Tag Archives: Rotary Club

Honoring One Nation Under God

Charlene Sickler’s granddaughter Scarlett participating in the Pledge of Allegiance at last week’s Rotary meeting

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Burney-Fall River Interact Students travel to Mexico to serve

News from Bob Jehn of Burney-Fall River Rotary Club:

During President’s Day Weekend, five Interact students from Burney and Fall River High Schools traveled with five adult advisors to Agua Prieta, Mexico to perform community service alongside members of the Rotary Club and Rotaract Club of Agua Preita.


Interact students Alexus Bellino and Kaitlin Estes talk with a resident of the nursing home in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Heather Cook and other Interact students paint an amphitheater in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Students cooked hamburgers for 200 children in an underserved neighborhood, painted an amphitheater that had previously been a site for drug sales, handed out soccer balls to children at an after-school foster child facility, painted a mural they designed on the wall of the dining room at a nursing home, visited a local high school where they interested students in forming an Interact Club, and painted classrooms at a school for disabled children.

Intermountain Interactors were overwhelmed by some of the living conditions they saw and want to help more. The mother of one of the students who went on the trip said her daughter’s life is “forever changed”.

Interact students Maria Mercado and Jennifer Mercado talk with a boy at the foster children’s school in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Rotarian Bob Jehn, who has organized the trip for the last two years said, “Providing these kind of experiences for the youth of our community gives me great satisfaction. It is a great pleasure for me to head up our Rotary Club’s youth programs, and seeing the Interact student’s happy, bright, smiling faces is what gives me hope for the future.”

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Local Rotarian goes to India to administer polio vaccine to children

News release from Bob Jehn, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River:

Rotarian Patricia Bergman headed to Delhi on January 28 to join Anil Garg of the Rotary Club of Simi Valley, California, along with a group of Rotarians from around the world to administer polio vaccine to children in India. The group will be vaccinating children during the country’s National Immunization Days.

Burney-Fall River Rotarian Patricia with children in India.

“When this program was started back in 1985, there were 1,000 cases per day worldwide, and it was endemic in 125 countries,” said Bergman. “Last year we had only 30 cases worldwide; the year before that we only had 22 cases worldwide, and that was in two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. So, we are very, very, very close in eradicating the disease.”

Bergman and the group attended three orientation programs with representatives from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and India’s national polio committee office.

Burney-Fall River Rotarian Patricia Bergman administering polio vaccine to children in India.

India hasn’t had a polio case in five years, but because the virus is still present in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and it would take only one flight to bring the virus back into the country where, so far, Rotary has spent over $8 billion in this program since 1985.

On Feb. 1, the team flew to Nagpur, located in central India, where they were taken around the local areas to meet with different Rotary clubs. High school, middle school, and elementary school students went around town with banners promoting a polio-free country, a polio-free city, rallying to motivate people.

On February 2, the group began to administer the liquid drops to children 5 and younger.

“It is very satisfying to be able to participate in this Rotary-sponsored program,” said Bergman. “To be on the ground with a program that Rotary has been working on since I joined the organization 25 years ago is a truly humbling experience.”

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Kim Niemer explains FOIL action plan in meeting at Burney Lions Hall

On Tuesday evening January 22 at the Burney Lions Hall, the Friends of the Intermountain Library (FOIL) held a meeting to update the Burney community on the status of efforts to acquire a new building for the Intermountain branch of the Shasta County Library system in Burney.

Burney citizens attending a meeting on proposed new library building for the Burney branch of the Shasta County Public Library System

About 50 community members attended the event. FOIL president Pat Pell moderated the meeting. Ms. Pell thanked Lions Club President Mike Barnes for hosting the meeting on short notice and thanked the Burney Lions and the Rotary Club for their support for the project.

FOIL President Pat Pell opens the meeting

Pell then welcomed several people who have been helping prepare the FOIL plan. Kim Niemer, the evening’s main presenter, is the Redding Community Services Director. In that capacity, she helps to oversee the governance of the Shasta County Library System.

Francie Sullivan is currently a Shasta County Library Advisory Board representative. She lived in Burney and has served on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and was on the Redding City Council from 2010 to 2018.

