Monday, September 28, 2015

Greeters for the Rest of the Year 2015

Here is a brief list of the members who will be greeting you in the upcoming weeks. Find your name and put it in your calendar.

October 7          Dave L.
October 14        Sue L.
October 21        Doug N.
October 28        Bob N.
November 4      Tony R.
November 11    Tom R.
November 18    Jerry S.
November 25    Greg S.
December 2      Nick T.
December 9      Gene T.
December 16    Stan
December 23    Jeff W.
December 30    Liz W.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Revisiting the Past and Looking Towards the Future

Wednesday Sept. 23—State Senator Jeff Danielsen talked to our group today about the successes of the past legislative session and the challenges that must be faced during the next one. 

Bipartisan support led to an increase in the gas tax, so more improvements and timely repairs can be made to Iowa’s road system. After lagging behind the other state universities the past few years in funding, the University of Northern Iowa came out well during this past legislative session.

A revamped IT system is projected to save the state $300 million each year.
Goals for the next session are to find ways to keep more young teachers in the profession and to slow down the mushrooming cost of Medicaid.

Thank you for sharing your views, Senator.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Our Installation Banquet is Coming on October 1

The Cedar Falls Rough Risers will hold it’s annual Installation Banquet on Thursday October 1, 2015 at the Clarion Inn in Cedar Falls, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The 2015-16 board will be installed by Katie
Orlando Lt. Governor Kiwanis International from Waterloo. The officers will be: Tony Reid-President; Alan Czarnetzki-Vice-President; Jim Larson- Secretary/Treasurer; Rod Hamer Past President. Board members to be installed are; Gery Deavers, Tim Jones, Bob Ericson, Leigh Zeitz, Sue Loy and Cindy Hahn.

The club will celebrate the year completed and look forward to the plans for the coming year. One
highlight will be naming this year’s Hixson Fellowship Award recipient given in the name of an outstanding member, which supports $1000 contribution to Kiwanis International’s Eliminate Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus Program.

Kiwanis Mission- is the belief that the most effective way to enhance a community is to enhance its children. When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream, and succeed, great things will happen. The Rough Risers purpose is to serve the Children of the Cedar Valley.

Views From Our Statehouse Connection

Wednesday Sept. 16—Walt Rogers who represents Cedar Falls in the Iowa Legislature joined us today to share his insights on the past legislative session and the one that will begin in January. 

Forming the state budget is the biggest single task that the legislature faces. The largest slice of the budget pie is education, which gets about 56% of the budget so much discussion and debate centers on education.

Medicaid is a rapidly growing expense for the state and will get a lot of attention in the next session, along with Governor Branstad’s plan to privatize Medicaid administration.

We appreciated hearing Representative Roger’s comments that went beyond what we hear in the news about the statehouse.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Local Racetrack Lives On in Book

Wednesday Sept. 9—A prominent person in local history was Jud Tunis, who built a racetrack on the west edge of Waterloo shortly after WWII.

Jim Volgarino, author of Dirt Track Dreams, visited the Rough Risers to share the story of Tunis Speedway as chronicled in his book. The track was originally built for horse racing, as Tunis was an avid horse racing fan.

The track was soon converted to car racing and over the decades, was a popular destination for drivers and fans alike. The last weekly races were held in 1979.

The photos and stories about Tunis Speedway added an interesting chapter to our awareness of local history and events, and we appreciated Jim sharing it with us.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

September is Anew with Interesting Ideas

Wednesday, September 2 Business Meeting      

Wednesday, September 9 - The History of the Tunis Raceway

Jim Volgarino, a local historian who has written a book about the Tunis Raceway, will share its history.

Wednesday, September 16 - Rep Rogers Discusses Issues in Iowa

Rep. Rogers, Assistant Majority Leader of the House, will discuss the major issues of this last legislative session and for the upcoming one, with a special emphasis on issues relating to children.  Walt Rogers represents Cedar Falls at a state level.

Wednesday, September 23 - Senator Danielson Shares Iowa Issues

Sen. Danielson, Chair of the State Government Committee, will discuss the major issues of this last legislative session and for the upcoming one, with a special emphasis on issues relating to children. Senator Danielson represents Cedar Falls in the Iowa Senate.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Food Store Alternative Coming to Cedar Falls

Wednesday Aug. 19—Local citizens who have wanted to own a piece of the grocery store where they shop may soon have their chance.

