Rotary Club of East Polk County


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Immediate Past President

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Club Information

Welcome to East Polk County Rotary

East Polk County

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 7:00 AM
Prairie Meadows
1 Prairie Meadows Dr.
A.J's Steakhouse
Altoona, IA  50009
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Home Page Stories

Good Morning Rotarians,
Last Wednesday we worked in our respective committees and presented reports that focused on initiatives for the remainder of the Rotary calendar year as well as the normal calendar year.  We have Southeast Polk's Iowa Industrial Technology Exposition still to come on May 8th and will be needing judges to volunteer for that.  Also, the Community Service Committee is working on ordering new polo shirts for club members, but there is quite a bit of red tape surrounding the official Rotary wheel symbol.  They are working through that.  
Also in the last week we've learned that we have identified a number of students to attend this summer's RYLA event.  Eric Borseth has been leading that effort and although it's early, it appears that this could be one of our best years for placing local students in RYLA's summer camp.  Gary Welch is again heading the District's RYLA leadership and needs more volunteers to help.  If you are interested, please email Gary at  He will provide more details.
Tomorrow Eric Borseth is our Rotarian of the Day and will be bringing Scott Sailor.  Scott is the Director of the Consumer Experience for the Iowa Cubs, which is very close to kicking off their 2015 season.  Since the Iowa Cubs have generously supported our prior Fall fundraisers with a sky box donation, let's show up tomorrow to support him and show appreciation.  Tomorrow's Sergeant at Arms is Paul Cornelius. 
Finally, tomorrow is Food Pantry Day.  Since we don't have an official "item" to bring, we know that they can always use canned tuna, so let's make that our official food item for April 1st.  Hunger doesn't take a day off for April Fool's or warm weather so let's continue our support as aligned with our sunnier dispositions.  We'll see everyone at 7:00.  

Last week we were honored by our own Ned Looney as Rotarian of the Day and speaker of the day.  Ned had some things on his mind--specifically how the press has been reporting on vaccinations for measles, influenza, and polio.  There had been quite a bit of recent press about the measles outbreak in California and the pros and cons of vaccinations for children.  Of course, in recent years there have been some high level celebrities who have come out publicly against vaccines, saying they can cause autism.  Ned gave an even-tempered presentation on this issue and pointed out that you can actually contract measles from the vaccine.  However, he also mentioned that there has not been a single death from measles in over 10 years.  
Next he tackled influenza, or the flu, and told everyone that this year's flu vaccine was only 24% effective.  In fact, for those over age 65 it's only 10% effective.  In reality, only 20% of patients who are diagnosed with the flu actually had the flu.  Ned also mentioned that if you get a flu shot every year, it makes the vaccine less effective.  Who knew?
Finally, Mr. Looney got very focused and told us something rather startling.  He said for every country that we cross off the list as hosting cases of polio, we run a high risk of creating more cases of polio.  In fact he said there can be an increasing number of vaccine-induced polio cases or polio-like symptoms in local populations, especially among those people displaced by war and conflict.  As they cross borders and flee homelands, often people are given the oral vaccine, whether they have already had the vaccine.  Often that information is difficult or impossible to obtain.  He cautioned against getting too myopic in the race for eradication and not to get caught up in the hype.  This road to eradication will be long and difficult.  Keep a cool head about the task ahead and don't become too discouraged as cases pop up in areas that were previously polio-free.  Human nature, poverty and war are major contributors to polio-sustenance.
Tomorrow features Darrell Hanson as Sergeant at Arms and Ryan Swalwell as Rotarian of the Day.  We look forward to seeing everyone at 7:00 AM.

