Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Productive Business Meeting Today!

 GREAT MINDS
AT WORK

We had a productive business meeting today.  Many issues were considered and multitudes of problems were solved.










"Now if only we could find some more sponsors, we would be able to help more kids in the Cedar Valley"





We have divided the work between four committees.  Here is the list of members for each of the committees. Contact these teams if you have any specific questions or suggestions for furthering our club's goals.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

These Two Men Take Care of Cedar Falls

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - The 2 men that have the most fun jobs in Cedar Falls are Park Supervisor Brett Morris and Park Construction Manager Kevin Cross.  They are in charge of all of Cedar Falls 42 Parks and Recreation areas within the city limits.  They are in charge of all the golf parks, buildings, maintenance, cemeteries, trees, lawns, and flower beds.  It is their job to make sure that the area residents have the best quality of life possible with all the scenery and recreational areas and make sure they are well maintained.  You can tell that they really enjoy their job of serving the community.  Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sheriff Tony Thompson Shares the Enforcement Scene in CV.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Just short of offering “Get Out of Jail Free Cards” to our Kiwanis Club, Blackhawk County Sheriff and Top Law Enforcement Officer, Tony Thompson, offered an insider’s view of what happens at the County Jailhouse. Sheriff Thompson is in charge of so much that protects and serves the county residents, we were all shocked about the multitude of concerns under his watch -  not to mention all the matters at the Jail. It's amazing how his job requires him to work with judges and bailiffs.  He and his officers are busy serving subpoenas, evictions, handling gun permits and investigating car accidents.  It was a great eye-opener on how our Top Cop does his job in Blackhawk County.  Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Mike Butler Shares Plans for Cedar Falls Veterans' Memorial Park

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - Cedar Falls has a large community of veterans who served honorably in all branches of the US military.  Many area residents gave the ultimate sacrifice in life or limbs for or freedoms. But when the battles are over, the veterans' personal wars begin as they try to assimilate back into civilian life.   

Vietnam War Navy Veteran Mike Butler presented a way that citizens can keep their veterans' memories alive by buying commemorative bricks at the Cedar Falls Veterans Memorial Park on Waterloo Road for $50 each. These brick will both remind us of their loved ones who have served in the military to defend our freedoms and help defray the cost of maintenance of the park.  We thank all of our veterans for their military service.
Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Brian Gabel Shares the Behind the Scenes Stories of Sports Broadcasting

General Manager of Learfield SportsWednesday, September 11, 2019 - When it comes to all the fan hoopla involved in making watching collegiate sports games a fun experience, the man in charge of that is Brian Gabel, the General Manager of Learfield Sports.  

Brian joined us today and explained the necessary behind-the-scenes activities that had to happen to pull off any sporting event.  He has a virtual army of experts at his dispatch. Each person, specializing in their particular talents, works together in unison with the precision of a Marine Corps Marching Band. People at the game or enjoying it by radio/TV benefit from Brian's team. These game productions and promotions have gone off so well for so long, that it is easy to take all this for granted.

Thank you for joining us, Brian.  We greatly appreciate your joining us for breakfast and all of the work to make our sports lives a little bit better.    
Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Andy Finegan Unveils the Workings of Habitat for Humanity

Community Engagement Director for Habitat for Humanity
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - Demand far exceeds the supply for the custom-made or rehabilitated homes constructed by the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  Andy Finnegan, the Community Engagement Director for Habitat, provided a quick but thorough overview of how the mostly volunteer organization functions. Composed of residential carpentry and construction trade professionals and an army of volunteers,  they are able to provide homes for those who need them. Even though some of the workers barely know how to swing a hammer, the team is able to construct single-family dwellings for families needing a place to call home.  

Currently, 260 Cedar Valley families are waiting to acquire the homes that generally take 2-5 weeks to build. These families don't get their homes for free. They usually help build the home and then repay the mortgage through an affordable repayment plan.

Habitat generally builds a home composed of 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, a 1-stall garage with a paved driveway. They especially design them so that they look like the homes belong in a neighborhood. 

They also offer a local Restore for Humanity of donated construction materials to generate funds to help defer project payments.

Andy (and Habitat for Humanity), you are making a difference in the world and we commend you!

Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Carol Lilly Reports on the Haps on CF Main Street

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - Carol Lilly, Executive Director of the Cedar Falls Community Main Street and Downtown District, is the guiding hand of fostering rigorous economic activity in the downtown area.  Carol has the overview of 29 city blocks in the downtown area which covers 160 properties.  She fosters new business enhancements and development in this area, while still holding the historic image and the overall character of the business district.  

The economic retail impact last year of the downtown area was well over 47 million dollars including the 194 new residents who have moved in and made this their new home. This important organization is reliant on volunteerism and people's hospitality to keep downtown Cedar Falls a great place to live, work and do business.

Thank you for all you do to make Cedar Falls a better place, Carol.
Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Nick, Marv, and Dean share their Tales of Yore for the Rough Risers

Today we had a different format for our program. We decided that it would be interesting to hear about the Cedar Falls "Days of Yore" from founding members who helped it become a reality.

