The LCAC Neighborhood Watch

Layton Community Action Council pic
Layton Community Action Council
Image: laytoncac.org

Val Stratford has served as president of Stratford Insurance Group, Inc., in Layton, Utah, for more than 12 years. Val Stratford additionally oversees activities with the Layton Community Action Council (LCAC) as executive director.

The LCAC is a philanthropic organization comprised of adult and youth volunteers from the Layton area. The LCAC maintains a number of valuable community services and programs, including the Layton Neighborhood Watch.

Resulting from a partnership with the Layton Citizen Corps Council, the Neighborhood Watch program has proven to be an effective and affordable method for preventing crime and creating safe residential environments throughout the community. The program has helped to open up lines of communication between homes and neighborhoods and has lowered the rate of break-ins and robberies. Further, the program has helped to forge closer relationships between citizens and law enforcement officers. For more information on the program or LCAC, visit www.laytoncac.org/neighborhoodwatch.php.

Rotarians Support the Efforts of Shelter Box

Layton Rotary Club pic
Layton Rotary Club
Image: utahrotary.com

An insurance professional with over 25 years of experience, Val Stratford is the owner and president of Stratford Insurance Group in Layton, Utah. Val Stratford’s passion for working with underprivileged youth and community service has led to his involvement with the Layton Rotary Club.

The Layton Rotary Club, part of Rotary International, encourages its members to pursue “service above self.” With that goal in mind, Rotarians actively seek ways to improve the quality of life for those in their communities, both locally and globally.

Rotary International supports the efforts of Shelter Box, a relief organization that provides the essential materials necessary to support a family in disaster situations. The boxes that are distributed to families in need are tailored to fit each situation, including items such as a large tent, blankets, cooking utensils, water purification equipment, basic tools, and children’s activity packs. The organization has helped more than a million people in 90 countries by providing these essential items to people in desperate circumstances.

In addition to raising funds to support the work of Shelter Box, Rotarians around the globe have assisted with local deployment efforts including the accommodation of response teams and training programs.

Rotarians Take Action to Assist Youth

Rotaract Image: rotaractorwiki.org
Rotaract
Image: rotaractorwiki.org

 

As the owner and president of Stratford Insurance Group, Inc., Val Stratford consults with clients on matters of property casualty insurance. Philanthropically, Val Stratford contributes to the Layton Rotary Club, of which he is a former president.

In keeping with the club’s mission for meeting community needs, it sponsors Rotaract. Young adults ages 18-30 meet twice monthly to plan service projects, social opportunities, and professional growth ideas. There are more than 184,000 persons in 8,000 Rotaract groups worldwide.

Many Rotary Clubs sponsor Rotaract chapters and give the group a free hand to do good works and organize themselves. Interested participants can contact the Rotary Club in their area to find out if Rotaract exists in their area.

If there is no Rotaract chapter in the vicinity, you can launch one. You will need an adviser from the sponsoring Rotary Club. If the Rotaract is based in a higher learning institution, you will also need a faculty adviser to exchange information between the university and the sponsoring club.

How the LCAC Helps Youth Through the Layton Youth Council

Layton Community Action Council pic
Layton Community Action Council
Image: laytoncac.org

Val Stratford is the owner and principal agent at Layton, Utah-based Stratford Insurance Group, Inc. An active member of his community, Val Stratford is also the executive director of the Layton Community Action Council, a volunteer non-profit organization aimed at improving Layton. One way the LCAC strives for improvement is through the Youth Council, an arm of the organization designed to get youth involved in bettering their community.

The Layton Youth Council teaches members how to understand government procedure, with kids taking part in an annual day and the state legislature and a statewide conference for Youth Council. The program directly benefits the community, with every member of the youth council having to complete at least 50 hours of service per year. The group’s past activities have included holding a prom for senior citizens, and raising money for the Davis County Domestic Violence Shelter, Safe Harbor.

