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

THANK YOU, SPONSORS!!!!

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!

THANK YOU, SPONSORS!!!!
You are making the world a better place.


Brad Lee Talks to us about Investing

Wednesday, September 12  - Brad Lee from Brad Lee Financial Services in Cedar Falls spoke about better ways of doubling your money besides folding it in half!  Brad said investing in the Bull Market within the American economy has increased 17% each year since 2009 until present.  Employment has skyrocketed with jobless claims nationwide at record lows.  There is a labor shortage so if you are looking for a job you will have little problem landing one.  

The Corporate Tax Rate is now competitive with other world markets and manufacturing jobs are coming back in droves into the United States to take advantage of making higher profits.  GDP has increased with the consumer spending and outlook is looking bright.  Energy stocks are rising and a rare occurrence happened when the U.S. is the number one exporter of oil, natural gas, and clean coal to the rest of the world.  This is the best time to be alive in America!  Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dragos Kruze Hooked Us with his Reel-Life Fishing Tails

Wednesday, August 29  - Casting the big fish stories to the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers was Dragos Kruse who is the fishing specialist from the Scheels Sporting Goods Store.  What lured us into his tails  was the scale of the different way to fish for the big ones.  

Dragos shared a fishing observation: 
Most people make the mistake of fishing the way they want to fish but the fallacy of that is that you need to fish the way the fish want to be fished. 

Using the right kind of gear and knowing where the fish are during that time of season will get you winning results.  Such state-of-the-art lures such as the Whopper Plopper will work during certain times of the year to catch Moby Bass.  

Dragos shared some good places such as Volga Lake near Fayette, Iowa and a small stream between Webster City and Fort Dodge will land you the trophy hauls. Legendary out-of-state places for bass fishing is near Lake Fork, Texas.

Thanks for showing us how to hook a fish and reel 'em in, Dragos.

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Rushton Hurley Beams-in from San Jose

Wednesday, August 22 - Today we had a unique opportunity to video conference with Rushton Hurley from San Jose. While we were connecting with him early in the morning at 7:00 AM CST, Rushton was bright and cheery even though it was 5:00 AM PST.

Leigh began the program part of the meeting with a Pun-search of the program posting online to see who won the "How Many Puns on the Page" context.  Cindi Hahn won the award. This was followed by the main attraction, Rushton Hurley from San Jose. 

Video conferencing with Mr. Hurley goes to show you that the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club will "go to any distance" to provide amazing speakers for our programs.  This week we enjoyed connecting with Rushton Hurley. The only catch was that Rushton lives in San Jose so we "Zoomed" him into our meeting. Zoom is a video conferencing tool - similar to Skype but MUCH better. 

Rushton is a Kiwanian where he goes to face-to-face meetings, but he is also a member of the Rotary e-Club of Silicon Valley. This club uses technology and innovation to facilitate club meetings online.  San Jose is so large and busy that it is virtually impossible for members to rendezvous in a central location in a timely fashion; so they conduct their meetings online on Mondays using a video conferencing program, Zoom. 
Their programs are recorded using Zoom as well so they have speakers from all over the world. They can record them any time of the day or night and they post them on their website for their members to review them at their convenience.
Rushton is a High School Japanese Language Educator in the San Jose School System.  Since he meets his Kiwanian members online, it frees him up to also belong to another service club of Rotarian fellowship.  The main fundraiser for his Kiwanian Club is an area wine tasting event that they host and it is very well received.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Carole Gustufson and Cedar Valley's Promise are Making a Difference!!

August 15, 2018 - Our greatest resource for the future is our children.  Cedar Valley’s Promise sets the tone and the environment to enhance the methodology in nurturing our communities children.  Effective education makes for kids future job skills and develop the needed attributes to be future leaders.  

Carole Gustafson, Director of the Cedar Valley Promise Program, was enthusiastic as she shared her experiences in social work and, more importantly, her experiences in leading CVP for the past year. She began by presenting the 5 Goals CVP has developing and sustaining our children as productive citizens.  