Watch this 42-minute video where our storytellers are Nick Teig, Marv Heller, and Dean Dreyer. 
Kiwanis Rough Risers' Tales of Yore


What do you think?  Do you know other stories about the Rough Risers?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Cedar Valley Angels

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - Cedar Valley Angels' president and founder, Dick Kimball, and a foster family mother, Kelsey Schmitz, gave a lecture to the Kiwanis Club on the life of adopted children and the commitment of foster parents.  

Based upon the Love Box Program, that had its beginning in Houston, they use a methodology of living as positive role models to impact children’s lives. Typically, two foster parents develop a relationship with a child while the CV Angels provide a support group of 6-10 other adults to provide help for the child and the parent. There are more foster children in Blackhawk County then there are foster parents to develop relationships.  They are need of helpers and funding.

Thank you for the difference you are making in many peoples' lives and thank you for spending your morning with us.

Written by Leigh Zeitz and Lynn Barnes

Friday, July 12, 2019

Rough Risers Support Kiwanis Children's Fund

"To develop resources that transform the goodwill and vision of Kiwanians into programs that serve the children of the world" is the mission statement of Kiwanis International's Children's Fund.  Since 1940, the Kiwanis Children's Fund has been turning members' generosity into projects that reach children all over the world.

The Eliminate Project is a Children's Fund program where Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined together to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus - Not reduce it - ELIMINATE it. Over 55 million lives in 14 countries are depending on Kiwanis to protect their futures.

The Eliminate project identifies $100,000,000 as the goal for making this goal a reality. Our Rough Risers Club has been supporting the Eliminate Project for a number of years and this year we were recognized for contributing over $25/member. We were recognized as a Silver-Level Today Club member.  You will see our virtual badge in the right-hand column on this webpage. 

We thank you, the Rough Risers members, for making your contributions and hope that we can continue to support this project until it reaches its goal. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Sue Ney Initiated into Kiwanis Rough Risers

Wednesday, July 3 - We are pleased to announce that Sue Ney, sponsored by Sue Loy, was inducted as a  member into our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers club. She has been an active participant in our club's activities since she over the past few months. Sue has been a school counselor for the Cedar Valley Catholic Schools and has been active in other service organizations. 

Welcome to our Club, Sue!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Girl Scouts

Wednesday, June 12 - Alicia Lewis and Holly Bark gave a sampling to explain why the Girl Scouts always sell their delicious cookies. They wanted to give a sweet first impression! And that is an understatement!  They are scrumptious!  16,000 of Northeast Iowa young ladies are going after merit badges learning new skills and the focus areas or STEM, Outdoors. essential Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship.  This training builds courage, confidence, and character to make the world a much better community.  We miss the Thin Mints that are sold only once a year for their fundraising efforts to pay for the 6 staff and volunteers.  A high point of the presentation was when they passed around plates of Girl Scout cookies. We told Alicia and Holly that the Mints are “Wafer” too long!   Written by Lynn Barnes

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June Programs Promise Us Some Real Excitement



Wednesday, June 5 - 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. Leigh Zeitz will share the latest developments for the Kiwanis Rough Risers website. 



Wednesday, June 12 - What's Happening in Girl Scouts, Alisa Lewis, Development Officer for the Cedar Valley of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, will share the latest developments in Girl Scouts. She will review their program, the many accomplishments of their members, and future plans for best addressing the needs of their scouts.

Wednesday, June 19 - Red Cross Happenings. Rod Hamer, Red Cross Volunteer (and Kiwanian), will tell us his stories of what it takes to assure care, shelter, and hope to those affected by natural disasters. It is always an exciting experience to hear Rod "tell his tales" about how he has helped facilitate bringing relief to flood victims throughout the country.
Wednesday, June 26 - Building a Future by Building in Cedar Falls, Karen Howard, Planning and Community Services Manager for Cedar Falls, shares the ongoing plans for developing Cedar Falls. She will discuss downtown develop as well as the College Hill Urban Revitalization Plan. She will be able to provide insight into their foresight about the future of Cedar Falls.  It is an ongoing process towards residential conservation, rehabilitation, and development or redevelopment in the area. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

We Made the National News.


While I was roaming the Web, I came across an article about how service groups engage the younger generation into their clubs.  I sent a note to the author, Tim Ebner of Associations Now, and we began to discuss the opportunities. This resulted in Tim asking to interview me on the phone last Monday. He wanted to find out about what our Kiwanis club is doing.  I shared how we run our club and the many community-conscious members we have who engage incommunity-based projects . I even shared our website so that he would be able to see the depth of our accomplishments.

Since then, he has incorporated our story in his latest blog posting for Associations Now, What Can Associations Learn from Social Clubs? It discusses today's social clubs that attract the younger generation and aligns it with what our Kiwanis Rough Risers club is doing.  The best part about the article is that there a number of links throughout the article that take you to a wide assortment of other resources (sometimes postings on our website) to further the discussion.

