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

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.

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.


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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mike Knapp Shares the Grin & Grow Story

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - At the last Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club, we had Mike Knapp, Executive Director of the Grin & Grow Pre-School provide a verbal tour of the benefits his program provides for young people of the Cedar Valley.  

Mike explained that Grin & Grow will be celebrating their 75thanniversary this year. For 3/4 of a century, hey have been serving kids from low income and at-risk families. Mike emphasized that Grin & Grow doesn't only provide daycare for the children, but they also give their families a hand in getting out of the vicious cycle of poverty and giving the kids a great boost forward in life.  They provide a very creative curriculum studies, but also provide social skills at well.  

Very well done, Mike.

This photo of Santa Knapp was captured after the meeting. Notice the Koveted Kiwanis Koffee Kup?

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stan Engel Shares the Story of his U.S. National Parks Tour

Wednesday, December 15, 2017 - One of our very own Kiwanian members, Stan Engel, shared he story of his Grand Tour of Ten National Parks covering 12 states, over 6800 miles, and over 31 days during last September!  Stan gave an enthusiastic talk on some of the most beautiful and untouched American real estate in the western United States. 

Originally Stan was going to his sister Pam’s wedding in Oregon and thought since he was going way out west anyway; why not do the national park tour and take in all the scenery in this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Stan and his lovely wife did it up right by getting a great cultural education and an up-front view of all the amazing natural wonderland not found anywhere in the world. 

Stan -- you made us Kiwanians green with envy!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wrapping Things Up for Christmas . . .

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - Every year, our Kiwanis Rough Risers club adopts a family for Christmas through the Salvation Army. This means that we raise the money, buy the presents, and wrap the gifts to put under their Christmas trees. This year we adopted two families.

We began by raising the money for the gifts. We "passed the envelope" around the room a few times to collect money from the members. Once we had collected the funds, specific members (and/or their spouses) volunteered to purchase gifts for each of the family members.  These gifts included specific items requested by the family members as well as gift cards to various stores.

Today, it was time to wrap the presents and deliver them to Santa.  This is always a fun day as we get to fold, crease, and tape paper around our gifts.  Below is a set of photos of our Rough Risers wrapping:

Friday, December 1, 2017

December will be Joyful!!!!

The best thing about December is that we get to share things with each other and with kids throughout the Cedar Valley. Our month begins with the wonderful Gift of Giving event. The rest of the month is filled with programs that share ideas and events.

December 2 - Gift of Giving
This is an annual event where we join together with the Cedar Valley JayCees to serve over 60 Cedar Valley youths. We meet at 6:30 AM at the UAW building in Waterloo. The kids arrive about 7:00. Adult members pair up with kids and we board buses to go to Blain's Farm and Fleet. Santa greets them at the door and the kids are given the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for family members. There is a credit limit for each of them. After checking out, we return to Waterloo where they have breakfast and wrap their gifts. Their parents pick them up about 9:00 AM. A great time is had by all.

December 6 - Wrap Presents
This year we adopted 2 families through the Salvation Army. This is an annual event where members donate money towards purchasing gifts for the families. We will have a quick business meeting, but we will have much more fun wrapping the gifts.

December 13 - Stan Engel Cruises the Parks

This past year, our member - Stan Engel took a whole 6 weeks to travel the US with family. He visited relatives and National Parks. Today Stan will share the beautiful 
scenery and his amazing stories with us.

December 20 - The Mission of Grin and Grow Childcare Centers

Mike Knapp, Director of the Grin and Grow Childcare Centers in Waterloo, will share 
the mission of Grin and Grow Childcare Centers. We have been supporting Grin and Grow for over a dozen years.


December 27 - Round Table Meeting

Now it's time to sit and talk. We never know how many members will join our breakfast in the holiday season. Therefore, we just sit "round" our tables and share our lives.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dr. Hayes Discusses Problems with Iowa's Laws

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - Today we were fortunate to have as our guest lecturer, Dr. Allen Hays, Emeritus Professor of Political Science.  He had been the  head of the Graduate Program of Public Policy at the University of Northern Iowa.  

Dr. Hays gave a very interesting and timely talk on taking action towards reducing the mass incarceration of detainees within the State of Iowa.  He discussed the need of reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing and tort reform.  

Beyond their term of incarceration, prisoners experience a lifetime of problems. Once a person gets into the criminal justice system and pays his/her debt to society; there still remains a stigma on the already adjudicated crime that brands the person to a life time sentence.  The end result is a high probability of that person returning to prison again and again.  

Dr. Hays is advocating more funding for mental health treatment programs, drug addiction treatment, training for law enforcement, for families in distress because of incarceration of non-violent offenders, and also seeking alternatives to the War on Drugs.

Thank you making us more aware of this issue, Dr. Hays.

Written by Lynne Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Selecting Future Acts for the Gallagher Bluedorn Center

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - For those not attending our last Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club last meeting, you missed out on a special and rare opportunity!  UNI’s very own Dr. Steve Carignan, Executive Director of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center and his Associate Mr. Shawn Poellet, Assistant Technology Director/Audio & Video, invited our club to be a focus group for potential talented artists in the 2018-2019 season. 

The Gallagher-Bluedorn Peforming Arts Center had created a list of possible future performers and they wanted to get input from our Club representing the entertainment consumer market.  They showed short video clips demonstrating their performances and asked us to list our favorites. What a treat to see the different genres and offerings that included A-Listed Celebrities!  

Thank you Steve and Shawn;  come back soon!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stan Welchel Gives his Veteran's Day Presentation

November 8, 2017 - This last Wednesday our own member, former Marine Sargent Stan Welchel , gave a talk on the history, selection and traditions of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.  His presentation which was filled with photos and stories reminded us of the supreme sacrifice that many ordinary soldiers have given as they fought for our freedoms in lonely global battlefields. An astounding story that Stan shared was that a lonely sentry guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours a day. This soldier guards this hallowed ground so we can never forget the men and women who serve to protect this great nation.  

