Sunday, September 20, 2020

Leigh Zeitz Awarded the Hixson Fellowship Award for Service

Leigh and Kathy Zeitz
Leigh Zeitz (with wife Kathy) receiving the award.

Monday, September 14, 2020 - The Cedar Falls Rough Risers Kiwanis Club has given its highest award to Leigh Zeitz, honoring his years of work with Kiwanis helping the children of the Cedar Valley. Zeitz, who is an associate professor of Educational Technology at UNI, was given the George F. Hixson Fellowship award, and the Rough Risers donated $1,000 to Kiwanis International’s Children’s Fund in his honor.

Zeitz has been a member of the Rough Risers Club for 28 years.  He has served as president and built and maintains the club’s website at  He fully understands the mission of our club, which is “Serving the Children of the Cedar Valley,”  so he takes the initiative on many other projects.  For years he has raised money for the local Grin and Grow Daycare by riding RAGBRAI; he raised more than $15,000 over the 19 years he has ridden RAGBRAI.


Another of Zeitz’ favorites is the annual Gift of Giving, sponsored by the Jaycees and the Rough Risers.  About 100 needy children gather at the UAW hall and ride buses with adults (Jaycees, Rough Risers, and UNI volunteers) to Blain’s to purchase Christmas gifts for their family with money provided by the sponsors.  Then they return to the UAW Hall for pancakes and sausage prepared by the Rough Risers while Santa Claus mixes with the kids.  Santa looks suspiciously like Dr. Zeitz, we think. 


When we pop Kettlecorn (and we will again, when normal times return!) you can often find Zeitz as our lead salesman, explaining that the extra special taste of Kettlecorn is charity – the fact that all our profits go to local organizations helping children.  He also helps solicit our wonderful sponsors who double the money we raise. 


But during these past six months, Zeitz has been invaluable. When we were forced to cancel our in-person meetings, Zeitz put our meetings on Zoom.  Half of our members had never been on Zoom before but he taught us all.  He even arranged a fun joint meeting with another Kiwanis Club in Nebraska, also on Zoom.


Kiwanis Rough Risers meet each Wednesday morning at 6:45 by Zoom.  After a brief fellowship, we have a 30-minute program informing us about something interesting going on locally so we can be better-informed citizens of our community.  If you wish to be our guest at a meeting or join our club, please contact Jim Larson at


Written by Tony Reid

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Kelly Stern Shares Cedar Falls Public Library's Stories

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - Besides being the tallest building in Cedar Falls since it has the most stories, libraries, in general, are cool places to go and that is non-fiction!  Kelly Stern, the Director of the Cedar Falls Public Library, told us that she has wanted to be a librarian since she was in the 2nd grade.  
She got the literacy bug.  She has always wanted to share her love of reading with others.

The Cedar Falls Public Library is a busy place. It has had over 399,000 checkouts last year and there are many new services coming this year as well. They are not limited to the resources in the building but share the collections the Waterloo Public Library and other area libraries.  Libraries are the cornerstone of most communities, and we are fortunate to have a forward looking librarian like Kelly running our Cedar Falls Public Library.  Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Staci Mueller Tells Us Tales of Tall Grasses

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - When I see tall grass at my home, I’m reminded that I fought the

lawn and the lawn won!  

Staci Mueller Outreach Coordinator of the Tall Grass Prairie Center at UNI explained that’s what Iowa has been for eons;  a virgin tallgrass prairie eco-system with fertile fields that were perfect for growing crops.  As the prairie was converted to agriculture, the farmers were able to feed the world with their produce.

Now there is a movement to return back a portion of the cropland, farmland, and roadway ditches to 75 native grasses.  The Tall Grass Prairie Center is experimenting with different seeds for research and restoration to develop stronger species to grow in harsher environments and show how it use to look in the Midwest hundreds of years ago.  These prairie plants are responsible for the rich cropland that farmers make their living on.  

Thank you Staci for all that you and your Center do to preserve our lands.

Written by Lynn Barnes

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Patrick and Sammi Helped Us Discover the Possibilities of Mosaic

August 11, 2020 - Some people with special needs have difficulty adapting to the environment of group homes and are prime candidates for alternative solutions.  The specialized community of Mosaic of Northern Iowa is available; to offer a different lifestyle for these individuals.  Patrick Costigan, Executive Director, and Sammi Scholtes, Community Relations Manager; gave insight into the inner workings of their caring organization.  Their clients live in their caregivers' homes, just like an actual family member.  It is easy for them to make friends, make a contribution to society, and have a meaningful day.  Mosaic cares for 120 individuals in Northeast Iowa - some living in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls vicinity.  This successful program has been around since 1913 and is a Lutheran faith-based organization.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Amy Davidson Gives the Lowdown on Hartman Reserve

Amy Davidson of the Hartman Nature Reserve gave an update on the strategies they have used to protect the participants against the pandemic. During the early summer, they limited their bulidings to registered summer camp and program participants.  

