Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Holidays and Observances for May 19 2015

Boys And Girls Club Day

For more than 150 years, Clubs have been helping kids reach their full potential.

The Good Will Club in Hartford, Conn., circa 1900.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with three women in Hartford, Conn.:  Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammersley. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born.

History Highlights
In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations – this marked the start of a nationwide Movement and our national organization.

In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.

In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.

To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter.

2006 marked the Centennial year of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as we celebrated 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country.

Building Character
Character development has been the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Club experience since the first Club opened in 1860. The first Club professional, John Collins, devised a system of informal guidance to attract boys into the Club, capture their interest, improve their behavior and increase their personal expectations and goals.

The procedures Collins used constituted a clearly planned, socially scientific system of taking boys off the street and promoting their development towards a successful, productive future. This system formed the basis of the Boys & Girls Club environment. It is still in use today with proven results.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America believes that character development, the basic building block in personal development, should be an integral aspect of every Club program and activity. In support of this conviction, Aaron Fahringer, a regional director for the west coast in the 1950s, scripted the Boys & Girls Club Code as part of the celebration of the golden anniversary of the Movement. The code was adopted as official by the National Council in 1955, and was used extensively in the 50s and 60s. The Code is still displayed in many Clubs today.
The Boys & Girls Club Code 
I believe in God and the right to worship according to my own faith and religion.I believe in America and the American way of life…in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.I believe in fair play, honesty and sportsmanship.I believe in my Boys & Girls Club, which stands for these things.
 May Ray Day

Wish you had an excuse to go outside and enjoy the sunshine? Well now you do! May 19 is deemed May Ray Day in honor of the warmer days and greater sunshine during this time of year.

It is the pre-game show for Memorial Day, considered the unofficial start of summer. Interestingly it is also a day to pay tribute to anyone you know by the name of Ray. Although it’s an unofficial holiday, enjoy the sunshine if weather permits and give thanks for the beauty of the sun.

Sun Worship - Despite the lack of official history and origins for May Ray Day, gratitude and appreciation for the sun has existed since ancient times. Numerous cultures worshiped the sun for its warmth, life giving force and control over nature’s agricultural and growth cycles.

The Aztecs so revered the sun that they believed it would not rise unless they performed a daily human sacrifice. Other cultures were not so gruesome however. The ancient Egyptians honored the sun in the form of Ra, the Sun God. He was identified with the bright midday sun and considered to be the creator of all life forms. Legend says that Ra would drive his solar chariot across the sky thus bringing light.

Among Native American cultures, the sun is revered as a source of life, providing the earth with abundance. Great Plains tribes considered the sun symbolic of the Great Spirit and performed the ritual Sun Dance as a form of worship.

Say Hey Ray - On this day, it’s a good idea to do a little sun worship of your own. After being cooped up inside all winter and dealing with the gloomy April showers, it’s time to say, “Hey!” to the sun’s rays. Make an effort to spend some time outdoors and soak up the sunshine. There are many benefits to be gained from spending a little time in the sun.

Being in the sun for as little as fifteen minutes can trigger your body’s production of vitamin D, providing that you show a little skin. Scientists tell us it’s one of the most effective ways to get this important nutrient. Time spent in the sun also improves your mood. Many people develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to lack of exposure to natural light. So get out in the sun and be happy!

Also take this opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the sun. Get up early and greet the day by watching the sunrise. Then be sure to devote some time to watching the sunset. Have a little tea ceremony in the morning or celebrate with a cocktail in the evening as the sun meets the horizon.

While you’re saying “Hey!” to the sun, don’t forget about anyone you know by the name of Ray. Acknowledge them for their inner light and brightening up your little corner of the world.

Shine On - At once time, the earth was considered to be the center of the solar system, but thanks to Nicolaus Copernicus, we know better. The sun is a star and without it, the earth would be devoid of life. This serves as a metaphor and a reminder that we are not the center of the universe, but rather co-creators. Together we all play an important role.

So while you’re out and about enjoying a sunny day at the park or beach, don’t forget about the sun’s symbolism. The sun represents light and when it shines we all benefit. Think about your own inner light while you’re basking in the sun. When you share your gifts, talents and true nature with others, you also shine. Think about how many people benefit from your personal radiance shining out there in the world. Don’t be shy—shine on!