Thank you Stan, for making us remember that our freedom has a high cost and for your honorable service for our country.  

You make us feel proud to be Americans!

Written by Lynne Barnes

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We are Thankful for our November Programs

November will be an exciting month. We will celebrate the past, present, and future through some amazing presenters

November 1 - Business meeting
This is where we answer the questions that need to be answered, make the decisions that need to be made, and plan the things that need to be planned.

November 8 - Veterans Day Commemoration 
Stan Wetchel will share the story of veterans in World War II.  His presentations are always interesting and informative. 

November 15 Ramps and Pathways
Dr. Dykstra-VanMeeteren, Director of the Center for Early Developmental Education, will share the STEM work that they have been doing with young kiddos.  With any luck, she will bring some toys for us to use.

November 22 - Gallagher Bluedorn PAC Focus Group
Want to affect Cedar Valley's future? Join us as Steve Carignan shares a series of video clips of programs they are considering for the upcoming 2018-2019 season.  It should be fun.

November 29 - Making a Difference in the Valley
Dr. Al Hays, a retired UNI professor, will speak about his continuing work on social justice issues in our community. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Took a Trip Around Panic Park Today.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - Our last Wednesday of the month brought us a spooktacular presentation by Mike Hendrickson, Director of the Blackhawk County Conservation Commission.  He told us about their Panic Park haunted house for Halloween 2017. 

They’ve had their haunting license for ghosts since the year of 2000. The Park has been the favorite haunt for many local kids numbering over 4000 annually.  Panic Park is found at the Old Rotarian Reserve. Your adventure begins when you arrive by tractor and wagon after getting through a gauntlet of zombies and ghouls.  Your journey will involve roaming many scary rooms filled with creepy clowns, dolls, mummies, scarecrows, witches and even a fog-filled room.  If you get lost in that room, you will be mist. If you're a hungry “Goblin” and you're looking for a quick bite - they provide a food “Casketeria.”   After you survive Panic Park, they even offer a laser tag obstacle course and an outside maze with lots of dead ends.

The Park is open during the last part of September and end of October for some ghoulish fall nights.  The Conservation Board members, employees, and their kindred spirits work hard doing a world-class job for this haunted house. They fully engage in this project because it is Blackhawk County Conservation Commission's biggest annual fund-raiser 
Price of admission is $15.00 at the creaking door. 
Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mathematics Comes to Life in the Hands of Professor Shaw!

Wednesday, October 19, 2017 - Our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club had a non-traditional speaker this past Wednesday, Professor Douglas Shaw of the Math Department at UNI.   

The attending Kiwanians never thought we would be given a student’s cursory study on the Non-Imaginary Approach to Complex Numbers by an Instructor who loves math so much.
Professor Shaw gave such an enthusiastic and entertaining approach presentation on addition, multiplication, and division.  
We got the enigmatic math question answered:  why do we divide sin by tan? Just cos.  

The professor talked about the utilitarian and the theoretical aspects of mathematical equations of Phasors, and Geometric Representatives and in equations the letter “J” is not the square root of anything.  

Our Kiwanis Club will no longer think of math standing for Mental Abuse To Humans!

Thank you, Dr. Shaw.

Written by Lynn Barnes.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October is a Scary Month

October is an unusual month for our club.   Only 2 eerie programs to entertain us.

October 4 - Club Meeting Canceled

We didn't have a meeting on October 4.  We canceled it because we had our annual October Banquet on Thursday. 

October 11 - Club Business Meeting
Our board's business meeting was so interesting, we decided to move the meeting to October 11 instead of ignoring it.

October 18 A Non-Imaginary Approach to Complex Numbers. 
Doug Shaw, Math Professor at the University of Northern Iowa, will share more mathemagic with us as we explore the amazing world of numbers.

October 20 - Panic Park is ALIVE, ALIVE!!! 
It's Halloween so let's see hear from some of the Ghouls in Panic Park out at the Rotary Reserve. Bringing the ghosts and goblins will be Mike Henderickson, the Executive Director of Black Hawk County Conservation. He will share the tale of Panic Park as well as some other scary stories. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Coach Peterson Aces her Presentation for the Rough Risers

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - The Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers had the honor of a visit from UNI's Women's Volleyball leader, Coach Bobbi Peterson. Coach Peterson is nationally-ranked in the NCAA Top 25. The Iconic Coach Peterson told us about their grueling 2017 season and talked about her roster of players who really step up to the challenge.  

Coach Bobbi put her team's best feat forward by sharing that her players were not only successful on the court but they are to be "reckoned with" in the classroom as well. They boast an average GPA of 3.4.

Bobbi said that 14 of her 15 players come from the great state of Iowa and she has welded the Panthers into a well-oiled machine. She mentioned a Panther player from Sumner, Iowa, Jadlin Seehase, whose hard hitting heavy arm, has spiked many an opponent team into their own “ARMageddon!” 

Having a Top 25 nationally-ranked court prowess is one thing, but Coach Peterson made it clear that she wants her players to succeed off the court as well. She encourages them to give back to the community through volunteering and engaging in service projects to help kids such as Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs and the like.  Earlier this year, the team went on a NCAA-sanctioned mission trip to Nicaragua to do volunteer work and to learn from a different culture.  They also played against an international team on a concrete court in front of international fans.  This was an opportunity to experience some unique situations.  

This presentation brought new perspectives to the Lady Panthers.  Thank you, Coach Bobbi.  Written by Lynn Barnes