Thursday, December 26, 2013

You make a difference - VOTE! and donate some United miles

A message from Rotary International... To VOTE, you don't have to provide an e-mail address or anything, just click. They won't add you to a e-mail list or anything, so VOTE daily through the end of the year!

Currently (Dec. 26th), R.I. is in 2nd place!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

May Saint Nicholas hold your Tiller

We covered a number of topics at today's meeting.
  • We are waiting for a confirmation on the possible daffodils fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and to raise funds for Rotary.
  • On January 23rd, we will have a planning meeting for the spring blood drive.
  • Michelle Redlinger said that Junior Achievement is asking for volunteers to lead some middle-school classes, and passed around an info and sign-up sheet.
  • Becky Patterson announced that the club would be covering the cost of Hannah Purner's outfit so that she could participate in Show Choir. (Apparently, Hannah wanted to be in Show Choir and they're not forcing her.) Hannah said "Thanks!" by handing around some Austrian cookies!
Susan Wellington conferred membership papers to John Thorne. This came a few weeks early because sponsor John Moenck and RI Foundation rep Kent Dallmeyer are bailing out of Iowa for warmer weather. Dallmeyer said that as Thorne was going to become a sustaining RI Foundation member, the club was still at 100% participation!

John Moenck pins John Thorne (photo missing)

YMCA Director, Becky Harkema thanked the club for its sponsorship of the Y's annual sustaining drive. This banner will hang in the gym.

Harkema also thanked the club's Christmas Committee for adopting 11 YMCA families in need. The Committee shopped for gifts and wrapped them.

The Historic Saint Nicholas 

Pastor Bob Wollenberg gave a very interesting program about the historical figure of Saint Nicolas. Our modern idea of St. Nic as Santa Clause was shaped by 1920's Coca Cola advertisements.
The historical Saint Nicholas was born in 262 A.D. in what is now Turkey. He grew us as a Christian in the Roman empire, when being Christian wasn't an easy thing. As an adult, he became the bishop of Myra.
looks a little like Bob with a beard?
During his life, Constantine became the Roman Emperor and sanctioned Christianity. Nicholas participated in the Nicene Council and signed the Nicene Creed. That was big.
Some of the stories about his point to his modern persona as a mysterious gift deliverer. [from Wikipedia:]
In his most famous exploit, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the girls' plight, Nicholas decided to help them, but being too modest to help the family in public (or to save them the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to the house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the house.


December 26: Rob Negrete - Lyle Moen & Nancy Rash travel log pics from Alaska!
January 2:  Becky Harkema
January 9:  Dennis Hunger
January 16: Club Forum!
January 23:  Paul Horak - Blood Drive planning
January 30:  Jim Gorham

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stories of Christmas Past

Thanks to Craig Davis for arranging a program of stories from Rotarians about their Christmas experiences as a child. We heard stories from across the generations, from the very very old down to those new to the slippery downward backslope.


Harvey shared his memories from the 1920s. There were no lights on the Christmas tree as they had no electricity... As for presents, each kid could ask for one thing they wanted. Often they got utilitarian things like clothes and games.


Gary said that he remembered the Christmas program at school and every one came. He said they got a tree out of the pasture and that in his early days they had no electricity. They decorated the tree with popcorn and paper chains-which he says were ugly. Dad always left to check hogs and while he was gone Santa came and Dad always missed Santa. Gary's favorite gift? A Red Rider bb gun.


Nancy related on how her family used many ornaments each year to decorate their tree, most of them simple and homemade. They always had a red candle that was lit every year only on Christmas. She remembered their Christmas Eve program and before would go to City Hall/Jail to see Santa... She got a bag of fruit  and nuts from Santa. They used Dad's big socks for stockings. They opened gifts on Christmas day and then went to her grandparents home for a big dinner. 


Kierstan said her family always went to the late Christmas Eve church service. She remembered they always drove by same house that was so well lit. Her family opened one gift on Christmas Eve. In the morning, kids could look at their Christmas stockings and then wake up parents. To make it more challenging, stockings were always hidden.   Another game was "hide the pickle" in the tree and whoever found it got a special gift.  They always took a "horrible" family picture on Christmas morning (perhaps a future Rotary program?).  Now it is very difficult to get the whole family together for Christmas.  They still do the Christmas picture and "Skype" in anyone who is not there.


