November 5, 2013 Meeting Recap

Click here for photos of the meeting.

Another great day at CARC! Lots of fine guests. Laurel welcomed Mike Berg back from his leave, and introduced guests Donna Scheifer, teacher/advisor to the newly formed Interact Club (the ONLY Cultural Arts Interact in the World!) and Charter President Samantha Martinusen. Sam shared some of the projects already completed, such as Zoo Boo, the Komen Run, and performances at Storyland Theater, and said they have Big Plans! Jackie introduced Zulma Stroh, sent to us by former guest Margot Tepperman, Rych Withers, E.D. of KFCF and guest of Paul Pierce who was ill, and her own guests Diana Martinez-Bleth, and Tom Flanagan. Will reintroduced Bill Wolfman, who announced his one man show at KJWL beginning with Art Hop Thursday and invited everyone to attend; Patsy reintroduced daughter Courtney; and Sally introduced Lynn Peets, Director of Major Gifts of Hinds Hospice.

Jerry announced the Board had approved allocation of $500 for the Hinds relocation project, which is being supported by all the Rotary Clubs in the area.

Laurel showed the design for the Interact Club sweatshirts, noting there are about 150 members and the sweatshirts cost just under $18 each. Jackie said she would sponsor ten at $20 apiece, and then everybody got on board and pledges made for about 74 sweatshirts for students. Thanks to: Jackie 10; Jerry 5; Sally 5; Ann 5: Richard 5; Tom 5: Don 5; Becky 5; Mike 5; Sarah 5; Marcy 5; Patsy 3; Sue 2; Shirley 2 1/2; Will 1; Dave 1; Lynn (our guest) 1; Claudia 1; Jim 1. Some of us are going to look into buying some adult size for ourselves, as well.

Linda circulated the sign up sheet to ring the Bell for Salvation Army on Dec 6 and 7 at Old Navy

Cynthia noted she is still taking head shots for our Rotary Directory, and that CARC has an article in the latest issue of Fresno Life Magazine.

Jerry gave his weekly words of wisdom from founder Paul Harris: If Rotary ceases to be a responsibility to service above self, it then becomes a pastime without a purpose,” and “There can be no better introduction to the life of a community than one that is realized through the Rotary Clubs that support and serve it.”

Jerry introduced our own member Michelle Tutunjian, who prefaced the program with invitation to join with Fresno County EOC in joining with the EOC Sanctuary and Youth Services in recognizing November as National Runaway Prevention Month with a list of activities throughout the month, beginning with proclamation at City Council meeting on Nov. 7, and including dedication of the Fresno LGBT Community Center as an official Safe Place at 1055 N. Van Ness Suite A on Nov. 14 at 3:00 P.M. Contact Michelle for details.

Michelle noted that EOC is a lead agency in the fight against human trafficking, and introduced Coordinator Ronna Brite and Fresno Police Sgt, Curt Chastain, representing the Coalition of Human Trafficking which was formed in April 2010. They showed a sobering and powerful video which defined human trafficking as a form of modern day slavery, forced commercial sex acts, and a violation of basic human rights. The extremely troubling statistics revealed 18,000-20,000 people are brought into the United States from all over the world annually for human trafficking purposes, and they are finding victims as young as 12 years. Much of the activity runs through a proliferation of massage parlors and huge numbers come from China. They described the process of how victims are approached and drawn in, and cited the indicators (see slide in the album of photos for those indicators of those who are victims). They talked about strategies to fight the problem, saying there are three primary issues: the demand side – the John’s who pay; the pimps who recruit and profit – and the victims themselves. They cited the difficulty in addressing the problem, and summarized the work of the Coalition here as: 21 sex traffickers convicted, one victim came forward to testify (an extremely difficult achievement), and a minimum of 210 victims are no longer under the control of offenders. There was a great deal of interest and many questions, and Patsy asked that they return with more information. Michelle stated there is a website for more information (Michelle is requested to send out that website)

NEXT WEEK’S MEETING Nov. 12 will be at the Veterans Memorial Museum in the Memorial Building at the southeast corner of Fresno and N Streets. See you there!