Tom Wickersham is serving as the board chair of a new food co-op that is planning to open a store in Cedar Falls. As a co-op, anyone who wishes to buy a $200 share may do so, although everyone is welcome to shop at the store even if they don’t own shares. 

The full-service store will emphasize locally produced and wholesome food and will also include a deli. The co-op’s goal is to have 1,000 member-owners before the doors are opened and they are well on their way towards that number.

We wish Tom success with this exciting venture.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Eliminate Project Reaches $100,000,000

During Kiwanis International’s centennial year, we’ve been celebrating the power of 100. But now that number represents more than just a look back at our past. Today, it became a big step forward.

Kiwanis International is pleased to announce that The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus has reached US$100 million in cash and pledges.

That means the Kiwanis family has saved or protected more than 55 million lives since 2010. And it leaves us just US$10 million away from our fundraising goal of US$110 million.

Five years ago, we made a commitment. Now we’re on the verge of making history. When that moment comes ... how will you be remembered in Kiwanis history?

Make sure you’re part of it! Give today. Then share our big news—and this big opportunity—with family, friends and others.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Curtain Rises on another Exciting Season at the Gallagher Bluedorn

Wednesday Aug. 12—Steve Carignan of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center joined us today to talk about the 2015-2016 show season, the 15th year he has been the executive director.

With a roster of events ranging from Jay Leno to Here Come the Mummies, this promises to be an exciting season of entertainment for the Cedar Valley.

Steve also shared with us how the center uses focus groups to select performances and determine ticket prices. Once booked, the task of marketing the performances to the Cedar Valley and beyond through FaceBook, the Internet and other media begins. 

Steve, we appreciate the high quality live entertainment the Gallagher Bluedorn brings to our community.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

We Need YOUR HELP in Organizing Programs for 2015-2016

Yes Indeed Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a bustling club with a throng of busy members who attend informative and entertaining programs each Wednesday . . . but we need MORE INVOLVEMENT!  We need more Rough Risers to take the lead in finding and reserving programs.  

Here are the steps in signing up to be a Program Coordinators for a month.
  1. Click on this link to get to the Program Coordinator Sign-Up Sheet.
  2. Pick a month that is special to you.  (Maybe your birthday month.)
  3. Sign-up for the month on our Online Sign-up Sheet (or on paper in a meeting.)
  4. Look at a calendar to find the dates of the Wednesdays you will be scheduling.
    1. Remember that the first week of the month is our business meeting so no program is needed. 
  5. Find 3-4 speakers for your month.  Here are some suggestions for sources
    1. You (Share something that you do or pursue - you are some interesting people)
    2. Your family and friends (You are connected to some other interesting people)
    3. City Leaders
    4. Business Leaders
    5. Creative Leaders
    6. Community Programs that we sponsor
    7. Coaches
    8. UNI Speakers Bureau
REMEMBER, your speaker doesn't have to be local.  Leigh will help you "beam in" someone special from a distance through our computer system.

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Member Joins Rough Risers

Jason Luders received the coveted KI membership pin and was officially welcomed into the club. The Rough Risers are happy to have you with us, Jason!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August will be HOT with Interesting Programs.

Wednesday, August 5 Business Meeting      

Wednesday, August 12 - New Programs at the Gallagher Bluedorn PAC

Steve Carignan, Executive Director at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, will briefly describe all the programs in the Artist Series for this coming year. 

Wednesday, August 19 - Food Co-op in Cedar Falls

Tom Wickersham, Board President, will discuss plans for setting up the new exciting Food Co-op in Cedar Falls.  

Wednesday, August 26 - Junior Achievement

Katelyn Pedersen, District Manager, will explain how Junior Achievement works with students in all grades. We will learn how Junior Achievement teaches work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to students in Cedar Falls Schools.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Solar Energy Plans Generate Excitement in the Community

Wednesday July 22 – Plans are underway at the Cedar Falls Utilities to build a solar panel project on city property near Prairie Lakes.

Steve Bernard from CFU told us how citizens can purchase shares in this project for $399, paid back over a 20 year period with a credit on our utility bills for the portion of the electricity generated by the solar panels.