Hello Rotarians!
At last week's meeting current Assistant District Governor Steve Weineke introduced our own Tom Downs as next year's Asisstant District Governor for Area 5, District 6000.  His service to the District will begin July 1 and last through June 30, 2016.  Be sure to congratulate Tom on this honor and recognition of loyal service.  After a boozy quiz on wine production during Adam Kline's Sergeant at Arms segment, we spent a good share of the rest of our meeting listening to Gregg Lynes give his induction talk as our newest member.  Gregg pointed out that this was not his first trip to the Rotary ranch and has already made some good suggestions for club improvement.  Gregg spent a good share of his career as a U.S. Marine and passed around some photos of himself in uniform at various stages of his career.  Thank you Gregg for sharing your story and for already making most of us think you've been a club member for much longer than you have.
Other notes and notables:  May 15 and 16 are the dates for the District 6000 Conference in Coralville.  We already have two club members who plan to attend although all members are encouraged to attend.  If you wish to attend, see Tom or Corinne.  On March 28th, the District will hold their annual training seminar for incoming club officers at the DMACC campus in Newton.  See Walt if you need more information.  Also during the Board Meeting it was revealed that we were able to parlay our $11,000 gift towards digging water wells in Africa to $150,000 by combining our contribution with similar contributions from other area clubs such as Ankeny and Waukee, plus matching grants.  At that rate of multiplication (13.6X), who needs casinos?  Er, I mean, other than a place to hold our meeting. 
Tomorrow we will conduct the business of our respective committees and watch the next group perform their Four-Way Test skit for our song and dance competition.  We hope to see everyone tomorrow!

Greetings Rotarians,
At last week's meeting, our Rotarian of the Day Larry Wilson introduced us to Tamara Garza from the St. Gregory Retreat Center, an addiction rehab center in Des Moines.  St. Gregory's was founded in 2007 because of the unnecessary death of a close family member.  St. Gregory's is empowerment-based and is not founded on the idea that alcoholism is a disease.  Instead their approach focuses on the root causes of the addiction and examines the life situations are causing the addiction to take place.  They seek to replace old "faulty" thinking with productive healthy thinking.  Their success rate has been 70% if the participants follow their plan.
Keep in mind that the Bowling Bash fundraiser is less than two weeks away on the 27th of February.  Teams are forming and the activity level seems to be picking up.  Our club typically thrives on the pressure of pulling together to make an event a success.  Let's continue to get bowlers to come, assembling teams and ultimately bidders on the silent auction baskets.  We'll get the latest from Ryan Swalwell.  Also Tom Downs will have a brief report on the Iowa Energy game from a few weeks ago.
Tomorrow, Daron Lewis is the Sergeant at Arms and Todd Ross was slated to be Rotarian of the Day, but he is no longer a member.  I believe President Byers has a plan for our speaker tomorrow.
Bundle up on the way in tomorrow.  Winter still has a grip on the area as it appears that crazy groundhog was right again when he declared six more weeks of winter.  We'll see you all tomorrow.

Greetings Rotarians!
Last week we witnessed the induction of Shannon DeLouis--one of our newest members.  Gregg Lynes, our other newest member, was on vacation last Wednesday and was not able to attend. Shannon, who is the director of the Mitchellville Freedom for Youth Center, gave a heartfelt talk about herself.  She discussed the challenges she faced growing up in a family that didn't always provide the necessary tools for success.  She courageously and emotionally aligned her position at Freedom for Youth with her goal of helping families break the cycle of poverty and dysfunction.  We welcome Shannon to East Polk Rotary and encourage her to grow personally and professionally by plugging into the club's committees and service projects.  (Shannon:  the fear of public speaking will diminish the more you do it!  I've been there.)
Last Saturday night was the Iowa Energy PolioPlus game, so we look forward to a report on that event.  Keep in mind that as you think about PolioPlus quarters, half the money you spent on the Iowa Energy tickets can be counted towards your $30/year PolioPlus commitment.  So if you bought two tickets for $32, you can count $16 towards your $30 annual goal.  Let's keep those quarters (or paper money) coming in.  The Bowling Bash is just over two weeks away so keep working on team registrations, lane sponsors and silent auction baskets.  See Mary or Ryan for additional information.  This week Norma has volunteered to be the Sergeant at Arms in the absence of Scott Short and Larry Wilson is our Rotarian of the Day.  We'll see everyone tomorrow.

