Sunday, December 6, 2020

 Our meetings are suspended for awhile, but that doesn't mean Rotarians have stopped serving our community. Ray Poe was one of several club members who took time on Friday to ring the bell for donations to the Salvation Army at Washington Walmart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Rotary meetings suspended due to COVID-19


Dear Rotarians,

Given the increased frequency of positive Covid cases and the new guidelines from the Governor we will suspend in person Rotary meetings through Dec 10th.  There will be no in person meeting on Thursday, Dec 10th.

If the current guidelines and rules are extended beyond Dec 10th we will keep meetings suspended until we are permitted to meet again safely.

We’ll work through this.  Please try to stay engaged in whatever safe way you can.  We’ll stay in communication via email or other technologies to do our best to further the goals of Rotary.

Thanks and be well,

Paul Horak, President

 Bob Kennedy spoke to us about Shriners Hospitals for Children on Nov. 12.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020


Jenna Johnson, national political correspondent for the Washington Post and daughter of Rotarian Jim Johnson and his wife Bridget, talked about her experiences in journalism via Zoom at our Oct. 29 meeting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Welcome to Brett DeWolf, our newest member. Brett is facilities manager for Riverside Casino and Golf Resort. He makes his home in Washington with his wife Sherise and children Bryce, Abbi, Justyn and Jaden.
Police Chief Jim Lester return to update us on WPD's work last week.

Washington Rotary Club continues to be the best place to stay in the know about your community. Kevin Erpeldinger shares his experiences from a backpacking trip in Sierra Madre mountains.

Teresa Beenblossom visited Rotary to speak about fundraising goals to get new playground equipment at Lincoln Elementary School. She is asking for donations from individuals and service clubs. There are two options, an all-in-one equipment renovation that will cost $208,500 or doing it in parts, with phase one costing $104,000 with $48,000 left to raise.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

 Riverside Casino & Golf Resorts General Manager Dan Franz and Facilities Manager Brett DeWolf updated the club Oct. 1 on how the casino is coping with COVID-19. They said the casino's gaming business and golf course are doing well, but the restaurant and hotel businesses have a ways to go.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


A big thanks to Rotarians Don Vittetoe and Terry Engelken for serving our meals at each week's meeting.

Rotarians Amy Schulte and Teri Hartzler updated the club Sept. 24 on the Washington YMCA's Virtual Fitness offerings, proving a variety of classes in your own home with your favorite instructors. Several of our members have already downloaded the Y's new phone app for easy in-house class registration and virtual class viewing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

 Zoom program with Iowan Wesleyan University President Chris Plunkett

Thanks to arrangements by former Washington Rotarian Adam McLaughlin, we enjoyed a virtual update on IWU on Sept. 10 from President Chris Plunkett. She said that after plans to merge with St. Leo University fell through, a partnership with Southeastern Community College at West Burlington shows promise and enrollment and retention rates are improving.

Our own Brian Overy gave an outstanding program on cattle ranching in his home state of Wyoming on Sept. 17, however your newsletter editor was so fascinated he forgot to take a photo. Maybe Brian will share one from his slide show.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Catching up since meetings resumed July 3.

Thanks for all Rotarians who turned out to help at the Kewash Half-Marathon on Aug. 29. Thanks also to Rotarian Sue Basten for sharing photos.
President Paul Horak presents a check for $10,000 on behalf of the Washington Rotary Club to to Rotarian and YMCA Director Amy Schulte. The donation will go to help equip the Community Room at the new Y.

Rotarian and Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson updated the club on city projects at our Aug. 5 meeting.
Rotary District 6000 Governor Steven Dakin and wife Lesley were guests Aug. 13.
Rotarian and Washington Community School District Superintendent Willy Stone modeled a COVID-19 face shield available for staff during his Aug. 20 program on back-to-school plans for the district.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Washington Community Schools

On January 30th, we had a very nice presentation from Willie Stone about Washington Community School District and how the district is preparing the students for success throughout their whole career at school.
Willie shared with us that Washington is using a MTSS or Multi-Tiered System of Support for every student in the district.  This system is based on three tiers of support. 
Tier 1 = Core Classroom Instruction
                This is the base of the system and each student receives core instruction
Tier 2 = Targeted Small Group Instruction
                This the middle of the system, and focus on children who may need some additional support and could benefit from more intensive group work on a certain subject
Tier 3 = Intensive Individual Instruction
                This is the top tier and is for students who would benefit from one on one instruction or guidance

