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Girls Day 2012 with the Boys and Girls Club

Girls Day 2012 Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County

When I heard the Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County was hosting Girls Day at the Santa Rosa Junior College, I was “in”. The morning of the event, I was so excited. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I knew I was in for a good time.

It was a beautiful morning jam packed with young girls and female mentors from all over Sonoma County. We got paired up and were given an objective: participate in activities; learn about the others by asking questions regarding school, career, and healthy habits; and have fun! Hula hooping, sack races, zumba dancing, bean bag games, art activities, dress up photos, and face painting. Whew! It was full of fun. See my Flickr photo album of the day.

As an adult, I don’t get to play very often but I’m grateful I had the opportunity to do so. The chance to have fun, get exercise, hang out with active young ladies, and enjoy the company of women that took time out of a lovely Saturday to affect the lives of young girls made the day a favorite memory of mine and I’d love to do it again! Thank you for such a great day, BGCCSC!

Text from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma Countywebsite about the event: “This one-day event is aimed at empowering young women through mentorship and fun with women in Sonoma County.100 Women will spend the morning with 100 Club girls. On September 29, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the Santa Rosa Junior College, women & girls will join together for lighthearted games, activities, food, & fun! Event activities are structured around Boys & Girls Clubs 5 core areas: Sports & Recreation, Character & Leadership, Education & Career, Health & Life Skills, and The Arts.Girls Day aims to expose these young women to a variety of female leaders who will inspire them to grow up to becaring, productive, responsible women. In addition, funds generated through Girls Day help us offer character education programs to young women all year long. Programs like Smart Girls, DateSmart, Career Explorers and many others help our Club girls learn to be their best selves and make a smart plans for their futures.”

Best Game

SAY Beat the Cold BBQ

The huge pile of socks

I attended Social Advocates for Youth Annual Beat the Cold BBQ on 12/9/11 to end teen homelessness. The admission was a pack of socks. It was cold outside. I mean really cold. SAY runs the only teen homeless shelter in Sonoma County, the Dr. James E. Coffee House. Matt Martin, Executive Director, had many facts to share when he spoke to the standing room only crowd. Among them that there are over 700 homeless teens on the streets of Sonoma County. But the fact that grabbed me by the lapel is that when asked, 100% said they were hungry.

So the next time you see a kid on the street, don’t assume they are up to no good. They may be safer on the streets than in their own home. That’s an absolutely horrible fact, but it’s true. Reach out to them. Show them you care. Help them on their way. Your interest and attention may be all that’s keeping them with us. You were once a troubled youth, right? Weren’t we all?

Want to know what you can do? Donate your time or your money. Visit SAY’s site to learn more.

Summer Nights in Railroad Square

courtesy of Summer Nights at Railroad Square

Last year was the start of a wonderful neighborhood event here in Santa Rosa, Summer Nights in Railroad Square. On the first Friday evening of June, July, August and September you could expect to enjoy yourself with neighbors, food, wine tasting, art, music and the sunset. I only went to three of the four last year but I made sure I was at each and every one this year. For $20 you can get a wrist band and taste wines up and down Fourth Street in Railroad Square. You can enjoy food from one of several food truck vendors or patronize the great establishments up and down the street. The art, music, and people are entertainment that surrounds you. Every time I went, I saw lots of people I knew and had an unreasonably good time.

I wanted to say thank you to Ty Jones and Kernan Coleman and anyone else that had something to do with creating this lovely event. I am so pleased that it’s yet another great time, here in Sonoma County.

Agriculture Day for Leadership Santa Rosa Class 27

I’m involved in this great program called Leadership Santa Rosa run by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. All chambers have leadership programs but we are going into our 28th year, which I understand is the longest running of it’s kind in the U.S. I was in Class 26 and am the incoming President for the Alumni Association. There are many theme days: government, business, green issues, health & human services, media & marketing, justice, education, hospitality & tourism (watch for a blog on that one), and the most popular is agriculture. I was on the committee to produce Class 27’s Agriculture Day on 5/19/11. See my blog from last year’s Ag Day.

We visited the Rancho Laguna Dairy and heard from Art Lafranchi about the dairy business. What is amazing about this day is that it starts so early in the morning yet we are halfway through their workday by the time we arrive at the dairy. Last year when I went through the program compared to today were very different experiences. Since earlier this year, I have been flitting between being a vegan and a vegetarian. Those cows looked a lot different, let me tell you.