At last week's meeting, our Rotarian of the Day Darrell Hanson introduced our own Brad Miller who took us on a journey, figuratively, to Israel.  Brad discussed his latest adventures with Israeli cab drivers and several of the sites where he visited.  He also gave each table flashlights of various strength and dimension which was a very nice gesture on his part.  The flashlights were supposed to be the 'illuminating' part of the presentation.  
Tomorrow we discuss committee work so no speaker will present.  As you all know by know the Bowling Bash is scheduled for the last Friday February 27th from 2 to 5.  Continue to sign up your teams, sponsor lanes or contact businesses as possible lane sponsors.  Checks should be payable to East Polk Rotary and given to Linda Harris.  Remember that Mary does not have the luxury of printing lane sponsor signs at the last minute.  This means that lane sponsors will have to be identified and brought to her prior to February 16th.  Also, look for the sign up sheet to bring a silent auction basket to the event. Remember that the more people we have at the event, even if just bowlers, the more people that potentially will bid up the basket prices.  Thanks for your support in making this a fun event.
We'll see many of you tomorrow!

At last week's meeting, our Rotarian of the Day, Steve Mather, introduced us to the fascinating world of NFL referees.  Scott Halverson spoke to the club about his career as an NFL ref, including two Super Bowls.  He spoke about their system of grading and how each week the refs' calls are scrutinized on film and then each ref around the league is graded and ranked.  That scoring system helps determine which ones go on to work the playoffs and Super Bowl.  There were many questions about his work, how they are evaluated, the politics of the NFL and their compensation structure.  This was truly a presentation that captured everyone's attention and interest.  Okay, maybe the ladies were a little less interested than the guys.  We'll just go ahead and admit that.  
Last Friday the club member gathered at Toad Valley for the annual Christmas party and we are expecting a report tomorrow.  President Kim Byers will be absent tomorrow so President Elect Lambert will be filling in.  Seargeant at Arms tomorrow is Ryan Swallwell and the Rotarian of the Day is Ryan Edsen.  A quick reminder that the club has voted to not meet on Christmas Eve day or New Years Eve day.  
We hope to see everyone at 7:00 tomorrow.

Last week our Rotarian of the Day Tom Downs reintroduced us to Ed Arnold of the Northwest Rotary Club of Des Moines and we met for the first time Kyle Davey, VP of Ticket Sales for the Iowa Energy. Ed has a passion for Rotary's effort in the PolioPlus arena and spoke about how $55,000 has been raised leading to 100,000 immunizations since the Iowa Energy partnership with Rotary.  This is the seventh year the game has been hosted for this polio eradication effort.  Again this year, tickets for the game on Saturday February 7, 2015 will be discounted to $16 each (normally $20), and will come with access to $2 beer and "The Amazing Slodick" halftime show.  Club members are encouraged to purchase as many tickets as they wish, but at least two tickets per member.  Whatever the club members don't purchase, the club will kick in to make sure that at least 100 tickets are purchased.  If you don't plan to use your tickets, you may donate them back to the Iowa Energy who will make sure that local youth groups are able to use them.  
Tomorrow is our monthly business meeting, so no speakers are slated, although it would appear that the next group is at bat for the Dramatic Four Way Test skit.  President Byers will be actively filming the effort so that club members may vote at the end of the year on their favorite.
With the short work week, on behalf of East Polk Rotary, we wish all club members safe passage to and from their final Thanksgiving destinations and hope that you use the time to eat and drink (not too much), spend quality time with friends and family, and recharge for the final push to the end of 2014.  In the meantime, we'll see many of you tomorrow morning.    

At our last gathering Eric Borseth as Rotarian of the Day introduced us to Mark Nelson and Shannon Delouis of the non-profit Freedom for Youth.  Mark is the founder and Director and Shannon oversees the Mitchellville center.  Freedom for Youth is a mission outreach for inner city kids from age 5 to 22.  Mark took us on a journey from the very beginning of the organization to a heartfelt story of one girl who he discovered living outside on the streets, and through ministry and mentoring helped to not only get off the streets and drugs, but he also witnessed her own transition to a married woman with two kids of her own.  Freedom for Youth has grown exponentially through Iowa and now has a group home for boys and another one for girls and is now beginning down the road of vocational training.  The hope is that they can break the cycle of poverty that many of these kids find encircles them.  We wish Mark and his staff the best in continuing their good works.
Tomorrow Tom Downs will be serving as Rotarian of the Day as part of a switch with Melissa Horton.  Tom is planning a presentation on Polio Plus with Ed Arnold and Kyle Davy, VP of Ticket Sales for the Iowa Energy.  Mike Hartwig will take his place as Sergeant at Arms tomorrow.
Also, last Saturday about 10 members of the club participated in a session on strategic planning (visioning) for the club and Marti Kline may be sharing some thoughts about that meeting.  Otherwise, keep your Snuggies handy as the cold weather appears to be sticking around for a while.  It's a good thing natural gas prices are still near record low prices.  That should help our winter heating costs stay reasonable.  We'll see everyone tomorrow at 7:00.

