Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Washington Community School District Foundation

Last week Susan Wellington's guest was Jeff Cuddeback who spoke to us about the Washington Community School District Foundation.
Jeff is currently president for the Washington CSD Foundation and wanted to bring awareness to the foundation.  Founded in 1994, the Washington CSD Foundation seeks to bridge the gap between what taxes and other public funds provide and what the school and it's students are still needing to receive the finest education possible.  The Washington CSD Foundation works independently from the school district and board.  Currently the Foundation is providing scholarships to graduating students ranging from Ag to Music Scholarships.

Jeff Cuddeback and Susan Wellington
Jeff would love to see the Foundation and it's ability to impact the Washington CSD students grow. 
Jeff discussing his involvement with the Washington CSD Foundation.
Thank you , Jeff , for presenting all this great information to our group!

Upcoming Events:
June
20: TBA
26: Awards Dinner @ Country Club - 6pm
27: No Meeting!
July
4: No Meeting - Independence Day
11: Kurt Sorenson
18: Sue Basten

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Purple Martins

This past week we had a great presentation about purple martins by Randy Fehr's guest, Adam Todd.  Adam is a Washington High School grad (class of 2017) and is currently working for the Department of Natural Resources at Lake Darling.  He is also currently taking classes at Des Moines Community College.
Adam shared with us that the purple martin is the largest member of the swallow family.  They are also 100% dependent on humans for housing.  Adam helps maintain and monitor the purple martin houses at Lake Darling and his grandfathers house!  Purple martins are a popular bird that people encourage to their properties because they eat so many insects. 
Adam Todd presenting on the purple martins
Purple martins typically return to Iowa in March/April and leave around late July/early August.  Even though they are only here for a short time, they have many fans in Iowa!
Adam Todd and Randy Fehr
Upcoming Events:
June 
13: Ed Lins
20: TBA
26: Awards Dinner @ Country Club - 6pm
27: No Meeting
July
4: Independence Day - No Meeting
11: Kurt Sorenson

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Village Community

This past week we had a great presentation from Todd Kurtz on The Village Community.  Todd is Cheryl Kurtz's son and is one of the founding families for The Village Community outside of Iowa City.  The Village Community is a place that provides services and support for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  The Village was started in 2013 and has provided excellent day therapy and after school care for several individuals and families for the past 6 years.  They have also received outstanding remarks on any review of their services and even CARF Accreditation.
Todd and Cheryl Kurtz
Todd gave us a great overview and it was wonderful to hear all the great things The Village Community is doing!
Todd Kurtz speaking on The Village Community
We also have to give a HUGE thank you to Gary Murphy for volunteering for Family Day last weekend for Ridiculous Days!  Thank you, Gary, for supervising the pony rides and representing our club last week!  Also, thank you to Michelle Redlinger for the great photo!
Gary supervising the pony rides for Ridiculous Days 2019 
Upcoming Events:
June
6: Randy Fehr
13: Ed Lins
20:
26: Awards Dinner @ Country Club
27: No Meeting


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Antarctic Marathon

We had a fun presentation last week from Nick Pacha on his recent trip to Antarctica. 
Nick was John Moenck's guest this past week and is our Washington City Parks Superintendent and this Spring he had the chance to go to Antarctica and participate in a marathon.
John Moenck and his guest Nick Pacha
Nick showed us many pictures and videos from the trip.  Highlights included a few days in Buenos Aries, a long two day boat ride, running with penguins, seeing seals on the shore and a polar plunge!  
Nick presenting some of his pictures from this trip of a life time!
We also had a couple of guests with us last week.  Teri Hartzler's daughter, Ashley, was in town from Texas and John Moenek brought his wife Karen.
Teri and Ashley Hartzler
Upcoming Events:
May 
30: Cheryl Kurtz
June
6: Randy Fehr
13: Ed Lins
20:
26: Awards Dinner @ Country Club
27: No Meeting



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Electronic Options at the Library

We had a great turn out last week with Washington Public Library as our guest speaker and several other guests were able to join us as well.
Our guests last week were all Horaks!  Paul Horak had both Claire and Mary Kate Horak with him.
Paul Horak with all our Horak guests!
 David Collins also had Brennan Horak as a guest!

