Saturday, May 25, 2013

WHS Auditorium project

Thanks to John Moenck for arranging for Jan Gallagher and Bob Youngquist to give Rotarians an update on the exciting new auditorium project they are helping to plan at the new Washington High School.

But first, Happy 96th Birthday to Harvey Holden!

Jan Gallagher and Bob Youngquist seem a little tight lipped here, but they answered all our questions about the $7 million WHS Auditorium project. They smiled pretty big when they told us about their recent $2.5 million grant.

Jan and Bob handed out project folios on the WHS Auditorium project that lays out the need in the school district and the community, the planned layout, and project financing. The project has some real momentum from private donations and grants, and hopefully will achieve its funding goal soon.


May 30: Dick Colby - He told me but I don't remember what his program is. It will be epic though, I'm sure.
June 6: No lunch meeting today
June 6:  6:00pm Rotary Awards Dinner!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rotary hears about Iowa Lions Eye Bank

Thanks to Kathy Salazar for arranging for a great presentation from Maryam Mortazavi of the Iowa Lions Eye Bank in Iowa City.

Maryam Mortazavi gives us the numbers on organ donations

Maryam told us there were currently 583 Iowans on a waiting list to receive a donated organ. She said that the Iowa Lions Eye Bank focuses on eye and cornea donations. People can donate their cornea, sclera (the white stuff), and the whole globe which is used for research.

Eye organ donations start with the Iowa Donor Network, which then funnels those donors to the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. There are 1.8 million Iowans that have signed up to be organ donors. There are two main ways that Iowans become registered to be organ donors.

  • Sign up when you renew your drivers license
  • You can also sign up online at the Iowa Donor Registry
I have been reassured several times from reliable sources that if you register to be an organ donor, they will wait until you're dead to harvest any organs. Apparently, it is not like getting called all the time to donate blood. Once you sign up, no one will call you to come in and "help them out..."

Maryam had a couple of great videos about the impact of donors or on how the donor system works. Check out these video at their YouTube channel.

In Iowa in 2012, there were 937 donors that donated 1871 eyes. There were 980 transplants as a result, and 474 eyes were used for research.

Today, there is a 90% success rate for cornea transplants to achieve 20/30 vision within 3 months. That is a big improvement both in percentage of success as well as the shortened recovery time.

Rotary donated $500 to the American Legion. Rotary Pres. Terry Engelken
presents a check to American Legion leader (and Rotarian) Bob Kennedy 

"That wasn't so bad. Maybe I'll come back more often"
- Kathy Salazar (Rotarian)


May 23: John Moenck - Jan Gallagher on the New WHS Auditorium project
May 30: Dick Colby - TBA (let him know if you've got a great idea)
June 6: Dennis Purcell - TBA
June 6:  6:00pm Rotary Awards Dinner!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mobile Meth Lab at Rotary!

Rotarians join in a rousing version of "When the Saints Go Marching In"
I did not know it had all those verses.

Thank you Emory for arranging the program for today.

Eric Weber describes his duties as a plain-clothes drug enforcement officer in Southeast Iowa.
Unidentified Rotarian in the foreground.

Eric Weber explains how to make meth to a rapt group of Rotarians.

Eric's pictures show the toll meth takes of its victims.


Ericka and Meredith Raber are in Moscow, Russia and the Baltic Republics in May to collect literary works from past participants of the UI's International Writing Program. Click here to check out their blog (mostly Meredith's pics of deserts and statues with pigeons on them, plus some tanks).

A few weeks ago, there was some bad flooding around Washington County. The Editor copped a plane ride and took a bunch of aerial pictures with an iPhone of the Washington, Kalona and Riverside area. You can check it out on this blog post and/or on Flickr.


May 15: "Fireside Chat" for new members at Patterson's
May 16: 7:00am Rotary Club Board Meeting @ Hospital
May 16: Kathy Salazar - Iowa Lions Eye Bank
May 23: John Moenck - Jan Gallagher on the New WHS Auditorium project
May 30: Dick Colby - TBA

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Club Forum and Kids Against Hunger

It was great to get a presentation about club activities from President Terry Engelken way back on April 25th. Here are some highlights from Terry's presentation and some pics of the meal packaging project for Kids Against Hunger.


Serving Washington since 1921
First meeting February 7, 1921
48 members
5 current members celebrated the Golden Anniversary in 1971





Turkey:  $2.04
BBQ Sauce:  $0.03
Roll:  $0.17
Beans:  $0.39
Coleslaw:  $0.26
Plate:  $0.33
Printing:  $0.15
Waste Removal:  $0.06
Thank you WEJ:  $0.05
Advertising:  $0.18
Dessert:  $1.21
Cost per Serving$4.87

Cost per Serving – Wal-Mart Donation:  $4.87- $0.85=$4.02 (Rotary cost per meal)
Wal-Mart’s donation per meal is $0.85 per this method or $0.89 per meal if you divide $624.85 by 700 meals.  I used 700 as the count as we purchased food for 700 meals. 

