Dusty Gipson Honored
Community Foundation – Good Times Feature
The Community Foundation, supported by The Good Times Weekly, has a monthly feature, Community in Action that will showcase 25 individuals and organizations making significant contributions to their communities in upcoming editions of the Good Times.
Out of 60 nominations recently, the VWC’s own Dusty Gipson was chosen to be honored as a young member of a non-profit who is making difference. We all know Dusty for her involvement in the VWC Board, the Environmental Committee (including the River & Road Clean-up and a two-year series of environmental programs for young children at the BC Rec Hall), and the Education Committee. The Community Foundation is honoring her for an important project she initiated with the Education Committee. Several years ago Dusty learned that almost 50% of incoming kindergarteners did not have the skills needed to begin school; she surveyed local teachers to see what could be done to help them.
So, she is being honored for improving the lives of hundreds of SLV youngsters by implementing the “Ready for School Bags Project.” The Project was Dusty’s idea four years ago and, with the help of VWC Education Committee members Donna Ziel and Vince Waskell, it has provided each incoming kindergartener with a bag of materials to help make sure her or she is ready for school. For several years Dusty applied for grant monies to help cover the expenses for the bags, books and other materials, and sought donations of the items. From books to scissors, the items in the bags provide both the child and the parents with items that, when used, assure improved readiness. Distributing the bags is always a wonderful event, seeing each child’s face light up with pleasure – and being honored by the community for helping our children is icing on the cake. Congratulations and thanks to Dusty.
Environmental Activists Give Presentations to the VWC Board
The VWC Board had two fascinating guests make presentations at its July meeting.
Inspired by his botanist father, John Olmsted’s pioneering efforts in environmental protection for state park lands, Alden Olmsted has launched a fundraising campaign aimed at raising public awareness of the closure of many state parks. Specifically, he has been asking non-profits to sponsor a “bucket” for dollar (or more) donations which had raised $10,000 by mid-July. As the VWC doesn’t have a permanent location, the board suggested that he contact the Mountain Parks Foundation.
Alden is also a filmmaker and has produced a biography of his father which is scheduled to be screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October. Board member Laura Whaley is also trying to work out a date to screen it at the Boulder Creek Library.
At the same board meeting, Kristen Manyrivers, an experienced environmental educator, described her latest project called “Collaboration for Green Schools.” She is in the process of seeking funding for a pilot project within the Santa Cruz/Santa Clara county school systems. Her project would apply the principles of permaculture to make schools clean and green. Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies. According to Manyrivers, Collaboration for Green Schools would provide comprehensive design and implementation — complete project management, as well as help with obtaining funding from federal and state sources.
Lapsed VWC Membership
Last year the VWC switched from a January 1st due date for all members’ annual dues to having them fall due during the calendar month when people joined as members.
The problem is that most members are not aware of that change and we have not done a very good job of notifying people about their annual dues.
So, over the summer, the board divided up the list of lapsed members and called or emailed them to let them know how much we would like to keep them as active members of the Valley Women’s Club.
If you are unsure about whether your VWC membership is current, please get in touch with Board Member Jim Coffis (336-8812 or Email).