Flickr Photo Album

Tierra Vegetables is this wonderful CSA farm in Santa Rosa. Community supported agriculture, or CSA, is basically a membership to a farm. You pay a monthly cost to get a set amount of veggies either delivered for you or available for pickup. Evie & Wayne James gave us a lovely tour and the thing I noticed the most, next to the beautiful vegetation, was the fact that Wayne walked his land barefoot. I was blown away at the thought that he knew how his land felt through his entire body. Sounds silly but it’s a grounding concept. If you know of anyone that is stealing their produce, they’d greatly like it to stop.

There is a secret in Sonoma County. The Gourmet Mushroom Farm is this enclave of amazing foodstuffs in the form of fungi. The GMF doesn’t open their doors for anyone really. That’s the beauty of LSR. We get to go places no one else could get close to. Bob Engel gives us a tour every year and the idea that mushrooms can grow on wood always blows people away.

Most of the people traveling on that day were by bus, I drove my car because I had to leave early. This day is even more special because of the bonding that occurs on the bus.

On to Shone Farm, the botanical educational laboratory for the JC agriculture, viticulture, and culinary courses. Leonard Diggs is a farmer through and through. The beauty here is striking. The students that get to learn about animals, farming, vineyard work, winemaking, the culinary arts, as well as having a location for large events within the horse arena in the Dutton Pavilion. Last year we were there during tomato season and got to taste some 🙂

We had a great panel of speakers to speak on Emerging Trends & Challenges of Agriculture. They were: Lex McCorvey, Sonoma County Farm Bureau; Dave Whitmer, Napa County Agriculture Commission & Interim Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner; Joe Pozzi, Pozzi Ranch Lamb; and Clark Wolf, Clark Wolf Company.

The day ended at DeLoach Vineyards with a panel on the Sonoma County Wine Industry with Brian Maloney of DeLoach Vineyards; Rhonda Smith of UC Cooperative Extension; and Nick Frey of Sonoma Winegrape Commission. There was a tasting but I’m sad to have missed that part of the day. The gardens, bees, vineyards, guesthouse, and pool were phenomenal.

Thanks to all the great hosts, speakers, and locations that are made available to this amazing program. We couldn’t do it without all of you!

Tech Sweet Spot

I could never have been born in a more awesome place. I realize that just now.

I was born (and currently live) in the largest city in one of the most conscious locations on the planet. It is primed to receive an exodus of some of the most advanced technological minds right to my backyard. I live in Santa Rosa, an hour north of San Francisco. It’s groovy, it’s crunchy granola, we’re tree huggers, we’re conscious, there’s meditation, vegetarianism, veganism, the slow food movement, hippies, we have a high gay population, and the highest ranking community in California for volunteerism. We even have the Bohemian Grove, a notoriously secret enclave of Republican and conservative old boys meeting in our woods every year. It’s a fabulous, tolerant and diverse place to live.

But there’s something happening in the South Bay and Silicon Valley based tech organizations. The world tips towards the Bay Area when it comes to technology but many are leaving. Creating a startup and working at a huge successful company are completely different animals. A lot of those forward thinking people and those that created tremendous fortunes and became very influential in their fields are now retiring and/or moving onto new ventures. And where are they retiring to? Wine Country.  Right in the heart of where I live.

Consciousness AND technology? It couldn’t get any better.

Make Room for Books

RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteers) is launching a January Book Drive. Please donate new or gently used books which will be sorted on MLK Day (1/18/2010) by volunteers and delivered to non-profits serving children, ages pre-school to middle school. Donations may be dropped off at the Volunteer Center at 153 Stony Circle, Ste. 100, Santa Rosa or for more information call Laurie Parish, RSVP Coordinator at 573-3399 ext. 117,or email Laurie lparish@volunteernow.org

Books for Kids

Quiet in Armstrong Woods

You know quiet? No, real quiet. Nature quiet. Sure I hear can hear other people when I’m hiking in Armstrong Woods but the ambient noise is deep. It’s full of damp, decay, moss, wood, insects….life.

No electronic hum. No traffic.

Life.

Quiet deeper than you can imagine

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