Misc. Donated not charged to the club:   zip lock bags, spices, SOS, Butter Pats, Plates, take out bags 

No Rent to be Charged 2013 @ UMC !!

Turkey Dinner Profit-Loss


It was great to have a great turnout of Rotarians and their family members show up at the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort's Event Center to pack over 11,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. The three clubs in the County donated $1,250 and the Casino donated $1,500. In addition to Rotarians, the Casino employees helped out to package the meals. This was the second year of our partnership and it worked out great.
  • $.25 cost per meal
  • 6 meals per bag
  • 36 bags per case
  • 52 cases
  • 216 meals per case
  • 11,232 meals packed April 24th
  • Destination – South America- Honduras?

Washington Rotarians & Family packing meals
The meal packing production line in the Casino Events Center
Washington County Rotary Club Presidents present a (fake) $1,250 check to K.A.H. 's Don Fields
L-to-R: Don Fields (KAH), Tom Buckwalter (Wellman), Terry Engelken (Washington), Meg Nagel (Kalona)
Bert: "I do not like to sing"

May 9: Emory VanGerpen - Eric Weber, Drug Task Force officer with the Washington Co Sheriff's Dept.
May 16: Kathy Salazar - Iowa Lions Eye Bank
May 23: John Moenck - TBA
May 30: Dick Colby - TBA

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pet Therapy

Thanks to Chris Marshall for her program about pet therapy.

Vickie Banks (L) and Chris Marshall (R)

Cathy Greiner (left), Unidentified Rotarian (right)

In the institutionalized elderly, there is evidence that pet therapy may:
  • Reduce depression and blood pressure
  • Reduce irritability
  • Reduce agitation
  • Increase social interaction
In Alzheimer’s disease there is evidence that the presence of a companion animal may increase social behaviors such as smiles, laughs, looks, leans, touches, verbalizations, name-calling, or others.

Dogs provide an invaluable service by helping the handicapped become independent. There is a huge demand for these animals. “All of the working dog organizations across the country cannot meet the demand for service dogs.”

Therapy dogs have many uses:  Assist those in wheelchairs, seizure alert, deaf or hearing impaired, alert diabetics if blood sugar is too high or low…Provide calm for panic attacks, PTSD, leading the blind, autism, psychology issues and so on.

Cats are a favorite because they require little care and they can often provide companionship, playful humor and affection for lonely people.

Studies have shown that the comforting vibration of a cat’s purr has significant therapeutic value, such as releasing anxiety and tension and lowering high blood pressure. Various research has also indicated that it helps to reduce inflammation and pain while strengthening and healing bones.

Any dog or cat can be a therapy dog or cat, depending on its temperament and training.  Therapy Dogs International and Delta are two  certifications that can be found locally.  Certain cat breeds, such as Ragdoll cats, have great temperaments for therapy participation, though many cats can be appropriate.

Equine assisted therapy has helped with such things as anxiety, depression, addictions, trauma, withdrawal, relationship issues, learning difficulties, PTSD, eating disorders, autism, psychological abuse, etc. in a powerful, nonthreatening and nonjudgmental way.

It has been found that handicapped children, regardless of disability, learn as much as four times faster and with greater retention after interacting with dolphins.  Many children are able to signal enjoyment, talk, or overcome fear for the first time after therapy.

Therapy animals can often provide much needed comfort and compassion to patients in fearful, life threatening situations. Animal therapy often works best in pediatrics and with the elderly.

A program called “Healing Species” has been bringing rescued animals into the classroom to help kids learn.  Outside study showed huge benefits with more empathy, less aggressive behavior, better performance, and compassion training.

Animals have often been able to reach severely withdrawn autistic children. 

Dr. Temple Grandin is a world famous author and speaker who ‘is known for her extraordinary understanding of the animal mind’, especially cows.

For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), "medication works 50 percent of the time.  Talk therapy, alone, works 30 percent of the time, and dogs work 84.5% of the time…”  Dogs provide a sense of protection along with affection, help with nightmares, panic attacks, anger management, feelings of separation, etc. 

At Halcyon House

Susan Griffith brings her pet therapy dog, “Griff” every Friday at 3:30 from their home in Iowa City.  Griff is well-known at Halcyon House and has many friends who look forward to his weekly visits.

Jake is our housecat in Avalon House (nursing facility).  He was given to us my Keota veterinarian Dr. Jim Branstad, when Jake was a ‘teenager’ a couple of years ago.  Dr. Branstad provides Jake’s food and free care—a great gift.  Jake is well-loved by Halcyon staff and residents.  Jake wears a “Petsafe” collar, which enables us to keep him from rooms he should not enter!

Sophie and Sadie are our newest pets—they live in Arbor House Assisted Living.  They are ‘Teddy Bear’ puppies—an actual breed that is half Shih Tzu and half Bichon Frise.  They are very loving, gentle dogs—and are now about 8 months old. 


May 9: Emory VanGerpen - Eric Weber, Drug Task Force officer with the Washington Co Sheriff's Dept.

May 16: Kathy Salazar - Iowa Lions Eye Bank
May 23: John Moenck - TBA
May 30: Dick Colby - TBA