David Collins with Brennan Horak
Bryna Walker and Allie Paarsmith were our guest speakers from the Washington Public Library.  They have purchased 17 books for the library with Rotary donations this year!  They also presented us with several different reading options through the online library portal, Bridges, for electronic or audio books.  Bridges is an online portal for the state of Iowa's public libraries to share electronic materials.  You can access the material on the library's website or through the new app, libby.
Bryna Walker, Library Director, and Allie Paarsmith, Adult Services Librarian, present to our group.
The libby app can be used on any mobile device with a valid library card and any library staff is happy to help anyone if they have questions installing or using the app. 
The library will also be busy in the upcoming months with the summer reading program starting the first of June and they have several fun family activities planned throughout the summer!

Upcoming Events:
May
23:     John Moenck
30:     Cheryl Kurtz
June
6:       Randy Fehr
13:     Ed Lins
20:

27:     AWARDS DINNER – NO MEETING

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Trafficking In Iowa



This past week Dick Colby invited Chad Ellis to join us and talk about human trafficking in Southeast Iowa.  Chad is the Washington County Investigator and also speaks to groups to make communities aware of different types of human trafficking.  By doing this, Chad hopes that active members in each community have an awareness for what this may look like in their community, and would be able to recognize if a situation may be part of a larger trafficking ring.
Dick with Washington County Sergeant, Chad Ellis
Chad wanted to make sure that we were aware of labor trafficking and that this may be a situation we see in Southeast Iowa.  As defined by HumanTraffickingHotline.org, labor trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.  Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, and other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many industries.
Chad talking about trafficking to the group.
We also got an update from Paul from the District Conference held May 2nd through the 4th in Des Moines.  Paul said he attended a presentation about literacy Friday morning.  He enjoyed the lunch speaker, Suku Radia, and attended two afternoon sessions.  One was focused on Rotary membership; focusing on diversity and younger Rotary members.  The other was on club fundraising.  He was also able to sit with a Rotary group from Keokuk who is working on a publication of letters from 1931 and 1932.  Thank you, Paul, for attending this conference and representing our club!
Paul reporting back on the District Conference 

Upcoming Events:
May 16: Kathy Salazar
May 23: John Moenck
May 30: Cheryl Kurtz
June 6: Randy Fehr
June 13: Ed Lins

Friday, April 26, 2019

Kewash Marathon Update

There was no program at Rotary this week, but we had no trouble filling the time with Justice and other updates from club members.

Teri informed Rotarians on the success of the Kewash half marathon that was held last week. There were over 450 runners from 13 different states participating, which was the highest participation yet. She also brought forth an opportunity for the Rotary club to assist with the run in future years as a service opportunity. She thinks it would be a great way to introduce people to the club by having Rotarians help with things such as passing out medals or working a food tent.

Michelle Redlinger brought 2 guests to Rotary today. Ron Semler and Jean Harmston both work for Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Washington. Ron is a new administrator for Pearl Valley and Jean is a Regional Staffing Manager. The facility has had some hard times in recent years, and they have a shared goal of turning the facility into a 5 star resource for residents of Washington County.



Upcoming Events:
May 2: Chris Marshall
May 9: Dick Colby
May 16: Kathy Salazar
May 23: John Moenck

May 30: Cheryl Kurtz

Friday, April 19, 2019

Holy Week

Happy Holy Week! Emory invited the new Presbyterian pastor, Reverend Erin Kaye, to speak to Rotary for the occasion. Rev. Kaye moved to Washington in January with her husband and 2 children. She spoke about Maundy Thursday, and what she derives from the meaning of the Last Supper. Maundy translates to mean commandment, and we celebrate Holy Thursday to commemorate the last supper Jesus shared with his disciples before he was crucified. The last supper was also a celebration of Passover, a tradition from Jesus's Jewish heritage. Passover is a celebration of the freedom from slavery of the Jews in Egypt. At this last supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, an act of intimate caring for his disciples. This ace signified Jesus's commandment to all of us to "love one another, as I have loved you." So at the last supper, Jesus and his disciples celebrated freedom from slavery, as Jesus freed us of our sins by dying for our eternal lives, while commanding us to love one another, as he loved us. Remember this as you enjoy Easter with your families!

