Spindrift September 3, 2020

David Schapiro, Editor

Last week’s Thursday meeting was held on the outdoor patio of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club and was attended in person by 13 members, and three guests: Francie Murphy, who is applying for membership; Jeff Fracalosy, accompanied by his father, Leo; and Lisa Fujimoto, our guest speaker. The meeting was also broadcast on ZOOM, hosted by Steve Pool, to an additional 10 participants, who elected not to have lunch at the meeting.

Pres. George Lesley led off the meeting with an invocation which included that we be spared the serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; and that the civil unrest which has been wide-spread throughout the country in the name of social justice end peacefully. Roy Shlemon led the attendees in our flag salute. Pres. George discussed our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, which was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, and officially became the U.S. National Anthem by an act of Congress in 1931.

Ken Dufour, Richard Swinney, George Lesley, and Ed Romero commented on Tom Naughton and mentioned that his wife of 76 years, Jean is holding up as well as can be expected. Tom has expressed his pride in being a member of the Club. As of this writing, Tom is in hospice and is resting comfortably. Jean has received numerous telephone calls wishing them both well, many from Exchange members.

George introduced our guest speaker, Lisa Fujimoto, who is the Executive Director and CEO of The Priority Center (PC), previously known as the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC).

Richard Swinney, Lisa Fujimoto, and Pres. George Lesley

Lisa is in her 2nd year of service as head of the PC, which was founded in 1983 and funded in part by our Exchange Club since its inception. The PC currently has a $9.5 million budget and employs a staff of over 120, the majority of whom provide professional counseling services directly to infants and children, young adults, and their families. Its mission is “to deliver life-changing programs to assist people in crisis by giving them the tools and support necessary to end the generational cycle of trauma – including prevention of child abuse, through early intervention and mental health services and advocacy”. As a result of pressure from the staff to remove the words “child abuse” from its name, with its negative connotations, it was changed to Priority Center, which now generates inquisitive questions rather than imposing a threat. Its programs have expanded from children to adults, who have “graduated” from being children, but who nonetheless have the need for counseling services. Over 98% of PC clients are documented families, either citizens or legal immigrants: of 5,700 families who have been served last year, about 5,600 were legal U.S. residents.

The PC is currently offering 10 programs, each designated to meet specific community needs….the Infant In-Home Visitation Program, serving high-risk families with infants up to 17 months, and which includes parent education and links to community resources, with the goal of enhancing bonding between parents and their chil-dren…..the Toddler In-Home Visitation Program, which is a 3-6-month program addressing children from 18 months to 5 years…..School Readiness, a 3-month program assisting families in reducing barriers to medical care and early childhood mental health issues…..Outreach & Engagement, providing education and skills-building presentations, including growth and development, stress management, to children, adults, and seniors…..Adult In-Home Crisis Stabilization, serving suicidal and homicidal adults…..Children’s In-Home Stabilization, serving suicidal children 5-18 years of age….Child Abuse Services Team (CAST), a multidisciplinary collaboration of social workers, physicians, nurse practitioners, lawyers, and therapists…..Basic Needs, providing critically needed household items: furniture, linens, small appliances, etc…..Cal Works HVP (Home Visiting Program), performed in collaboration with the Orange County Social Services Agency…..and Connected Care, an extension of the 3-week program funded through Orange County contracts, which is 100% privately funded, and of which our Club’s recent contributions have been directed. An estimated 400 families have benefitted from this increase in support. With the recent move to what used to be the O.C. Cancer Society building, the Priority Center has established the Pillars of Priority, which is a sponsorship program, co-chaired by our own Richard Swinney, which will be seeking contributions for the sponsorship of their conference rooms lobby, waiting rooms, etc.

For more information regarding The PC and its programs, please visit their website at https://theprioritycenter.org. Their telephone contact is (714) 543-4333.

Covid-19 Update: Silver Linings?
As we proceed well into the 6th month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still remain in unknown and uncharted territory, with a lot of questions which still haven’t been answered I think that most of us are pretty much resigned to the routines of washing hands, wearing masks, and social distancing, and, to some degree, of staying home as much as possible. There may be a silver lining to all of this. In the late fall, we will be entering the upcoming influenza (“flu”) season…..Although the organisms which cause the flu and COVID are different, they are both viruses which cause respiratory diseases; they are both airborne and transmitted in the same way.

It is estimated by the CDC that 24,000-62,000 Americans have died from the flu during the last flu season (October 2019 thru April 2020). It, therefore, makes a lot of sense that, because of the things we are now doing and will continue to do, we should see a significant decrease in the incidence and severity of all respiratory illnesses. This should include the common cold as well! So, stay the course, be safe, and stay healthy! D.S.

Ed Romeo, Masked