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

Tuesday, April 30, 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 24, 2019

President Nook Shares What's Happening at UNI - Today and Tomorrow

Wednesday, April 24Dr. Mark Nook, President of the University of Northern Iowa, embraces the opportunity to lead UNI as they work to "engage students in high-quality and high-impact learning experiences." He works with others to create a positive learning experience today while envisioning the possibilities for UNI through the lens of tomorrow.

President Nook sees attending the University of Northern Iowa as a unique experience where students have the facilities, resources, and opportunities of a large university while receiving support and personal attention. It is the mission of the university to provide a "diverse and inclusive community that provides an engaged education empowering students to lead locally and globally."

Offering such an opportunity for students is a costly venture in today's world of increasing costs and decreasing state funding. Dr. Nook and his team work to develop strategies and planning opportunities to hold down college tuition. This past year, UNI has had the lowest tuition increase of any of the Regent's institutions.

Our UNI alums have a positive impact on Cedar Valley, Iowa, and the nation as a whole. It is only through good leadership and strategic planning that this is a reality.

Written by Leigh Zeitz and Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Thomas Eachus Shares How the Blackhawk-Grundy Mental Health Center Strives to Support People in the Cedar Valley

Wednesday, April 17 - Thomas Eachus, Executive Director of the Blackhawk-Grundy Mental Health Center Inc. shared the history and mission of their Center. He explained how they began in 1949 and have been helping people in the Cedar Valley for the past 70 years. 

The Blackhawk-Grundy Center has a staff of 75 who annually serve over 6000 patients with a myriad of challenges.  Beyond assisting patients in their offices, they provide a variety of services that address each individual's special needs. They help the homeless on the street and prisoners in jail.  They support the needs of children with emotional problems through specialized programs.  They provide therapeutical opportunities to meet the needs of returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD.  

One in every five people struggles with mental illness.  Thanks to Tomas Eachus and the Blackhawk-Grundy Mental Health Center, Cedar Valley has the opportunity to beat these odds.  Thank you for all that you do.  Written by Leigh Zeitz and Lynn Barnes

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