Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Building Financial Success through the JOB Foundation.

Wednesday, May 15 - Building enthusiasm for academics and financial responsibility is an important goal in today's world. 

Kelsey Unthum, Director of Development for the JOB Foundation, joined us to show how they are making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children by teaching them how to manage finances through education, mentoring, and economic advancement.  

The Job Foundation has different programs to help students by incentivizing them to earn good grades.  This is based on the tenet that the better the grade, the more they earn just like in real life.  They currently have 125 children working with the foundation and are working toward the goal of 200 in the next few years.
Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Monday, May 13, 2019

Wednesday, May 8 - The Cedar Falls Rough Risers learned to “Hop to It!” today. Our friend Keri Byrum, explained the beginnings and the workings of their Cedar Falls Hops Company located on their family’s farm west of town. She and her husband got hopped up to this endeavor in 2017 on a 7-acre portion farm set-aside to grow premium grade “cascade” hops for the Iowa craft brewing community. They knew they were on the rye-ght track. 

She said that the most difficult part of the hop business is the marketing of the ingredient, because they barley make it. Keri explained that hops are related to the apple family and it is extremely labor intensive to grow them; but that characteristic did not sober their spirits. She brought some hop pellet samples and passed them around.  They passed the smell test for the lupulin oils that gives beer that unique aroma and flavor beer lovers enjoy. Keri explained that all brewers use hops to make beer, but some use oranges once in a blue moon.

This provided a new perspective on beer and how it is brewed.  Thank you, Keri.

Written by Lynn Barnes

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Our May Program Hops, Develops, and Invests in the Future

Wednesday, May 1 - Business Meeting
Our club members get together to discuss what's happening now and make plans for the future.  We talk about projects, kettlecorn, finances, marketing and a plethora of potential possibilities  

Wednesday, May 8 - Growing Hops for Brewing Beer, Keri Byrum, Co-Owner of the Cedar Falls Hops Company, will tell us the tale of how they decided to start a hops farm in Cedar Falls, and what they envision for their future and the future of brewing in the Cedar Valley.






Wednesday, May 15 -  Making a Difference through Financial Education.  Kelsey Umthun, Director of Development for the Job Foundation, will share how the Job Foundation is touching the lives of students through financial education, mentoring, and providing resources to support economic advancement. 



Wednesday, May 22 - Building a Future by Building in Cedar Falls, Mark Kittrell, CEO of Eagle View Partners, shares his vision for Cedar Falls and how they are developing its potential. Mark has collaborated with an array of entrepreneurs to create a visual tour of Cedar Falls.





Wednesday, May 29 - What's it Take to Build a Hot Rod that Everyone wants to Drive?, Mike Roth, Owner of Autobody Pros explains what it takes to restore or modify old automobiles to like-new or hot rod condition.



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Director Robert Pruitt Shares the History, Present, and Future of the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Wednesday, April 10 - Gardening takes lots of water at the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens; most of it involves perspiration and lots of volunteers!  

Rob Pruitt is director of this 40-acre plant heaven located close to  Hawkeye Community College.  These beautiful plants enable Iowans to learn about nature through real gardens and vegetation. They can see what it takes to maintain them and make them grow.  

The biggest draw is the Children’s Garden that includes a true-to-life Hobbit House to nurture kids' fantasies!  Scavenger hunts for all the young “Sherlocks” involve finding the hidden gnomes scattered throughout the Arboretum.  

One hundred thirty orchard/shade trees surround a massive Butterfly Mosaic Garden.  It’s a horticultural work of living art that looks beautiful from the sky.  

We can’t wait for the fun Fall Harvest Festival to begin.  Enjoy fresh sweet corn days with live jazz music and moonlight roses. Fundraising helps keep this labor of love running financially afloat.   Written by Lynn Barnes

Sunday, March 31, 2019

April's Programs Brings MUCH MORE than Showers

Wednesday, April 3 - Business Meeting
Our club members get together to discuss what's happening now and make plans for the future.  We talk about projects, kettlecorn, finances, marketing and a plethora of potential possibilities  

Wednesday, April 10 - Pollinator Habitats: They Involve More Than You Think, Robert Pruitt, Executive Director of the  Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, will present on the importance of pollinator habitats in urban environments. Habitat loss and pesticides threaten native pollinators and, in turn, human quality of life. But we can be part of the solution! Mr. Pruitt will tell us how.

Wednesday, April 17 - Building Support for Mental Health, Tom Eachus, Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center and Mike Lind, Executive Director of Unity Point.
Did you know that 1-in-4 adults will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime? The Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center is a part of Unity Point Health and we are trying to make this organization more visible in the community as an asset to a major health care need.

Wednesday, April 24 - What's Happening at the University of Northern Iowa? Dr. Mark Nook, President of UNI, will give us an update on happenings at UNI. UNI is a key component of the Cedar Falls economy, supporting economic innovation and growth and quality of life. He will explain that as UNI is preparing for its 150th anniversary in 2026, they are looking to lay the foundation for a strong university in the decades that follow.  The future vision at UNI is not about today.  It reaches decade upon decade into the future.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Stephanie Houk Sheetz Shares the Vision for Cedar Falls' Future

Wednesday, March 27 - Stephanie Houk Sheetz, the Director of Cedar Falls Community Development, had a gigantic overview of the future plans for our fair city. The forthcoming construction projects are riveting! 

