Saturday, December 31, 2016

January is Filled with Leaders, Scouts and Vets

Wednesday, January 4 - Business Meeting 
Where active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers.   

Wednesday, January 11 - This is Iowa's Teacher Leader Program
Luke Wagner, one of the teacher leaders for the Cedar Falls Schools, will explain how Iowa’s Teacher Leader program works.  Then he will demonstrate how he helps teachers learn to use technology in elementary classrooms to support their instructional goals.  

Wednesday, January 18 - Scouting for the Atlanta Braves
Dave Welter retired this year after a long career as the terrific principal of Holmes Junior High school in Cedar Falls.  But his program will focus on his other career as a scout for the Atlanta Braves.

Wednesday, January 25 - Honoring our Vietnam Vets
Chris Shackleford and Tom Brickman of Waterloo’s Grout Museum will discuss their Vietnam War Memorial.  They have developed an exhibit focusing on the 866 Iowans who died in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and give us a sense of what who they were and what their war was like.  

Friday, December 30, 2016

Gary Chamberlin from Cedar Valley Lions Club

December 14, 2016 - We were pleased to have Gary Chamberlin from the Cedar Valley Evening Lions Club provide our program today.  He mentioned that they had 90 members. 

Mr. Chamberlain shared the many projects and accomplishments his club had achieved over the years. 

The most interesting project was their Iowa Kidsight project which is dedicated to the early detection and treatment of vision impairments in Iowa's young children (target population 6 through 48 months of age) through screening and public education.

Thank you for joining us, Mr. Chamberlin.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jerry Slykhuis and his wife, Jane leave us

December 21, 2016 - On Tuesday night, we lost our beloved club member Jerry Slykhuis (73) and his wife, Jane (70).  They were killed when the SUV they were driving was hit outside of Liberal, Kansas by a truck that didn't stop at the designated stop sign.

Jerry was one of our original Rough Risers who began our club in 1981. He has always been an active member who has been one of the first to swing a hammer, bag some popcorn, cook some breakfast or support another member who needed some assistance.  Recently, Jerry had joined forces with Dean Dreyer to lead our group's drive for finding sponsorship from local businesses to provide financial support for community organizations. Jerry was awarded the George F. Hixson Fellowship award this year in recognition of the selfless leadership and contributions he has provided our club.

Jerry was known as one of the "Winningest coaches around." After 32 years of coaching varsity basketball at Cedar Falls High School, he developed a 531-305 winning record which placed him among the top 20 winningest boy's coaches in state history. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named the Midwest coach of the year in 2009.

Jane worked at the University of Northern Iowa for 20 years, first as an RN in the Student Health Center and then as the Coordinator of Student Disability Services. She worked diligently to develop and to expand services for students with disabilities. She was known for her knowledge and expertise as well as her concern and passion for improving the services that were available to them.  She retired in 2007.

Services are set for 10:30 AM on Thursday, December 29 at the Nazareth Lutheran Church.  A reception will follow the services at the church.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday evening from 4:00 - 7:00 PM at the Nazareth Lutheran Church.

Memorials (financial donations) are preferred in lieu of flowers:

1-  CF Community Schools Foundation / in Jerry Slykhuis' name
2- UNI Foundation / in Jane Slykhuis' name

Jerry and Jane will be missed but the world is a better place because of their lives here.

What do you remember about Jerry and Jane?  What should others know?  Leave your ideas below in the comments section.

Here is a link to dozens of Tweets that have been posted about Coach Slykhuis and Jane Slykhuis.  (You don't need to know how to use Twitter to read these, just click below.)

Slykhuis Tweets

Jerry Slykhuis Facebook Page
Lots of tribute photos and postings

Friday, December 23, 2016

Members Journey Up to Wartburg for Inter-Club Visit

December 5, 2016 - One of the fun parts about having 6 clubs in the Cedar Valley is that we get to visit each other's meetings.  Monday morning, nine of our more adventurous members took a jaunt up to Waverly to join their club members for a 7:00 breakfast.  Interestingly enough, we were there long before the Waverly Club members but maybe that was because we are used to eating much earlier.

