CALM At Heart

By Lynda Millner   |   November 26, 2019
CALM luncheon co-chairs Bobbi Didier and president/CEO Alana Walczak

The CALM at Heart committee, board of trustees and staff welcomed the most attendees ever (330) to the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club to celebrate their work with children and families that strengthen our community.

The seaside terrace was packed with people many taking a chance at the wine pull and others catching up on news. When it was time to go into the dining room emcee Geoff Green took over the program being his usual witty self. A new video explained how one dad learned to be a good parent and noted that teachers need help too. Many times children’s bad behavior is because of issues at home which can be changed. “Instead of saying, what’s wrong with you? You can say, what happened to you?”

B) Susan Gulbranson (her mom founded CALM) with CALM Auxiliary president Roberta Collier

The keynote speaker was Dr. Andria Ruth, a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School and today is a pediatrician at the Goleta Neighborhood Clinic. She is also medical director for the Santa Barbara Resiliency Project which was something I had not heard about.

They have a method called Aces – there are three types of abuse: physical, emotional, and sexual, called aces. One is neglect which is both physical and emotional and another is household dysfunction: mental illness, caregiver treated violently, incarcerated relative, divorce and substance abuse.

C) CALM board chair Liam Murphy, co-chair of luncheon Pati Clark, and VP of finance for the board Andrew Fitzgerald
Thirty-year member of CALM Sunni Thomas and 20-year member Ann Bryant

Depending on how many aces you have it can inhibit brain development. It can increase your chances of lung cancer or shorten your life span by two decades. As Andria said, “We have known some of this for 25 years.” They are building resiliency by positive nurturing, feeling empowered, and being connected to one adult. They hope to have ten resiliency clinics by 2021. It is a revolutionany way to help traumatized people especially children.

Heading up this innovative organization is president and CEO of CALM Alana Walczak. She has more than 20 years of experience serving at-risk women, children and families. Her committee for this event was chair Bobbi Didier, Pati Clark, Andrew Fitzgerald, Susan Henry, Ann Levine, Ashlyn Mcague, Caroline Powers, Michelle Reiter, Janis Salin, and Sara Wilcox.

Mark your calendar for a CrabFest January 18, 2020 and for a talk from Elizabeth Smart about overcoming trauma March 28. CALM is turning 50 with an Anniversary gala in November 2020 produced and designed by the inimitable Merryl Brown. She told me, “It will be a blowout!” For more information, call 805.965.2376.


You might also be interested in...