Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jim O'loughlin and His Students Bring James Hearst Back to Life!

Wednesday, February 13 - UNI Professor of English and published author, Jim O’Laughlin, has a passion for preserving and archiving the entire lifetime works of Cedar Falls' native son and national treasure, poet James Hearst.  

Professor O’Loughlin has been working on this project for 2 years and has a daunting task ahead as he works with old-school media of the written word and reel-to-reel tapes in his effort to convert the entire collection of works into digitized form.  

As a result of his curating, Dr. O’Loughlin has created The James Hearst Digital Archive with, the 670 poems and other scholarly writings and material of James Hearts. These works will be preserved for future generations to enjoy as well.  Jim talked about how he discovered 19 previously unknown poems that show a critical piece of the puzzle of Mr. Hearst’s life.  Dr. O’Loughlin also found 3 versions of the same poem and was able to see how Hearst changed his thoughts and words right up to the final draft of the poem that had the same powerful thought with the fewest words.  

Our club member, Lynn Barnes, shared with us that he had taken English courses from James Hearst when he was attending UNI.  He said that it was an exciting experience to learn from such an author.  

Thank you for sharing your work, Dr. O’Loughlin.  Your work will be appreciated by people the world over - and I know that we appreciated it as well.

Written by Lynn Barnes

Friday, February 8, 2019

February will be Magical for the Rough Risers

Wednesday, February 7 - Business Meeting
Our club members get together to discuss what's happening now and make plans for the future.  We talk about project, kettlecorn, finances, marketing and a plethora of potential possibilities  

Wednesday, February 13 - Innovation in the Cedar Valley
Mark Kittrell, a long-time entrepreneur in the Cedar Valley, will share with us the many projects that he and other innovators in the Cedar Valley have been creating.  This should be an exciting presentation as we learn more about the present and peer into the future of our community. 

Wednesday, February 21 - What is the Power of Forgiveness? Dr. Suzanne Freeman, UNI professor of Ed Psych and Foundations, will share her thoughts about the psychology of interpersonal forgiveness and forgiving. What you don't know about forgiveness can hurt you. She will share what it means to forgive and how that can better your life and those around you.

Wednesday, February 28 - Bringing Magic into our Lives.  The Amazing Zeon will Mystify and Astound Us as he performs prestidigitation and wonders of wizardry. Join Zeon as he journeys through the World of Illusion.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Chief Olson Tells the Story Behind Public Safety Officers

Wednesday, January 9 - Jeff Olson, Director of the Cedar Falls Public Safety Services (includes City Police and Fire Protection), trumpeted the advantages of both departments being cross-trained as highly skilled professionals for either role when in demand. This in effect doubles personnel coverage without adding strains to the already "stretched to the limit" city payrolls. Jeff emphasized the accomplishments and goals with real-life scenarios that happened recently within the city confines. Jeff said this is a slow process with a steep learning curve as they sort through the weak spots, but in the end will benefit the community as a whole and lead to a better quality of life for everyone. Written by Lynn Barnes

Friday, December 14, 2018

Day of Giving at Scheels

December 14, 2018 - We have some generous sponsors throughout the Cedar Valley and Scheels is one of them.  They have been donating $1,000 to our Kiwanis Rough Risers club for the past 10 years.  It is always good to have reliable supporters like them.

Last Tuesday, Scheels invited Dean Dryer and myself (Leigh) to their store at 8:30.  I  couldn't make it because I had University conflicts

so Dean braved it alone.  The front section of the store was packed and attendees were provided with coffee, tea, donuts, and other refreshments.  Everybody stood and shook hands with others of the selected few. 

Scheels employees share stories about the many organizations they sponsored.  All in all, Scheels donated $146,362 to organizations in the Cedar Valley.  We are grateful that we were included in that select group.

Thank you, Scheels.  Thank you, Dean.

Written by Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mia Reisetter Manages Things at the Table 1912 Restaurant

Wednesday, December 12 - In Cedar Falls, there are numerous eating establishments that you can eat dirt cheap—but who wants to eat dirt when you can go a short distance and have a fine dining experience?  

At the Western Home, the new manager is Cedar Falls' very own, Mia Reisetter (daughter of our fellow Kiwanian, Tom Reisetter) who has impressive credentials including the distinction of a master wine connoisseur of world wines and gourmet foods.  She has worked for some of the finest restaurants in New York City and San Francisco and also with internationally acclaimed culinary chefs.  

