Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Join us for our 2nd Annual Slykhuis Golf Outing on June 9, 2018

We are excited about sponsoring our 2nd Annual Slykhuis Golf Outing on Saturday, June 9 at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls. This event is in memory of Jerry and Jane Slykhuis who contributed a great deal to the youth of Cedar Valley and across the nation.  We raise money that will be used to continue the work of the Slykhuis Family by supporting youth golf in the Cedar Valley.

The golf outing will use a 4-Person Best Shot format. 
  • Main Course Shotgun at 8:30 am                             $75/person
  • Executive Course Shotgun (par 3) at 10:00 am        $35/person
Your entry fees will include: Green fees, Range balls, Tee gifts, & buffet lunch.
We will have a Gala Raffle during lunch. You can even win flight awards and flag events.

Sign-up Today!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

President Nook Shares His Visions for UNI.

Wednesday, April 25 - This morning we were joined University of Northern Iowa's President, Dr. Mark Nook. He told us of his visions for UNI but also discussed some little-known aspects of the business side of a major state-funded university are the unsung labors of  He told us of the many intricacies of leading a university. He explained the different types of formulas and criteria in play when it comes to getting public funding from a frugal legislature.  

Dr. Nook talked about getting half of the universities overall funding from state taxes which are then distributed from the Iowa Regent’s coffers.  They decide who gets what and the allocations.  The rest of the monies come from tuition and other private sources or donations.   Mark developed the formula and argument of going to a 5-year budget plan, rather than just a yearly one.  He explained the paradigm of High Quality – Fast – or On the Cheap.  Dr. Nook said that funding for UNI is actually better spent with this entity, rather than the other public universities.   

Dr.  Nook has asked CEO’s what they need for their future employees to make for them a more useful lifetime career education.  Most of the UNI students stay in Iowa after graduation, which helps grow the population and with job enhancements.  This makes for a better educated and well-rounded workforce benefiting the entire State of Iowa.   
Thank you, Dr. Nook.  We hope to see you again in the future.
Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brock Goos Gives Us an Update on their Kiwanis-Supported Programs

Wednesday, 4/11/18 - Kids are Priority One for all Kiwanis Clubs throughout the globe.  The members of our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club are committed to that end.  

We value children’s minds and sponsor their bodies in physical activities, and we support programs that support children. 

This week we invited Mr. Brock Goos, Supervisor of the Cedar Falls Youth Sports and Recreation Department Summer Program, to talk about the myriad of choices the local youth have to enjoy the great outdoors this coming season.  The greatest part about these programs is that our Kiwanis Rough Risers club sponsors some of their programs.

We sponsor their 4 & 5 year-old Intro to Soccer program that runs in April.
We also sponsor the Wrecking Crew Baseball Club for 3rd-to-6th grade kids to play.  This program also begins in April. 

We applauded his service wholeheartedly and then presented Brock a hefty check from the Kiwanis Club’s last year’s hard work, to enlarge and enhance his summer league youth sports and recreation programs.  

Thank you, Brock!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Luann Alemao Shares the Blue Zone Effort in Cedar Valley

Wednesday, March 28 - We weren't singing the Blues during Luann Alemao's talk.  She is an author/coach and an ardent disciple of Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones Project and concepts.  

Everyone wants to live a long healthy life and share good times with family and friends. Luann had some answers for extending life by recognizing a purpose in life and cutting back on bad personal habits. 

The Blue Zone lifestyle pursuit of happiness includes what works the best globally with the Power 9 Principles like more exercise, a good attitude, eating correctly, and connecting with a group of friends and family or joining a community service organization like a local Kiwanis Club.  Our current high-pressure workplace is taking a stress toll on workers and if everyone would just take a mid-day breather to downshift—this will go a long way of increasing our longevity!  

Luann said the key to a longer life involves one glass of wine everyday with good friends, a power nap which makes for a more fun world along with some daily background music playing softly, will go a long way to alleviate emotional stress. Everyone will be better for it!

April Showers Bring GREAT Programs!

Wednesday, April 4 - Business Meeting 
Where active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers.   

