Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mike Knapp Shares the Grin & Grow Story

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - At the last Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club, we had Mike Knapp, Executive Director of the Grin & Grow Pre-School provide a verbal tour of the benefits his program provides for young people of the Cedar Valley.  

Mike explained that Grin & Grow will be celebrating their 75thanniversary this year. For 3/4 of a century, hey have been serving kids from low income and at-risk families. Mike emphasized that Grin & Grow doesn't only provide daycare for the children, but they also give their families a hand in getting out of the vicious cycle of poverty and giving the kids a great boost forward in life.  They provide a very creative curriculum studies, but also provide social skills at well.  

Very well done, Mike.

This photo of Santa Knapp was captured after the meeting. Notice the Koveted Kiwanis Koffee Kup?

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Pop of the Year

On Friday, December 15, we prepared to complete our final kettlecorn popfest of 2017. Unlike other events, this popping took place over at Gery Deaver's house. After we popped the kettlecorn, we drove the bags of gold over to the school so they could sell them and fund their programs.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stan Engel Shares the Story of his U.S. National Parks Tour

Wednesday, December 15, 2017 - One of our very own Kiwanian members, Stan Engel, shared he story of his Grand Tour of Ten National Parks covering 12 states, over 6800 miles, and over 31 days during last September!  Stan gave an enthusiastic talk on some of the most beautiful and untouched American real estate in the western United States. 

Originally Stan was going to his sister Pam’s wedding in Oregon and thought since he was going way out west anyway; why not do the national park tour and take in all the scenery in this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Stan and his lovely wife did it up right by getting a great cultural education and an up-front view of all the amazing natural wonderland not found anywhere in the world. 

Stan -- you made us Kiwanians green with envy!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wrapping Things Up for Christmas . . .

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - Every year, our Kiwanis Rough Risers club adopts a family for Christmas through the Salvation Army. This means that we raise the money, buy the presents, and wrap the gifts to put under their Christmas trees. This year we adopted two families.

We began by raising the money for the gifts. We "passed the envelope" around the room a few times to collect money from the members. Once we had collected the funds, specific members (and/or their spouses) volunteered to purchase gifts for each of the family members.  These gifts included specific items requested by the family members as well as gift cards to various stores.

Today, it was time to wrap the presents and deliver them to Santa.  This is always a fun day as we get to fold, crease, and tape paper around our gifts.  Below is a set of photos of our Rough Risers wrapping:

Friday, December 1, 2017

December will be Joyful!!!!

The best thing about December is that we get to share things with each other and with kids throughout the Cedar Valley. Our month begins with the wonderful Gift of Giving event. The rest of the month is filled with programs that share ideas and events.

December 2 - Gift of Giving
This is an annual event where we join together with the Cedar Valley JayCees to serve over 60 Cedar Valley youths. We meet at 6:30 AM at the UAW building in Waterloo. The kids arrive about 7:00. Adult members pair up with kids and we board buses to go to Blain's Farm and Fleet. Santa greets them at the door and the kids are given the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for family members. There is a credit limit for each of them. After checking out, we return to Waterloo where they have breakfast and wrap their gifts. Their parents pick them up about 9:00 AM. A great time is had by all.

December 6 - Wrap Presents
This year we adopted 2 families through the Salvation Army. This is an annual event where members donate money towards purchasing gifts for the families. We will have a quick business meeting, but we will have much more fun wrapping the gifts.

December 13 - Stan Engel Cruises the Parks

This past year, our member - Stan Engel took a whole 6 weeks to travel the US with family. He visited relatives and National Parks. Today Stan will share the beautiful 
scenery and his amazing stories with us.

December 20 - The Mission of Grin and Grow Childcare Centers

Mike Knapp, Director of the Grin and Grow Childcare Centers in Waterloo, will share 
the mission of Grin and Grow Childcare Centers. We have been supporting Grin and Grow for over a dozen years.


December 27 - Round Table Meeting

Now it's time to sit and talk. We never know how many members will join our breakfast in the holiday season. Therefore, we just sit "round" our tables and share our lives.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dr. Hayes Discusses Problems with Iowa's Laws

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - Today we were fortunate to have as our guest lecturer, Dr. Allen Hays, Emeritus Professor of Political Science.  He had been the  head of the Graduate Program of Public Policy at the University of Northern Iowa.  

Dr. Hays gave a very interesting and timely talk on taking action towards reducing the mass incarceration of detainees within the State of Iowa.  He discussed the need of reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing and tort reform.  

