“Iraq Through the Eyes of a Soldier” will be the subject of a slide show and talk to be given by Col. Sean Metroka, a member of the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserves who has recently returned from deployment in Iraq. This event will occur at a meeting of Nevada County’s Captain John Oldham Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) on Monday.

Col. Metroka, a Nevada City resident and chief executive officer for Nevada County Courts, returned from eight months in Iraq with thousands of photos and a lifetime of memories. Initially in charge of the deployment of artillery and attack aircraft, Col. Metroka later went on to help Iraqis bring their lives back to normal, sharing his experiences and pictures with readers of The Union in its series, “Letters Home.”

Promoting patriotism is one of the three primary focuses of the Daughters of the American Revolution (the other two focuses are preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children). Col. Metroka’s talk will offer a Marine’s view of Iraq today and tell of some of America’s efforts toward bringing peace to that country. The Marine colonel found that the desires of the Iraqi people were not very different from our own, all desiring peace, some measure of prosperity, and an education for their children. Col. Metroka has said “The most important thing I learned is that all of the stereotypes I had in my mind about Arabs and the Iraqi people specifically are wrong.”

Early Risers Toastmasters

One great thing about an Early Risers Toastmasters meeting is what you can achieve before you even get to work. Jan. 4, was no exception. Our guest Toastmaster dignitary, Majorie Quist, led a lively, heartfelt induction of our club’s new officers, paying special tribute to President Cheryl Domnitch. Cheryl, with her boundless energy and generosity, has agreed to serve two consecutive terms – and we are very grateful!

Lori Burkhart Frank’s speech, full of personal insights and inspiration, was the winner du jour. Katey Abbot’s evaluation was the trophy winner, too. Other high points included a spontaneous and funny overview by new member and first-time General Evaluator Mike Bernadett.

Then, neither wind nor sleet or rain can stop a dedicated toastmaster! That was certainly true on Jan. 11 when our meeting was held – not at Trolley Junction as usual – but at the NID offices, covered in snow! Some of our members were snowbound but they were there in spirit.

We heard three super speeches from Debbie Mower, Mike Bernadett and Sylvia Pichitino, followed by three constructive evaluations from Randi Schaffer, George Chileski and Kathy Hillis. Sylvia won the outstanding speaker of the day trophy, and George Chileski was voted outstanding evaluator. Anne King, our improv imp, won for her Table Topics’ use of the word “nark.” Judy Nichols was our Table Topics Master – and she gave us a brain-teasing, highly entertaining challenge for speaking off the cuff.

Special thanks to Randi Schaffer of NID for providing such a bright, welcoming space to hold our meeting in on such a dark, cold morning. Thanks, too, to her NID colleagues Sandra Hewston, Marilyn Rose and Larry Markey for being our guests. We hope you join us again at another Toastmasters’ meeting soon.

Guests are always welcome – and as a guest, you never have to speak. We meet at 6:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Trolley Junction in Nevada City. For more information, call 273-9777.

Golden Empire Sams

The Golden Empire Sams met at Villa Venezia for a delicious luncheon hosted by Roger and Marilyn Lilly. There were 28 people present, including two guests. Our next luncheon will be at Trolley Junction, Feb. 9 at 11:30 a.m. Luncheon reservations can be made through Frank Gates at 272-1769. If you have an R.V. and are interested in finding out more about our Good Sam Club, call Len Fuson at 346-8536.

Grass Valley Elks

Grass Valley Elks announces the local winners of the Annual Elks National Foundations “Most Valuable Student” Scholarship Contest.

The winners were selected from local college-bound, high-school graduating seniors. The winning girls are Ashley St. Germain, Jessica Pearce and Melissa Cissney. Winning boys are Charles Plubell, David Sussberg and Brett Schoppe.

These applicants are now competitors in the Northeast District and if successful there, they will go on to state and possibly national competition. They will also be honored at an awards dinner at the lodge March 30.

Scholarship, leadership and financial need are the criteria by which applicants are judged. Winners are generally in the upper five percent of their classes.

Names of all higher level winners will be announced in early May.

Nevada County Historical Society

The Nevada County Historical Society begins its new year monthly programs with an interesting program called “Gold Rush Entertainers in and around Nevada City,” by Dr. William Durbrow. He has many photos and great stories about early entertainers in the area. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Railroad Museum in Nevada City.

The public is invited and refreshments will be served. For more information call 272-5154.

Newcomers Club of Nevada County

The Lake Wildwood Country Club will be the location for our club’s first meeting and luncheon in the New Year, on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. followed by a luncheon at noon.

Menu choices this month are Quiche Lorraine with fruit or teriyaki chicken. Both items are served with salad, rolls, beverage and dessert. The cost is $16.

The program will feature Michael Behn of Citizen Bank of Nevada County, who will offer a slide show and presentation on the subject of identity theft, and how we might protect ourselves.

For more information call 265-0738 or 274-2667.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User