She thanked the Rotary members for their recent Swinging for Schools Golf Tournament. She told how, on a Fulbright Scholarship to Spain, she’d had the idea of a county-wide eduction foundation.
She called fundraisers “gap-fillers,” and stated a “strong pride in Sierra County.”
Lis Henson, a parent who serves as Director of Marketing & Communications, had made a slide show for planning and to build on what there is to offer. It explained the Roots & Boots Initiative that encourages students to explore, appreciate and preserve their rural “roots” and the rural and remote landscapes that shaped them, while also providing them with the “boots”, or skills, training and experiences to walk into their future prepared and inspired for what is ahead.
In arts & music, working with the Sierra County Arts Council, they have awarded several grants to bring back instrumental and choral music to elementary, middle, and high school students. Since 2011, the Loyalton schools have enjoyed music education and instruction with a future plan to build a full-time music program for all ages and to get a music teacher on board.
She told the “terrific job” teachers do in preparing students for college readiness.
In fundraising, she talked about how to get funds to kids directly. Her hope is to do more grant funding and to grow partnerships. Being a small group lacking numbers, they need to add to that to do things together. There are now three major fundraisers, Swinging for Golf being the biggest, and a barn dinner which was “really successful,” and hopes of a fundraiser to coincide with the Banff Film Festival in Downieville.
In all, the Foundation has funded over $120,000 to our schools.
The disappointment has been with the Gran Fondo, a unique, mass start timed cycling event which was featured two years and now has lost its sponsor. She encouraged Rotarians to get involved, to partner with them or take it on and “we would do the work for you.” They already have the big, beautiful blow-up arch and a lot of the accessories.
It was an excellent idea and Rotarians seemed enthusiastic, naming among themselves possible fundraisers they could change out. The Rotary Club is a huge benefactor for local schools and it seems a likely fit.
Among visitors at the meeting was M. A. Hamid and his lovely wife of Tulare, CA, guests of Elia “Nana” Miles. He was a 4-H exchange student here in 1960 from Palestine and remembers having talked with Elmer Cooper’s science classes. Staying at the Miles’, he has memories of having cut Christmas trees with Bruce and Art Scarlett. He went back to Palestine but returned to the U.S. and attended college in Kansas and got his Master’s at the University of Nevada, Reno and went on to teach math 35 years at Tulare City School. He was soccer coach 33 years. He retired from teaching in 2012 and is now a financial manager for a used car lot in Visalia. He “considers Loyalton his home town.”
The Rotarians planned to furnish refreshments at the Flag Retirement Ceremony November 11th and are in the process of securing a Christmas tree for the Community Tree Lighting December 5th where they will again furnish refreshments.