Talking Leaf Newsletter
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March Meeting
By Roy Cook

The March 9, 2003 TONKAWA meeting is off to a good early start. Don and Jean Vigneaualt, Steve Gomez and Jerry Starnes, meet Roy Cook to set up the tables and get the coffee going. The members can look forward to good Navy Java.

TONKAWA President Esther Abrahano opens the meeting at 12:11 pm and asks Ron Morton to provide the blessing. Esther announced the speaker for this meeting is Ralph Cummings. He is an officer with the San Diego Police Department. The speaker topic is Security: Home and National issues.
Executive secretary, Roy Cook reports to the membership on the status of the TONKAWA 501c3 non-profit status. Working with Ron Morton on this issue I call upon Ron to bring us up to date on his research. Ron stated,” The 501c3 is active and has been so since 1977. Some of the data (addresses) are not correct but we can submit corrections and once again move forward seeking out and securing resources to benefit not only TONKAWA seniors but also other Indian elders who may be homebound or lonely and just need for someone to show we care about our Indian seniors. We should also think of acquiring a mailing address for the club. Finally, we are glad to report things are coming along and we will keep working on this project.”

Since Ralph was not in sight, Roy continued to present information to the TONKAWA membership:
A. TONKAWA has a web page on the WWW and is available 7/24 for all to view. On the page are links to past events and Resources for seniors: organizations and phone numbers are listed. Current pictures from the past Tonkawa meetings and community events are also available for viewing and download for all the grandchildren to enjoy.
B. San Diego county parks have numerous locations and discounted programsavailable for the seniors and we might think of a future outdoors event for the membership to enjoy.
C. Indian Council, Red Run, is having their event in May and is looking for volunteers to assist the runners. We are also waiting to hear from them on our request for assistance for TONKAWA events this year.


Vice President Jane Dumas reminded us, “We need to have consideration for those who may be homebound. Many times it is a great help to receive flowers or some other indication of sympathy.” This brought out memories of other Tonkawa members and how they had made a difference to others. Nellie Ruiz recalled many occasions of visiting seniors in times of sickness. She further recommended we might form a group to call shut-ins. Veronica McCune said she used to visit nursing homes just to make the residents feel better and show them that someone cared.
Marga Troha introduced her caregiver that checks up on her when her husband Yvon is at work. Easter mentioned she likes to give out tapes of songs and music to help better the atmosphere and their state of mind.

Just about now many felt it was a good time to try out the potluck. Many items were warm and starting to smell real good! Many of our pictures are of this slice of time, mostly because we were involved in the eating part of the meeting. Jerry Starnes brought some real good meatloaf and cornbread. The ladies were asking him for his recipe. I thought I’d gone to heaven! There were two types of corn bread and hot mashed potatoes with dark gravy, hmm! I saved all my room for these, even though the chicken, salad, cookies galore, frosted cake and ice cream were most tempting. There were many other snacks chips and munchies to fill all corners of our desire.

Just as Marga had introduced her caregiver, other guests were recognized at this time: Judith Jeaneotte, Turtle Mountain Chippewa filled in a bit of her recent San Diego experiences. Nellie introduced Joan Sun to the membership. Times have been rough for her, she said, but she was glad to learn of the Tonkawa Club.

Tonkawa treasurer Vickie Gambala announced the Title Seven Indian Education program would be starting a fringed blanket craft class next Tuesday (3/11/03). This ongoing class will be held in the Crawford High School cafeteria from 7 pm to nine. Many had comments on where to buy more fabric, Discount Fabric lead the list.
Vickie further proposed that the Tonkawa club send the President Easter Abrahano to the Wellness Conference in Mission Valley. Most agreed to approve the recommendation.

Jane Dumas brought up that the next month is beginning of the year for them Tonkawa club. Annual Dues are due and she proposed that we carry over the slate of officers to maintain stability for one more year. A vote of the membership supported this recommendation

The members are participating and enjoying the occasion to talk and share news about friends on the reservations and back home, where many have come from.
We are all excited to be a small part of the opportunity to listen and learn from our wisdom keepers, TONKAWA Council of Elders.

Respect Native American Traditions
5026 70th. Street
San Diego, CA 92115-1805

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