(L to R) Denise Erpelding, Becky Patterson (front), Kierstan Peck (back), Don Patterson, DG Jacque Andrew, Gary Murphy, Becky Harkema, Michelle Redlinger


December 19: Bob Wollenberg - some kind of Christmas program
December 26: Rob Negrete - Lyle Moen & Nancy Rash travel log pics from Alaska!
January 2:  Becky Harkema
January 9:  Dennis Hunger
January 16: Club Forum!
January 23:  Paul Horak - Blood Drive planning
January 30:  Jim Gorham

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hannah is a Palindrone

It was wonderful to hear from Austrian, Rotary exchange student, Hannah Purner.
Hannah is a natural public speaker
Hannah gave us a great presentation about Austria, its regions and culture, and about her life back home.

If you would like to see her presentation again, you can click here or on the picture below from Hannah's presentation. You can view the presentation in a web browser or download the pdf.

Hannah also has a blog where she discusses the ups and downs of being a foreign exchange student. Check it out here.

It has been a pleasure to have Hannah in our community, school, and Rotary Club.

Hannah Purner at home in Austria


December 12: Craig Davis - Stories of Christmas Past
December 19: Bob Wollenberg - Stories of Christmas Future
December 26: Rob Negrete - TBA
January 2: Becky Harkema - TBA

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fun times at Club Forum!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

There were a lot of things to celebrate at our Club Forum last week. This gives you a snapshot of what our Club does and how we are a vital part of Washington, Southeast iowa, and even the global community.

Thanks to Club President Becky Patterson for leading us through this discussion.
  • Hosted the annual Turkey Dinner in September with about 100% participation. This is our biggest fundraiser with about $4,170 profit. Scholarships from the club, and many other donations are possible because of this fundraiser.
  • Manned the County Fair gates in August. The Club received $1000 from the Fair Board for our services.
  • Fundraiser at Unc & Nephs
  • Sponsoring a Rotary Exchange student from Austria - Hannah Purner!
  • Received a matching grant from RI ( $2500 from the club and $2500 from RI ) to place a "Waterfall" in the garden at Washington High School (in the former Jr. High)
  • Sent a student to RYLA - Kyle Basten
  • Our club has a 100% participation in the Rotary International Foundation!
  • Our club donates a children's book to our Library each month. We invite our weekly speakers to sign that months book.
  • Donated $500 to Polio Plus
  • Donated $100 to the District Youth Fund
  • Four Club members attended Fall Training in West Liberty
  • Two Club members attended the Zone 28-29 meeting held in Pittsburgh
  • Donated $500 to the YMCA for its Annual Sustaining Campaign toward their $75k goal. (see the banner in the gym)
  • Have voted to give the proposed Washington High School auditorium $10,000 over 4 years, contingent upon a District 6000 grant. Their goal is $7 million!
  • Contributed (with other service clubs) for the replacement computer projector in the YMCA Y's Men Room
  • Helped pay for a Blood Drive poster, and sponsored a successful annual Blood Drive
  • Donated $480 to FAMSCO/MOST (Miles Of Smiles)

We also are working on a new fundraiser to sell Daffodils in the Spring with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society drive and to our Club.

Also, the Christmas Committee is meeting this week to decide on a Club project for Christmas.

On Sunday, Dec. 1, we rang the Bells for the Salvation Army at HyVee. Participants:  Gary Murphy, Hannah Purner, Katy Wellington, Susan Wellington, Emily Johnson, John Thorn, Phillip Rabinowitz and Becky Patterson. We really lucked out with beautiful weather

Phillip Rabinowitz and John Thorn work the kettle on Sunday afternoon at HyVee


December 5 - Craig Davis, TBA
December 12 - Denise Erpelding, Hannah Purner!
December 19 - Bob Wollengerg, TBA
December 26 - Rob Negrete, TBA