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!