The Western Home has included event space for conventions and local organizations meeting spots in the new buildings.  Mia shared her impressive resume with our Kiwanis Club, and she was up for the challenge to start-up new Western Home restaurants including “Table 1912” that with dazzle your taste buds with savory offerings and mild budget impact!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rough Risers Hold a Wrap Party

Rough Risers Ready for Christmas!!
Wednesday, December 5 - At the Wrap Party, the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Riser Club had members looking for large ribbon and bows to cover up bad wrapping jobs. We were wrapping presents we had purchased to make Christmas a special time for two special families. 

Every year, the Rough Risers adopt a couple of families through the Salvation Army.  We are given Santa lists from the family members so we know what to get. Everyone pitches into a fund and some of our Kiwanis elves go out to purchase gifts. Now it was our turn to wrap the presents to make Christmas merry.  

A good time was had by all!!!!   Look at those smiles as we try to figure out where to cut and where to tape.     Written by Leigh Zeitz and Lynn Barnes

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Breakfast at Figaro Figaro

Wednesday, November 28 - It was so hard to say “Pasta la Vista!!!”  because we ran out of thyme! We moved our Kiwanis Club meeting place this once to the superb new Main Street restaurant called Figaro Figaro and we didn’t have to spend a pretty penne to do this.   

What a great time we all enjoyed there.  A great meal and baritone songs while being serenaded by the infamous Saturday Night Live alumni Gary Kroeger and his management and staff.  Gary gave us the history on how he came back home to Cedar Falls to settle in and how he got his idea of his eatery.  

Our gracious hosts put out the red carpet to show us a grand time and food and we will take with us fond memories of our experience at Figaro Figaro!   Written by Lynn Barnes

Thank you, Gary, Brad, Joseph, and the team.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The "Programs" Tab is HERE!!!

Look up above 
Do you see the tabs on this screen?
There is a new tab. It is named .....................Programs

The Programs tab connects you to a page where "Program Controllers" (see previous posting) can post information about the programs and presenters they have scheduled.  It is also a way that you can look ahead to see what you might miss if you skip a meeting and what you will enjoy when you come.

It is open for you to use so just type in your information and to our plethora of programs.

Control is in YOUR hands!!!

Monday, November 26, 2018

"Program Controllers" for the Next Year

Yes, we have another wonderful year of programs to enjoy.  We love the diversity of topics and people that we get to experience each Wednesday morning.  We have had drag racers, city planners, financial planners, professors, presidents, mayors, monks, coaches, authors, contractors, fishermen, KWWL news broadcasters, volunteers, and many other fascinating people. These people work with Cedar Valley youth, build condos, plan parks, coach sports teams, fish, make haunted houses, build elevators, study the civil war, write books, and engage in a myriad of other endeavors. 

Usually, our presenters entertain us in our glamorous Clarion Inn settings, but sometimes we travel to other places for the program and breakfast.  We have gone to the Western Home Communities, Schindler Education Center at UNI, PFG Best offices, and this week we will go to Figaro Figaro on Main Street.  Sometimes we "beam in" our presenters from far away places.  In 2009, Nebraska-Iowa Area Governor - Ron Petsch joined us by computer. Also in 2009, Thynka Little used the virtual world of Second Life to share how she taught farmers about pesticides and other important skills through the computer screen.  Recently, Rushton Hurley joined us from San Jose to share the unique methods they use on the west coast to hold worldwide virtual club meetings.

The key to offering such interesting programs lies in the imagination of our Program Controllers.  These are the Kiwanians who are given the honor to identify and host 3 to 4 programs per month.  Have you signed up for this prestigious position?  Look below.   If your name is already on the list - Thank You.  If you can't find your name, contact Jim Larson and he will gladly help you sign-up for a month.

  • November              Leigh Zeitz
  • December              Tom Reisetter
  • January                  Tony Reid
  • February                Greg Stefanich
  • March                     Leigh Zeitz
  • April                        Alan Czarnetski
  • May                        Dale Jansen
  • June                       Larry Loesner
  • July                         Bob Nelson
  • August                    Rod Hamer
  • September              Gene Traetow

Our monthly programs really make our meetings interesting.  You have lots of great ideas - Join our Legion of Program Controllers.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

What Does It Mean to be a Kiwanian?

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.

Our mission is To serve children of the world.

The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis. 

Kiwanians are volunteers changing the world through service to children and communities. Kiwanis members help shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged, and care for the sick. They develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, raise funds for pediatric research, and much more. 

No problem is too big or too small. Why? Because working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream, and succeed, great things happen!
As Kiwanis clubs and members, we see it everyday!