It continues to be a pleasure to serve with you through the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno

October 29, 2013 Meeting Recap

Click here to see members and guests of the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World having a great meeting on Oct 29.

Great guests on Tuesday! We welcomed District Governor Lee Blankenship, who thanked those who attended the Special Interest Seminar at Harris Ranch. Jackie introduced guests Ann Vermel and Brenda Critzer, Marketing Director for Rotary StorylandPlayland. Brenda shared they had a great Halloween Spooktacular this past weekend, and the coming weekend Central Unified Students will perform in the Storyland Theater. Playland is now open daily 10-4 and volunteers are needed. Contact Brenda at 559/486-2124 or Ann shared that she received a national poetry award, the University of Tennessee Literary Award, a first for her. Congratulations, Ann!


Jill was not able to attend the meeting, but made up for it by attending one in San Luis Obispo!
Jill was not able to attend the meeting, but made up for it by attending one in San Luis Obispo!
Hilary shared an article of encouragement and inspiration about those working to get students into the arts. A new museum in Arkansas funded by the Walton family gives free tours to students, and results of research affirm the positive effect on students attending museums. She cited the statistics of increased abilities in critical thinking, and many other attributes. She has the article, titled “Educational Value of Field Trips,” and will forward to the members.

Sally announced An Evening With Frank & Friends at Frank’s Place Nov. 9 at 7:00 P.M.

Linda sounded the Christmas Bells, and announced that she and Becky are once again leading the Salvation Army Bell Ringing Campaign. Our location is again Old Navy in River Park, on Dec. 6 and 7 for two hour shifts between 10:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. Sign up sheets will be circulated soon.

Robert Ware announced the upcoming event with Community Chorus at Shaghoian Performance Center on Sunday Nov. 10 in the afternoon

Linda signed for celebrating her mother’s 98th Birthday! Happy Birthday to Jane Hightower! Wow!

Laurel announced that Karen Marguth, our featured singer at Storyland and Jazz, is an employee at Central Unified and is on the nomination list for a Grammy Award. She also announced that her daughter is going to study for two years in Argentina.

Richard signed for beating his son at golf.

Sally thanked everyone who supported the Big Picture High School fund raiser this past weekend.

Jackie showed off three paintings she created at an Artist’s Retreat at Bass Lake over the long weekend, and signed a fourth time when she announced that she has a piece entered in Sorenson’s Gallery Nudes in November, which opens for Art Hop next Thursday evening (great way to celebrate a birthday!)

President Jerry presented a $500 check to Ann Vermel for the Woodward Shakespeare Festival Incidental Music Competition for student composers ages 13-19 and Ann shared details of the Festival and how the donation will be used for youth inclusion and experience. She expressed appreciation for the support. For more details go to

“Inspiration is a flame which soon dies out unless fed with sparks of service.” “Rotarians are inspired to become builders, not mere climbers.” “Perhaps dreams are not so bad if one dreams of doing service to others and make those dreams a reality.”

Jerry introduced Marv Harrison, Board President of the Allah Osipenko International Ballet Competition, a prestigious competition that will happen every three years in Fresno at the Warnors Center for the Performing Arts. Jerry noted that he and Rotarian Larry Metzler, as well as Artistic director Anton Romanoff, also serve on that board.

Marv shared the work and goal of the competition to help our community become more aware of ballet, noting this is the only organization in the nation that is doing this.. He said the main competition takes place in Jackson, Miss. and is for classical professional ballet dancers who will compete for cash prizes, many of whom will walk away with contracts performance around the world. The event is being developed, and the first will take place in 2015. He said the competition can only be done every three years, and the intent is to bring in the finest instructors in the world so students can train with the finest ballet professionals in the world. He said one goal is to grant scholarships to students, noting that board member Anton Romanoff is an instructor at CSUF and could not be present. He talked about Anton’s work and achievements in dancing all over the world, doing well in international competitions on numerous occasions. He said his presentation is to let everyone know what is happening, and said any participation would be welcomed.

