Kare Bears concludes another energetic and active year

Rich VanderVeen, Chet Howe, Rosie VanderVeen and Dave Meyers at Kare Bears Golf Tournament

Rich VanderVeen, Chet Howe, Rosie VanderVeen and Dave Meyers at Kare Bears Golf Tournament

Rosie VanderVeen

It’s been an exciting year for the Kare Bears! Lots of events and many areas for all of us to volunteer. Kare Bears Fairs are more popular than ever, and lots of new friends and acquaintances made. What an awesome group.

Shirley Goodman and Carol Weatherbee will be leaving their board positions this year. We will be voting on candidates at the regular March meeting.

Barb Dunbar visited the “Boots in the House” charity, a group established by eight moms in the Phoenix area who have children in various branches of the military. Three times a year, they assemble gift boxes to mail to different units around the world. Bass Pro Shop in Mesa made a room available to the group for the assembly of the boxes. Over 100 boxes went out for Valentine’s Day. Barb suggested that Jamie Sistek from this group could be a speaker option for the fall meeting.

Rejani Rastogi, who is the Hamilton High School social worker, spoke expressing her thanks to our Kare Bears for our donations and giving us an update on some interesting programs.

* The refurbishing of used computers and offering them to the underprivileged students. Cox Communication is offering a rate of $10/month for internet access if the family is classified as low income. She’s looking for people who will refurbish the laptops and has so far given 10 away; only 50 left to refurbish.

* Nancy, a retiree from Intel, is developing a training module that pairs a student with mentors, i.e., life skills, males/females, etc. An example is teaming a police officer with a student that has been in trouble, or a mom with a student who is pregnant.

* An in-school suspension program which teaches effective communication, deals with anger management and how to deal with stress.

* They finally have a storeroom for the backpack program. There is always a need for nutrition bars and snacks. Fifty kids are still in the backpack program; 1,000 are still on the free-lunch program.

* Gift cards to the program were discussed at our Kare Bears meeting.

Our Appreciation Luncheon will be held on March 29, arranged by Shirley Jackson, Deanna Calvert, Emily Hughes and Bonnie Frederick. Layne is going to speak on how the assistance and donations from the Kare Bears serve our SunBird community. Some examples of our endeavors are memorials, updating furniture for the clubhouse and adding safety features such as the overhead cameras.

A list of Kare Bears donations was voted on March 15; totals will be posted in May.