One of our motivations for this visit was to listen to Governor Jim Dane.  Governor Dane's main message was that we need expand our club membership. He shared that 40% of Nebraska-Iowa Kiwanis clubs have 25 or fewer members. He provided some suggestions as to how to build our membership.

Perhaps the best part of this visit was the opportunity to talk with fellow Kiwanians.  This is a busy club as they sell Christmas Trees, Ring Bells for The Salvation Army, and help the Waverly community.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rough Risers Adopt a Family for Christmas

December 7, 2016 - Every year, our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers club adopts a family for Christmas.  This year we had the opportunity to share goodness with a family of four.

Our process has become well-refined:

  • We pass an envelope around the tables to collect contributions from members. 
  • These funds are tabulated and then split throughout the family. A certain amount of the total collected is used to provide a gift card at one of the Big Box stores in Cedar Falls.  
  • Members volunteer themselves (or spouses) to shop for one of the family members. 
  • All of the presents are brought to the first meeting in December and we attempt to wrap the gifts in jovial and Santa-like manner.  
  • The gifts are delivered in one of our sleighs to the Salvation Army who then drop them down our adopted family's chimney.

Below are some photos of the jovial Rough Risers as we wrap up our presents and good intentions:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Jim Larson and Rough Risers Recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters

December 9, 2016 - It was 7:00 on a Friday morning.   Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa held their Start Something BIG Breakfast at the Cedar Falls Hilton Garden Inn to celebrate the organization's Bigs (Adult Big Sisters and Big Brothers), Littles (Little Brothers and Little Sisters), and those who have supported the organization over the past year.  The room was filled with sharing, caring, and love.  Bigs shared their experiences.  Littles shared their stories.  People were thanked for their participation and support.  Over 300 people attended the breakfast.

Fourteen Rough Risers attended the breakfast (thanks for encouraging us to come, Emily!)  The food was great and our day was about to include some BIG surprises . . .

Xavier and Jim Larson
Our first surprise was when Jim Larson was recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters as the Black Hawk County 2016 School-Based Big of the Year.   This is an award that was a total surprise to Jim but a well-warranted recognition.
Congratulations, Jim!!!!

Prez Alan Czarnetski w/Award
This surprise was followed by an even more startling revelation as our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers club was recognized as the Black Hawk County 2016 Service Organization of the Year. 

It was a wonderful way to start the day.  We are thankful to be able to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa and all of the work that they do to make a difference in people's lives across Iowa.

Here is the hungry gang that joined together for another breakfast.
Table 1

Table 2

Katie Orlando - Club Member & Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gift of Giving 2016 was a HUGE Success!!

December 3, 2016 - Every year, the Cedar Valley JayCees organize the Gift of Giving.  This is an event where children and volunteers join together to make the holidays happy.  Children are provided the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts for family that they may not have been able to purchase otherwise. 

The children are selected as the JayCees work with school counselors, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club to identify up to 100 children to participate in this event. Since 2012, our Cedar Falls Rough Risers club has been a partner in this event. We provide a cash donation and provide breakfast for the participants. 

The event began at 6:30 on December 3.  Ninety-six children and over 100 volunteers gathered at the Waterloo UAW hall.  Each child was paired-up with an adult for his/her  upcoming adventure.  The culinary volunteers went to the kitchen to begin preparing breakfast.

Once the teams were created, they climbed aboard school buses to venture over to Blaine's Farm and Fleet in Cedar Falls.  At the store, the shopping teams were given $40 credit to shop for presents for their family. This is a process where the children (and the volunteers) learn a great deal about "stretching a buck."  (I (Leigh Zeitz) helped my student purchase gifts for 7 family members and we had 2 cents left over =-)

After the shopping was completed, the shoppers climbed back on the bus to return to the UAW to wrap presents and eat breakfast. The breakfast was cooked and served by our own Kiwanis Rough Risers.  Lots of food and Lots of fun!!!

