Rotary Club of Waukee

Club Information

Welcome to our club!


Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 6:45 AM
Des Moines Golf & Country Club
1600 Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines, IA  50266
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Home Page Stories

On Thursday, January 29th, Michelle Schatzberg with the LifeServe Blood Center joined us.    Everyone in attendance enjoyed the conversation with her. 

Just a reminder that the Rotary Auction date has been changed to April 11, 2015.    More details to come!!!

Due to Des Moines Golf and Country Club being closed, we will not have a meeting on January 22nd.    

On Thursday, December 4th, Mary Breckman of Iowa Public Television joined the Waukee Rotary.   


Special Olympics Iowa’s West Central Area hosted its annual root beer float fundraiser on Saturday, August 16 at Hy-Vee stores in the Des Moines area.

Waukee Rotary volunteers and their families served the root beer floats, Wells Blue Bunny provided the ice cream and A & W provided the root beer.



Dr. James D. Polk consulted with the Chilean government during the mining crises and his strategic planning helped save numerous lives!
Dr. Polk has an extensive and diverse background in medicine and administration. He has valuable experience in accreditation and the evaluation of medical education. Dr. Polk has worked for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  Before working at DHS, he spent seven years in aerospace medicine at NASA.
Currently Dr. Polk is the Dean at Des Moines University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. 




Members of the Rotary Club of Waukee, enjoyed hearing from the keynote speaker, Steve Chapman on Thursday, August 28th,  how skills and talent can successfully be transferred from one job to another. Mr. Chapman served for 18 years as CEO of the ITA Group, which is a highly successful corporate and incentive travel firm in West Des Moines and serves a national clientele. Presently Steve Chapman serves as CEO of Ruan Management Systems, one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the country.



Experiences of their trip to the Blessman Ministries in South Africa.



United Way’s Shirley Burgess was the keynote speaker at Waukee Rotary on Thursday, May 22nd and presented a very informative program about volunteering.



Katie Greving presented on behalf of Decoding Dyslexia Iowa to the Rotary Club of Waukee on Thursday, May 29th 2014.



Active Aging Fitness.



Every Waukee senior who makes it into the School-to-Work (STW) Program ends up at an internship throughout the community. I was honored with being the intern at the Waukee Rotary Club for the year of 2013-2014. I started this internship in the fall of ’13 and will finish in May of ’14. Throughout these 7 months, I have made tremendous progress within Rotary.
Before STW, I had never heard of Rotary. So I was very open-minded when I went in, not knowing what to expect. The first thing I noticed was how nice the Rotarians were. At the beginning, I did not know any of them, however, as the internship went on, I developed relationships with the majority of them that I hope to keep even after my internship ends. The people in Waukee Rotary are different in so many ways, but alike in one big way, they always put others before themselves. Growing up, my parents always taught me this, but seeing a group of adults living their lives by it is truly inspiring.
My tasks within Rotary consist of many different things. Depending on what event we have approaching, I might be entering information into a database online or tying ribbon around bags of M&M’s to hand out. There really isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to help Rotary be a successful non-profit organization. Every week the Waukee Rotarians and I have the pleasure to hear a keynote speaker from a different business or organization present to the Rotary. By the end of week, I write an article about the speaker’s presentation to recap what they had talked about in case a Rotarian couldn’t make it that day. So many Rotarians are out trying to help the world, one business at a time, so I am glad when they miss a meeting, I can help them feel like they were there all along.
I have had the honor to be the Waukee Rotary intern in the year of 2013-2014. From this experience, I have learned what it means to be a true Rotarian. This means volunteering around your community, starting donations for an important causes, sharing stories from life that will impact others in a positive way and much more. I admire so many Waukee Rotarians for their heart, selflessness and generosity when it comes to lending a helping hand, and I hope to be the kind of person they are someday. I want to thank the Waukee Rotary Club for not only helping introduce me into the business world, but also creating such a positive impact in my life that will stick with me throughout the rest of my future endeavors.



Thanks to Craig Thompson and all of those who gave up their time to do a really worthwhile project that will mean a lot for years to come to the family who owns the home. This is just one more example of Service Above Self.



District Governor, Waukee Rotarians, Rotarians, Family and Friends, thank you for joining us today to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the chartering of the Rotary Club of Waukee.  It is great to see so many of you here this morning. I have received apologies from members who are out in Washington DC with the annual Greater Des Moines partnership, or who were unable to be here with us.


In 1999 on May 18th our club was chartered and the club had weekly Thursday meetings at Immanuel Lutheran Church. These 15 years we have built on the work of our previous leaders and our Waukee Rotary Club is  what it is today because each president has picked up the baton and through the changes the Club has evolved in a positive way. 

Today I would like to honor and congratulate  7 of the original members in our club:


Craig Butterfield

John Wemer

Paul Kerkhoff

Jim Riordan

Mike Stifel

Roger Schlaefer

Dave Horner


Thank you and congratulations. Would all of our presidents stand up now and let us show you our appreciation. To honor them, we have a certificate for each of the charter members and presidents to commemorate his or her service.


I have asked all our past president to e mail me a memory or highlight of their year in office and  you will find those memories on our club runner web page( I encourage you to spend a few minutes reading the highlights.


It’s a dutch tradition that when a person has a birthday or anniversary , everyone congratulates all that person’s family members. Because I am Dutch, I am going to congratulate every Waukee Rotarian for the Club’s 15th anniversary.

There is a framed certificate for each one of you, which we are going to distribute now. 


You should all congratulate your selfs on the growth of a great club and our 15th anniversary.