On July 1, they opened their building with limited hours and began to provide additional programs. They have Hannah Oksiania who is the visiting artist this year putting on a stellar kiddie program that include bird songs utilizing flutes that she mimics bird’s voices very well! 
 They are planning a fantastic Christmas lighting display this coming December at Hickory Hills Park. For the Kids they offer a Hunger Games Survival Camp and a Moonlight Paddle water fun. 

There is always the popular fishing, snowshoeing, and kayaking that are available at the Hartman Reserve for those looking for some awesome adventure fun in NE Iowa!

They are working to be careful and safe while supporting Cedar Valley's connection with nature.
Written by Lynn Barnes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Nick Newgard Tours his Second State Brewery in Cedar Falls

July 22, 2020 - Maybe it was the beer talking, but Nick Newgard, the owner and master brewer of the 2nd Street Brewing in Cedar Falls really loves his very own craft beer done here locally!  Nick discussed how his brewery worked and all the equipment he uses to produce his famous fermented beverage. 

Nick gave us a quick overview of the fine art of brewing and how it changes the end result; by adjusting the hops, water, yeast, grains, and even temperatures during the process.  It was interesting to see how a local business started up and thriving in tough times. Nick even talked about his future plans to keep his business successful.  Cheers to You!
Written by Lynn Barnes

Monday, June 22, 2020

Rough Risers Thank Peoples Clinic for their Support against COVID-19

Leigh Zeitz (Project Coordinator),
Augusta Sires (Peoples Community Relations Specialist)
and Jim Larson (Rough Risers President)
Monday, June 22, 2020 - Peoples Clinic, a non-profit health care clinic, has been helping people in Waterloo since 1976 but they really showed their commitment and dedication in their recent confrontation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers club recognized the critical care that Peoples Clinic has been providing for the people of Waterloo and they wanted to show them their gratitude.  The club joined together to write Thank You notes for all of the Peoples Clinic team and raise the money to provide 140 HyVee $10 gift cards as well. On Monday, June 22, Jim Larson (Rough Risers President) and Leigh Zeitz (Project Coordinator) met with Augusta Sires (Peoples Community Relations Specialist) to present their gift for the employees.

Since March, the Clinic has administered over 1300 COVID tests and they have given as many as 45 tests in one day. This outpatient clinic has gone through many changes to attend to their patients' needs. The Urgent Care room was converted into a respiratory clinic to better serve patients and protect the rest of the clinic. The lobby has been redesigned to provide adequate social distancing. All patients and staff are required to wear face masks. They are now using Telehealth systems to meet with patients virtually.

Beyond providing health care services during an intense and challenging time, there have been many instances when their staff has assisted patients with personal needs. Due to COVID-19-related supply shortages and financial hardships, they have provided patients with personal care items, toilet paper, and food. They are also holding a clothing and a school supply drive right now in order to continue taking care of their patients in the most comprehensive way possible.

The Peoples Community Health Clinic is dedicated to "providing access to affordable, compassionate, high-quality health care for all."  Our Kiwanis club thanks Peoples Clinic and our support of them aligns with our mission of "Serving the Children of the World."
Written by Leigh Zeitz and Augusta Sires

This story was covered in the Waterloo Courier:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Nate Loenser Makes it to the Big Leagues

Wednesday, June 10 - "Doors will open when you work hard and treat people right."  These are the words of Nate Loenser who shared his life accomplishments with us today.  Nate is an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls but he began coaching basketball for the UNI Northern University High School in 2001. It's been a long road but he "never set a glass ceiling" for his accomplishments. He never took any day for granted.

Nate took us on his athletic journey as he played baseball, basketball, football, and golf in high school. Sounds like a typical high school athlete, but there was nothing typical about Nate because he was able to excel in these sports with a limb difference of having only one functioning arm.

Professionally, Nate followed his passion for basketball as a high school coach in Cedar Falls, Ames, and Spirit Lake. He coached basketball at the University of Southern Mississippi and Iowa State University.  In 2015, he became an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls - the team he had been rooting for all of his life. 

The most important part of Nate's presentation was when he shared his ideas about life and coaching. He has succeeded in life by never setting limits on himself nor the players he coaches. Nate views the foundation of successful coaching as building relationships with his players. He sees himself as a teacher who needs to help his players learn the "why" as much as the "what" of the game. Nate wants to make a difference in his players' lives.

