Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives

Update, thank you and another year older!

Hi everyone:

It’s April 3rd already….my goodness. I’ll be another year older in a few days!

This time last year I was in Virginia. The RV was being repaired and my doggies and I were camping and staying in hotels when it was raining. This particular week last year, however, I was in a little cabin in Westmoreland State Park-which I loved-getting ready to interview kids at the local high school and planning my birthday dinner on the grill. I was by myself, but didn’t mind it. I was moving forward traveling through the country interviewing kids about their health.

Fast forward a year…

The road trip is history and Sonoma State in done analyzing the data I collected. Our new name (thanks to Chris Baker) is about to be unveiled as well as a new logo (thanks to notion:CREATIVE). As soon as we find a web master willing to work pro bono (like everyone else!) we’ll have a new web site that shows all the progress we have made.

Based on what the kids said they wanted and needed to live healthier lives, we have 5 programs we have developed (6 months of full-time work went into them) and the Pilot Programs will be at Chop’s DeMeo Teen Center in Santa Rosa in June and July.

We also have a teacher/mentor program being developed whereby we will teach other adults to teach our program and they will be licensed teacher/mentors helping to spread the word, the knowledge and the health. We are proud to say we already have people wanting and waiting to be involved.

Bottom line is, so much has been done, all on a wing and a prayer and lots of help from so many good-hearted people.

There are so many people to thank for their support and help.

I was chatting with my daughter Olivia a couple nights ago and she, like so many others, thought I was a bit off my rocker, but was supportive just the same. Now she sees the progress and understands everything better. She still thinks I’m nuts-but in a good way! It appears I have some entertainment value. Kathryn helped to keep the home fires burning and Russell was always supportive as well. They all worry, but they all cheer me on. My friends Victoria, Nancy, Sharon, Scott and Toni, Elson, Marina, Dan and Jan, John and Nancy (who have housed and fed me all year while I write the programs!), Ann and Pat, C.J. and Robert, and Rita have been on the phone with me while I was lost on some highway somewhere, or simply called to cheer me on. Many offered financial support as well. All was so appreciated.

My sisters, especially Margaret, have offered encouragement and emotional support. My Mom is my biggest cheerleader although she worries.

All the incredible people I have met across the country-old friends and new, continue to check in and enjoy (so they tell me) seeing it all come to fruition.

And come to fruition it is, but not without help. Our attorney, Ron Wargo, has done so much for us and continues to do so with the licensing agreements he is developing.

On April 20th, we are at The Commonwealth Club for the first data release program, then our big party is at Chops DeMeo on May 1st. All of May will be programs in front of as many people and organizations that will have us! It’s a fun program with data, yes, but also quips and quotes from the kids and some fun stories. We’ll explain the upcoming programs and all the plans for the fall. We’re excited to now be talking about the next steps.

There is so much more to do and I have to tell you, some days, like today, I get a bit panicky that we’re running out of time. The invitations for the May 1st party need to be printed (as soon as I figure out how to pay for the printing!) addressed and mailed -this week! I’m getting pretty good at begging people to help. I couldn’t do it for myself, but I sure can when it’s for someone else and that someone else is a child.

Here’s what we need:

Invitation printing-about $250.00, plus postage.

Web site-some wonderful web master who believes in this non-profit and can see all of our forward motion and wants to be a part of the next step. Or…someone to pay for a new web site.

Someone to go through all the filmed videos, edit them and make a short movie. They are on IMovie.

We need teaching props like a skeleton-the one that is perfect and so cool is $399.00 plus tax and shipping. We need more than that, but that one will get us through the Pilot Programs.

I could go on and on, but these are the front and center, please help (!) if you can or will as we need these things now.

We also need volunteers to help with paperwork. I have a huge media list and they all need to be contacted and informed. We need an office space somewhere in Sonoma County, preferably in downtown Santa Rosa.

On a personal note, I need a place to live. I spent all my money on getting this non-profit this far and since the money is gone and I won’t start to collect a small salary as director until grants come in in the fall, I need to trade housing for services. I can cook and do nutritional counseling. If someone owns a winery, I can create beautiful dishes for the events. Please keep me in mind. I am at John and Nancy’s in southern Oregon right now, but will home home in Sonoma County is 2 weeks with no place to live- a little disconcerting. If I end up camping or couch-surfing, as my niece calls it, well, that’s just another chapter for my book. A cottage and my own things would be lovely however :)

Funds are needed to push through this next phase we’re in. Please send your tax deductible check to:

Shine The Light On Kids
P.O. Box 1915
Sebastopol, CA. 95473

Thank you for your time and for any help you can give.

In good health,


Here is the cabin where I was on my birthday last year. I loved it-and wish I could move it to Sonoma County!


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