Updates & Announcements
Guests who are potential new members: Neil Rose returned for the third time as a guest and is applying to become a member. Colleen Hughes came for the first time and is very interested.
  • Stan gave the weekly Conifer award to the Rohingya refugee team: Half of us went to Walmart and got them shoes. Carrie shared they had a huge group in Walmart, they seemed to gravitate to colorful and sparkly shoes. Stan shared they were given a choice of living in a dangerous neighborhood because of their economic situation but we are working to find them a place in a safer neighborhood.  
  • Stan gave a special new award to Charlotte, which he thought was an orangutang. He was told it was a Sasquatch and that she won it “because she leaves such a big footprint everywhere she goes.” It was for collecting a $2000 donation from City Wide Banks for MindFest.
  • Yvonne shared an update on MindFest: we need people to post posters and we need small items for a free raffle.
  • Wes provided an update that we’re starting to plan ConiferFest.
  • Stan brought a Throw-a-Ball microphone to try at meetings so that the Zoom audience can hear audience comments.
  • Wes shared that this year we will fully fund our grants.
Upcoming Events
  • Home and Garden Show is coming up in mid-April. Janine told everyone they need sponsors and vendors and non-profits.
  • Trivia Night: High School Fundraiser March 2 CHS.
Meeting program
Recipients of Conifer Rotary Foundation Grants presented:
  • Karen Aalund, director of resource development at Mount Evans Hospice, spoke about Camp Comfort, which is receiving $3,000 from the Conifer Rotary Foundation today. This is a free grief camp for children 6-12 who have lost a loved one. Mount Evans would like to expand the camp. She said they also do hospice services in home around the mountain area. Medicare pays for only a 15-minute visit, and our people often stay longer. They also do home health care.
  • Elk Creek Elementary Destination Imagination PTA Coordinator Lauri Woulfe, Elk Creek Elementary and West Jeff Middle School. The Goofy Eagles team of six kids at Elk Creek Elementary received $1,000 from the Conifer Rotary Foundation to go to global finals. Last year they won state. Ruth and Julie have kids on her teams. There are eight teams at two schools. DI starts in kindergarten and becomes competitive in third grade. It is considered a STEM+ including art, writing etc. There’s also time management. When they get to high school, high school is a breeze.  It has been selected as one of top education programs in the world. There are different challenges, with all the components of STEM+. The kids found out how many kids in Jeffco schools are food-insecure, and figured that could be 50 kids in their own school, and were blown away. They could not believe it. They decided to do a food project for MRC food bank. No one can tell them what to do. It’s hard to not speak up and help. They put boxes in each classroom to collect food, collected 600 items and took it to MRC. It costs $140 for the year to parents for after-school program, which is very low. We need volunteers to run teams and there is a waiting list of kids. Anyone 18 years or older.
  • Stage Door Theater’s education department received $1750 from Conifer Rotary Foundation. She told the story of a mom who had pulled her daughter from school because she was being bullied. Then she was becoming withdrawn with home schooling. But she was interested in theater. So she came and observed. She told her mom that this was the first place that she felt welcome, that felt like home. It’s most important that the kids feel like they belong. This is a scholarship fund. We don’t turn kids away because of finances.  
  • Wendi Van Lake guest teacher in Jeffco, West Jeff Middle School PTA. Julie Winters, West Jeff Middle School PTA. They received a $2000 grant from Conifer Rotary Foundation for teacher requests for something innovative. The PTA has matched the $2000. Already, they have received requests for a New York Times magazine for teens and a science teacher’s request to learn 3D printing so he can teach it to his students.