Hello Rotarians,
In Rotary's version of "Old Home Week" four former presidents of East Polk Rotary took the stage and reminisced about our club's history, the past fundraisers, and the international focus on mission projects ranging from Medicine for Mali to supporting Blessman Ministries, and our future involvement with orphanages in India.  Our distinguished panel consisted of Eric Borseth, Marti Kline, Linda Harris and Norma Bettis and they were moderated by Corinne Lambert, president elect.  Eric told us how detached he was from Rotary in the early days of his membership and actually had a charter member swing by his office to pick him up to make sure he went to meetings.  That was a light moment.  He succinctly stated that a member's Rotary experience is largely driven by the engagement level of the individual Rotarian.  Overall, the program was a unique insight into Rotary membership by those members formers occupying the crow's nest.  
Tomorrow's Rotarian of the Day is Steve Hall who will be introducing Valerie Ashley a real estate agent with Keller Williams.  Valerie will be speaking in the first half of our hour together due to a prior commitment at 8:30.  She will need to leave by 7:30, after which we will conduct our normal club business.  Singing might be on the chopping block.  Not my call.  However, it would help if everyone were in their seats by 7:10.  The program will address an effort to end homelessness among veterans by 2020.  
Our Sergeant at Arms is Ryan Edsen and tomorrow is Food Pantry Day.  Items requested include cans of pumpkin, boxes of turkey dressing and instant potatoes.  
Remember to invite others to our club meetings.  Anyone who has a longing for community service is a potential member.  Rotary no longer has just a vocation-based membership.  So please bring a guest and we'll make him/her feel welcome!  Spouses are especially welcome.  Thanks for all you do.  We hope to see everyone in the AM.  


Greetings Rotarians!

On this second Wednesday of the Fall season, we gather to once again celebrate what we've learned, acknowledge our progress, and map out a course for the future.  Last Wednesday, we did the work of our committees and each committee chair reported on their committee's work.  It was decided that the Membership Committee will fold into the Community Service Committee since interest in serving on the Membership Committee was waning and there has been some membership attrition.  

One of the strongest initiatives from Community Service was that of the District 6000 Coat Drive.  Each member contributed $20 in the last meeting and openly challenged the other committees to step up and also contribute $20 individually to the coat drive.  The organizers at District 6000 wished that all funds be remunerated by October 3rd.  The goal is for each District 6000 Rotarian to give $16.11 which would result in meeting the 4,000 coats goal.  Also, coats would be distributed in a pro-rata fashion to each district.  

This week Mike Hamilton is the Sergent at Arms and Walt Mozdzer is the Rotarian of the Day.  Walt will be introducing Terri Henkels from the Healthy. Altoona Partnership.  Finally, tomorrow is Food Pantry Day and our item of need is Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.  Thanks for all you do!



Hello Rotarians!

Last week it seemed half our club members were on vacation.  In one of our smaller outings, our Rotarian of the Day, Paul Cornelius, hosted our speaker Jeff Esseck, owner/operator of Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping in Altoona.  Paul said he personally went through the program and brought Jeff in to tell his story.  It turns out that Jeff and his wife have also graduated from Farrell's and I recall that all of Farrell's franchise owners have done the same.  The idea is that they know what the participants are going through as they journey towards their fitness goals.  Jeff passed around a "Before" photo of himself when he weighed 240 pounds and was denied for life insurance.  He said that was a wake-up call and decided to change his life.  

Jeff spoke about the program which is six days a week for 45 minutes a day.  He said not only is it challenging for all fitness levels but the instructors hold you accountable for no-shows and even for guilty late-night runs to the drive-up window of your favorite fast food joint.  The normal cost for a 10 week program is $399, but Jeff was offering the program for just $299 to interested members.  