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

May 19 is National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to break the silence about HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities and encourage individuals to get tested for HIV.

In recent years, the number of diagnoses of HIV infection among Asians has increased while the number of diagnoses among Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders has decreased. In 2011, an estimated 821 Asians and 68 Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States.

To raise awareness about the impact of HIV on these populations, National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events are held nationwide on May 19. The theme for 2013 is "I'm talking about HIV…because saving face can't make you safe." Saving face is a common cultural norm among Asian and Pacific Islanders that contributes to silence around talking about sex, HIV, and safer sex practices.

National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was founded by the Banyan Tree Project, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to end the silence and shame surrounding HIV/AIDS in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

The Banyan Tree Project is sponsored by the San Francisco-based Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center and in collaboration with partner organizations in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
What Can You Do?

National Devil's Food Cake Day

We have been inundated with chocolate for months now. The holiday season, Valentine's Day, Easter and Mother's Day all brought the very best of reasons to give and receive the most decadent and delicious objects of a chocolate lover's affection. It began with luxurious truffles and fruit dipped in every chocolate incarnation. The giving continued, barely missing a beat, into overflowing heart shaped boxes aimed to garner the affection of our nearest and dearest. Bunnies and eggs followed closely, some hollow and others filled with scrumptious pleasures. Just as we were recovering from all of that indulgence, Mother's Day brought even more chocolate delights; a sentimental, delicious tribute to the women in our lives. Has anyone finally had enough?

Perhaps your thoughts and sensibilities have been leaning toward the fresh spring harvest of fruits and vegetables. They should. The abundance of leafy greens and summer fruits are there for the taking. But chocolate doesn't have to be banished completely in our quest for healthy eating. Moderation is they key and there are many health benefits to be had by the consumption of chocolate. Chocolate lovers, the celebration season continues, as if we need a reason at all. This Sunday, May 19, is National Devil's Food Cake Day. We don't know how or by whom this homage was designated, but for those of us who consider chocolate to be a primary food group, we don't care. Dip your fresh fruit into glorious melted chocolate while you peruse our easy chocolate ganache recipe at the end of this writing.

Devil's food cake is an American invention, closely aligned with red velvet cake. According to Wikipedia, recipes for both of these lovely treats appear in turn of the century cookbooks with interchangeable names and ingredients. The recipe for Devil's food cake appeared in print for the first time in 1905. It's depth of flavor is attained in a variety of ways; the most common being the use cocoa instead of chocolate, and the addition of coffee, both of which intensify the richness of flavor over and above other chocolate cakes.

We have sampled cakes all over the country and there are a myriad of local bakeries that have mastered the art of the perfect Devil's food cake. But we want everyone to enjoy what we consider to be one of the best chocolate cakes we've experienced. Is it Devil's food? Not exactly. However, it is rich, flavorful, fragrant, most certainly celebratory and readily available. It is Chocolate Ganache Cake, from Trader Joe's. Found in the frozen dessert section, this cake is the perfect alignment of delectable cake and luxurious frosting; a pleasure to enjoy casually or on a formal platter at a snazzy gathering. A simple, no nonsense dessert, it speaks for itself in lush hues and with classic panache. You'll love it and so will your family and friends.

National Hepatitis Testing Day

May 19, is the fourth national Hepatitis Testing Day. It is a day for people at risk to be tested, and for health care providers to educate patients about chronic viral hepatitis and testing. Millions of Americans have chronic hepatitis; most of them do not know they are infected.

National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States is part of an educational initiative of CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.

Four Things You Should Know About Hepatitis:

  1. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are all different diseases.  Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways.  Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick.  Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems. 
  2. Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
  3. Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. More than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected.  Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
  4. Getting tested could save your life. Lifesaving care and treatments are available for chronic hepatitis, but getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected.  Take CDC’s Hepatitis Risk Assessment to see if you should be tested for viral hepatitis.
Find a Testing Site: If you are looking for a place to get a free or low cost test for hepatitis, please check out the CDC sponsored Hepatitis Testing page. Enter your zip code, or city and state, to find a site near you.