Beyond their term of incarceration, prisoners experience a lifetime of problems. Once a person gets into the criminal justice system and pays his/her debt to society; there still remains a stigma on the already adjudicated crime that brands the person to a life time sentence.  The end result is a high probability of that person returning to prison again and again.  

Dr. Hays is advocating more funding for mental health treatment programs, drug addiction treatment, training for law enforcement, for families in distress because of incarceration of non-violent offenders, and also seeking alternatives to the War on Drugs.

Thank you making us more aware of this issue, Dr. Hays.

Written by Lynne Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Selecting Future Acts for the Gallagher Bluedorn Center

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - For those not attending our last Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club last meeting, you missed out on a special and rare opportunity!  UNI’s very own Dr. Steve Carignan, Executive Director of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center and his Associate Mr. Shawn Poellet, Assistant Technology Director/Audio & Video, invited our club to be a focus group for potential talented artists in the 2018-2019 season. 

The Gallagher-Bluedorn Peforming Arts Center had created a list of possible future performers and they wanted to get input from our Club representing the entertainment consumer market.  They showed short video clips demonstrating their performances and asked us to list our favorites. What a treat to see the different genres and offerings that included A-Listed Celebrities!  

Thank you Steve and Shawn;  come back soon!

Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stan Welchel Gives his Veteran's Day Presentation

November 8, 2017 - This last Wednesday our own member, former Marine Sargent Stan Welchel , gave a talk on the history, selection and traditions of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.  His presentation which was filled with photos and stories reminded us of the supreme sacrifice that many ordinary soldiers have given as they fought for our freedoms in lonely global battlefields. An astounding story that Stan shared was that a lonely sentry guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours a day. This soldier guards this hallowed ground so we can never forget the men and women who serve to protect this great nation.  

Thank you Stan, for making us remember that our freedom has a high cost and for your honorable service for our country.  

You make us feel proud to be Americans!

Written by Lynne Barnes

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We are Thankful for our November Programs

November will be an exciting month. We will celebrate the past, present, and future through some amazing presenters

November 1 - Business meeting
This is where we answer the questions that need to be answered, make the decisions that need to be made, and plan the things that need to be planned.

November 8 - Veterans Day Commemoration 
Stan Wetchel will share the story of veterans in World War II.  His presentations are always interesting and informative. 

November 15 Ramps and Pathways
Dr. Dykstra-VanMeeteren, Director of the Center for Early Developmental Education, will share the STEM work that they have been doing with young kiddos.  With any luck, she will bring some toys for us to use.

November 22 - Gallagher Bluedorn PAC Focus Group
Want to affect Cedar Valley's future? Join us as Steve Carignan shares a series of video clips of programs they are considering for the upcoming 2018-2019 season.  It should be fun.

November 29 - Making a Difference in the Valley
Dr. Al Hays, a retired UNI professor, will speak about his continuing work on social justice issues in our community. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Took a Trip Around Panic Park Today.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - Our last Wednesday of the month brought us a spooktacular presentation by Mike Hendrickson, Director of the Blackhawk County Conservation Commission.  He told us about their Panic Park haunted house for Halloween 2017. 

They’ve had their haunting license for ghosts since the year of 2000. The Park has been the favorite haunt for many local kids numbering over 4000 annually.  Panic Park is found at the Old Rotarian Reserve. Your adventure begins when you arrive by tractor and wagon after getting through a gauntlet of zombies and ghouls.  Your journey will involve roaming many scary rooms filled with creepy clowns, dolls, mummies, scarecrows, witches and even a fog-filled room.  If you get lost in that room, you will be mist. If you're a hungry “Goblin” and you're looking for a quick bite - they provide a food “Casketeria.”   After you survive Panic Park, they even offer a laser tag obstacle course and an outside maze with lots of dead ends.

The Park is open during the last part of September and end of October for some ghoulish fall nights.  The Conservation Board members, employees, and their kindred spirits work hard doing a world-class job for this haunted house. They fully engage in this project because it is Blackhawk County Conservation Commission's biggest annual fund-raiser 
Price of admission is $15.00 at the creaking door. 
Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mathematics Comes to Life in the Hands of Professor Shaw!

Wednesday, October 19, 2017 - Our Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club had a non-traditional speaker this past Wednesday, Professor Douglas Shaw of the Math Department at UNI.   

The attending Kiwanians never thought we would be given a student’s cursory study on the Non-Imaginary Approach to Complex Numbers by an Instructor who loves math so much.
Professor Shaw gave such an enthusiastic and entertaining approach presentation on addition, multiplication, and division.  
We got the enigmatic math question answered:  why do we divide sin by tan? Just cos.  

