Updates and Announcements
Evening Meetings: The next evening meeting is on January 12th  at 5:30 PM at Our Lady of the Pine Catholic Church. 
285 Backpack Project: A Sign-Up Genius is available to volunteer to assist. To sign up, go to: ​​https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040c48afa823aa8-back 
Boulder County Fires: The District has set up a donation fund that can be accessed from the District website or Facebook page - we will be looking for ways in which we can respond to the affected communities.
White Elephant Party: On January 18th at the MRC. We need an approximate headcount by next Tuesday, send an email to Amanda to RSVP yes or no. We will also have burritos brought in for purchase from Brenda. If you would like to purchase a burrito, with your RSVP let Amanda know if you want vegetarian, sausage or bacon. 
Suzanne will be bringing the new t-shirts to the white elephant! If you can’t make the white elephant, there will be other opportunities to get your t-shirt with more info coming soon.
District Marketing Video: The District PR Committee is in the process of putting together a marketing video and they need Rotary members. We are setting up a series of shoots, and the first one is Wednesday, January 12th, at the historic and beautiful Denver Press Club. We will be conducting interviews from 4-6 pm. Please bring a mask, as you may be required to wear it at least part of the time in the building. The Denver Press Club is asking all guests to be vaccinated, so let's be respectful of their request. For more information, click on the link. https://denverpressclub.org/. A head count is needed so if you are interested, send an email to Becky Weinkauf ASAP. 
Colorado Women’s Day Conference: Know a woman who has worked hard and deserves recognition? Nominate her for one of the awards to be presented at the 7th Annual Colorado Women’s Day conference to be held on March 10  & 11, 2022. The deadline for nomination pdf or WORD documents to be emailed to the Colorado Women’s Day office in Golden is Friday, January 14, 2022. Nominations should be emailed to: Awards@ColoradoWomensDay.org.
Mind Blown Trivia Night: Conifer High School Parent Teacher Association is hosting this year's Mind Blown Trivia Night on Friday, February 11, 2022 at Our Lady of the Pines Church from 6:00 until 10:00 p.m. Join us for this fun evening where table groups dress up based on their chosen theme and bring themed based treats for their table. Teams compete for fabulous prizes and bragging rights as the 2022 Trivia Champions All this fun helps raise money to support staff and students at Conifer!  This event typically sells-out, so don't forget to purchase your tickets in advance. Adult beverages will be available for purchase during the event. Event flyer: https://tinyurl.com/mv9rauza
Upcoming Events
Area 8 Social: Planned for April 6 2022. 
Home & Garden Show: To be held on April 9th and 10th at Conifer HS. 
Meeting Program: Jerry Van Leuven - The Aspen Effect: building resiliency in youth https://theaspeneffect.org/vision
  • The Aspen Effect is a non-profit located in Castle Rock all about helping youth connect, heal, and thrive.
  • Helping kids become more resilient is the ultimate goal of The Aspen Effect.
  • Their work is out of an equestrian center called Bell Mountain Ranch just south of Castle Rock. The ranch was purchased seven or eight years ago where the owners refurbished it and as a result walking onto the ranch is very peaceful. 
  • The owners of the ranch didn’t know much about horses, but knew about behavioral health and had experience with starting a behavioral health agency in AZ. 
  • The Aspen Effect Values include:
    • We accept others where they are
    • We oppose any type of disrespect 
    • We seek common humanity
    • We reject victim mentality
  • Aspen trees are symbolic with the way they think of their work. No kid stands alone, much like an Aspen grove.
  • When it comes to youth mental health and suicide prevention the most important factor is the presence of an adult who cares about them.
  • Their Programs include:
    • Ranch Hand Leadership Academy: they hire kids each summer to groom 22 miles of horse trails. Each kid fills out a personality assessment to help them understand who they are and understand what motivates them, and the tool helps them organize themselves into teams and roles for the summer. Each team owns a section and they need to groom the trail to a certain standard and within a certain time. There are conflicts that arise and need to be worked through and Jerry guides them through this.
    • Healing Horse Connections: boarders have horses at the equestrian center and they invite youth into that relationship with the horse. Grooming the horse, walking the horse, sometimes the kids can get onto the horse.
    • Mini Horse Leadership School: it’s amazing how much you can learn in leadership skills just by handling a mini horse. For example, lead by the side, instead of trying to push or force the mini horse. 
    • Animal lovers volunteer club: kids take on a responsibility. Jerry’s role is to help them understand they need to work hard, rain or shine, and take this real responsibility seriously. Working with volunteer adult mentors and they’ll build the relationship while helping out with their responsibility. 
    • Riding with resilience: Kids spend six weeks learning how to ride a horse and at the end they get to perform for their family and friends. 
    • Recently they’ve added a Teen Advisory Board: Ranch hand leadership academy is only available for each kid for two summers then they move onto things like employment at Chick-Fil-A. The kids have wanted to stay and help in general, so they decided to form a teen advisory board. Advising the adults, think of themselves as experts to help other adults who are trying to help kids. Their expertise is communicating with other youth. 
  • The Aspen Effect connects adult volunteers to serve as mentors for the kids. Training and background checks are required, but previous experience is not. For more information about The Aspen Effect, please visit: https://theaspeneffect.org/vision 
Guest: Jerry Van Leuven with The Aspen Effect, welcome!