This week we are back to conducting the work of our various committees, along with President Kim Byers' "Four Way Test with Intrigue."  It appears that the golf challenge has run its course.  So join us tomorrow morning for the usual fun and folly.    



Hello Rotarians!

It's a great time to be a Rotarian as we hurtle towards Fall.  The temps are cooling off, giving us a chance to turn off the A/C and open the windows for a change of pace.  Before long we'll be raking the leaves and looking forward to harvest activities and the distinctly Iowa Beggars Night planning and participation.  Last time we met, Mary Rork-Watson served as our Rotarian of the Day.  She took the stage and told us that the end of September marks Banned Book Week.  Each table received a quiz that tested our knowledge on books that were controversial and therefore, perhaps, illuminated Mary's point that many books once banned or outlawed by schools and/or libraries are now widely read and accepted.

This week we feature Norma Bettis as the Sergeant at Arms and Paul Cornelius as Rotarian of the Day.  We'll see everyone tomorrow.



Hello Rotarians!

Last week Gary Palmer, a.k.a. Clay Willey, was our Rotarian of the Day and introduced us to Hector Morales, Director of Table Games at Prairie Meadows.  We learned that Hector was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico and has been in the gambling business for a whopping 43 years.  Hector's work history spans the cruise industry out of the Bahamas and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.  

In 2006, Hector became disillusioned with the Las Vegas lifestyle and moved his family to Iowa to work at Prairie Meadows and is in the process of building a home in Altoona.  He heads a staff of 175, which includes dealers, assistant managers, managers and executive directors.  He spoke for several minutes about those who count cards and how card counters try to use their knowledge of black jack to improve their odds of winning.  Interestingly, there is nothing illegal about counting cards, but if done well, it can "stack the deck" -- no pun intended -- against the casino.  Those folks are politely encouraged to play the slots instead.  

This week our Sergeant at Arms is Carl Feilmann and the Rotarian of the Day is Adam Kline.  Also, last week we raised $105 in cash for the Caring Hands Food Pantry in addition to the tangible food donations.  There were some odds and ends from the prior week such as the club voted to support The Altoona Campus's Family Fun night for $100, Carol Von Tersch will remain on as the liaison for the Interact Club at SE Polk High School, the club Christmas Party will be December 5th from about 6 to 9, and new club shirts are forthcoming.

See everyone tomorrow!



Hello Rotarians!

As part of the announcements last week, Kim announced that the HyVee Rootbeer Float fundraiser at HyVee on August 16th raised $289.  Ned Looney made a motion that the club match that amount.  Mike Hamilton quickly seconded the motion and the club voted in the affirmative.  So, a total of $578 is headed in the direction of the Special Olympics.  Many thanks to the participants and Todd Ross for coordinating the event.

Last week Adam Kline, acting as Rotarian of the Day, introduced our speaker Rich Powers, the Superintendent of Bondurant/Farrar Schools.  We learned from Rich that the district is the second fastest growing in the state, behind Waukee.  One new initiative this year is that all new students get an Apple Macbook Pro laptop.  Not bad.  He also spoke about how education is evolving--less rote memorization and more skill building for critical thinking and problem solving.  Rich touched on both the short-term and long-term challenges of managing the school district.  Fortunately, some of the financial burden for capital improvements has fallen on the shoulders of local lottery winners Brian and Nancy Lohse, who have been quite generous with the district.

Coming up, in a week, we return to Food Pantry Day and the items requested are cereal and boxed macaroni.  Remember to bring those items to our September 3rd meeting.  Tomorrow features our business meeting with a new twist.  President Byers is jettisoning the golf challenge for a new mysterious activity.  However, you have to be present to win. . .er, participate.  Hopefully, we'll see everyone tomorrow.



Hello Rotarians,

Last time we met we heard from John Rasmussen, owner of the Altoona Bike Shop on 8th Street SW.  He spoke about his upbringing as the child of a bike store owner along with his brother.  In 1986 he and his brother bought out their dad for $30,000.  Today their combined store annual revenue is $2.5 million including the store his brother owns in West Des Moines.  