Peggy O’Lea is the retired director of the Shasta Library Foundation who helped to organize community support for the new Redding Library.

Anna M. Tracy is the Library Director for the Shasta Public Libraries who has been coming to Burney once a month to work with the Burney Library.

Ms. Pell also introduced the current officers and members of the FOIL Board and Kevin McKay, a general contractor from Cassel who has helped FOIL work through some of the practical aspects of improvements that are necessary for the proposed building.

Before Ms. Niemer’s presentation of FOIL’s action plan, Shasta County Supervisor Mary Rickert made brief comments. Rickert said that she came as an observer, explaining that she could not take a position on the proposed library building because she needs to remain open to all points of view until the public hearing has taken place at the Board of Supervisors and a vote is taken. She also said that she needs to be careful to abide by the Brown Act.

Supervisor Mary Rickert gives brief comment to the audience

After Supervisor Rickert’s remarks, Pell invited Ms. Niemer to speak. Ms. Niemer gave a 25 minute power point presentation in which she explained some of the history of the library and FOIL’s action plan for completion of the building project.

Ms. Niemer’s presentation began with a timeline of the history of the Burney Library in the context of the Shasta County Library system. The Burney Library became Shasta County’s first branch library in 1949. The current library building was built in 1969.

In 1989, all 14 of the Shasta County Library branches were closed due to a funding crisis. FOIL was formed to combat funding issues. In 1990, Shasta County along with the Cities of Redding and Anderson agreed to fund and reopen three libraries as part of the Shasta County Library system: Redding, Anderson, and Burney. FOIL has been making annual contributions as a part of the agreement. In 1999, FOIL’s contributions increased to over $11,000 per year.

In 2003, the State of California awarded a $12 million grant for the building of a new Redding library. FOIL continued to financially support the library system.

In 2004, another funding crisis led to shortened library hours. A Library Governance and Financing Task Force was formed to evaluate library services. FOIL continued their support during the hour shortage. In 2005, the task force recommended transferring governance to the City of Redding and in 2006, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors entered a 40 year contract with the City of Redding to manage County Library Services. That same year, the Redding City Council hired Library Systems and Services LLC to manage the library system. The arrangement has proved efficient and cost effective. The new Redding Library opened in 2007.

In 2008, Shasta County entered a community benefit agreement with the Hatchet Ridge Wind LLC. Hatchet Ridge Wind provided a grant of $1 million and an additional $100,000 per year for 20 years. The payments are to be used for the benefit of Burney and the surrounding area.

In 2009, FOIL made the expansion and relocation of the Burney Branch Library a priority. In 2012, Shasta County agreed to a preliminary feasibility study for a new library building. The study was completed in 2013. In 2014, the study was presented to the Board of Supervisors and the Board approved and set aside a $400,000 grant for a new library building contingent upon the formulation of a feasible plan and successful fundraising by FOIL.

After FOIL determined that the best location for a new building was the Roper building on Main Street, Shasta County did an assessment of the Roper building in 2016. In 2018, an official appraisal of the building was completed. The appraisal came in at $285,000.

There is a difference between the appraised value and the assessment of the building by the County. The County maintains that the value of the property is $300,000, which is the price that Mr. Roper is asking for the building. There are ongoing discussions on how to bridge the gap.

Ms. Niemar explained that the project is nearing the finish line. FOIL is hoping to bring their proposed plan before the Board of Supervisors in February for consideration as an action item. Their plan involves shared responsibility amongst Shasta County, The City of Redding, and FOIL.

FOIL is hoping that the plan will be accepted and that the County will approve release of the $400,000 Windmill funds for the purchase of the building and installation of a visual fire alarm system.

FOIL would need to complete their fundraising. According Ms. Pell, FOIL has $50,000 in cash and an additional $50,000 in pledges. Several foundations have indicated that they would also provide grants once a building is secured. They would be responsible for completing interior ADA improvements, parking lot improvements and moving the contents of the library to the new location.

The City of Redding would coordinate with the County on implementation of the action plan. Ms. Niemer proposed that he City of Redding would complete the parking lot improvements in coordination with FOIL and partner with FOIL on relocation and start-up.