Nate summed up his philosophy with a saying that guides his coaching:
     People will forget what you said.
     People will forget what you did.
     But People will never forget how you made them feel.

Nate made us feel hopeful and we look forward to watching him succeed and making a difference in players' lives.   Thank you, Nate.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rough Risers Inter-Club w/Nebraska Dobytown Kiwanis Club

Virtual Meetings can be GREAT!!!

Now that many Kiwanis meetings are virtual, the sky is the limit for who can attend them. We have been fortunate enough to have Steve and Jane Harding join us from Tennesee on a weekly basis since we turned Zoom. We can even visit other Kiwanis
clubs in other states -  if we have the hankerin'.

Kiwanis Interclub is a program to promote interconnection between clubs.  In the past, it has involved members of one club driving over to another club's meeting to see what they are doing and make new friends. Kiwanis International even awards clubs with special points towards recognition if they engage in these visitations.  The last interclub that I took was when we visited the Greater Waverly Club at 6:45 on a Tuesday morning.

Now that we are virtual, we don't have to drive to the other club's meeting place.  We aren't limited to clubs within our locale. We can even CROSS STATE LINES for an interclub - if we have the hankerin'.

Finding the Club
Well, we had the hankerin'.  I visited the NE-IA Kiwanis District website and reviewed their list of Clubs with Virtual Meetings to find a club to visit.  While I was there, I found the Dobytown Kiwanis Club in Kearney, Nebraska.  I visited their website and found that they were quite similar to our Rough Risers.  They have been around 42 years - we've been here 40. They cook pancakes as a fundraiser - we pop kettle corn. They provide backpacks filled with school supplies for kids - we've done that too. They raise and donate a substantial amount of money to support their youth - we do too. They look like a great group of Kiwanians, well . . . goes without saying.

So, I decided to contact Gordon Roethemeyer, their president, to see about setting up a date. What a treat. Turns out that Gordon is an educator - me too. Dobytown Kiwanis club is filled with educators - so are we. Gordon was excited about setting up this virtual visit so we proceeded with plans to make it a reality.

It's Time
On Tuesday morning, May 19 at 7:30 AM, 40 Kiwanians hit the Zoom waves to experience Dobytown's weekly club meeting. Twenty-six Nebraskeners were present while 14 of us from Cedar Falls made the scene. Gordon began their meeting with the pledge, prayer, and announcements. He welcomed the Rough Risers and we began introducing our clubs to one another.  Gordon provided the background story for their club and our prez, Jim Larson, shared our story.  Gordon and his band of Kiwanians shared information about their fundraisers and community service projects.  Tony Reid shared about our kettle corn sales and Sue Loy explained how one of our main sources of income comes from sponsorship by generous merchants in the Cedar Valley. I shared stories about our community service projects. When asked, Nick Teig shared the story of our newspaper bin days and how we set the world ablaze with that project It was a fascinating 45 minutes.

Interesting Revelations

  • We purchased our kettle corn popper from a place in Nebraska and for a couple of years Nick Teig et al drove to Kearney to purchase bags of special popcorn kernels from a relative to one of the Dobytown members. 
  • While they live in Kearney, Dobytown is a nearby ghost town and they took the name because of the town's interesting history.
  • We "Feed the Pig" on a weekly basis. We have to pay $1 if it is we are celebrating our birthday, anniversary, were mentioned in the media, or want to share something that is happening in our life.  Dobytown "Stuffs the Bear" for basically the same reasons.

Where Do We Go from Here?
This was a wonderful visit. We found kindred spirits in Nebraska and would like to continue this connection. One member suggested that we become sister/brother/non-gender specific sibling clubs.  It was also suggested that we do this once every quarter (next time we invite Dobytown to visit us at 6:45 on a Wednesday). We might even find some projects that we can coordinate between us to support the kids throughout America.  Who knows? 

This was a wonderful experience. It was an opportunity that we would not have had if our clubs hadn't moved to virtual club meetings. We have made some new friends and we should continue this connection -
if we have the hankerin' . . . & WE DO!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Virtual Kiwanis Rough Risers are a BIG Success!!!

Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers online

Our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers club held our first virtual club meeting this morning a 7:00.
This was an opportunity to meet with old friends and share what they have been doing over the past few weeks.

After the Zoom test drive that we took yesterday afternoon, our Kiwanians handled Zoom like experienced Zoomers.  President Jim Larson led the meeting - complete with Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer.  Leigh Zeitz managed the Zoom room at the beginning of the meeting.  He took the crew on a tour of Zoom's capabilities and they even dropped into breakout rooms for a few minutes to experience that small meeting capacity.