Members are selected by the existing council after applying and interviewing. The group chooses up to 20 new members every year, consisting entirely of Layton City youth in grades eight through 12.

For more information on the Layton Community Action Council and the Layton Youth Council, visit www.laytoncac.org.

Three Practical Tips for Travelers to Spain

Spain pic
Spain
Image: tripadvisor.com

As president of Stratford Insurance Group, Inc., Val Stratford draws on nearly two decades of experience in the insurance industry. In his leisure time, Val Stratford enjoys global travel to countries such as Spain.

1. When to Visit Spain
Spring and autumn generally offer clement weather, especially April through June and in the months of September and October, while the summer is quite hot. If you plan to visit northern Spain, however, you may prefer to go in July and August to find the best weather.

2. Transportation in Spain
If you want to rent a car and drive around the country, you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit and read the Driving Guide for Foreigners. If not, you may consider the convenience of purchasing a train pass ahead of time. Know, however, that if you want to save money, you should purchase your train tickets once you arrive. Alternatively, for an even cheaper option, travel by inter-city bus instead. Public transportation, such as buses, taxis, and subways, are both accessible and fairly inexpensive within the cities.

3. Using Money
Plan on obtaining euros through ATMs if you can. Traveler’s checks cost more and neither businesses in Spain nor Spanish banks will accept them. If you decide to obtain money through ATMs, remember to inform your bank before you travel to avoid having your account frozen for suspected fraud. Also, although you can find ATMs on almost every block, look for one from your bank’s network to avoid additional fees.

Rotary Members Raise Over $4 Million to Eradicate Polio

Rotary pic
Rotary
Image: rotary.org

Val Stratford, owner of the Stratford Insurance Group in Layton, Utah, handles a variety of leadership roles, including new client sales and human resources. As a contributor to worthy causes, Val Stratford is a member and former president of the local Rotary Club, a part of Rotary International.

Rotary International’s history dates back to 1905. Over the years its service missions have grown to include the elimination of polio.

Honoring this commitment, nine Rotary members from the headquarters staff raised some $4.4 million to foster research into curing polio. They participated in 2015 in the annual El Tour de Tucson bicycle race, the race taking place over a 104-mile course around the perimeter of Tuscon, Arizona. Over 100 other Rotary members from Arizona and elsewhere also took part.

The nine fundraisers had been training for the race since September. It was a daunting challenge, but their confidence built as they practiced with runs of 20, 40, 60, and 80 miles. Adding to their motivation was a 2-for-1 match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which brought the total amount raised to $13.5 million.

Youth Court Provides an Alternative to the Juvenile Justice System

Layton Community Action Council pic
Layton Community Action Council
Image: laytoncac.org

Award winning insurance professional Val Stratford is the owner and principal agent of Stratford Insurance Group in Layton, Utah. In addition to this work, Val Stratford has served on several community boards and participated in charitable organizations, including as executive director of the Layton Community Action Council, a position he has held since 1999.

The Layton Community Action Council is a volunteer based nonprofit organization that supports the Layton community. The organization especially focuses its efforts on helping youth, and one of their major projects is the Layton Youth Court.

Founded in 1998, the Layton Youth Court provides an alternative to traditional juvenile criminal justice that can help divert minor, nonviolent infractions like truancy away from the real juvenile court and help prevent individuals from getting a permanent juvenile court record. The program trains high school age people to take on the roles of judges, clerks, and bailiffs, so youth offenders can be put on trial by their peers. These courts do not determine guilt, but do hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions by providing real consequences that are also supportive of the person on trial. Common consequences include community service, peer counseling, and classes that can help provide the young person with better life skills.

Individuals between the ages of 10 and 17 are eligible for the voluntary youth court. They are not eligible, however, if they have appeared in the youth court within the last 12 months, or if they already have a juvenile court record. To date, the court has seen 1,652 cases and has averaged an 86 percent completion rate.