There are some major changes in the way we travel around the city and the county but these are the necessary inconveniences that accompany progress.

Stephanie shared her visions of West 1st Street and also on the opposite side to the south at the corner of Highway 58 and Ridgeway Avenue which we won’t recognize the same area in the near future. Millions of dollars will be spent to enhance our daily commutes and make traffic flow more efficiently.

Thank you for joining us, Stephanie.

Written by Lynn Barnes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Amy Davison Shares the Present and Future of Hartman Reserve

Amy Davison was the speaker for the day
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Amy Davison, who is a Director of Blackhawk County Conservation Board and Hartman Reserve, explained the many opportunities that are available in the Hartman Reserve and the surrounding areas.

Hartman Reserve is a huge land investment of over 9,000 acres of the most beautiful parts of the county!  There are many opportunities of the great outdoors that area sportsmen have available to them because of their endeavors.  It takes 22-full time and 2-part time employees to maintain all the hiking trails and the special parks available for our citizens' recreational enjoyment.

Our Kiwanis Rough Risers club has been a great supporter of Hartman Reserve over the years. We have storage building, patios, bridges, stairs, bookcases, and a variety of other projects to support Hartman.  We have helped with events like the annual Maple Syrup Festival.

Hartman Reserve is an important part of the Cedar Valley and we thank Amy and her team for making it available.

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dr. Freedman Shares What it Means to Forgive.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - Our bodies have over 7 trillion separate nerves, and there are some people we encounter, who occasionally manage to push the right buttons to get on every single one of them!

UNI Professor of Educational Psychology, Dr. Suzanne Freedman, explained how to cope with different types of individual dramas by smoothing out the tone of our lives through forgiveness. When unpleasantness happens and our emotions run rampant, we can reach our anger breaking point. Forgiveness puts that speed bump between our brains and our mouths!

Dr. Freedman explained the “General Guidelines Regarding Forgiveness” and what it is not. Dr. Freedman shared her thesis on what the Overall Benefits of Forgiveness is all about and how it will improve our lives and physical well-being by providing transforming forgiveness.
Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Amazing Zeon Astounds Us

Wednesday, February 27 - Our very own Kiwanian, ”The Amazing Zeon” (AKA Rough Riser Leigh Zeitz), performed a great magic show after the best breakfast meal we ever enjoyed at the Clarion Inn of steak and eggs.  

He started with his cane turning into a bouquet of flowers and ended with a selected card appearing in a bag of kettlecorn.  It was amazing. Zeon showed us a spellbinding money illusion that he said he bought for a couple of dollars.  A cheap trick!  Bad jokes, laughs, and smiles were on every face including our visiting and our very own Kiwanis Lt. Governor, Brian MacLearn.  Written by Lynn Barnes

Good Job, Zeon!

Monday, February 25, 2019

March's HOT Programs will help us Thaw Out!

Wednesday, March 6 - Business Meeting
Our club members get together to discuss what's happening now and make plans for the future.  We talk about projects, kettlecorn, finances, marketing and a plethora of potential possibilities  



Wednesday, March 13 - What is the Power of Forgiveness? Dr. Suzanne Freeman, UNI professor of Ed Psych and Foundations, will share her thoughts about the psychology of interpersonal forgiveness and forgiving. What you don't know about forgiveness can hurt you. She will share what it means to forgive and how that can better your life and those around you.



hartman reserve sign
Wednesday, March 20 - What's Happening at Hartman Reserve? Amy Davidson, Manager of Hartman Reserve Nature Center, introduces us to the wonderful year that the Hartman Reserve team has planned for us. She will share what they will provide that will help us better understand our environment through education, recreation, and community involvement. We look forward to seeing what she brings.



Stephanie Sheetz
Wednesday, March 27 - Cedar Falls Road Improvements, Stephanie Sheetz, Director of Community Development for Cedar Falls, will explain the plans the city has for improving our roads. She will share their vision for the Viking Road intersection. The First Street replacement plan will be covered. Hopefully, she will share Cedar Falls' five-year plan for road construction. Should be quite informative.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Lynn Barnes

Friday, February 8, 2019

February will be Magical for the Rough Risers

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

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



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


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

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Chief Olson Tells the Story Behind Public Safety Officers

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

Day of Giving at Scheels

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

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

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

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

Thank you, Scheels.  Thank you, Dean.

Written by Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mia Reisetter Manages Things at the Table 1912 Restaurant

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rough Risers Hold a Wrap Party

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

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

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

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year!






Monday, December 3, 2018

Breakfast at Figaro Figaro

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The "Programs" Tab is HERE!!!

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





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



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

Control is in YOUR hands!!!








Monday, November 26, 2018

"Program Controllers" for the Next Year

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

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

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


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


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