This event is a highlight of the year.  It is an opportunity for us to enjoy the company of excited kids and for us to really get the feeling of the holidays.

Visit the JayCees' site for more information about The Gift of Giving

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rough Risers Focus on the Gallagher Bluedorn PAC

Nov. 30, 2016 - Once a year, Our Rough Risers Club has the opportunity to be a Focus Group for the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.  We were honored to have Executive Director Steven Carignon and Director of Development Susan Munnik visit us and share some video snippets of some acts that they are considering.

The process is that each of the members is given a sheet of paper listing the shows that will be shared.  They show a clip of a performer or performance and ask us to raise our hands when we feel that we have seen/heard enough to make a decision. Each act is discussed and then we are asked to rank the shows as to whether or not we think we would attend.

While we are not at liberty to share the names of the acts, I can assure you that it was a healthy collection of musicals, concerts, and novelty shows.  It should be a great year.

They were given another Koveted Kiwanis Koffee mug for their wonderful service.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Red Cross Rod Shares his Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is a special time for all of us.  The Rough Risers' on Thanksgiving week usually enjoy the message of someone who shares something for which they are thankful.

This year, Rod Hamer, shared his adventures in working with the Red Cross.  As a logistics specialist, Rod oversees the mobilization of resources to support the victims of disasters across the country.

Rod shared a video presentation showing scenes from the Louisana Flood and even the flooding threat in Cedar Falls.  He also shared some "behind the scenes" visuals of where they slept and how the volunteers live when they are on-site.

We are thankful for you, Rod.  Thank you for what you do.

You are making a difference in the world!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Barney's on the Radio - 93.5 The Mix

He's at it again. Barney's on the radio sharing our preparations for the Gift of Giving event in December.  While being interviewed on 93.5 The Mix, he did a wonderful explaining the Gift of Giving and listing the various participants and sponsors.

As the radio host continued the interview, Barney described some of the many projects and events that we do throughout the year.

My favorite part was when questioned about "What is the ingredient that makes your kettle corn taste so good."  Barney replied with "Love."

This was a job well done, Barney.  Thanks for your ongoing support.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November is Filled with Exciting Programs

Wednesday, November 2 - Business MeetingWhere active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers.   

Wednesday, November 9 - This is ROTC
Lieutenant Colonel Glen Keith will share what the UNI ROTC program involves and how cadets can benefit from engaging in this program.

Wednesday, November 16 - The New Schindler Education Center
Rick Knivsland, UNI Instructor and SEC renovation coordinator, will shares the many improvements that we will experience when we reenter the building in January.

Wednesday, November 23 - Red Cross Thankfulness
Rod Hamer will share his thankfulness for working with Red Cross to assist those in need across the country.  He will include slides of the Louisana Floods.

Wednesday, November 30 - Gallagher Bluedorn PAC Focus Group
Steven Carignan, Executive Director of the GBPAC, will provide the opportunity for our club to provide feedback about the shows GBPAC will be selecting for the upcoming season.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another Productive Year of Service

Every year our club serves the Cedar Valley in many ways. Our service is heart-warming in both the varied ways we help the community and the amount of service hours we give.

This year we provided 951 hours of service. Our C.F. Rough Risers put together another wonderful and productive year.  Two noteworthy construction activities were the completion of the final shelter at the C.F. Youth Soccer Complex and painting both restrooms at Big Woods Lake.  An Ongoing activity is the demolition project at Hartman Reserve.

In addition to our eight standard fundraising (popcorn) events, RAGBRAI 43 passed through Cedar Falls and we helped them by guiding cyclists to the proper areas.  

Here is the list of events and hours worked per event.