John spoke about the satisfying but exhausting long days he has spent fixing bikes on RAGBRAI and how one year he rode in the event without fixing a single bike.  Most of the bikes he offers for sale are in the $500 - $1,000 range and you generally get the feeling that there isn't much John hasn't seen in the bike world.  We are fortunate to have him as a resource in our town.  

Looking ahead to this week, Judy Johnson is our Sergeant at Arms and Mary Rork-Watson is the Rotarian of the Day.  We'll see everyone in the morning.   



Hello Rotarians,

I just uploaded the 2014 Root Beer Float Fundraiser Schedule to the ClubRunner home page.  You do not have to log in to view or download the file, so if you need to recall which shift you signed up for, it's all there if you can access the internet.  Also, we only have two people per shift, and Todd Ross requested a third person to help run interference for things like additional cups, root beer, or ice cream from the HyVee managers.  As in the past, this Saturday August 16th, just show up at the table set up just inside the door of the Altoona HyVee and the tasks will be self-evident.  The first shift begins at 11 and the last shift ends at 4.  If you'd like to volunteer to set up, tear down, or count and collect the money, please contact Todd.  

Last week Rotarian of the Day Clay Willey introduced Lance Riedl, who is an all-around hotel and banquet maestro for Prairie Meadows Hotel and Casino.  Lance told his fascinating story about working in large West Coast hotels and resorts, followed by a souring economy in 2008, and finally the events that brought him to the Des Moines metro area and Altoona.  He used humor in describing how one of his first thoughts upon arrival here was to develop a scheme to leave.  But the welcoming people of Iowa helped to change his mind and he's now put down roots.  His talk developed lots of questions from club members about hotel services and what guests look for in a hotel stay.  He was well received and many would welcome a return visit to learn more.

Tomorrow's Sergeant at Arms is Joe Nelson and the Rotarian of the Day is Linda Harris who will be introducing John Rasmussen of Rasmussen Bike Shop in Altoona.  Southeast Polk schools start up next week, so keep your eyes peeled and your speed down for the kiddos walking to bus stops and crossing the street.  We'll see everyone in the AM.  



Hello Rotarians,

It has been a busy couple of weeks, but we're back on track for tomorrow's meeting.  Last week we hosted Emily Knuth and Anna Fogerty, both students at Bondurant-Farrar High School.  They participated in this summer's RYLA camp.  RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadershop Awards and this summer's camp was held at Grinnell College from July 13-18th.  Emily and Anna both shared their experience, from applying and waiting to hear if they were accepted, to their first impressions upon arrival, to the song version of the four-way test.  Animated, poised, and charming, these young women embraced their experiences and seemed to grasp the underlying leadership purpose of the RYLA camp.  The search is now on for next year's candidates.

Although Steve Hall was not present last week, he sent in the totals for the "Feed the Hungry through Rotary" initiative where he and fellow East Polk Rotarian Scott Short helped package food for the underserved on July 16th.  Several food pantries around the area received proceeds and the Altoona Caring Hands Food Pantry received 19 boxes containing 216 meals per box, or a total of 4,104 meals.  Great job guys!

Tomorrow's Sergeant at Arms is Todd Ross while the Rotarian of the Day is Clay Willey.  He will be introducting Lance Riedl as his speaker.  Let's also not forget that tomorrow is Food Pantry Day and Larry O'Connor has requested egg noodles and peanut butter.

We'll see everyone tomorrow!



Hello Rotarians!

Fresh off the pool party at Pam Donahue's house last Wednesday, we are back at it this Wednesday at the usual stomping ground.  Although this member wasn't able to be at the picnic-a-la-Donahue, I'm confident that those in attendance enjoyed themselves and the respite from the normal Wednesday morning routine.  We all should THANK Pam for her hospitality last week.

This week Ned Looney is Rotarian of the Day, after switching with Tom Downs.  However, with the resignation of Trent Frohock as a member of the club, Tom has stepped up to serve as Sargent at Arms this week.

One follow up item from recent announcements involves the Hunger Free for Rotary event this Wednesday afternoon at the Outreach Warehouse, 7401 HWY 69 South, Des Moines.  Our contact for this meal packaging event is Steve Hall so if you'd like to volunteer, please reach out to Steve at

We hope to see everyone in the morning!



