April 27, 2017
Today’s meeting included a visit from the Pacific Beach Kiwanis Club! It’s always a special occasion when Pacific Beach drops by, since their meetings are held at the same time as ours – every Thursday morning!
PB Kiwanis President John Conn introduced the other members of his group, including Barry Bongers, Jerry Hoffman, Brian McMullen, Jim Moore, Joan Robinson, Anne Rosser, Phyllis Strand, and Joe Utschig. Pacific Beach Kiwanis, celebrating their 70th anniversary this year, announced two upcoming fundraisers. Their second annual golf tournament will be held at the Mission Bay Golf Course on Friday, May 12th, as well as their popular spaghetti dinner at Pernicano’s. Three of our members signed up on the spot for that delicious spaghetti!
We also welcomed four representatives from the SDSU Circle K club: Imani Baldi, Hershey Guzman, Jonah Faye Longares, and Megan Thai.
Our songleader, Gary Blume, led us in “Daisy,” followed by “Roll Out the Barrels,” and we sounded uncommonly good on both songs! Perhaps it was all of the extra singing help we received from Pacific Beach Kiwanis…
We also held our elections for the G.A.G. Kiwanis Foundation for next year, and we thank Tony Haas, Mary Markson, Byron Newman, and Kevin Tostado for agreeing to serve.
Our Kiwanian of the Day, Jack Scott, quizzed us on our knowledge of the Revolutionary War. He even gave us a few trick questions!
He then introduced Susan Griffin, a longtime member of Kiwanis who has served since 1988 as the Executive Director of Hannah’s House. Susan was a member of the Balboa Park Kiwanis Club when she helped establish Hannah’s House, with significant financial assistance from local Kiwanis Clubs. She later served as President of the Old San Diego Kiwanis Club and maintains an active interest today as a corporate member of the Tierrasanta Kiwanis Club. Susan, with more than 35 years of experience as a human services professional and therapist, has several degrees related to behavioral science and psychology, and has written several books.
Hannah’s House watches out primarily for the interests of the children involved in family law cases, which have become increasingly lengthy and bitterly contentious over the course of Susan’s career. Divorce hearings, custody battles, and the like are supposed to take only a few months, but in reality can stretch out over the course of several years. Inherent in many custody battles is the desire by both parties to be viewed as “the good parent,” making the entire process fiercely competitive. Susan, and her many volunteers and staff at Hannah’s House, help ease the process for families transitioning from one home to two. The most important goal for Susan is to preserve the relationship that exists between a child and BOTH parents. “We only get the tough cases,” she said, but she remains resilient. As a victim of violent crime herself, Susan makes it a point to provide a safe environment for kids, along with a community of caring adults.
With four different programs and a facility in Kearny Mesa designed to keep the best interests of the child at heart, Hannah’s House maintains a staff of humans and animals! (Animals, Susan says, can be very therapeutic.) The shelter has a collection of several reptiles and amphibians, and even a group of hissing cockroaches!)
Perhaps most remarkable of all is the fact that Hannah’s House gets no funding of any kind from local, state, or federal government agencies. The ongoing success of this program is entirely dependent upon the generous donations of giving individuals and organizations like Kiwanis. We hope we can help Susan keep this wonderful program up and running for many years!
(Click the image above for more information about Hannah's House!)
We were pleased to welcome Susan Griffin of Hannah's House as our guest speaker, with Jack Scott serving as our Kiwanian of the Day!