Steve explained how homeowners whose homes aren’t suitable for solar panels and renters can all take part in the CFU Simple Solar project and generate some of their electricity by this environmentally-friendly source.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July Brings Sparkling Programs to the Rough Risers

Wednesday, July 1 Business Meeting      

Wednesday, July 8 - Making Your Trees Come Alive
Kim Jordan of Jordan Nursery will share tips about how to select and care for trees in our community.  She will answer questions that you might have about tending your yard.

Wednesday, July 15 - No Morning Meeting - 
We decided to not meet on Wednesday morning because we are going to have dinner at our fearless leader, Rod Hamer's, home.  This will be followed by the club's social event where we will go to see the Texas Tenors.

Wednesday, July 22 - CFU Simple Solar Programs
Steve Bernart from Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) will tell us about the CFU Simple Solar program as well as other programs at CFU.

Wednesday, July 29 - New Projects Happening in Cedar Falls 
Ron Gaines from the City of Cedar Falls development department will share the 7 power points on development programes scheduled to take place in Cedar Falls over the next 2 years.  These projects include University Avenue, Greenhill Road extension, Raising the Cedar River levee and a four other projects.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tree and Garden Expert Shares Knowledge

Wednesday July 8 – Kim Jordan of Jordan Nursery spoke to the Rough Risers about the selection and care of trees in our community. With ash trees under attack by the emerald ash borer, Kim told us how important it is to diversify the trees we plant around our homes. New varieties from other parts of the world give us a broader selection than ever. Several members had questions and Kim’s answers and advice will no doubt help us beautify our homes with healthy trees and gardens. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us, Kim.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

City and Veterans Groups Work Together to Expand Park

 Wednesday June 24  –  Cedar Falls’ Veterans Park was created in the mid-90s on some land left over from highway and street construction projects near the intersection of Waterloo Road and Utilities Parkway.

Sid Morris, a Korean War veteran, and Mark Ripplinger, head of the Parks Department, were on hand today to explain Phase 2 of the Veterans Park. This expansion adds a shelter house, open green space, a ring of trees and limestone benches to the park. 

The $100,000 cost of the project has been funded entirely by private donations of cash, materials and labor.

Phase 2 is expected to be completed by this fall.

We appreciate Sid and Mark sharing the story of how public and private efforts joined together to improve our city parks.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Superintendent Shares School District News

Wednesday June 17 – Cedar Falls School Superintendent Dr. Andy Pattee spoke to our group today about PLC (Professional Learning Communities) used in the school district.

This process helps students to improve their skills and increase learning on a day-after-day basis by stressing individual student participation and involvement.

He also addressed the school bond election that is coming up on June 30. The administration feels the current steady growth in the student count will soon fill the elementary schools to their capacity. The $35 million bond will pay for a new elementary school and add capacity and improvements to two existing elementary schools.

We appreciate the information Dr. Pattee shared with us about our school district.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Major Employer Also Attracts Tourists

Wednesday June 10 – What draws thousands of people to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area each year, many from foreign countries? The answer is tours at the local John Deere engine plant, assembly plant and drivetrain operations plant. Today Dale Amunson and Megan Zuniga from John Deere Visitor Services told us about the free tours enjoyed by 30,000 guests each year at the local Deere facilities. A new buyer of a John Deere tractor can even watch his tractor being assembled and drive it off the line! No wonder Deere equipment enjoys a great reputation and brand loyalty. Dale and Megan, thank you for your interesting presentation.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rough Risers are Interviewed on Cedar Falls "Serving the Valley" TV Show

Yes, it has happened!!!!  The Amazing Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers have made the grade when it comes to media coverage.  On June 9, Jane Harding, Tony Reid, and Leigh Zeitz were interviewed by Eric Braley on the Serving the Valley television show on Channel 15.  (The action doesn't really begin until 20 seconds into the clip)

The interview covered many topics. We had the opportunity to discuss our club, its history, our community service, our sponsors and why it is a wonderful thing to be a Rough Rider.  We especially enjoyed how Braley was continually talking about how important it would be to be a Kiwanis member.

This 1/2 hour interview will be aired on Channel 15 throughout the summer and then into the Fall season. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

AWESOME Sponsors for 2015 Make Our Donations Possible!!!