Hello Rotarians!

Last week we welcomed our new President Kim Byers who took control of the club on her first day and made several announcements.  On July 16th the event Huger Free for Rotary will take place at the Outreach, Inc. warehouse located at 7401 Highway 69 South, near the Southridge Mall.  There are two shifts--1:00 and 3:00.  Volunteers will be bagging prepackaged meals in a similar fashion to other meal-packaging efforts made popular by Meals from the Heartland.  The club gave $500 towards this effort.

Tom Downs was our Rotarian of the Day and introduced Chad Quick, the Altoona City Planner for the last 13 years.  He said Altoona now has a population of 16,500.  He spoke about the 300,000 square foot high end outlet mall going in by the Bass Pro Shop next year.  The movie theater project moved locations and now will be built near Culvers on Adventureland Drive.  There will also be a new Hampton Inn & Suites built west of the Holiday Inn Express and just west and south a new commercial building is being constructed for the Iowa Donor Network which is moving its administrative offices from Johnston.  It will be about 17,000 square feet.  None of this even includes Phase 2 of the Facebook project going on just north of the Bass Pro location on the other side of Interstate 80.  Chad said that building is designed to withstand a direct hit from an EF4 tornado.  Evidently there is a lot of steel and concrete involved.

Tomorrow this is no AM meeting and instead we are meeting for a picnic and pool party at Pam Donahue's house in Granger.  The address is 10652 NW 107th Street and it is the third house on the left.  The festivities begin at 6PM and will include fun at her pool, yard games and plenty of food.

We hope to see you there.



Hello Rotarians!

It's a brand new Rotarian year, and our longtime member Kim Byers has taken the helm as President of East Polk Rotary with the exchange of the gavel at last week's club banquet in the Prairie Rose Room at Prairie Meadows.  Thanks to Clay Willey and his team we all enjoyed tasty appetizers as well as a delicious dinner buffet.  We also want to acknowledge Corinne Lambert as our new President Elect, while Linda Harris remains as club treasurer and yours truly remains on as club secretary.  Tomorrow's meeting will feature Tom Downs as Rotarian of the Day.  He will be bringing in Chad Quick, City Planner for Altoona.  Our Sergeant at Arms is Darrell Hanson who volunteered when he noticed a gap in the new schedule.  Speaking of the new schedule, it can be downloaded right from the club's home page found here.  It is the first on the right under the heading DOWNLOADS.  You don't even have to log in to get it.  Please print a copy for yourself.  You are responsible for knowing when your name is up.

We'll see everyone in the AM.  Enjoy the short workweek.




Hello Rotarians,

Tomorrow is the last official meeting to be administered by outgoing President Steve Hall.  There is no AM meeting and instead everyone (who registered) will gather at the Prairie Rose Room inside Prairie Meadows.  The banquet will begin at 6:00 with drinks and hors d'oeuvres, followed by dinner and a short presentation by Steve and Kim Byers, the incoming President for the 2014-2015 Rotary year.  The evening will end upon the natural conclusion of the event's activities.

We hope to see you there!




Hello Rotarians!

Although not officially Summer yet, our community is truly in the throes of summer.  The community pools are open, school is out and everyone is looking forward to fireworks and the 4th of July.  Last week was food pantry day and we raised $70 in cash in addition to the many bars of soap that members brought in.  Also there was an announcement that Saturday August 16th is Root Beer Float Day at HyVee in Altoona, an effort to raise money for Special Olympics.  Be thinking about your level of involvement  again this year.

Carl Feilmann was our Rotarian of the Day and he introduced our own Steve Mather to present an update on concussions.  There's been a great deal of press on the subject since several high profile NFL football players have committed suicide in recent years and others like former Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre have admitted to struggling with memory issues.  Steve pointed out that coaches, staff and players at all levels are key to this conversation around traumatic brain injuries caused by concussions.

An estimated 3.8 million sports-related brain injuries occur in the U.S. at all age levels each year.  Up to 23% of veterans have reported concussion-like experiences.  So the problem is widespread and is now getting the attention it deserves but as some in the room pointed out, properly fitting sports equipment like helmets on high school athletes is still a compromise.  Finally, Steve pointed out that current treatment options are symptom-based, not on how much time has elapsed since the injury occurred.