Wednesday, April 11 What's Coming this Summer for Kids at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center
Brock Goos, Recreation Supervisor, will update our club on the summer recreation programs for kids at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center. 


April 18 - Getting to Know STEM
Marcy Seavey, UNI STEM Coordinator, will talk about initiatives to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for K-12 students. 

Wednesday, April 25 - Present and Future Happenings at UNI
Dr. Mark Nook, UNI President, began serving as president at UNI on February 1, 2017. It has been an eventful year and President Nook has been a visionary leader.  He will share his experiences throughout the past year and his vision for the future.

Afton and Joe Swanson Share How Life Can Be a Drag

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - We were told that a couple of go-getters would be giving a presentation about life in the fast lane today, but the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club never dreamed that we would hear from experts in that field . . . and a National Grand Class Champion to boot! 

Afton and Joe Swanson of Swanson Racing are drag racers. Actually, Afton is the driver and Joe is her support crew. They are a high-powered couple who are kindred spirits united in marriage and winning at what they love to do best - Drag Racing! Joe is an accomplished motorcycle racer and Afton loves to drive fast down a quarter mile drag strip from 0 to 235 miles per hour in 6 seconds or less in a 540 cubic inch Big Block Fully Blown Chevrolet monster engine. 

Afton (a drag racer since she was 9 years old) said it is fun controlling not only drive the 2000-horse engine down the track but enjoying their serious hobby together as a coupled team called Swanson Performance. Joe knows the inner workings of dragsters in the pit and Afton knows how to drive their winning dragster to the finish line in the shortest time possible. 

You go, girl!
Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stan Welchel Passes On

With much sadness, we must report that Stan Whelchel passed away on Wednesday, March 7 at the University of Iowa Hospital. 

His funeral will be on Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 at the St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 1 Thelma St. in Hudson, Iowa. Visitation is one hour before the service at the church.

Stan was a high school biology teacher in the Waterloo schools. He was recognized with many awards for his teaching but he received his greatest rewards when his past students say things like “He inspired me to appreciate science as my teacher . . . He was one of my most influential teachers because of the service ethic he instilled in me.”

As a Kiwanian, Stan was always there to work with people. He was proud of being a Marine and every Veteran’s Day he would read a military poem or make a presentation about the military. One time he shared his research and stories about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Another time he told us of the Story behind the National Anthem.

Rough Riser members remember Stan.  They described Stan as “A good friend and loyal Kiwanian”; “A sweet soul”; “Always there with a ready ‘hello' and welcome to everyone”; “A gentle Marine and lover of America”; “A faithful and loyal Kiwanian”; “My favorite Marine and a patriot; always interesting to talk to.”; and  “An honorable man”.

Stan Welchel was a good man and he will be missed by all.

Memorials may be directed to the Hudson Education Fund (The Stan and Tedi Whelchel Scholarship Funds).  Condolences may be left at DahlFuneralHome.com

Belonging to Kiwanis Rough Risers is Good for your Health!!

I was just watching a TED Talk entitled "The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life" by Dr. Susan Pinkerton. During her 16-minute presentation, Dr. Pinkerton shared the top 10 predictors for living a longer life. Some were expected but their placement was surprising. Some of the factors were enlightening.

As you might expect, lowering one's blood pressure or "being thin and in good shape" were on the list but they were in the bottom 4. Cutting out smoking and boozing took positions 3 & 4. The most interesting rankings were #1 and #2 which included Social Integration and Close Relationships.

Dr. Pinkerton describes Close Relationships as your best friends. These are your friends who will take care of you in a pinch. She described Social Integration as how much you interact with people as you move through your day. This may include talking with the barista who makes your coffee. It may include talking with your neighbor or the lady who walks her dog by your house every day. Most importantly, it includes belonging to social or service club. These interactions are the strongest predictors of how long you are going to live.

So it appears that being involved with Kiwanis where we connect with friends, colleagues and total strangers can have a greater impact on our lives than just feeling good. It can lengthen our lives so that we can have more time to serve the community and connect with others.