The professor talked about the utilitarian and the theoretical aspects of mathematical equations of Phasors, and Geometric Representatives and in equations the letter “J” is not the square root of anything.  

Our Kiwanis Club will no longer think of math standing for Mental Abuse To Humans!

Thank you, Dr. Shaw.

Written by Lynn Barnes.

Friday, October 13, 2017

October is a Scary Month

October is an unusual month for our club.   Only 2 eerie programs to entertain us.

October 4 - Club Meeting Canceled

We didn't have a meeting on October 4.  We canceled it because we had our annual October Banquet on Thursday. 

October 11 - Club Business Meeting
Our board's business meeting was so interesting, we decided to move the meeting to October 11 instead of ignoring it.

October 18 A Non-Imaginary Approach to Complex Numbers. 
Doug Shaw, Math Professor at the University of Northern Iowa, will share more mathemagic with us as we explore the amazing world of numbers.

October 20 - Panic Park is ALIVE, ALIVE!!! 
It's Halloween so let's see hear from some of the Ghouls in Panic Park out at the Rotary Reserve. Bringing the ghosts and goblins will be Mike Henderickson, the Executive Director of Black Hawk County Conservation. He will share the tale of Panic Park as well as some other scary stories. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Coach Peterson Aces her Presentation for the Rough Risers

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - The Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers had the honor of a visit from UNI's Women's Volleyball leader, Coach Bobbi Peterson. Coach Peterson is nationally-ranked in the NCAA Top 25. The Iconic Coach Peterson told us about their grueling 2017 season and talked about her roster of players who really step up to the challenge.  

Coach Bobbi put her team's best feat forward by sharing that her players were not only successful on the court but they are to be "reckoned with" in the classroom as well. They boast an average GPA of 3.4.

Bobbi said that 14 of her 15 players come from the great state of Iowa and she has welded the Panthers into a well-oiled machine. She mentioned a Panther player from Sumner, Iowa, Jadlin Seehase, whose hard hitting heavy arm, has spiked many an opponent team into their own “ARMageddon!” 

Having a Top 25 nationally-ranked court prowess is one thing, but Coach Peterson made it clear that she wants her players to succeed off the court as well. She encourages them to give back to the community through volunteering and engaging in service projects to help kids such as Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs and the like.  Earlier this year, the team went on a NCAA-sanctioned mission trip to Nicaragua to do volunteer work and to learn from a different culture.  They also played against an international team on a concrete court in front of international fans.  This was an opportunity to experience some unique situations.  

This presentation brought new perspectives to the Lady Panthers.  Thank you, Coach Bobbi.  Written by Lynn Barnes

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our Rough Risers Honors Banquet is Thursday, Oct 5 @ 6:00

Don't miss our OUT with the OLD and IN with the NEW 2017 Honors Banquet next week.

We will be thanking our esteemed leader for the 2016-2017 Kiwanis year, Alan Czarnetzki.  Thank you, Alan for your leadership and guidance as our Kiwanis club has had an extremely successful year.

We will also be welcoming our new president, Tim Jones.  Tim has been an active vice-president who has lead our Kettlecorn activities along with many other projects throughout the year.

When: Thursday, October 5 @ 6:00
Where: Clarion Hotel

NO - Kiwanis Meeting on Wed, October 4.

YES - Kiwanis Board Meeting on Tuesday, October 3

See You at the Banquet!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Coach Green Shares the Latest from the UNI Gridiron

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - Coach Kyle Green, the Associate Head Coach of the UNI Men’s Basketball team, joined us to share stories about the UNI Men's Basketball program - past, present and future. He gave us insight on how they prepare for games - physically and mentally. 

Coach Green emphasized that basketball isn't the only game in town.  They stress  academics first and basketball second.  This resulted in a league topper overall player average of 3.0 GPA. 

Another way that they unify the team is to work together to develop leadership and collaboration skills.  Last season they required each team member to read and discuss a sports book, Legacy. This book is about how a New Zealand Rugby Team developed a winning culture and leadership both on and off the game floor.  These are the philosophies that they wanted the team to exhibit.

The mindset involved taking responsibility for their surroundings and to leave it better than they found it.  Taking such responsibility paid dividends better in hustle up the floor, rebounding skills, nutrition, free throws, stronger physically and mental capacity.