Tomorrow features Steve Pettit as Sargent at Arms and Marti Kline offering us a few laughs as Rotarian of the Day.  If you saw Marti's email, please come prepared to share a funny, embarrassing moment or story that will give us something to chuckle over.

We'll see everyone in the AM!




Hello Rotarians!

Last week we conducted our important monthly business meeting and at the top of the meeting we voted to approve our board's recommendation to give $500 towards area Rotary clubs' effort to package 100,000 meals during the upcoming event here in the Metro.  In addition, Steve Hall reminded club members of Naomi Tutu's upcoming speaking event at Drake on June 20th in the morning.  Those interested should check with Steve on how to gain admission.

Then we went down the line and visited with each committee head on progress in their respective committees.  Here's what we heard:

Club Service - The Club Banquet will take place at Prairie Meadows on June 25th at 6:00 where the gavel will change hands from Steve Hall to Kim Byers.  In addition, Corinne Lambert will slide into the President-Elect seat.  July 9th will feature our club picnic at Pam Donohue's house (details to follow) and there will be no club meeting on either day.

Community Service - Norma has been working with the Enabling Gardens to see if we can get a permanent reminder of our yet-to-be-given cash gift, but we seem to have become stuck on the particulars.  They don't want to give us a permanent sign, so we are reluctant to give them any money.

International Service - Adam reported that the committee chair Casey Hansen is rumored to be leaving town for a new job in Eastern Iowa.  So they will probably need a new chairperson to take the reigns.

Vocational Service - Mike Hamilton reported that Phil Cronin, Director of the Iowa Tech Expo, will be able to make his pitch to manufacturing employers at the annual Association of Business and Industry Statewide Conference in Cedar Rapids next week.  He'll be sharing the value of sponsorships at the Iowa Tech Expo at the Elevate Iowa booth, which is pushing to elevate advanced manufacturing careers in the state.

Youth & Family - About 20 volunteers are still needed for the carnival part of the Kids Cafe, a local grassroots effort to feed the kids in the community while school is out for the summer.  The event takes place in early July.  See Eric Borseth for more information.  

Membership - Trent continues to explore a spinoff of the club to meet at a different time, such as Thursday or Friday at noon in a different place like the Altoona HyVee Club Room.  We will also pursue a connection with the Healthy Altoona Partnership, a community-based effort to promote wellness among our citizens.  It could be an avenue to raise club awareness in the community while also helping others.  New members could also follow.

Corinne Lambert spoke up about efforts to conduct some strategic planning for the club and threw out a few dates, but many had conflicts so she was going to pursue a date in September that might be more available.  Finally, Larry O'Connor needs bar soap for our Food Pantry item tomorrow.  Thanks for all you do.

See everyone in the AM!



Hello Rotarians!

Before we got started with our speaker last week, we got a report on the Iowa Tech Expo which was held the previous Friday at Southeast Polk High School.  This annual event supported by our club was another success.  Skillfully guided by Phil Cronin, the event led to $2,500 awarded in college scholarships to deserving students.  We look forward to next year's Tech Expo.

Then our own Trent Frohock took the stage as both the Rotarian of the Day and the morning's program.  The story behind the scenes is that Steve Hall, upon learning that an outside speaker was not available, encouraged Trent to tell his own story since he was "an interesting guy."  He did not disappoint.  Trent told a string of personal stories tied to his work, family and his experience as a pilot.  Everyone was amused.  Boredom was never a concern as Trent entertained the club members quite vividly for 7:30 AM.  Next we'll be looking for a PowerPoint to illustrate some of his points.

In other news, Ryan Edsen is not able to serve as tomorrow's Sargent of Arms so we are looking for a last minute substitute.  If you would like to step in for Ryan, please bring your trivia tomorrow morning.  Also, there will be no music tomorrow or May 28th as Marti will not be in attendance.  Mike Hamilton may have to sing solo, or perhaps we all sing acapela.  Tomorrow's Rotarian of the Day is Norma Bettis and her speaker will be Sherrie Colbert from the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge.

Stay safe out there and we'll see you in the AM!






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