Fun Fact about Kiwanis 
  • There are about 8,000 clubs in 96 countries.
  • More than 260,000 are adult members.
  • Approximately 320,000 are 18 years old or younger. 
  • Each year clubs sponsor nearly 150,000 service projects and raise more than $107 million.
Members and clubs have contributed more than $80 million toward the global elimination of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the leading preventable cause of mental retardation.

Kiwanis is making a big difference in the world and so are you - One Child and One Community at a Time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Americorps Makes a Difference in Children's Lives

Wednesday, November 21 - Giving back to the community to help troubled youth by involving partnerships for protecting children can be achieved by going through a national program called AmericaCorps.  Valerie Hockey, Director of Volunteers at the Center of Attention Community Resource Center in Waterloo, explained the aspects of services offered to the youth. They provide mentoring and tutoring to their participants.  The children first have to trust and then you must act the way you say.  

AmeriCorps engages in a lot of one-on-one interaction with the kids to develop their strengths.  They discuss dream paths leading to the careers the youth want to pursue in life.  They acknowledge strengths the children have to fit in their goals and the plan of action to attain their dream.  All adults that work at the center are role models and may be the only adults that these kids get to interact with on a daily basis. They may be missing their adult role models because they may live in a one-parent environment and/or their parents have to work multiple jobs to support the family. This lack of leadership can cause the kids to get into trouble or fall behind in their studies.  AmeriCorp is there to combat these challenges and support the youth towards success.

Thank you for all that you and AmeriCorp do for the children of Cedar Valley, Valerie.  Your presentation was enlightening.  You are making a difference in many children's lives.

Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chris Neuhaus Demystifies Google for Us

Wednesday, November 14 - Google is Everywhere, but how much do we know about Google and what it does?  We were fortunate to have Chris Neuhaus, Associate Professor of Library at UNI, join us today to take us on a tour of Google.  

As you know, Google is the leading search engine in the world.  While 90% of folks in the U.S. use Google while 95% of the rest of the world searches using this tool.  Another interesting point shared by was that Google doesn't search the Web everytime you make a query.  Instead, Google bots are constantly roaming the web and creating its own version of the Web that can be searched quickly and effectively. Interestingly enough, the model that Google indexes is only about 10% of the Web.  Remember the last time you searched for a bread recipe and received 19 million hits?   Funny thing is that that quantity is only an estimate and Google will only provide you with about 200 locations. 

We thank Professor Neuhaus for sharing many insights into using Google and look forward to using our new awareness in searching the Web.   Written by Leigh Zeitz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Monday, November 12, 2018

November Programs are a Feast for Great Minds

This month will share a variety of wonderful ideas.

Wednesday, November 14 - Google: The Good, the Bad, and that Sneaking Suspicion That Something's Not Quite Right
Chris Neuhaus, Research Consultant and Instruction/Liaison Librarian at the UNI Rod Library, will take a look at the (not entirely unintentional) limitations of Google and a few suggestions for overcoming some of them.  We'll also visit the problems and promises of Google's cousins Google Books and Google Scholar.   Along the way, we'll touch on why so much of the world's information is not to be found with Google or any other search engine.

Wednesday, November 21 - 
Americorps: How it Makes the World a Better Place.  
Valerie Hockey, Program Developer at the Waterloo Center of Attention,  will share the amazing programs that Americorps supports in the Cedar Valley.  

Wednesday, November 28 - Breakfast at Figaro, Figaro.
It's a long time coming, but we will have breakfast at the amazing Figaro Figaro restaurant at 419 Main Street in Cedar Falls.  Hosted by the owner, Gary Kroeger, and his Manager and Matre de', we will learn about the story behind this incredible establishment and enjoy some of their unique culinary delights as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Providing Help for Traumatized Children in the Classroom

Wednesday, October 31When trauma enters a child’s home life, it can affect their classroom behavior, their mental health and make the child unstable.  Donna Kitrick from Waterloo Community Schools shared their program for making a positive impact on children’s lives to help them travel the road back to normalcy.  Donna explained the many warning signals displayed by kids in trouble. She explained that they either fight, flee, or freeze.  Many kids have a deep feeling of powerlessness.  

Mrs. Kitrick explained that she studies the history of the child at risk to scrutinize if they ever displayed trauma before or if their siblings had a history of such experiences.  Donna explained the ACE Study that explained that these traits all must be addressed or when the child matures, they tend to abuse others later in life.  Mood regulation and collaborated care can help form positive relationships with adults.