Reverend Erin Kaye with Emory



Cheryl Kurtz update the group on a recent Rotary service project. On Wednesday, seven Washington Rotarians joined a crew from the Riverside Casino to package meals for Take Away Hunger. The group packaged 12,960 meals of a rice/bean/seasoning mixture to send across the country for those currently in need. While these meals of been used world wide in the past, all of these meals will stay in the United States this year.





Upcoming Events:
April 25: Bob Lamb
May 2: Chris Marshall
May 9: Dick Colby
May 16: Kathy Salazar
May 23: John Moenck
May 30: Cheryl Kurtz

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Membership Matters!

President Lynn Koch provided the presentation last week about increasing membership. He showed a very entertaining video from the Rotary District 6000 leaders. Some clubs who are having success at increasing membership are doing a good job about getting family members involved in activities. The video encourages clubs to be creative in finding ways to be more visible in the community. They also encouraged clubs to do a "Rotary Club Health Check" which helps identify areas where your club can make improvements (click the link to go to a webpage which has a downloadable version of the health check).
Lynn would like to remind all club members to bring guests frequently. Bringing guests may lead to new members, and if not, will at least increase awareness of Rotary, our objectives, and what we are all about.


Michelle Redlinger brought Alisha Davis to Rotary. Alisha is the Event Coordinator at the Washington Chamber of Commerce.


Upcoming Events:
April 4: Connie Larson
April 11: Willie Stone
April 18: Emory Van Gerpen (Holy Week)
April 25: Bob Lamb

Friday, March 22, 2019

Kewash Half Marathon

This week at Rotary Teri Hartzler and Amy Schulte invited Michelle Driscoll to talk to the group about the Kewash Half Marathon. The run started in 2014 with about 70 participants and has grown over the past 5 years with over 240 participants from 10 different states last year. Last year, over $8000 was raised, with part of the funds being returned to different organizations and clubs in the community, including 2 youth running groups in Washington, and the high school cross country team.
This year, the race will be held on Saturday, April 20th, and will start and finish outside JPs 207. The route goes through some of the more beautiful and historic parts of Washington, before heading west out of town onto the Kewash Nature Trail. There is a half marathon, a 10K and a 5K. New additions to the race this year include pacers for those trying to set new personal records, or who just want to run with a group of people for extra encouragement. Organizers are also hoping to have cheering sections set along the route to give runners an extra nudge to keep going. There will be a group of local firefighters who are going to run the half marathon as a relay, with each one running 1 mile in full fire gear.
The organizers are asking for volunteers to come out the Saturday before, April 13th, at 9 am to meet at the trail entrance near Sunset Park to help with trash clean-up. The flyer for the clean-up is pictured below, and you may contact Teri Hartzler if you are interested in helping.

Teri also spoke briefly about a new program the Y is hosting for community members with special abilities. Each Tuesday afternoon in the month of April from 3-5, they Y will host The Social Scene. A new activity will be offered each Tuesday for participants to expand their skill sets and try out some new things. The flyer is pictured below with more information.








Upcoming Events:
March 28: Lynn Koch
April 4: Connie Larson
April 11: Willie Stone
April 18: Emory Van Gerpen (Holy Week)
April 25: Bob Lamb

Friday, March 15, 2019

National Agriculture Day

The Washington Rotary club was joined by several guests at last weeks Rotary meeting to celebrate Ag Day, which was March 14th. Don Vittetoe brought in guest speaker Aaron Putze from the Iowa Soybean Association to speak to the group about some important issues the American soybean farmer is currently facing.
Aaron grew up on a farm in West Bend, IA. He has a degree in public communications from UNI, and is currently employed as the Director of Communications & External Relations for the Iowa Soybean Association.
Aaron reminded us of the importance of Agriculture in not only feeding the world, but also providing all sorts of other material products, as well as renewable energy sources. Only 4% of the world's surface is usable in producing food. Iowa is one of the Nation's largest agricultural states, with 86% of our ground being farmed ground. The United States produced over 500 million bushels of soybeans last year, with Iowa being the number 2 producing state (second to Illinois, Iowa has been number 1 in past years. The recent drop is due to an increase in hog production).
America is currently the largest producer of soybeans world wide, while China is the largest consumer of soybeans worldwide. In fact, China uses approximately 97% of the soybean crop grown world-wide in a given year. This is scary for American farmers currently, due to the trade war that has begun between China and the United States in recent months. With taxes and tariffs on our products on the rise, China has significantly decreased its import of American soybeans. This has caused soybean prices to drop nationwide, and leads to an uncertain future for our farmers.
Aaron is visiting China at the end of March to meet with people there to learn more about the issues at hand, to discuss the future of trade between the two nations, and how this might affect the American farmer.
As it 3.14 is also National Pie Day, Aaron asked for crowd participation with a price of mini pies! Thank you to everyone who brought guests for the presentation; it was wonderful to have such a large crowd.