Event                                 Hours Worked
Gift of Giving                             41
Christmas Family                        6
Lincoln Elementary                    32
Food Bank                                 24
Hansen, Orchard Hill Elm.         28
Cedar Heights Elementary        30
Soccer Complex Shelter          191
Ragbrai                                      33
Circle K                                      24
4th Street Cruise                        38
College Hill Arts Festival            40
Sturgis Falls                             228
Cattle Congress Fair                236
July 4th                                       41
                               Total          951

It's been a wonderful year and we look forward to another exciting year filled with service and opportunity in 2016-2017

Leigh Zeitz

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cattle Congress Popping was a Success!!

Look at this crew of able-bodies Kiwanians. Ready to Pop and Ready to Sell.

This last weekend was our last Kettlecorn Popping for the season. It was at the 106th Cattle Congress Fair in Waterloo this past weekend, Sept 15th - 18th. 

Typically, we have experienced "medium" results at this fair, but due to a "mix great weather, a big crowd, super workers and a tremendous product……" we did well. We raised $1,382 to share with our community.

A good time was had by all 30 Kiwanians who shared in the popping session.  It was good to see some of our Satellite Members join us at the event.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Coach Kyle Green Shares about UNI Basketball's Upcoming Season

We were fortunate to have Assistant Coach Kyle Green come to breakfast this morning to share what's been happening in UNI basketball and what we can expect this coming year.  

He began with sharing where some of our past players are today.  Many of them are playing in Europe and having a great time.  He pointed out that one of the reasons that the UNI team is so strong is because even past players feel that they are "part of the family."  They will often come back to UNI and play with the existing players - thus getting them into the feel of the UNI basketball brotherhood.

Coach Green reviewed the players we will see this season.  He said that there will be 8 new faces so much of the potential of the team is still unknown.

The schedule will be a challenging one with the players even going to a tournament in Puerto Rico.  He anticipates that we will do well in the league.

Off the court, Coach Green talked about how the team members get involved in the community by working with the Boys and Girls Club as well as visiting schools and working with students.

Overall, it looks like UNI will have a great basketball season this coming year.  Thanks Coach!!


Monday, August 1, 2016

August will be a Month of Adventure

Wednesday, August 3 - Business Meeting 
Where active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers. 

Wednesday, August 10 – My Exciting Travels to Africa
Emily Borcheding, our club member, will share her adventures in Africa on a recent trip.

Wednesday, August 17 - Sharing Collections
Nathan ArndtCurator for the UNI Museum, will speak about how he works with the public to provide research based programs and education to community members of all ages.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Growing Opportunities are Blooming in Cedar Valley!

Things are blooming in Cedar Valley and the ISU Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County Service is making it happen.   

Today, Justin Roy Edwards joined us to share the agricultural activities in Cedar Valley.  They are creating gardening plots around Waterloo and Cedar Falls for people's enjoyment and for producing food for those who need it.  

As Urban Agricultural Specialist, Justin is busily writing grants and creating gardens so that volunteers can  produce thousands of pounds of produce for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.

He shared the Master Gardener Online program where interested horticulturalists can learn to Master the Trowel between September 27 - November 15.

Gertrude Jekyll once said, "The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies."  We can bet that the love of gardening will never die in the Cedar Valley as long as Justin and his team sow their message.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Eldora Kiwanis Golf Tournament on July 22

Do you like to swing a club?  
Would you like to support a club?

On July 22, the Eldora Kiwanis Club will hold a "2-Person Best Shot" tournament at the Pine Lake Country Club.  The proceeds will go to student scholarships and children's needs.

12:30 - 1:30 registration
1:30 shotgun start  (Carts available to rent)
4:30 meal and awards

Cost:    $30 per person
Prizes: $10,000, Kayak, and many more

Contact: Steve Christensen for more information.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July Will Be Liberating for ALL of Us!!

Wednesday, July 6 - Business Meeting 
Where active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers.    