Niemer presented a proposed budget detailing the costs to the County and FOIL respectively as follows:

Shasta County

Property and associated costs                                                        $299,250
Tenant Improvements                                                                     $   11,523
ADA and Safety                                                                                 $  45,000
Engineering/Inspection/Administration                                    $  23,650

Total                                                                                                   $379, 423

Friends of the Intermountain Library

Interior checklist (including ADA)                                              $ 30,000
Parking lot                                                                                        $ 40,000
Miscellaneous furnishings                                                            $  10,000
Contingency                                                                                     $  20,000

Total                                                                                                  $100,000

Ms. Neimer concluded her presentation by saying, “This is sort of our Hail Mary. If we don’t do this project at this time on this building, we know we lose the Rotary money because that money is going away quickly, there’s not really any other building on Main Street that is suitable, and I think that the patience and focus at Shasta County on this project goes away too. So now is the time if this is going to happen. I think we have before you a plan that is very viable and feasible. Now is the people part.”

She then invited Francie Sullivan and Peggy O’Lea to come forward to share. Both advised everyone to write or Email all of the members of the Board of Supervisors to encourage them to support the project.

There are five Supervisors on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. In order for the project to be approved, three Board Members of the Board will need to vote in favor of the plan.

Ms. Sullivan also stressed the advantages that the County Library system provides and the difference between the County Library system and local lending libraries.

The discussion led to an extended period of question and answer during which Niemer, Sullivan, O’Lea, and Anna Tracy explained in more detail the plans and functions of the library.

A copy of the power point presentation on the action plan is available at the Burney Library.

People desiring more information about the plan, proposed library services, or how they can help, please contact Pat Pell, FOIL President, 335-7236 or ppell389@gmail.com.

People can contact all of he individual members of the Board. The members of the Board of Supervisors and their Email addresses are as follows:

Joe Chimenti, District 1 (Redding) jchimenti@co.shasta.ca.us
Leonard Moty, District 2 (Centerville, French Gulch, Happy Valley, Igo/Ono, Keswick, Platina, Shasta, South Redding, Verde Vale) lmoty@co.shasta.ca.us
Mary Rickert, District 3 (Bella Vista, Big Bend, Burney, Cassel, Fall River Mills, Hat Creek, McArthur, Montgomery Creek, Oak Run, Old Station, Palo Cedro, Pittville, Round Mountain, Whitmore) mrickert@co.shasta.ca.us
Steve Morgan, District 4 (Castella, Crag View, Lakehead, Shasta Lake, Mountain Gate) swmorgan@co.shasta.ca.us
Les Baugh, District 5 (Anderson, Cottonwood, Millville, Manton, Shingletown, Viola) lbaugh@co.shasta.ca.us

In addition to Emailing the individual Supervisors, you can also send an Email to the whole Board at shastacountybos@co.shasta.ca.us

See also:

FOIL appeals to the Board of Supervisors for release of library funds (Sept 2017)

Video playlist of January 22 meeting at Burney Lions Hall

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Santa comes to Burney to greet children at Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Hundreds of parents and children lined up for Burney’s 2018 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Christmas Tree Lane on Saturday evening November 24 to meet with Santa.

Helena Bowden happy to meet the Santas

Santa talked with each child to find out if they were good and learn what they wanted for Christmas.

Santa listens carefully to each answer

Mr. and Mrs. Santa were very adept at providing cheer and comfort to each child.

Santa entertaining a child with bells

Each child received a Christmas gift bag.

The Burney Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River, the Burney Lions Club, Soroptomist International of Burney-Fall River, The Lions Auxiliary, VFW, Burney Fire Protection District and other local neighbors and volunteers all participated in putting on the opening Christmas event.

Residents on the lane worked hard to decorate their houses with light for the festivities.

Santino Yabra worked hard to decorate his house on Christmas Tree Lane for the festive occasion

The Rotary served popcorn and cotton candy, the Soroptomists served hot chocolate and apple cider, the Lion Auxiliary provided delicious cookies.

Bill Campbell acted as Emcee.