Give it a read, click the links, and leave some comments below.

Leigh Zeitz




Monday, June 3, 2019

Developing Our Website into a Digital Scrapbook

Our Kiwanis Rough Risers website has been online since January 2009.  It has been a wonderful communication tool for us to share what we have been doing for the past 10 years.

The topics have included a wide variety of content.  The most popular topic has involved spotlighting our weekly programs.  At the beginning of each month, I post a list of programs that we can expect to enjoy.  Weekly, we post a photo and a description of what our presenter shared.  I must admit that this has been regularly done only in the past five years with the assistance of Lynn Barnes and Dan Conklin. (Thanks, Guys)

These pages also share an on-going record of periodic events, annual donations to youth organizations, commercial sponsors of our club, kettlecorn poppings, service projects, new member initiations, conference involvement, and remembrances of members who have passed on.  (Click each topic to see a collection of postings in that area.)


A Digital Scrapbook

The more that I have developed our website, the more I have realized that it contains the ongoing narrative for our club. These are the stories that give our organization meaning.  These tales share our accomplishments and portray our beliefs and vision. The challenge is to capture this characterization as thoroughly as possible.

Recently, I have expanded the scope of our website to include postings that include historical events going back to our original charter in 1980.   We began by prospecting through physical scrapbooks over the years so that we can scan newspaper articles onto the pages of our chronicle (Thanks, Lynn and Stan).  

I wanted to expand our database of history so this summer, I subscribed to newspapers.com to enable me to search the archives of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier for articles about the famous (sometimes infamous) Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers.  I have been fortunate enough to find over 35 articles spanning the past 39 years which I have included in our historical narrative. I learned a great deal in reviewing these historical documents. Here are some of the events I uncovered (along with links to their postings):
Along the way, I decided to identify the many historical postings that were uncovered through research with the label, HistoryClick Here to see most of them.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!!!  The search doesn't end here. The richest source of stories lies within your hearts.   You are the living proof that the Rough Risers make a difference in the community and we would love to hear your stories.  Here is what YOU can do to expand our historical record:

  1. Read through our Digital Scrapbook
  2. If you have more to add to a posting, enter them into the Comments box below. Tell the story as you remember it and add your name at the end. 
  3. If you have further ideas that you want to share, send an email to Leigh Zeitz (zeitz@uni.edu) to tell him of your memories of the event.
This is where we can share our history so people will better know who we are and what we represent.  Help tell our story . . . 

Leigh Zeitz

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rough Risers are Interviewed for Cedar Falls Channel 15

What do Dean Dreyer, Sue Loy, and Lynn Barnes have in common?  

They were interviewed by Roy Justis for Channel 15.  It was a thoughtful and informative interview that shared what we do, why we do it, and how we get the job done.  

This 22-minute video is one that all of our members should enjoy and it provides a great opportunity for potential members to learn who we are.


Share your comments (click on Comments below) about this video so that we can get some discussion going.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Mike Roth Shares His Restoration Stories

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - It is never a gut "wrench"-ing experience when Mike Roth, owner of Autobody Pros in Cedar Falls; restores your old automobile to like-new condition.  Mike joined us for breakfast and shared his journey with us as he traveled from a kid working in his garage to one of the leading car restoration aficionadoes in Iowa.

Mike can make a custom Hot Rod from the frame up or customize your favorite daily driver old “Flivver” to showroom ship shape.  Mike can take an old Yugo or even a 2001 Ferrari 360 Spider and make it like new again. Mike took shared a restoration story that began with a car in horrible condition and ended with a car that looked like it was fresh off the assembly line.  Getting parts is the real trick for some older cars.  Sometimes, Mike needs to go out of the United States to get hard-to-find rare parts, but it is worth it.  The job is in the finish and Mike stakes his reputation on each restoration.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us, Mike.  
Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Mark Kittrell Shares Future Plans for Cedar Falls Development

Wednesday, May 22 - Knock-Knock. Who’s there? Canoe!  Canoe Who? Canoe tell me about a great White Water River Project?  The man who can--Mark Kittrell--came to our meeting to share info about the Cedar River Project and other Cedar Falls development.  

Mark Kittrell is the Co-Chairman for the Cedar River Project and he is on a mission to improve the quality and the community of Downtown Cedar Falls. He discussed the future plans and goals of our beautiful Cedar River.  They plan to develop the river into a water playground for tubing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and white water rafting. They hope that this will make Cedar Falls a destination city for tourists to enjoy the Downtown Plaza stores and Streetscapes.  

Mark also discussed the new housing developments in downtown Cedar Falls. New residents are streaming to Cedar Falls. The average age of residents in the condo developments is 26. It is a whole new world for Cedar Falls.

As the river area is enhanced to its fullest potential through bike paths, live music festivals, along with food vendors, etc. will bring new citizens to move into and live in the city - the Cedar Valley will prosper.
Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, May 15, 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

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Hops in the Cedar Valley Can Brew Excitement!

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