This system provides a framework to help screen and support students and provides a chance to implement real time support.  This is implemented at all levels within the school district (primary to high school).
The next item Willie explained to us was the concept of the “Profile of a Graduate”.  This was presented as the hopes and dreams for our students, what skills do they need to achieve these dreams and how to transfer this to classroom work.  This concept was presented to the district and 6 core qualities for each student became the focus for graduates from Washington Community School.
1.       Communicate
2.       Contribute
3.       Collaborate
4.       Innovate
5.       Persevere
6.       Think Critically
Thank you, Willie, for all your hard work and preparing our students for whatever their next chapter in life may be!

Upcoming Events:
-          Daffodil Days Sales; sales sheets are out and orders are due back the week of March 5th
-          Annual Rotary sponsored Blood Drive; Feb 13th @ UP Church 1:30 – 6:30pm
-          Kewash Trail Half Marathon   April 18th, 2020
Upcoming Programs:
-          2/6/2020   Craig Davis
-          2/13/2020 BLOOD DRIVE DAY
-          2/20/2020 Brent Hinson
-          2/27/2020 Emory Styron

9/11 Memorial at the 2020 County Fair

On January 23rd we were joined by Carol Horning to share with the club that the 9/11 Memorial will be returning to the Washington County Fair this year.   Carol was a major organizer for the memorial to come to Washington back in 2018 and is very excited to have them come back again.  They have completely gutted and updated the displays, so even if you saw the memorial last time, this will be a new experience again.   

The mobile exhibit was started back in 2013 by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives on 9/11.  The experience is topped off with guided tours by FDNY firefighters who provide firsthand accounts of the day and days following the attack.  Funds raised by the Stephen Siller Foundation go towards Gold Star Family Home Program and Smart Home Program who provide mortgage free homes to a surviving spouse with young children or veterans who have a disability that affects their mobility.
The memorial will be here 3 days again (currently set for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the fair)
2018 Washington County Fair informational flyer

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

State of the Club

On January 2nd we Kurt lead the meeting with the State of the Club. 
We were also joined by 3 previous RYLA participants and were able to hear updates on their college careers so far. 

Aaron Vittetoe is currently studying at Iowa State University in Ag Business.  He is planning to graduate soon and join the workforce using his Ag Business and Agronomy skills.  While at Iowa State University, he was able to travel to Costa Rica and study the soil, crops and farming techniques there. 

Reid Baston is currently studying at the University of Iowa in Audiology.  Reid will be a senior at Iowa next year and will move on to start studying for his AuD in Audiology after.  Reid has enjoyed his time at the University of Iowa so far and is looking forward to his several more years of school!

Mark Engelken is currently a sophomore at Iowa State University and is studying Genetics with the plan to advance to pharmaceutical and molecular chemistry.  Mark has really enjoyed his time at Iowa State University and has been able to participate in the STEM Scholars Program the university offers as well.
Thank you to the former RYLA students for joining us today and sharing all your wonderful experiences so far in school!

12 Days of Christmas

On December 19th we had the joy of singing the 12 days of Christmas!  Our group had a great time participating and sharing in the fun of this Holiday Season together.  
We were also joined by a group from the Washington Middle School choir.  Cailee Wenger, director, brought a large group of students to sing carols to and with us.


On December 12th, Tsalika invited Lori Sundberg from Kirkwood and Lorraine Williams who is on the Board of Trustees at Kirkwood to update us on all that Kirkwood has to offer.
Lori is the current and first female President at Kirkwood since 2018.  She has previous senior administrative experience and brings all that knowledge to Kirkwood.  Currently there are 15,000 credit students enrolled with 5,000 high school concurrent students.  Kirkwood offers 2 year liberal arts degrees and many career/tech degrees.   They also offer a wide variety of continuing education classes with approximately 60,000 registrations per year.  
Kirkwood has the main campus in Cedar Rapids and currently 11 satellite sites.  
Lori’s focus while at Kirkwood has been for long term goals and metrics for Kirkwood.  She would like to establish a long term perspective and help the college meet the short term goals but also set and help set a plan to achieve long terms goals as well.  She has also been focusing on the Kirkwood Foundation and creating a solid Emergency Management Plan for the main campus and satellite sites to implement.