July 13 – Happenings in Cedar Falls from a New Mayor's Perspective
CF Mayor Jim Brown will share his fresh point of view about what is happening in Cedar Falls and what plans he has for the future.

Wednesday, June 20 - Urban Ag Programs in Black Hawk County
Justin Edward, ISU Extension Urban Agriculture Specialist will speak about speak about how he works with the public to provide research based programs and education to community members of all ages.  

Wednesday, June 27 – Meet the New Director of Athletics at UNI.David Harris, UNI Director of Athletics, will share his ideas and plans for the future of athletics at UNI.  

Summer Popping has been a Blast!

Throughout June and early July, the Roughrisers have been popping a lot of Kettlecorn! While the numbers may vary, the Roughrisers have approximately 30 active poppers for each event.  This includes about 2-dozen Kiwanians and 5 Kohls employees.

We were stalking success! At the College Hill Arts Festival, $2,863 was raised in the 2-day event.  $5,929 total was raised from the 3-day event at Sturgis Falls.  Also, at the 4th of July Fireworks at Cattle Congress, we raised $1,000. Throughout our three recent fundraising events the Roughrisers have raised a total of $9,792!

Not to be corny, but this money raised will all be given back to the community. We support many organizations. To read more about this, see our previous post.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Rough Risers Donate $21,332 to Better the World.

The purpose of the Cedar Falls Rough Risers Kiwanis club is service to our community, local and worldwide, especially to provide service to children. As part of our service, we pop kettle corn and join with sponsors to raise and donate money to various community organizations. 

In 2015, we supported 36 organizations and schools in the Cedar Valley and the world:

Direct Benefit to Children ($10,890 + $2,700):
  • Aspire,
  • Back to School,
  • Big Brothers/Sisters,
  • Boy Scouts,
  • Boys/Girls Club,
  • Cedar Valley Preschool,
  • Girl Scouts,
  • Grin and Grow Day Care,
  • Quaker Dale,
  • Cedar Falls H.S. Scholarship,
  • Hawkeye C.C. Scholarship,
  • Special Olympics,
  • UNI Wheelchair Sports,
  • Waterloo Gift of Giving,
  • Hawkeye C.C. Literacy Program,
  • Harbaugh-Williams Education Promise Fund,
  • Kiwanis International Children’s Fund.
  • Six elementary and 2 junior high schools in the Cedar Falls School District. We pop kettle corn and donate it to the schools to sell at their carnivals. ($2,700)

Programs Benefitting Both Children and Adults  ($7,742):
  • Kiwanis International Eliminate Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus,
  • Family Children’s Council,
  • Habitat for Humanity,
  • Hartman Reserve Building project,
  • Hartman Reserve,
  • Kiwanis International Foundation,
  • Kiwanis International Skip-a-Meal,
  • NE IA Food Bank,
  • NE IA Kiwanis Foundation,
  • Recreation Center Sports,
  • Salvation Army.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June will be Filled with Great Programs.

Wednesday, June 1 - Business Meeting 
Where active club members discuss their accomplishments and plans for running and developing the Rough Risers.    

June 8 – The Gift of Life
Stan Weichel will share his ideas about how to prepare for death.  He will address the many considerations that we don't typically think about as we approach the end of life.

Wednesday, June 15 - Reading with Jean
Susan Card will speak about a program that she developed where volunteers are matched with elderly individuals who are unable to read but enjoy the fellowship of a reading friend.  The program is named "Reading for Jean" and is in honor of Susan Card's mother. 

Wednesday, June 22 – What's Up at Hawkeye Community College
President Linda Allen and a Hawkeye board member will be sharing the latest developments and programs at Hawkeye.  

Wednesday, June 29 – New Haps at the Cedar Falls Library
Sheryl McGovern, Cedar Falls Public Library Director, will share the upcoming events at the library and lead a book talk about one of her favorite books.