Coach Green talked about how he scouts future Panther Ballplayers and what talents he especially looks for to enhance the team. He looks for potential players who they can develop to for future successful seasons.  The NCAA rules only allow each school to offer 13 full time scholarships each year, so he has to very selective to whom he offers them too.  Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

It was an interesting presentation and we are glad that Coach Green joined us. 

BTW, Why are Panther Athletics so cool?  😎😎    
            Because they have so many fans.     

OUCH!! 😏

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Improving Cedar Valley's Students' Financial Skills through the Job Foundation

Jennifer  Corey-Brost
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - The entire world is a business and one of the areas where many students are lacking is the understanding of the complexities of consumerism and personal finances.  We must all be wise stewards of our accumulation of personal wealth and how to handle it properly to prevent foolish aforethought.  Money is usually the culprit of most in-family stress when there is a shortage crisis.  Where do young people get that first-hand information on business and personal finances and get the expertise prior to entering the real world of macro and micro economics?  
Darvel  Givens

One answer to that question came to our last Kiwanis meeting to explain the JOB Foundation. Jennifer Corey- Brost, founder and executive director of the foundation began by providing the history and organization of the program. Darvel Givens, program coordinator, shared some of the specifics about the program and its impact on Cedar Valley children. Each of these leaders has earned a Masters of Business Administration and it has been useful as they work with young people and teach them how they can avoid money pitfalls and achieve lifetime financial success. They also concentrate on how they can become contributing citizens who improve their respective communities. Many of our club members wished a similar student organization was available when they were young; since they had to learn it from the school of hard knocks.  Written by Lynn Barnes

It was an enlightening experience to learn about the JOB Foundation and we wish them the best fortune in working with local children.

Monday, September 11, 2017

When is it YOUR Time to Greet?

shaking hands image

Every Wednesday morning you are greeted with a grinning Kiwanian shaking your hand as you enter our Kiwanian Cove in preparation for another wonderful breakfast with friends.

The question is "When is it My Turn?"

Here is Duty Roster for the rest of 2017.  You will notice that there is no meeting on October 4 but we have identified our hosts for the rest of the meetings.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September Sports Some Real Winners!

September will be another exciting month of programs for the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers.  We will hear from two UNI coaches and one financial coach.  It should be a month-long motivating experience.

September 6 - Club Business Meeting

September 13 - Jennifer Brost, Founder of The Job Foundation, will share how their program is teaching financial responsibility to under-privileged children in the Cedar Valley.

September 20 - Kyle Green, Associate Head Coach for the UNI Men's Basketball team, will give us his outlook for this year's UNI basketball team and discuss future recruits.

September 27 - Bobbi Petersen, Head Coach for the UNI Volleyball team, will share her unique perspective on leading the winning volleyball team for 18 seasons.  Having spurred her players to win seven Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles, eight MVC tournament crowns and make two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, she should have an interesting story to tell. 

Here's How Kiwanians Can and Do Help Hurricane Relief

Kiwanians Help!

Here is information about how you can donate to the Hurricane Relief cause:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Our Sponsors Make Us Stronger

Our Kiwanis Rough Risers are making a difference in the Cedar Valley.  We sell kettle corn to support our donations, but we also have the support of our 23 incredible sponsors this year.

This past year, we were proud to have received almost $14,000 in cash and in-kind donations.

Show your support of our sponsors by frequenting their businesses. Thank them for their sponsorship to enable our donations to benefit the community.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Steven Dust Tells Us What's Happening in Cedar Valley

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - Steve Dust, the CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber was our speaker at our last Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club meeting held at the Clarion Inn here in Cedar Falls. Steve gave an excellent presentation on how he and the other business/education/ technology/industry leaders promote the Cedar Valley to welcome more economic growth and development to settle their business here.  

An interesting aspect of Steve's presentation was his ability to share how their approach has evolved over the years. For generations, the emphasis has been on
 Tractors – Teachers – Technology 
to lure new facilities to locate in this rich marketplace.  However a new paradigm has emerged for new wave thinking that is now 
Talent – Technology – Transformation 
to fulfill business needs in the future to promote job growth and economic development.  

Our Cedar Valley area is rich with amenities, talent, and schools of higher learning to prepare students to fill jobs today for new industry.  Repurposed and transformed buildings will still hold onto our past; but they can be refurbished for more modern utility for our modern needs.  Our fiber optic broadband network is an excellent selling point for digitized companies to settle here.  

We will invite Steve to come back again in the near future and give us another talk on more advanced areas of his experience.  Written by Lynn Barnes