 Becky Patterson with guest Gary Kos

 Ed Lins with guest Jim Cuddeback

 Jim Gorham with guest Larry Marek

 Craig Davis with guest Eric Schmitt

 Bob Kennedy with guest Bill Edwards

 Amber Trettin with guest Josh Trettin

 Kurt Sorensen with guest Amand Russell

 Cheryl Kurtz with guest Heather Marek

 Don Vittetoe with guest Alicia Vittetoe and Guest Speaker Aaron Putze

Matt Greiner with guest Rachel Fishback

Sue Basten with guests Pat and Jared Gent

 Michelle Redlinger with guest Jill Venden

Paul Horak with guest Ron Farrier

Gary Murphy with guest Andy McCall

 Don introduces the program

Aaron Putze with the Iowa Soybean Association speaks to Washington Rotarians




Last Week, Brent Hinson presented to the Rotary club about changes coming to the Washington community regarding the recycling process in the city limits.



Upcoming Events:
March 21: Amy Schulte
March 28: Sean Cortum
April 4: Connie Larson
April 11: Willie Stone
April 18: Emory Van Gerpen (Holy Week)
April 25: Bob Lamb

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

JET PT: Healthy Living Link

Last week, Brandi Hemsley introduced Audrianne Timmer to speak to Rotary about Healthy Living Link. Audrianne is the Health Coach at JET Physical Therapy. She began working there about a year ago, and launched a new program last fall called Healthy Living Link. This program is designed as a link between the medical treatments that patients receive, both at JET and with their other medical providers, and living a healthy lifestyle. The program can help patients in all stages of life, whether the goal is weight loss, moderating disease processes such as diabetes or heart disease, or just wanting to live healthier to feel better with less pain and more energy. The program is 16 weeks long, with 7 group meetings (small groups of about 5-7 people participate at a time), and weekly one-on-one meetings with Audrianne to discuss things such as meal planning, obstacles from the past week and how to work past them, and instruction in a personalized exercise plan. Audrianne has had 1 group of 5, plus 2 other individuals complete the program so far with great results, and saw similar results in her previous employment working for St. Luke's Weight Management Center.
Audrianne plans to begin a new group of individuals with the program within the next month. If you would like more information about the program, please contact JET Physical Therapy at 653-5494.

Audrianne Timmer speaks about Healthy Living Link

Upcoming Events:
March 7: Brent Hinson
March 14: Don Vittetoe - Ag Day
March 21: Amy Schulte
March 28: Sean Cortum
April 4: Connie Larson

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Transcendental Meditation

Tsalika Rich presented to Rotarians this week about transcendental meditation (TM). 
Tsalika is part owner of Do Dici Cafe in Washington, and she estimates that about 75% of her customers are members of the Maharishi population from Fairfield. This is a group of followers of the Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They came to Fairfield from California in the 1960s, and this is now one of the largest populations of Maharishi followers in the world. The group is not a cult or religion, but rather a group of people who live in a community together to practice this technique of deep relaxation and finding inner peace. In Fairfield, there is K-12 school, as well as a University, with special dwellings for practicing TM. TM can be taught in groups or in one on one sessions, and involves the use of a mantra (word or sound used to help with concentration) to help you achieve a deep state of relaxation. The benefits of TM are widespread, being use for such things as helping drug addicts tame their addiction and helping kids with ADHD calm down and focus.
There are many famous people in America who practice TM, ranging from the Beatles to Clint Eastwood, to Oprah.


Upcoming Events:
February 21: Craig Davis
February 28: Brandi Hemsley
March 7: Brent Hinson
March 14: Don Vittetoe - Ag Day
March 21: Connie Larson
March 28: Sean Cortum