Marana Rotary Weekly Meeting Round-Up
An enthusiastic ring of the bell jolted us into order by former club president John Dooling, who subbed for a vacationing President Benner. John wryly noted that the last time he was at the podium, “Randy was a teenager.”
Since no one was “dying to break out in song,” John reminded members that the Membership Seminar will take place on August 3 in Green Valley. As of now, Randy, Mary, Laura, and maybe Rachel are planning to attend. Randy suggested that the club reimburse members who attend the seminar. The board will take up the recommendation at its next meeting.
Mary reported that she’s continuing to work with Bouba on the next phase of the grant writing. Harold reminded folks that next week we’re meeting at the Hampton Inn at 7 a.m. for a “fifth Tuesday” social breakfast.
After fellowship and breakfast, “Happy Bucks” for the following:
  • “All the rain” (John)
  • “Just happy” (Dan)
  • House sold (Becky)
  • “Nice cool weather” and wife has graduated from wheelchair to a walker! (Harold)
  • Going to Seattle for four days on a business trip (Denise)
  • “I’m just happy” (Randy)
  • “Very happy to hear our guest and presentation” and attended “Retro Game Show Night” at the Hotel Congress on Saturday which was lots of fun (Mary)
  • Grateful to hear the guest speaker. Grateful for moving into a new place (and the power of Facebook marketplace). Grateful to be attending a best friend’s wedding this weekend (Rachel)
Lynne tickled our funny bones with “you might be a crisis manager if …” riffs. Randy “won” the raffle.
 Guest Vanessa Helms of the Pima County Victim Services Division spoke about the groundbreaking history of victims rights and advocacy, which got much of its start right here in southeastern Arizona. Victim Services started in 1975 and has grown from an initial staff of four to 30. Ms. Helms noted that Arizona has one of the most comprehensive Victim Services programs in country. Pima County Victim Services has collaborated across the state with other similar agencies to create renowned advocacy network for victims of crime and victims of crisis events.
Programs include RAMP protocol for victims of domestic violence, a “Kids in Court” program that helps when children have to testify, and courthouse dogs Baja and Blake who offer support to victims.
The mission of Pima County Victim Services Division is to support, educate, and empower victims of crime to seek justice and strengthen and rebuild their lives. Victim Services advocates accomplish this by:
  • Serving as court advocates for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault;
  • Working with prosecutors;
  • Translating the judicial process, i.e. what to expect;
  • Providing trial support, addressing concerns;
  • Informing victims of their rights;
  • Crisis advocacy by being on call, present at the scene of the crime, providing support and referral information, and available 24/7/365.
  • Victim Compensation Fund, a fund of last resort, for counseling and medical expenses, loss of wages, crime scene clean-up, and transportation costs.
Ms. Helms noted that Victim Services relies its strong volunteer program that has more than 100 volunteers who have contributed 24,000 hours, saving the county more than $460,000. Volunteers undergo extensive training comprised of 36 hours of basic crisis intervention plus another 30 hours of advanced training. More information can be found at: .
Victim Services also works with national organizations for victim assistance in mass casualty incidents, whether those incidents are human-caused or not. For example, Pima County Victim Services has sent teams in the past to respond to the following: Bosnian Civil War, Oklahoma City domestic terrorist bombing, Arkansas tornado disaster, and September 11 attacks.
Much closer to home, Pima County Victim Services volunteers responded immediately to the 2011 Tucson Tragedy at the Ina and Oracle Safeway where Gabby Giffords and others were shot. In its initial callout, Victim Services deployed 36 advocates to six different sites. Ms. Helms said that with so many law enforcement agencies responding that day, victims can get marginalized.
More recently, Pima County Victim Services sent a team of 14 to respond to the Las Vegas “Harvest Festival” mass shooting where 58 people were killed and more than 850 were wounded.
Ms. Helms said the strength of Victim Services is its unified team purpose, shared training, shared deployment, and existing deployment services which have been developed since the organization’s inception in 1975.
After yet another informative talk – hats off to Denise who lines up our speaker series – we signed off with recitation of the Four Way Test.
 -- Submitted by Laura Clymer, secretary