Peace Pipe Letters

On November 21st Ray Poe invited Anthony T Conn from the Keokuk Rotary Club to speak on the Peace Pipe Letters. 

The Peace Pipe Letters was a project started by the Keokuk Rotary Club after then president, Jewett Futton Jr, and his wife traveled to the International Rotary Convention in Austria.  Jewett was president of the Keokuk Rotary Club in 1930-1931.  The year after (1931-1932) the Rotary theme was “World Peace and International Understanding”.  Jewett took this theme to heart.   After spending time in Austria for the International Convention and traveling Europe for several weeks after, Jewett came up with the idea of sending letters of goodwill to Rotary clubs around the world.  With the history of Chief Keokuk (the namesake for Keokuk, IA) inviting those to participate in the symbolic gesture of sharing a peace pipe, Jewett came up with the idea of the Peace Pipe Letters.   With these letters he was hoping to extend the invitation for friendship and sharing of goodwill to all Rotarians around the World.

December 3rd, 1931 the first of over 500 letters went out to Rotary clubs everywhere.  On December 11th, they received their first reply back from Mexico and with many more letters to follow.  Anthony told us there was a 40% reply rate with responses from all over the world, with many letters requiring translation. 
Anthony has compiled all these letters into a wonderful book and has asked Rotary Clubs around the World to again remember this wonderful initiative started by Jewett Futton Jr.
What a great reminder of the strong connections Rotary has all around the World!
This is an excerpt from The Rotarian July 1932

Hospice Compassus

On November 14th, Jim invited Jill Venden from Hospice Compassus to join our meeting and present information on her organization.
Hospice Compassus is a Hospice and Palliative Care group that serves Davenport, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and Washington communities.  Jill is the Volunteer Coordinator and states her 3 areas where she can use volunteers is with:
-          Social interaction
-          Administrative work
-          Enrichment activities
Each volunteer goes through training that focuses on 8 areas.  Some examples of these areas are:
-          History
-          Diagnosis
-          Regulatory
-          Faith/spiritual backgrounds
There is also a program (We Honor Veterans certification) specifically for veteran volunteers working with veteran patients. 

Thank you Jill for sharing all this great information with us!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Veterans Day

On November 7th, in honor of Veterans Day, Bob Kennedy gave us a wonderful presentation about WWII and specifically the WASP unit. 

Bob gave us great information on WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) from WWII.  This was a group of women who were Army Airforce pilots in WWII for noncombat military flight.  These women were typically the first to fly aircraft as they tested, ferried and trained other pilots.  Unfortunately these women were not recognized as veterans until 1977. 

Martha (Mace) Boshart was a member of WASP and we were able to find a picture of her in her gear from her days as an Airforce Pilot. 
Photo credit is from Facebook page from Martha's son.

Bob also reminded the club that we celebrate 100 years in 2020!  He also brought a plaque from when the club celebrated its 75th year in 1995.

Visit from our District Governor

On October 31st our District Governor, Erna Morian and her husband, Steve Morain, joined up for our weekly club meeting.  Erna gave us a nice presentation on Rotary’s 2019-2020 theme of “Rotary Connects the World”. 

This was an appropriate theme for Erna’s year as district governor as Erna has a great world perspective and was able to share some of her story with us.  Erna is originally from Amsterdam but moved to Iowa (Des Moines) in 1983.  She moved to Waukee in 2004 and is a true Iowan as she has participated in Ragbrai for 15 years. 

She also shared the 2020 vision for Rotary with a few goals. 
1.       To continue to grow Rotary
2.       To see a bigger digital presence for Rotary
3.       Address food insecurity in Iowa

Lastly, she extended the invitation to attend the RD6000 Festival at Prairie Meadows (June 25-27, 2020).  This will be a memorable event as there will be an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for having the most Rotary presidents had over the gavel to the Presidents Elect this year.  Other activities include:
-          The finals of the yearlong Rotary Game
-          Conclusion of the Fighting the Hunger Feed More project
-          Many other great speakers and events all weekend long
 Thank you to Erna for taking time to meet with our group!