for MRC. If you would like to donate, please bring your donation to our next meeting.
  • Our next morning meeting is on November 20. We will award more grants to additional recipients, and bring canned goods for Conifer High School Interact!
Conifer Rotary Foundation Grant Recipients, Part 1
Today three of our 2018 Rotary Conifer Foundation grant recipients joined us to receive their grant awards.  They told us about their organizations and how they will use their grants.
Friends of Staunton State Park - Jeanie Boymel and Wayne Parkinson - $2,000
Jeanie told us the Friends of Staunton State Park provides financial support for promoting, preserving, and protecting the park. Our Rotary Conifer grant will be used in their track chair program. The program was conceived in August 2015 when Mark Madsen, a disabled person who enjoyed the outdoors tremendously, passed away. The Madsen family started the effort in 2016 by seeding a donation fund to purchase track chairs for the park. The effort produced the park’s first track chair in May 2017 and it was immediately successful. It was used on 150 hikes during the first year of the program. The Friends have since purchased two additional track chairs and have hired a track chair program manager during the hiking season to schedule hikes and recruit volunteers. The program has matured to include other necessities including backpacks, ponchos, and safety radios, and they now have a garage for the chairs. The track chair volunteers have joy sticks with which they can control the chairs for those occupants who cannot control the chairs themselves. Our club helped fund the purchase of the joysticks. The Friends have purchased gift cards to give to the top 8 track chair volunteers, one of whom has taken 30 hikes. This concept is gathering interest nationally, with state parks in Kansas, Michigan, and Oregon having adopted their own track chair program or inquired about doing so.
Our grant this year will be used to purchase ‘car seats’ to secure children and small adults safely in the track chairs. The chairs are one size fits all, and that doesn’t work for small people. Up to now, they have resorted to using pillows and foam material to secure small riders in the chairs.
In addition to telling us about the track chair program, Jeanie told us about other projects in which the Friends have been involved: the visitor’s center will open in January, complete with a stuffed mountain lion; there is rescue equipment in the park, including AEDs; and visitors to the park have participated in fun recreational and educational activities, including archery and fishing. Attendance at the Hike or Treat has tripled since its first year; weeding and preservation efforts are ongoing; and Eagle Scouts are constructing projects in the park with the help of the Friends. Jeanie encouraged all of us to join the Friends of Staunton State Park.
Stagedoor Theater - Kirsten Logan and Dean Arniotes - $1500
The Stage Door Theater mission is to make theater accessible for people of all ages and abilities, to develop skills and confidence, and to be creative in different ways. Stage Door wants the skills it teaches to last a lifetime.
The Stage Door youth program is large and growing, it includes children of all ages and abilities.  They are supported by a team of dedicated directors, choreographers, and parent volunteers (the parents help with costumes, props, etc.).
Kirsten has been with Stage Door for a year. She is proud to point out the unique strength of its program, that the children are all taught to support each other which she has not seen in other theater programs. For example, when each child auditions, the whole room erupts in applause. They all learn feel and act like they are a family.
The Stage Door program teaches children to be self-reliant and successful. It also teaches them teamwork. It encourages the children to develop lasting friendships and includes an incredible group of older kids who work with the younger ones.
This year Stage Door is performing a variety of programs to give the children the opportunity to learn different skills. It is currently rehearsing White Christmas, which teaches tap dancing and classical Broadway singing. In the spring, it will perform Rent, , which is a rock and roll program.
Stage Door will use the grant funds for student scholarships.
Platte Canyon School District - Sarah Bowman - $1,800
Sarah told us about the greenhouse that will be built at Deer Creek Elementary School. The project will have two phases: the first is a 26 foot geodesic dome greenhouse, and the second will be 6 raised garden beds with fencing to keep out the wildlife. It will be behind the school and accessible to everyone, including children in preschool. The excavation for the dome was done in July and it should be complete by next August.
The children are excited about the project, with plans to make scarecrows and garden pet rocks. The Boys and Girls Club is involved, and the school is contacting 4H, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts for help over the summer with weeding and watering. Jane Baumann, a retired engineer who works at MRC, does high altitude gardening and will help everyone, even those with a black thumb, to have green thumbs.
Fundraising started with $1,650 and is up to $16,500.
Guests: Ken Troxler (a former member of the club), Leonor McCall, Gail Sharp (Evergreen Rotary, picking up soldier box donations), Jeanie Boymel and Wayne Parkinson (Staunton State Park), Kirsten Logan and Dean Arniotes (Stagedoor Theater), and Sarah Bowman (Deer Creek Elementary School).