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Of The Gold Country

Grass Valley, California




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Changing The Community One Child At A Time Serving The Children Of The World  ™
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Guest Speakers

July thru December 2011
These folks gave a talk at our lunch meeting

For other dates, click on 2013 or 08 thru 12, 2012 or 01 thru 07 2012 or 01 thru 06 2011

Melissa Fowkles

December 1st, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Melissa Fowlkes, 3rd Grade teacher at Hennessey Elementary School.

Melissa gave us a good overview of what it's really like to be on the front lines of educating our next generation. Although many of us may have children or grandchildren in school, Melissa's talk for many of us was an eye-opener.

Today's elementary school teacher is guiding their students in math, language, phonics, spelling, art, physical education and many other areas of education. How to read a book, how to interact with other students and adults, including manners and social skills are also on the agenda.

Melissa mentioned that her third grade class is typical of many elementary school classes throughout the country. Each class has many students with social and economic issues to be overcome. Many of the parents do not participate in their child's education, as much as they should. While an ideal class size would be 16 students, Melissa's class has about 25 students.

Melissa, where were you when I was in the third grade ? We need more teachers like you !

Thank You for speaking to us today, and most of all for the very important work you do for our children !

Sue Vanson

November 17th, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Sue Vanson. Sue is the President of the Interfaith Food Ministry.

This organization is a non-profit funded by private donations, and staffed by over 400 volunteers.

Their mission is to provide food items, groceries, to those who are in need. With the current unemployment condition, the number of families needing this service has increased 40% over the last 3 years. Some people are living with their parents or grandparents, and are still having a tough time financially. For example, recently over 300 families received Thanksgiving Day groceries.

Local Nevada County churches help support the Interfaith Food Ministry. To see some pictures of the work that IFM does, click on IFM – Photos.

Thank You Sue, for speaking to us today, and most of all for your passion and the much needed work that you do !

Kiwanian Joe Bell

November 10th, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Kiwanian Joe Bell.  Joe shared some of his pictures from his trip to Italy earlier this year.

Great pictures.  We’re jealous.

Thank You Joe !

Ed Scofield

November 4th, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Nevada County Supervisor Ed Schofield. Ed represents District 2, Alta Sierra, Lake of the Pines, and unincorporated areas along Highway 49. Some of the topics Ed talked about:

Ed's main focus is on the County Budget. At the beginning of Ed's term as County Supervisor, the budget had a $ 6 million deficit. The budget now has a $ 3 million deficit. This was done in part by reducing the number of county employees; from 1100 to the high 700's.

One of the items on the current agenda is medical marijuana dispensaries. The county supervisors need to consider the direction of the current regulations.

Rincon del Rio, A planned adult living community on 225 acres bordering the Bear River.

Thank you Ed, for your talk about our Nevada County !

Melinda Duoros

October 27th, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Melinda Douros. Melinda is the Director of the Child Safety Puppeteers, an abuse prevention program administered by Child Advocates of Nevada County.


Melinda recruits and trains hundreds of high school students each year to perform puppet shows to younger children in classrooms throughout our area. Melinda talked about some of the work she does with schools, children, and volunteers with Child Advocates. Emphasis is on the prevention of bullying and sexual abuse of children. The use of puppets to make children aware of inappropriate behavior of adults is used to educate / inform children. Melinda's talk gave us details of how these puppet show work, and how they are received by the children.

Thank you Melinda for informing us of the work you do for the children of Nevada County !

Ron Egenes

October 20th , 2011

Our guest speaker today was Ron Egenes from Hospitality House in Grass Valley. Hospitality House serves the needs of homeless in our area. Ron talked about the many different reasons people are homeless. Regardless of the reason, Hospitality House provides shelter, including showers, laundry and a hot meal to many of the homeless. Before staying at the facility, people need to be drug and alcohol free and must agree to the Hospitality House rules and regulations. There are single people as well as families who stay at Hospitality House.

They work in collaboration with our local churches and other service organizations. For example, there are 28 local churches that help with meals and clothing for the homeless.

Also available is on site mental health and substance abuse screenings, provided by Nevada County Dept. of Behavioral Health.

Thank you Ron for enlightening us about Hospitality House !

Cheryl Johnson

October 13, 2011

Our guest speakers today were Cheryl Johnson and Dian Glasco. Cheryl is the Patient Services Manager for the Sacramento Area Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Cheryl and Dian talked about some of the great work the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is now doing. Some of developments that Cheryl talked about:
1. Gleevec®: First-line therapy for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia.
2. Assistance with Prescription Drug Costs for Uninsured Patients. Last year the Sacramento Chapter helped patients pay prescription payinh out $ 57,000. Nationwide, over 2 million dollars.
3. Connect with someone who's been through treatment and learned how to manage the same disease, Peer-to-Peer Support.
4. Patient Education Programs.

Thank you Cheryl and Dian for telling us about The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society !

Dian Glasco

Ginny Woods

October 6th , 2011

Our guest speaker today was Ginny Woods. Ginny has been an RN for over 35 years. She has raised her family, and is a Grandmother with 8 grandchildren. She has now dedicated her life to helping others. After visiting Bodhgaya, India several times, Ginny will be going back there this December as a volunteer to help the impoverished people. Poverty, disease, lack of nutrition are just some of the things Ginny will be facing in Bodhgaya, India.

On October 26th at the Nevada Theater there will be a showing of “Our Precious Human Life”, a documentary about the human drama in in Bodhgaya, India. Ginny will answer question after the film. All funds raised will go to the Maitri Charitable Trust. Tickets $10.

Here are two web sites about Ginny: Everyday Women and China Studies.

If you didn't make it to the Nevada Theater, watch this on YouTube image about 25 minutes: “Our Precious Human Life”,

Thank you Ginny for sharing your thoughts and compassion !