It can now be said that belonging to:
Written by Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Corey Hinke Reports on Real Estate Revitalization in the Cedar Valley

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - There is a lot going on in the Cedar Valley when it comes to Real Estate Revitalization. Cory Hinke, a representative of the real estate revitalization specialists organization, Echo Development Group, shared their extensive portfolio of on-going property enhancements in residential, commercial, industrial, apartments, housing, and retail developments in the Cedar Valley.  

Developer Corey Hinke provided a detailed overview of the ongoing projects the firm was involved with in past and present and future engagements to make the Cedar Valley a more desirable place to raise a family and more opportunities for jobs. They have many entities within their conglomeration and Corey gave an insight of one aspect of the reason why they are such a big success in what they do.  No one in the company has a title; so whatever needs to get done, they just do it.  Sounds like a concept that the Kiwanians have known for decades!

It was good to see you, Corey and we wish you the best of luck.

Written by Lynn Barnes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When Will YOU Greet for Kiwanis Rough Risers?

Yes.   It is always wonderful to see your friends greeting you at the door when you arrive for our Kiwanis meeting at 6:25 on Wednesday.  

Ever wonder how these wonderful people get selected for this honor?  Well, believe it or not, there is a secret list where each of our members have been aligned with a magical date. This roster will direct who receives this wonderful opportunity and when.

You can always read Jim Larson's wonderful notes that he distributes each week.  He will inform you of all the wonderful news that was shared and events occurred at each meeting. Most importantly of all, he will end his message with a reminder of who will be greeting next. 

But what if you have other commitments and want to ensure that you don't miss your opportunity to GREET?  You need a schedule for your planning.    HERE IT IS!!!

     7      Tom Reisetter
   14      Greg Stefanich
   21      Nick Teig
   28      Gene Traetow

   11       Leigh Zeitz
   18       Lynn Barnes
   25       Dennis Bergeson

     2      Emily Borcherding
     9       Dan Conklin
   16       Reece Conrad
   23       Alan Czarnezki
   30       Gery Deaver

     6       Dean Dreyer
   13       Terry Duncan
   20       Stan Engel
   27       Bob Erickson

More to come in June, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

New Ideas will be Shared in our Programs this March

March 7th - Business Meeting

March 14th - Cory Hinke from Dahlstrom Enterprises will share some of the interesting projects that Dahlstrom will be doing over the next few years.

March 21st - Joe & Afton Swanson of Swanson Performance will share their stories about drag racing.  They have experienced drag racing from both the driver's seat and from a mechanic's perspective so it should be an interesting program.

March 28th - LuAnn Alemao will speak on healthful eating. LuAnn is an engaging speaker who speaks about food, nutrition, etiquette, conduct, skills, and abilities. She has hosted a public-access TV cooking program, "Get Fit," filmed in her own kitchen since 2002. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dr. Lyftogt Took Us on a Civil War Journey

The residents of Cedar Falls are not cognizant of the rich Civil War history we have here and the important role Iowa's citizens played in the Union’s victory.

Former UNI History Professor and local author, Ken Lyftogt, presented his love of local lore of the 2 extremely active Federal Military Regiments of B Company 31st Iowa and K Company 3rd Iowa. Throughout all of the major Civil War battle campaigns, Iowa soldiers took an active combat role and were instrumental in defeating the enemy. The war’s bloodstained battlefields are peppered with headstones from the fallen Iowan hero soldiers who gave their last full devotion. They came from Cedar Falls and surrounding communities. One-fourth of the Union casualties at the Shiloh Battlefield were Iowans. 

Dr. Lyftogt even gave a lively discourse on a little-known fact about a battle that took place on Iowa soil.  In this Keokuk battle, ill-prepared raw Union recruits used their zeal of patriotism to defeat the enemy and deny them a foothold in the Upper Mississippi Valley. 

Kiwanis always has great and informed speakers and Ken was a shining star and was given high accolades!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dale Provides a Bird's Eye View Through his Incredible Photos

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - We never knew just how talented fellow Rough Riser and former Waterloo Educator, Dale Waack, was with a camera.  He’s a serious hobbyist and the photographs that Dale presented during his lecture, showed him to be a shutterbug extraordinaire!  