  1. Children are supported and nurtured;
  2. Children are safe;
  3. Children are healthy;
  4. Children are learning; and 
  5. Children are leaders.
She then shared how her organization is working to achieve each of these goals. 

This kind of support help keep families off of welfare; because the CV Promise Program shows them that somebody cares enough to help develop them into contributing members in society.

Thank you for sharing, Carole.   You are making differences in childrens' lives.

Written by Lynn Barnes

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August Brings Thoughtful and Adventurous Programs



Wednesday, August 1 - Business Meeting Where active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers. 
  
Wednesday, August 8 Global Collaboration Projects that Connect Your Kids to the World
Dr. Leigh Zeitz, Instructional Technology professor at the University of Northern Iowa, will share his 30-year adventure of connecting students to the world through Global Collaboration.  He will begin with his adventures in East Los Angeles and recall his connections with Malaysia, China, South Africa and Japan.  Stories will be heard of Iowa students changed their lives by collaborating with students in other countries.  Dr. Z will finish by touring through the Write Our World program which enables students to write multilingual e-books about their lives and make them available to the world.


 Wednesday, August 15 - Cedar Valley's Promise is Making a Difference!
Carole Gustafson, Director of Cedar Valley's Promise, will share the accomplishments of the CVP.  This program is a grassroots movement to improve the lives of our children through community-wide involvement. It connects parents, neighbors, businesses, governments and youth-serving organizations to provide all children with the support, assets, and resources necessary to achieve their fullest potential. It is dedicated to the health and safety of our children as well as developing their leadership skills for the future. 

Wednesday, August 22 - Connecting Kiwanis Across the Nation
Rushton Hurley, Member of the West San Jose Kiwanis Club, will Zoom with us from his home in San Jose.  Although it will be 4:30 AM in his house, Rushton is excited to tell us what they are doing out on the west coast.  He will also share an innovative meeting strategy that he created with his Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley (yes, he belongs to both) where the club exists online.  They don't actually meet in a synchronous manner.  The presentations are recorded and posted.  The members connect with each other online through their website. Rushton is an imaginative man and it will be exciting to spend some time with him to hear what he has accomplished as well as share our successes.

Wednesday, August 29 - Fishing Like There's No Tomorrow - Let's Get those Bass!!
Dragos Kruse, Fishing Specialist at the Cedar Falls Scheels, will hook you with his stories of angling adventures.  Dragos shell lure you into his watery world with his tails of finny happenings. On a scale of 1 - 10, this will be an 11. Make sure you don't flounder or leave it to salmon else. If you can't make it, let minnow

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Dr. Z Shares Global Collaboration and How He has Connected Students throughout His Career

Wednesday, August 8 - Education is always changing and one of our own Kiwanians, Dr. Leigh Zeitz,  is on the cutting edge using technology to enhance the minds of kids in school through “Global Collaboration.”  

Dr. Z has been connecting students with others around the world since the mid-80s. They have been working with other students in Japan, South Africa, China, Russia, and even Connecticut.  They have learned about other ways of life, cultures, and languages.  

Connecting our kids to the world and other cultures is not just about meeting new peers. Working with learners of other countries can enable learners to better understand the world. They are able to crosstalk about the world with others through experience rather than just hearsay.  

Dr. Zeitz shared a project that he has been promoting called Write Our World.  This is an opportunity for students with other native languages to write e-books about important things in their lives.  They write their stories and illustrate them with drawings or photographs. Their writings are then translated into their native language.  They record their stories in both languages and create multi-lingual books that share their stories in both audio and textual format.  Visit Write Our World  to read some of these books.

We live in a Global Society today and engaging in Global Collaboration is the best way to develop skills for today and tomorrow.

Written by Leigh Zeitz and Lynn Barnes