September 29nd, 2011


Mik Weaver n John Woodhall

Our guest speakers today were Mike Weaver and John Woodhall. Mike and John rode across America to: 1) Celebrate their 70th birthdays and 2) Raise money for an orphanage in Russia. Mike talked about the adventures of their ride. From hot humid weather to snow in the mountains, from low elevations to elevations over 10,000 feet. Sleeping in tents, and sometimes just on top of their sleeping bag and sharing their bed with local… bugs and insects.

Happy Birthday Gentleman and congratulations on your ride across America and for raising $ 7,000 for the orphanage.

For 2 related stories from the Union Newspaper, click Riding with a Purpose and Crank Out the Miles.

Thank you Mike and John for sharing your story!

Mke & John w/map

Kimberly Parker

September 22nd , 2011

Our guest speaker today was Kimberly Parker, Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. Kimberly talked about the Hospital, and many of the projects and goals of the Foundation.
The SNMH Foundation has raised more than $5 million since its incorporation to help support the hospital.

The cancer center has a nationally accredited Comprehensive Community Cancer Program. Only 20% of the nationwide cancer centers have this accreditation. Some of the high-tech equipment recently purchased not only improves the diagnoses and treatment, but it's also faster. This allows a larger number of patients to be diagnosed and treated.

Caring for your heart: The hospital has one of the few nationally accredited Echocardiogram Labs, and is affiliated with the Mercy Heart Institute in Sacramento

SNMH has earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

The hospital has a very informative web site… try it: SNMH
Thank you Kimberly for your informative talk about our community hospital.

Machen MacDonald

September 15th , 2011

Our guest speaker today was Machen McDonald. For over 25 years Machen has been helping business owners, sales professionals, financial advisors, and other executives discover their purpose and help them align their focus to achieve dramatic and measurable improvements both in business and in life. He is the founder of the ProBrilliance Leadership Institute.
Machen talked about G–Y–M: Guide Your Mind 4 Success
Set up / plan your future by knowing where you want to be in the future. Those that make it happen have a good plan in place and work their plan throughout the months by recalibrating on an ongoing basis.
Responsibility: Respond with your ability
You can read Machen's column in the Union Newspaper every Monday.
Thank you Machen for an interesting and informative talk.

Paul Drake

September 8, 2011

Our guest speakers today were Paul Drake and Kiwanian Michael Young. Paul is the Nevada Theatre Board President and Michael the KVMR Board President. Paul & Michael talked about the new home of KVMR. The Nevada Theatre was built in 1865, which makes it 146 years old. KVMR and the Nevada Theatre will reconstruct the three “tin sheds” behind the theater, creating a building to house KVMR’s operations, with additional dressing and green rooms for the theater. This will give KVMR the needed space they were after, in a local location, and give the Nevada Theatre additional back stage space.
For a related story from the Nevada City Advocate, click on KVMR announces building plans.

Thank you Paul and Michael for telling us about the KVMR / Nevada Theatre plan !

Michael Young

Suzanne Reese

August 4, 2011

Our guest speakers today were Suzanne Reese and the Susan Juels, R.N. from Hospice of the Foothills. Susan and Suzanne talked about the important end of life services that Hospice provides. Some of these services include: skilled nursing care, pain and symptom management, spiritual support, medications, and social services. These services apply to the patient or the family, and sometimes both. No patient is every turned away. In a survey, while 90% of the respondents expressed a wish to die at home, in reality 80% of Americans die in an institutional setting. This year, 425 families received the services of Hospice of the Foothills. There are currently 12 beds at the Grass Valley facility. Medicare and many insurance companies cover the cost of Hospice.

Thank you Susan and Suzanne for a very informative talk !

Susan Jueles RN

Dennis Founier

July 28, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Dennis Founier, Executive Director of Sierra Nevada Children's Services. Some of the things Dennis talked about:
SNCS has been around since 1978. They help families get child care, giving financial assistance to income eligible families. They provide one-on-one parent support and professional development training for child care providers. Their programs help with the education and socialization of each child. SNCS is a “Child Care”organization, not a “Day Care” organization. There are Family Support people who speak Spanish. Although SNCS helps many families, there are still about 80% of those families eligible for assistance, that do not use SNCS services. Last year more than 200 families received services from Sierra Nevada Children's Services.

Thank you Dennis for an interesting and informative talk !

Fran Cole

July 21st, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Fran Cole, President of Nevada County Land Trust. Fran talked about some of the many projects that Nevada County Land Trust is involved in:

Conservation Easements – (An easement is a right to use real property of another, without possessing it.) Working with land owners to create an easement, to preserver the land from development, and for the enjoyment of current and future generations of people. This includes property where the public may not have access to the land.

Instill in the next generation, benefits of land conservation and strategies for protecting our communities.

Trail Projects – Building trails thru some of the most beautiful areas of Nevada County, for all to enjoy

Treks - A series of walks for people looking for good exercise on our beautiful community trails. There are also “Armchair Treks”. For some interesting treks, take a look at their web site page, Treks for Health

Their upcoming August 5th Aaron Neville benefit concert at the North Star House

Thank you Fran for an interesting and informative talk !

Jon Blinder

July 7th, 2011


Our guest speaker today was Jon Blinder, President of Nevada County Arts, formerly the Arts Collaborative of Nevada County. Jon has been President of NCA this past year. He has also been on the Center for the Arts Board Of Directors for about 8 years. He talked about some of the things they are involved in. Nevada County may be a small community, but our interest and participation in the arts is well known thru out California and the country. Jon talked about some of the positive side effects of art. Including increasing elementary school reading and math scores; as well as giving a positive outlook to many students from impoverished families.


Thank you Jon for an interesting and educational talk !

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