As always, it is a pleasure to serve with you through the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!! Did I say that already? Well, it bears repeating!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno

Three Organizations Receive Funding for Youth Arts Programs

Focus Forward, Milestones Jazz, and Woodward Shakespeare are the latest CARC grant recipients

Three organizations received funding for youth arts programs totaling $2,400 over the past three weeks.  Focus Forward received $1,000 for their U-Turns Allowed magazine highlighting juvenile justice youth turning their lives around, Milestones Jazz received $900 to lower tuition for their youth jazz training program, and $500 went to Woodward Shakespeare to provide a stipend for a youth composer’s original song or incidental music for The Tempest production next summer.  Composers are picked through a judged contest.

Cultural Arts Rotary cultivates creativity through service.  Meeting every Tuesday noon at Arte Americas, funds are raised through fundraisers to benefit the community, with a particular focus on youth arts.

October 22, 2013 Meeting Recap

Visit this link for pictures of the meeting.

We welcomed visiting Rotarians Susan Anderson (Fresno Club) and Skip (North Fresno Club – who was also Claudia’s guest); Paul reintroduced Rich Withers; Cynthia introduced Gloria of Gloria’s Catering (guest of Cynthia and Shirley); Gloria brought and served the most wonderful authentic peach cobbler and sweet potato pie in the world!  She provided those great treats at Storyland and Jazz.  Her contact info for Soul Food, Mexican Food and much much more is 559-790-3669.

INDUCTION:  Jackie introduced Claudia Habib, and read the most wonderful bio.  Claudia has done so much and is a natural part of CARC.  President Jerry inducted Claudia, and incorporated a quote by founder Paul Harris:  “I believe Rotary will live; if it lives, it will glow ever stronger.”  Welcome, Claudia!

President Jerry made the official presentation of the Big Check for $1,500 to Focus Forward for the annual fund raiser and their second magazine.  Nancy introduced her Board members Mort Rosenstein, Susan Anderson and Joe Oliveria, and thanked the Club for its support.

President Jerry presented a check for $900 to Jim Page for the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, and Jim thanked the club, noting that the funds go to defray the tuition costs for the members of the group.

Becky noted that she received wonderful letters from the two children she is supporting for the International Children’s Network, who were here earlier in the year.

Sally reminded everyone of the upcoming Big Picture School fund raiser this Saturday night.  It will be held at St. Alfonse church, rather than at Ann’s as originally scheduled, as Ann’s husband Nat’s mother is critically ill and in hospice.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ann and Nat and their family.  Contact Sally or Jon Morse for details of the fund raiser.

Richard noted there will be a Christmas Gifts and Food for selected families, teams will be announced, and the gifts will be wrapped at Fresno Rescue Mission and delivered to the families by the teams on Saturday, Dec. 14

Thanks to Michael for sending out menus, and to Sally for sending out the calendar for the balance of the year.

Honorary Rotarian and Tehipite Principal Yvonne introduced and told about Julianne Torrez for embodying the Character Trait of Acceptance Student of the Month.  Our Students are always inspiring and very high achieving.