Dale specializes in photographing fowl. He shared stills which showed a wide range of vivid colors, hues and balance of subject matter.  It made the attending Kiwanians gasp in wonderment.  My favorite was the sequence of an eagle catching fish out of the Mississippi River. It was flawless and patriotic.  This presentation showed us that Dale has a unique, keen eye and aptitude of an emerging natural history artist of note.  

Dale, you missed your calling!  Well done!

Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dr. Melissa Reade Shares the "Leader in Me" Program

Dr. Melissa Reade, Leader Valley Director of The Leader in Me program in Cedar Valley Schools shared a new approach to raising students level of responsibility in school. This student development program is currently available in 17 area schools. It has shown great promise in better equipping today’s students better equipped for tomorrow's  workforce.  

“Leader in Me” is based on Dr. Stephen Covey’s, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which presents an approach to succeeding in life by aligning oneself with a simple set of attitudes. These will help develop leadership abilities and soft skills that are needed in the work environment and also in society.  

The program empowers the students to make the most out of their gifts and talents. Following these rules can help a learner accomplish a shift in her goal paradigm that can lead to meaningful lives for their employers and themselves.  The student feels confident in areas of communication, leadership, planning, and then taking the initiative.  The businesses will notice a higher caliber work ethic attributes in these young people as they come to work for them.  After going through the “Leader in Me” program, it’s such a win-win that the learned skills are synergized to create greatness!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Saturday, February 10, 2018

What Do You Remember about Our Service Projects?

We ALL have the Fever.

We have been serving the Cedar Valley for 37 years.  We have built many things and supported many people. Unfortunately, our records are not complete so we are asking you to share what you remember. 

You have watched the video and lived a Kiwanis Life.

Click on this link and fly to the Rough Risers Memory Archive. Add your memories along with the approximate year when it occurred. Let's reconnect with our history.

Follow this link to our Memory Archive   tinyurl.com/KRRmemories

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Remember the Historical Rough Risers Video from our 30th Anniversary in 2011?

It has been a long and fruitful life for the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers. In 2011 we celebrated our 30th birthday with a big party at Hartman Reserve Park and creating a wonderful 15-minute video.

Sometimes it is fun to review our past events and this video provides an opportunity for members to tell stories about where we have been and where we will be going. This video includes photos, stories and interviews with past and present members.

What do you think?  Write your reactions and add some of your stories in the comments below.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Steve Wikert Shares his Vietnam War Adventures

Wednesday, January 31 - This week, retired Waterloo Schools art teacher, Steve Wikert, talked about his US Navy Tour of Duty Service during the Vietnam War. He was stationed at the Naval Support Facility in Danag, Vietnam.  

Steve talked about his jeep support patrols he performed to keep the peace in his jurisdiction during his rigorous watch shift.  The climate was hostile both in the brutal weather patterns and the local populace. Steve and his comrades at arms didn’t know who was friend or foe since the enemy used different rules of engagement as than the US soldiers and sailors. It was called guerrilla warfare.  

Rocket attacks were commonplace and death could and would happen swiftly without mercy. The local citizens would commence rioting at a moment’s notice.  He lived in a Compound called Camp Tien Sha. It was constantly subject to mass thievery by the locals.  

Steve said that what he learned the most through his wartime experience was to rely on his fellow Navy buddies. He has kept in touch with many of them and he now has a lifetime of camaraderie and he will never forget his fellow countrymen.

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Sunday, January 28, 2018

February Programs Will Lead Us Forward

Feb 7
 - Business meeting - This is where we generate the big ideas and make the big decisions.

Feb 14 - Melissa Reade, Director of the Cedar Valley's "Leader in Me" program, will discuss the program’s recent progress as it has expanded into 23 schools in the Cedar Valley.  http://leadervalley.org/


Feb 21 - Dale Waack will share his photography.  Dale is an accomplished
photographer known for his incredible photos of birds and other wildlife.  Dale is also a member of our Kiwanis Rough Risers club.

