Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Luann Alemao Shares the Blue Zone Effort in Cedar Valley

Wednesday, March 28 - We weren't singing the Blues during Luann Alemao's talk.  She is an author/coach and an ardent disciple of Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones Project and concepts.  

Everyone wants to live a long healthy life and share good times with family and friends. Luann had some answers for extending life by recognizing a purpose in life and cutting back on bad personal habits. 

The Blue Zone lifestyle pursuit of happiness includes what works the best globally with the Power 9 Principles like more exercise, a good attitude, eating correctly, and connecting with a group of friends and family or joining a community service organization like a local Kiwanis Club.  Our current high-pressure workplace is taking a stress toll on workers and if everyone would just take a mid-day breather to downshift—this will go a long way of increasing our longevity!  

Luann said the key to a longer life involves one glass of wine everyday with good friends, a power nap which makes for a more fun world along with some daily background music playing softly, will go a long way to alleviate emotional stress. Everyone will be better for it!

April Showers Bring GREAT Programs!

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

Wednesday, April 11 What's Coming this Summer for Kids at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center
Brock Goos, Recreation Supervisor, will update our club on the summer recreation programs for kids at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center. 


April 18 - Getting to Know STEM
Marcy Seavey, UNI STEM Coordinator, will talk about initiatives to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for K-12 students. 

Wednesday, April 25 - Present and Future Happenings at UNI
Dr. Mark Nook, UNI President, began serving as president at UNI on February 1, 2017. It has been an eventful year and President Nook has been a visionary leader.  He will share his experiences throughout the past year and his vision for the future.

Afton and Joe Swanson Share How Life Can Be a Drag

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - We were told that a couple of go-getters would be giving a presentation about life in the fast lane today, but the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Rough Risers Club never dreamed that we would hear from experts in that field . . . and a National Grand Class Champion to boot! 

Afton and Joe Swanson of Swanson Racing are drag racers. Actually, Afton is the driver and Joe is her support crew. They are a high-powered couple who are kindred spirits united in marriage and winning at what they love to do best - Drag Racing! Joe is an accomplished motorcycle racer and Afton loves to drive fast down a quarter mile drag strip from 0 to 235 miles per hour in 6 seconds or less in a 540 cubic inch Big Block Fully Blown Chevrolet monster engine. 

Afton (a drag racer since she was 9 years old) said it is fun controlling not only drive the 2000-horse engine down the track but enjoying their serious hobby together as a coupled team called Swanson Performance. Joe knows the inner workings of dragsters in the pit and Afton knows how to drive their winning dragster to the finish line in the shortest time possible. 

You go, girl!
Written by Lynn Barnes and Leigh Zeitz

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stan Welchel Passes On

With much sadness, we must report that Stan Whelchel passed away on Wednesday, March 7 at the University of Iowa Hospital. 

His funeral will be on Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 at the St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 1 Thelma St. in Hudson, Iowa. Visitation is one hour before the service at the church.

Stan was a high school biology teacher in the Waterloo schools. He was recognized with many awards for his teaching but he received his greatest rewards when his past students say things like “He inspired me to appreciate science as my teacher . . . He was one of my most influential teachers because of the service ethic he instilled in me.”

As a Kiwanian, Stan was always there to work with people. He was proud of being a Marine and every Veteran’s Day he would read a military poem or make a presentation about the military. One time he shared his research and stories about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Another time he told us of the Story behind the National Anthem.

Rough Riser members remember Stan.  They described Stan as “A good friend and loyal Kiwanian”; “A sweet soul”; “Always there with a ready ‘hello' and welcome to everyone”; “A gentle Marine and lover of America”; “A faithful and loyal Kiwanian”; “My favorite Marine and a patriot; always interesting to talk to.”; and  “An honorable man”.

Stan Welchel was a good man and he will be missed by all.

Memorials may be directed to the Hudson Education Fund (The Stan and Tedi Whelchel Scholarship Funds).  Condolences may be left at

Belonging to Kiwanis Rough Risers is Good for your Health!!

I was just watching a TED Talk entitled "The Secret to Living Longer May Be Your Social Life" by Dr. Susan Pinkerton. During her 16-minute presentation, Dr. Pinkerton shared the top 10 predictors for living a longer life. Some were expected but their placement was surprising. Some of the factors were enlightening.

As you might expect, lowering one's blood pressure or "being thin and in good shape" were on the list but they were in the bottom 4. Cutting out smoking and boozing took positions 3 & 4. The most interesting rankings were #1 and #2 which included Social Integration and Close Relationships.

Dr. Pinkerton describes Close Relationships as your best friends. These are your friends who will take care of you in a pinch. She described Social Integration as how much you interact with people as you move through your day. This may include talking with the barista who makes your coffee. It may include talking with your neighbor or the lady who walks her dog by your house every day. Most importantly, it includes belonging to social or service club. These interactions are the strongest predictors of how long you are going to live.