Our member Rotarian Salam gave a brief overview of the EOC Program for Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), the micro lending program and the work it does making loans to and  supporting small business start ups.  He noted they have loaned out in excess of ten million dollars since its inception.  He said SCORE made a request for CDFI to a returning veteran who was seriously wounded in the military, has sustained 33 major surgeries, and formed a small laser business.  Salam introduced that returning vet and his wife,  Al and Christy Kroell, who have formed ChristyAl Plaques and Engraving.  CDFI Business Development Manager Jeremy Hofer showed a great video depicting the national Sargent Schriver Award for Self Sufficiency to the Kroells.  Al and Christy talked about their experience and their work, and showed examples of their great work.  They told their story of overcoming great odds to form the business, and expressed appreciation to EOC CDFI for supporting their effort.  Al offered two great quotes:
“When you stop working for money and start working for people, it changes everything.”  and
“From Nightmares of the Past, to Dreams of the Future.”
Great inspiration.  Their contact information is   559/338-0275

Jackie and Sandy presented the thank you plaque to Zen Wok Fusion for donating great food to Storyland and Jazz.  They expressed interest in contributing again next year!  We said we’ll be in touch!

October 15, 2013 Meeting Recap

Click this link for pics of a great CARC meeting.

Sally needs help moving chairs on Friday’s VCC Conference. Sally said there is need for more Silent Movies at Warnor’s sponsors to bring in more youth.

Jackie read an email from Brenda Critzer, Storyland, with need for volunteers (that email being forwarded separately).

Terri noted invitation to teachers meeting from Rotarian Yvonne, Principal of Tehipite (Terri forwarded that email).

Nene noted Arte partnership with CSUF and upcoming hosted reception – that email will be forwarded, also.

New member Robert Ware announced that Philharmonic Maestro Theodore Kuchar has been nominated for an Emmy Award.
Robert also announced the University series is featuring this and future years’ Van Cliburn Award winners.

Laurel announced upcoming events with students, including ArtHop in November. Contact her for details.

Hilary said she would match any money in the end polio cartons on each table.

Becky announced she has been invited and accepted a position on the Playland-Storyland Board of Directors. Way to go, Beck!!! We will be well represented.

Becky announced upcoming events at Storyland, including Spooktacular on October 26. She has tickets.

Jon signed for announcing student he brought in the past, Noah Humphrey, spends time with his family serving the homeless and is also volunteering at Storyland.

Jon also announced upcoming fund raiser for Big Picture School – contact him for details.

Jackie signed for having her name in the paper for speaking at the service for her long time friend Cathy Rehart.

Paul introduced Rich Withers, Engineer and General Manager, KFCF, Fresno Free College Foundation.
Ann introduced Barbara Vanrozeboom.
Lilia introduced Julian, new Arts Director at Fresno Arts Council.
Jackie introduced Claudia Habib, who will be inducted next week.
Jackie introduced Gail Duffy, Executive Director of Childrens Services Network.
Elva introduced Nene, who indicated she may finally be worn down. It’s about time – she belongs with us!

Larry read a most impressive biography of Dr. Robert Ware, recently retired from CSUF but still very active in the community, and Jerry inducted Robert. Robert said he has found warmth, fellowship and contacts here, and is pleased to become a member.

Jerry presented his Paul Harris quote of the week: “Many an individual’s outlook is different after becoming a Rotarian. That new Rotarian learns to see more clearly the opportunities for community service at home and a more noble service to the world abroad. Rotarians become the mainsprings of almost every kind of worthy endeavor.”

Rotarian Ann Dellavalle introduced her friend Barbara Van Roseboom, President of the Quilter’s Guild. Ann shared that her great passion in life is volunteerism, which began at the age of 10 with Girl Scouts and FHA. Taking advantage of volunteer opportunities opened many personal and career opportunities in her life, including Director at Storyland, which was originally started by Junior League, where she was a member and volunteer. She said she learned three important things from volunteering:
One: Doing something good for others
Two: Doing something good for yourself
Three: Can be great stair-step (Storyland Directorship was an example for her)

Ann talked about the Quilter’s Guild, noting it is a 501(c)3, and read a list about many of their community projects (see list in photo album), including comfort quilts, baby envelopes for documents for stillborn infants’ parents, and scholarships. She talked about the need for community support, citing the high costs of quilting supplies. There was great discussion with questions and responses.

Welcome New Rotarian Robert!
It’s a pleasure serving with you in the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!