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!