Thank you for sharing with us, Donna Kitrick.  We are appreciative of how you are improving the lives of many children.   Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Focusing on the Future for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Featured speakers Steve Carignan and Virginia Tunniclift from the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center showed us how to make a “Perfect Pitch”. We reviewed numerous audition videos of artists under consideration for next performance season and all the less desirable acts were tossed in a dumpster and they crashed into a bagpipe! 

We watched the videos less than a minute each; because you don’t have to eat the whole apple to know what's good and what's rotten.  We did give Steve and Virginia positive and productive feedback on the artists that we would pay to see perform at the Center.  They try to serve and please such a wide audience interest and tastes.  Steve and Virginia use the Kiwanis Club as a focus group because we offer segments of different preferences and viewpoints. Gallagher Bluedorn offers a large variety of genres to choose from and we look forward to their yearly visits.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your decision process for next year.

Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Making Reading Come Alive for Kids

Karlene Izer, the Cedar Valley Readers Coalition Coordinator attached to Operation Threshold, held trial with the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers and explained why all the words and punctuation in books are always in court; because they must be sentenced!  

The mission of the Readers Coalition is to make as many kids proficient in reading by the end of the third grade.  School attendance absenteeism reduction is paramount to fashion better students.  They also supply different manuscript types of print and non-print media to peak the children varied interests and ignite the spark that will create the thirst to enjoy reading all their life.  Not only do they have programs for reading, but free eye exams and glasses for kids that need them.  Such a great service they dispense to over 475 Cedar Valley families annually!

Thank you for sharing your great achievements in supporting the children of Cedar Valley.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Northeast Iowa Food Bank Makes a Difference!!

Jessica Herring, volunteer manager of Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
Vital food source services for those in need is found at our Northeast Iowa Food Bank.  Jessica Herring, the Volunteer Manager, did a great job representing the organization by explaining just a fraction of the myriad of the client services they provide to those in need.  

They provide nutritious food to 5,800 different people weekly through a far-reaching network of over 200 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches and nonprofit groups.  They do this every day covering 16 counties and 200 member agency partners distribution system that all have to stay in sync with a common goal of providing food for 46,000 people including 14,000 kids in trouble! 

The Food Bank receives food from many entities including local farmers who donate a large surplus bounty of homegrown fruits and vegetables.  They supply vital food to Iowans in need of all age groups from the very young to the elderly.

Thank you for serving people in need. You are making a big difference in many peoples' lives.  

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Monday, October 1, 2018

Yes, Kiwanis DOES have a Song - Hail Kiwanis

Click to enlarge

The Kiwanis Rough Risers are known for their melodic voices as we fill the air with our dulcet tones every
Wednesday morning singing "My Country Tis of Thee."

Believe it or not, Kiwanis has a club song as well.  It is called Hail Kiwanis!   It is sung to the tune of Hail California which is the University of California Alma Mater.

I couldn't find a video of a club singing this song, but below is a video of Elin Carlson singing it while accompanying herself on the piano.

You can't leave this posting until you listen to this theme song from Ferndale WA.  It is filled with fun, banjo, and hot dogs!!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Our "Sponsor Thank You Ad" is a Success!!

We have some AWESOME supporters.  As you know, we have 21 commercial sponsors who donate each year to our club and the charities we support.  Each year we try to recognize their support with an ad in the Courier Celebrations section on Sunday.

This year, our ad ran on Sept 16.  Beyond print, we also had digital coverage that yielded more than 5,000 views (or impressions.) Below is a tear sheet from the Sunday Celebrations section.  You will also see a Performance Report for our digital representation.  It shows that almost 4,000 of our 5,000 impressions were seen on phones.  It also indicates that we only had 9 viewers who clicked on the ad to visit our Rough Risers website.  That is OK because this wasn't an ad for our club - it was a thank you card for our sponsors.

Thank you to everyone who helped support our year and make things better for the kids in Cedar Valley.

Tear page shows the thank you ad we ran for our 23 sponsors.
Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


It has been a productive year for our Rough Risers Kiwanis club.  We have sold over $12,000 worth of Kettlecorn and raised over $15,000 through donations by our sponsors.  All of this money has been contributed to over 40 youth programs, scholarships, and charitable programs throughout the Cedar Valley.

An important part of the contributions that we can provide programs comes from our 28 generous sponsors.  These are companies throughout the Cedar Valley who understand and support our goal of "Making the World a Better Place - One Child and One Community at a time."

This week we will run this ad in the Courier thanking our sponsors.  It will run Sunday, 9/16, and then be available online for the rest of the week.  Check it out!

You are making the world a better place.