Phil Toohey, Reporter
PROGRAM: Are You the One? The Boys and Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga
May 15, Tuesday Frank Sottile brought 15 of his youth and some parents to join us for a welcome, a Rotary lunch and an update on the Boys and Girls Club, as the new caterers were having a cardiac arrest from the overload. (I guess no one told them the lunch count doubled.)
Before I launch into the particulars I would like to beg a private moment to say how happy I am to be a Rotarian. When I hear the stories of children who through no fault of their own are left destitute for whatever reason, I want to help. Every time I want to help. That’s just the kind of guy I am. I want to save the world one child at a time. Last night I went to bed thinking of these kids - by the way 1,862 kids last year in St. Helena and Calistoga used the Boys and Girls Club - I felt good because as difficult as some of their stories were, we as St. Helena Rotarians have given almost 2 million of our club dollars over the past 23 years to keep the boys and Girls Club running and help build their building.
The Boys and Girls Club started in 1989. It was first started in the Catholic School then moved to the gym then to portables on the Elementary School Property then into their own building. They serve 200 kids a month, 296 in March. They run a one million budget one third is private donation, the rest from the state and county. The population is 57% Latino and 41% Caucasian. There are two, actually 3 locations to serve you, St. Helena, Calistoga and the Calistoga teen center. The Club works with the county Sheriff’s department for at risk kids and their homework club in St. Helena raised test scores an average of 10 points in Math and 12 points in English.
This was awards day. The Boys and Girls Club give out four awards that mirror Rotary’s four way test. Clarissa Hernandez got the Honesty award. Gabriel Roche got the Trustworthy award. Samara (Sam) got the Goodwill Ambassador award and Christian Vazquez got the Respectfulness award.
Are you the one? Who will love and support the kids in their time of need? The one who will support the teachers, coaches and mentors when these kids are broken? The one who will aide and support those dealing with “at risk kids”? The answer is yes to all. You are St. Helena Rotarians from the little club that could, the little club that can, the little club that does.