Emcee Bill Campbell

The program opened with a presentation of arms by the VFW honor guard.

VFW Honor Guard

Janice Hamlin sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.

Janice Hamlin singing God Bless America

Then Paris Geisler soulfully sang two popular Christmas songs including White Christmas.

Paris Geisler singing White Christmas

Kids did the countdown to the Christmas Tree Lighting.

Kids count down to the tree lighting

Lions Fuzzy Field and George Whitfield through the switch and the trees were lit.

Lions Fuzzy Field and George Whilfield flick the switch

And the lights go on

Then the Winkelman family sang Christmas Carols.

The Winkelman family sings Away in a Manger

The elves were expectantly waiting for Santa.

The elves are ready

Shortly thereafter, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause arrived in a fire truck.

Santa arrives in a fire truck

Mrs. Claus was escorted off the truck by Burney Fire Chief Monte Keady.

Music was provided by toy soldiers.

Christmas music provided by this soldier

It was a wonderful time for young and old.

Mrs. Santa with a deligted and delightful child

 

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Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River hosts foreign exchange student victimized by Camp Fire

NEWS RELEASE from Bob Jehn, November 10, 2018:

Imagine yourself in a foreign country trying to communicate in a new language when suddenly a massive wildfire sweeps through the town where you are living, destroying your house and everything you brought with you except your passport, your cell phone, and the clothes you are wearing. That’s exactly what happened to Valeria Romo Mejia, a fifteen-year-old Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Columbia, as she was preparing to leave for classes at Paradise High School on November 8th.

Photo taken by Valeria as she was fleeing the Camp Fire

Victims of the most destructive fire in California history, Valeria and her host family endured the four-hour drive to Chico with more than 20,000 others who were trying to escape the flames, not knowing what would be next.

Fire Chief Monte Keady

Thanks to the Rotary support network and a quick decision by Rotary Club President-Elect and Burney Fire Chief Monte Keady, Valeria is safely in Burney in her own room at Monte and Robin Keady’s home. The Keadys were already hosting Austrian Exchange Student Katharina Schatz, who had made friends with Valeria at the Interact Kickoff Event in Winters, California last month.

Columbian exchange Student Valeria Romo Mejia

Rotary Youth Exchange Officer Bob Jehn along with Rotary District personnel is coordinating the effort to provide immediate financial assistance to Valeria, so she can purchase new clothes, school supplies, and other personal items lost in the fire.

Jehn says, “We hope Valeria decides to stay in Burney for the rest of her exchange year, but we’re taking it one day at a time. I’m just so proud to be part of an organization with members like Monte and Robin, who are always thinking of how they can help others.”

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Interact Students perform community service at Bella Vista Farms

From Bob Jehn:

Underscoring their penchant for community service, members of the Interact Clubs of Burney and Fall River High Schools spent Sunday, October 28 performing chores at the only animal rescue center in Shasta County.

Interact students from Fall River and Burney after four hours of hard work at Bella Vista Farms in Cottonwood.

Fall River Interact member Jessica Mayer found a friend at the animal rescue center in Cottonwood.

Sixteen students descended upon Bella Vista Farms in Cottonwood to muck out animal stalls and clear brush for fire protection supervised by Interact Advisors Bob Jehn, Willie Rodriquez, and Brenda Rodriguez. Burney High School Science teacher Mark Harner wielded a chain saw while students dragged branches and weeds into burn piles to be burned later this fall.

Owners and operators of the facility, Chic Miller and her husband Bob, ages 71 and 80, respectively, were very grateful for the help as they depend on only grant funding and private donations to support the operation. The facility houses over 100 animals that have been abandoned, abused, or injured, and as Chic says, “We don’t adopt out – the animals live out their lives at Bella Vista Farms.”

Chic does much of the veterinary work at the facility, and has written a book about caring for animals.

Interact members clearing brush for fire protection at Bella Vista Farms in Cottonwood

The Interact Club of Fall River High School has also made monetary contributions to the facility to help support the work that Chic and Bob do. After the latest contribution from the Interactors Chic said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t thank you all enough…I can’t tell you how much I love you kids.”

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