Feb 28 - Ken Lyftogt will present "Iowa's Role in the Civil War." Retired history professor is the author of numerous books about the Cedar Valley's involvement and impact in the Civil War.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Michael Davidson Shares the Girl Scout Story

Wednesday, January 25, 2018 - We were privileged with a visit from our former member – Michael Davidson. Michael is now working as the E-Mail Marketing Specialist with the Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois Girl Scouts – an organization that is 20,000 girls strong. 

Michael provided an enthusiastic speech on the dynamic scouting programs and high awards that prepare young ladies to grow into confident young adults. These scouting activities provide a host of opportunities to achieve big things through discovery. 

Michael shared his e-mail sales force marketing cloud and how he gets his message across the internet to garner donations to move forward scouting.  We chuckled on the use of his humor in the e-mail headers he sends to prospective clients.  

Well done Michael!  Come back soon.  We miss you and your humor!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Baggin' Produce at the Food Bank

Leigh Zeitz, Jim Larson, Nick Teig, Dale Jansen, and Bob Ericson bag it for the day.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - After our meeting, a handful of Rough Risers visited the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo to package food for households in Blackhawk County. We packaged 200 bags of onions and over 60 boxes of potatoes for distribution. We actively support the Food Bank throughout the year.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Reflections from the Home Team: Go the Distance

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - Former Cedar Falls Principal, Coach, and noted author, Dave Welter, came to our Cedar Falls Rough Risers Club to share some of the stories he included in his book of stories about his personal fight against cancer.  

These gathered stories show how a loving presence can impact our life worth living.  Much of Dave's journey has been supported by the Good Book. He said that a guiding theme, ”A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing,” (Proverbs 17:22) has provided direction to his life. He admits to having driven a rocky road but it has been worth traveling so others could know the way and how to cope.  

Dave shared a wealth of stories involving his connections with others who have experienced the death of a loved one or are fighting against adversities in their lives. Mr. Welter receives letters from students praising his example, help, and thanking him for being there to tell their stories. When he asks himself about the meaning of all this, he considers. John 12:7 where Jesus explained that “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  

He read excerpts from his new book, “Reflections from the Home Team: Go the Distance.”  Dave said he gets peace – joy – love from all the people he meets in the doctor’s waiting room and gets their stories to share in his cancer journey.

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Creating a Place to Play Park for ALL of Us!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - Cedar Falls needs a park where kids of all ages and abilities can go to play. Chris Corkery presented an in-depth narrative about a million dollar project called a “Place to Play Park.”  

It is a unique park and playground for kids with special needs or handicap.  It enables them to enjoy the outdoors and have fun safely and with access that is adapted to their physical limitations to help kids enjoy independent play and fun.  

The playground will be specially landscaped with hard surfaces and trails for wheelchairs and walkers. A fence runs around the play area so everyone is safe and secure.  There are specially designed sandboxes, slides, and restrooms available for the kids.

Hmmmmm . . . They are looking for assistance in building a playground . . . wonder who might be able to help them? 😉😉😉
Written by Lynne Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Monday, January 1, 2018

Novel Programs for January

We are beginning 2018 with a variety of programs that stretch from playgrounds to Girl Scouts and principals to veterans. 

January 3 - Business Meeting - We will have an opportunity to review the latest club happenings and meet in committees to make things happen.

January 10 - Chris Corkery will discuss the Place to Play project. Several Cedar Falls parents are working to build a playground which will be accessible to all children with disabilities so they can play with their non-disabled peers.  This is their website:  

January 17 - Dave Welter, retired principal at Holmes Junior High, will tell us about his new book, Reflections From the Home Team … Go The Distance.   

January 24 - Michael Davidson, former Rough Riser, will tell us about current and future projects of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

January 31 - Steve Wikert, a Cedar Falls resident and retired Waterloo teacher who served in Vietnam, will describe his service in the Navy during the Vietnam War.  

Working at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank

It is always satisfying to help other organizations help others.  We have a long history of working with the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. We have another opportunity to work with them in January to help sort and organize their inventory.

We will help them on: 

  • Wednesday, January 10 (8-11:30)
  • Wednesday, January 24 (8-11:30)
Written by Leigh Zeitz