So it appears that being involved with Kiwanis where we connect with friends, colleagues and total strangers can have a greater impact on our lives than just feeling good. It can lengthen our lives so that we can have more time to serve the community and connect with others.

It can now be said that belonging to:
Written by Leigh Zeitz

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Corey Hinke Reports on Real Estate Revitalization in the Cedar Valley

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - There is a lot going on in the Cedar Valley when it comes to Real Estate Revitalization. Cory Hinke, a representative of the real estate revitalization specialists organization, Echo Development Group, shared their extensive portfolio of on-going property enhancements in residential, commercial, industrial, apartments, housing, and retail developments in the Cedar Valley.  

Developer Corey Hinke provided a detailed overview of the ongoing projects the firm was involved with in past and present and future engagements to make the Cedar Valley a more desirable place to raise a family and more opportunities for jobs. They have many entities within their conglomeration and Corey gave an insight of one aspect of the reason why they are such a big success in what they do.  No one in the company has a title; so whatever needs to get done, they just do it.  Sounds like a concept that the Kiwanians have known for decades!

It was good to see you, Corey and we wish you the best of luck.

Written by Lynn Barnes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When Will YOU Greet for Kiwanis Rough Risers?

Yes.   It is always wonderful to see your friends greeting you at the door when you arrive for our Kiwanis meeting at 6:25 on Wednesday.  

Ever wonder how these wonderful people get selected for this honor?  Well, believe it or not, there is a secret list where each of our members have been aligned with a magical date. This roster will direct who receives this wonderful opportunity and when.

You can always read Jim Larson's wonderful notes that he distributes each week.  He will inform you of all the wonderful news that was shared and events occurred at each meeting. Most importantly of all, he will end his message with a reminder of who will be greeting next. 

But what if you have other commitments and want to ensure that you don't miss your opportunity to GREET?  You need a schedule for your planning.    HERE IT IS!!!

     7      Tom Reisetter
   14      Greg Stefanich
   21      Nick Teig
   28      Gene Traetow

   11       Leigh Zeitz
   18       Lynn Barnes
   25       Dennis Bergeson

     2      Emily Borcherding
     9       Dan Conklin
   16       Reece Conrad
   23       Alan Czarnezki
   30       Gery Deaver

     6       Dean Dreyer
   13       Terry Duncan
   20       Stan Engel
   27       Bob Erickson

More to come in June, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

New Ideas will be Shared in our Programs this March

March 7th - Business Meeting

March 14th - Cory Hinke from Dahlstrom Enterprises will share some of the interesting projects that Dahlstrom will be doing over the next few years.

March 21st - Joe & Afton Swanson of Swanson Performance will share their stories about drag racing.  They have experienced drag racing from both the driver's seat and from a mechanic's perspective so it should be an interesting program.

March 28th - LuAnn Alemao will speak on healthful eating. LuAnn is an engaging speaker who speaks about food, nutrition, etiquette, conduct, skills, and abilities. She has hosted a public-access TV cooking program, "Get Fit," filmed in her own kitchen since 2002. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dr. Lyftogt Took Us on a Civil War Journey

The residents of Cedar Falls are not cognizant of the rich Civil War history we have here and the important role Iowa's citizens played in the Union’s victory.

Former UNI History Professor and local author, Ken Lyftogt, presented his love of local lore of the 2 extremely active Federal Military Regiments of B Company 31st Iowa and K Company 3rd Iowa. Throughout all of the major Civil War battle campaigns, Iowa soldiers took an active combat role and were instrumental in defeating the enemy. The war’s bloodstained battlefields are peppered with headstones from the fallen Iowan hero soldiers who gave their last full devotion. They came from Cedar Falls and surrounding communities. One-fourth of the Union casualties at the Shiloh Battlefield were Iowans. 

Dr. Lyftogt even gave a lively discourse on a little-known fact about a battle that took place on Iowa soil.  In this Keokuk battle, ill-prepared raw Union recruits used their zeal of patriotism to defeat the enemy and deny them a foothold in the Upper Mississippi Valley. 

Kiwanis always has great and informed speakers and Ken was a shining star and was given high accolades!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dale Provides a Bird's Eye View Through his Incredible Photos

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - We never knew just how talented fellow Rough Riser and former Waterloo Educator, Dale Waack, was with a camera.  He’s a serious hobbyist and the photographs that Dale presented during his lecture, showed him to be a shutterbug extraordinaire!  

Dale specializes in photographing fowl. He shared stills which showed a wide range of vivid colors, hues and balance of subject matter.  It made the attending Kiwanians gasp in wonderment.  My favorite was the sequence of an eagle catching fish out of the Mississippi River. It was flawless and patriotic.  This presentation showed us that Dale has a unique, keen eye and aptitude of an emerging natural history artist of note.  

Dale, you missed your calling!  Well done!

Written by Lynn Barnes