Look at the plethora of Cedar Valley sponsors who believe in the work that our Kiwanis Rough Risers Club does for the Valley.  Some of these corporations have been sponsoring our work for years and some have just recently been added to the list.  Together they provide about $14,000 of the $36,000 we donate to youth-related activities and organizations throughout the Cedar Valley.

This is a copy of the label that we use on all of our Kettlecorn bags and the sign that we prop outside our Kettlecorn tent so that the public will see what who is supporting our work.

Thank you Sponsors!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's On Tap for June Programs

Wednesday, June 3 - Business Meeting    
Wednesday, June 10 - Touring John Deere 
A visit to a John Deere plant is a popular activity for tourists visiting this area. At this meeting we will learn about touring John Deere, with a program presented by Dale Amunson and Megan Zuniga of John Deere Visitor Services.  

Wednesday, June 17 - Tunis Raceway Over the Years 
Tunis Raceway no longer exists, but it lives on in the memories of local auto racing enthusiasts. Jim Volgarino, a local historian, has written a book about Tunis Raceway and will present a program on its fascinating history. 

Wednesday, June 24 - Expanding Veteran's Park 
Sid Morris, former city councilman, Korean War veteran and Veteran Park supporter, will tell us about the plans to expand the Cedar Falls Veteran’s Park.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Club Dues Rising to $38 on June 1

June 1 - Yes, Kiwanis Rough Risers is more exciting than ever!!!!!  We have greater programs, better food and even the jokes seem a little better these days. . . maybe that is just senility settling in.

All of these benefits don't happen for free, mind you.  This is just a reminder for you that our Board voted to raise the dues from $37 to $38 dollars beginning on June 1.

Just write that check to our wonderful treasurer/secretary, Jim Larson.  Actually, don't write it to Jim.  Write it to Kiwanis Rough Risers and then had it to Jim.   Do you forget to write those checks?  Why don't you work out something with your bank so that they will pay your dues automatically on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.  

Keep up the GREAT work, Kiwanians!!!!  We ARE the busiest service club in town!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rough Risers Visited the Greater Waverly Kiwanis Club on May 4

Tuesday, May 4 - Once in a while it is important to visit other clubs to see what they are doing. On May 4, a team of Rough Risers visited the Greater Waverly Club to have breakfast with them at 6:45 (not quite as Rough as us, but that's OK. =-) Our adventurers included Alan, Steve, Roger, Tony and Leigh. We were hosted by their club president, Dan Daly.

Jim Atty
The meeting was at Wartburg College and it was a full room. They probably had about 30 - 35 members attending. We scattered ourselves among the round tables and ate a sumptuous meal from their breakfast buffet. We had wonderful discussions at our tables that included information about how busy this group is in serving the Greater Waverly community. They sell popcorn at Little League baseball games every week and work a great deal around the community.

Our guest speaker for the morning was Jim Atty, CEO of the Waverly Health Center. He spoke in everyday terms about what they are working to achieve at the Waverly Health Center. He was quite proud of their accomplishments and we really enjoyed listening to him. Perhaps the best part about his presentation was the matter-of-fact discussion he lead. He we quite frank when telling you what worked and what didn't work in our health system. We learned a lot.

It was great visiting the Greater Waverly Kiwanis Club. We hope that they come to visit us sometime soon.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Improvements Coming to NewAldaya Lifescapes Retirement Community

Wednesday, May 20 – There is a growing need for dementia care in our area. The CEO of NewAldaya Lifescapes, Millissa Tierney, presented a program on the new Memory Care House her organization is building as a home for dementia and Alzheimer’s residents. NewAldaya is also planning to remodel the chapel and establish an endowment fund to support services for residents regardless of personal circumstances. We appreciate Millissa sharing the changes and future plans with us that are underway at NewAldaya.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lynn Barnes interviewed by Kenton Allen on KCFI

Wednesday, May 20 - Lynn Barnes had the great opportunity of being interviewed by Kenton Allen on KCFI this past week.  They had a wonderful time talking about the history of our Rough Risers and what we do for the community.   Lynn included a brief history about how we started popping kettle corn.  It was quite educational.

Thanks for doing the interview, Lynn.  Hope to hear you on the air in the future. (Interestingly, Lynn was quite at home on the radio because he used to be a radio host in days gone by.)