Spindrift June 8, 2023


Last Thursday’s meeting was held in the dining room of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, with 27 in attendance, including 3 special guests. Pres-Elect Shirley Lashmett introduced Chuck Seven, who met Shirley at the Field of Honor and expressed his interest in becoming a member.  Secretary Richard Swinney introduced two guests from the Priority Center of Orange County: Shireen Vargas, our Program Speaker; and Laura Henkels, the Center’s Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.  Conspicuously present was Steve Pool, a long-time past member.  President Ken DuFour opened the meeting by asking V.P.  Mitch Mitchell t0 give the opening prayer, invoking God’s blessing in gratitude for being able to assemble as friends at the BCYC, and to give thanks for the great lunch that we were about to receive.  Past-President George Lesley the led us in the flag salute.


Ken expressed his gratitude to all our members who gave their time at the FOH last weekend, especially Jerry and Jeannie NiningerShirley Lashmett, Ross Stewart, and Mike Call who were there at Castaways Park every day; Richard Swinney, who spearheaded this year’s fundraiser, and Cynthia Strasmann, who was responsible for this year’s art contest.


Steve Pool printed business cards entitled “Save The Ferry” in support of Seymour Beek’s Balboa Island Ferry.  The State’s mandate to convert all such vessels from diesel to electric would threaten the program financially.  Visit www.balboaislandferry.com to get updates on how you can help.


Shireen Vargas, an 8-yr veteran of the Priority Center (PC) was recently elevated to be its Chief Program Officer. The PC was originally founded and funded by our Club many years ago as the O.C. Child Abuse Prevention Center; it has changed its name and expanded its scope of services since then.  Shireen outlined the eight programs that the PC currently offers, all of which are connected, and which serve the O.C. in many different ways.

(1) BASIC NEEDS – provides the goods necessary to satisfy the basic living and comfort requirements for children in the Social Services System.  These may include beds, cribs, blankets, food, car seats, etc.  In 2021-22, the PC received and acted on over 5,000 emergency requests, and over 8,000 items were delivered to needy children and their families during this period.

(2) CAST/VOLUNTEER ADVOCACY –a multidisciplinary public/private collaboration created to reduce the number of forensic interviews involving incidences of sexual abuse during the placement process.  It involves Social Services, law enforcement, deputy District Attorneys, medical providers, and therapists participating at a single interview.  This provides a much more comfortable and less stressful
experience for the victims. In 2022,
the number of such interviews was

(3) INFANT-TODDLER HOME VISITATION –started in 2006, provides up to 2 years of home services for families with children 0-3 years of age, and is designed to help parents learn more about parenting, support their child’s development, and help the parents bond with the child.

(4) CALWORKS HOME VISITATION – providing voluntary high-quality home visiting services for visits of up to 2 years to families who are approved for participation by the Orange County Social Services Agency. This program supports positive well-being outcomes for pregnant and parenting women, families, and infants who are born into poverty.

(5) SERVICES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN – working with families having children 0-8, offering weekly visits for 3-6 months to reduce barriers to medical and mental health issues, and to connect them to community services that support their child’s social and emotional health to promote school readiness.  In addition, it provides training programs to educate the community about identifying signs of emotional disturbance and behavioral conditions.

(6) CHILDREN IN-HOME CRISIS STABILIZATION (CIHCS) – funded through O.C. contracts and serving O.C. children 0-18 in mental health crisis, who have attempted suicide, have had suicidal or homicidal ideation, or have had a history of drug use/abuse.  It provides a higher level of care (case managers, therapists, social workers, medical personnel, etc.) to those who have been previously hospitalized, who may need further hospitalization and/or might need out of home placement.

(7) ADULT IN-HOME CRISIS STABILIZATION (AIHCS) – the first program of its kind for adults in crisis. Provides shortterm in-home therapy, case management, and/or mental health rehabilitation, in order to minimize hospitalization and/or out of home placement.

(8) CONNECTED CARE – created in 2019 to meet the growing need of clients who exit the Children’s and Adult In-Home Crisis Programs (which are County funded but subject to time limitations) and are still in need of continued care upon exit.  This program is privately funded and designed to provide support for 12 additional months. The Priority Center programs are not individually exclusive, and all work together to reduce the cycle of generational trauma in our community. The Center is receiving County funding, but requires some degree of private funding for optimal effectiveness. For more information about the Priority Center, please visit their website at www.theprioritycenter.org.


The two winners of this week’s raffle were Wally Ziglar and George Lesley. Each won $27.