Steve and Jane
It was heartening to see that we had 22 members attend. We were pleasantly surprised to be visited by Steve and Jane Harding. 
Click here to watch the recording of our 7:00 Wednesday meeting.

The discussion ranged from Dean sharing video of 3" of snow in the Quad Cities to how people were dealing with 3 weeks of quarantine. Sounds like many of the undone odd jobs around the house have been completed.  People are spending more time with family both in-person and in periodic online sessions.

All-in-all, it was a positive experience and we decided that we would meet EVERY WEDNESDAY @ 7:00 AM. The cool part is that we will be able to continue with programs.  We just need to invite presenters who are comfortable with working in this virtual environment. The best part is that we won't be limited to the Cedar Valley.  We can invite speakers from anywhere in the world.

Have your Best Week Ever.  Remember that Social Distancing does necessarily mean Isolation.  Keep in touch with those who are important to you.

Originally, this article said that we will meet on Tuesdays. This is wrong.  WE MEET ON WEDNESDAYS

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Pioneers in Virtual Kiwanis Rough Risers Meetings.

I just wanted to celebrate the brave souls who joined us for our trial Zoom meeting this afternoon. This is where we had a chance to see our friends again, but also an opportunity to try out the Zoom system so that things will run smoothly tomorrow at our 7:00 AM meeting.

You will notice that some of our members were broadcasting from unique locations.  Dan is in San Francisco.  Leigh is in the middle of a Van Gogh masterpiece.  Dean is in some swirly green place - don't know where.

Well, we will know where we will all be tomorrow morning - in Zoom.   

See you there!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Our February Programs involve Feeding, Voting, and Schooling

Wednesday, February 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  

Wednesday, February 12 - The Cedar Falls Food Coop is Almost Here.  Tom Wickersham, Director of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa
Tom Wickersham will talk about how the Cedar Falls Food Coop is nearing reality, considering locations, and choosing a new name.  Tom is President of the Coop Board; he is also Program Director of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.

Wednesday, February 19 - 100th Anniversary for Women's Right to Vote. Sasha Wohlpart, Cedar Falls School Board. 
The Cedar Valley has Big Plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Sasha Wohlpart will talk about those plans and how we are looking forward to continuing the push for equal rights for women.  Sasha is also a member of the Cedar Falls School Board.  

Wednesday, February 26 - What Do You Know about School Boards? Joyce Coil, Past President of Cedar Falls School Board. 
Joyce Coil has just stepped down after serving 25 years on the Cedar Falls School Board, four of those years as President of the Board.  She has an incredible record of serving her community.  Joyce will reflect on things she would like the public to know about school boards.  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Our Nebraska-Iowa Kiwanis District celebrated its Century Birthday on January 6 this year. We have plenty of reasons to celebrate. We have benefitted countless youth and community members.  

We have 175 individual clubs, divided into 6 Regions, made up of 24 divisions that encompass much of both states. There are approximately 5,400 Kiwanis members working toward the goal of "Serving the Children of the World."

We need to take time to heartily celebrate our past service and accomplishments, but there is still plenty to do in our communities.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Len Froyen Shares Gratitude

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - One of the most interesting people in the locality, Len Froyen, authored a book entitled “Gratitude: Affirming One Another through Stories” which gave insight on the topic. Len said that everyone wants to write a good story and everyone is a story. Our relationships with others and being accepted by them as well, makes a great quality of life. We come in contact with many good people and we need to take time to pause and contemplate about what their voices say and the wisdom it brings. We should take some quiet time and dwell on the ultimate virtue of gratitude. We can never take too much for granted on the higher plateau of gratitude. Written by Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sustainable Development Goals Support Our Planet's Survival

November 20, 2019 - As the planet’s population grows and uses available resources, we have to use what we have wisely and to the best use. Dr. Leigh Zeitz, professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Northern Iowa, presented us with a discussion of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. These goals aim to find global solutions to create a world that has no pollution, no world hunger, no abject poverty, good health, quality education for all, gender equality, and 11 more problems in today's world to reach a total of 17 goals. One hundred and ninety-one countries of the 193 countries on the planet signed this proposal to address these goals and strive to reach the outcome by 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals provide a good framework for working hard to make the world a sustainable place. This could provide a forward-looking structure for organizing and selecting the service projects that our club chooses to do. We should organize our program using this framework and give our work to improve the world more direction.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Productive Business Meeting Today!


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 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 ( 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