Erna Morain,

President 2013/14

Rotary Club of Waukee



I am sure that like I, those that braved the chilly temperatures for the groundbreaking were glad they took the time to do so. Being part of an event that is almost a decade in the making was a fantastic experience. The groundbreaking opened with the pledge of allegiance and was followed by a poem about the value of having a place to spend time with family. Representatives from the many facets of the project and the city of Des Moines had an opportunity to address the audience and all shared the theme of how great it was that Rotary could be part of such an historic part of the Principal River Walk and all of the many individuals that helped along the way. Along with some of the major donors given credit, such as the Gabus Family and Principal, two individuals from our own club were named as major parts of the success of the project outside of the Des Moines Club, Erna Morain and Roger Schlaefer whose leadership and inspiration drove much of the spirit of this project. After the photos had been taken, the event ended with the entire group reciting the four way test which, considering the project, all of the many Rotarians that participated in its success, and the benefit this will have to the community, a more perfect ending could not have had. 


Jeremy Masterson



The Waukee Rotary club was honored several times for its membership growth and received the presidential citation award at the 2014 District Conference in Ames this weekend.


The Morains, Holmes, Wheelers, Rasmussens, Robbins, and Dr. Blessman all shared the excitement of the conference and the opportunity to meet Rotarians from the other 63 clubs in District 6000. 


Highlights included a surprise welcome from “the Mayor” of Ames, Fred Hoiberg, who was actually subbing for the real mayor of Ames, who recently suffered a heart attack. Hoiberg received an excited standing ovation from the crowd when he entered the room. 


District Governor Jacque Andrew of Jefferson completed the highlight of her term on a high note as she presided over a stimulating and thought provoking conference which emphasized both international successes of Rotary and opportunities to strengthen local clubs. 


Rotary International Vice President, Anne Matthews, a real southern belle from South Carolina, wowed the crowd with her inspirational message about women in Rotary and the opportunity for all Rotarians to make a difference.


The conference gave the opportunity to become more acquainted with leading Rotarians from all the clubs in District 6000. Some of the Waukee Rotarians had the opportunity to absorb ideas for successful programs from other clubs and brag about our own successes this year. 


Jacque Andrew called on the talents of the Jefferson Rotary, her home club, to help organize the well run conference. 


If you have never attended a District Conference, you missed the opportunity to get to know what Rotary International is about, be challenged,entertained, and inspired by the tremendous accomplishments of the organization unlike any other in the world.


Make up your mind now and put it on the calendar to attend next years District 6000 Conference, April 16-18, at the Coralville Marriott. I guarantee you will be glad that you did.

Erna Morain, President
Waukee Rotary Club 2013/14


On Thursday, May 1, the Rotary Club of Waukee had Mary LaHay present on behalf of the Iowa Friends of Companion Animals non-profit charity. This charity’s main concern is about the welfare of our pets. LaHay spoke mainly about the puppy mills in Iowa and what we can to do help put a stop to unfair animal treatment.

Puppy mills are a place that ship and sell puppies all across the country. She shared with us that Iowa is number 2 in the country on highest puppy mill concentration. The biggest problems with puppy mills are their environmental surroundings, owners and treatment.

The environments some dogs are forced to live in are horrendous. This includes not proper sanitizing within the facility, major health risks between the dogs and much more. This fault falls directly on the owners’ shoulders. The Iowa Friends of Companion Animals believes everything is entirely because of the owner. Dogs are in great shape and look healthy? It is because the owner was properly treating them. Dogs have lost eyes and possess infections that can potentially be fatal? It is because the owner did not treat them with the right care that dogs should be treated, which leads into the last problem, how the owners treat the animals. The information LaHay shared with the Rotarians were surprising to most. One fact being that some puppy mill owners power wash their facility to remove waste and such, being done so while the dogs are still in cages.

After LaHay’s presentation, the Rotary learned the severity of some puppy mills across the state, understanding the charity’s mission statement in great detail, “To advance the humane and responsible treatment of companion animals through collaboration and public awareness.” Thank you to Mary LaHay for sharing some insight on puppy mills and telling people there is always something they can do to help.

 Morgan McLaughlin




Join us on Tuesday, April 15th from 5-6:30PM for the Waukee Rotary Social at the Embassy Club West in West Des Moines.



Donate any amount. Your Dollars will benefit Rotary projects in our communities and world wide! 



The Rotary Club of Waukee’s 2014 Auction and Wine-Tasting event was held on Saturday, April 12 at Shottenkirk Chevrolet in Waukee. Club President Erna Morain welcomed guests to the event on behalf of all the 63 members and thanked Rotarians, area individuals and businesses for their donations for the live and silent auction. Guests enjoyed live music by Larry Berenguel,  Hors d'oeuvres and Desserts which were prepared by the award-winning Waukee High School ProStart students. All the money raised will benefit the many Rotary projects in our communities and world wide.




The Waukee Rotary was honored to have Mike McCoy be the speaker at the weekly breakfast on Thursday, April 17, 2014. McCoy is known as one of the best amateur golfers in the nation, and he also known as an outstanding business man.
Mike has played in 38 USGA Championships including 14 U.S. Amateurs and 14 U.S. Mid Amateurs, bringing home a victory from 5 Iowa Amateurs and 6 Iowa Mid Amateurs. Since 1960, no one has won the Iowa Golf Association Player of the Year Award more than 3 times. Mike won it for the 11th time in 2013, which sufficed for his best year in amateur golf. All of McCoy’s accomplishments were topped off the week of April 7th by playing in the 2014 Masters at Augusta, Georgia.
Mike shared his once in a life time experience with Rotarians that morning. He stated how the course was extremely difficult compared to other courses he has played on, but he did let that stop him from playing his hardest. While in Augusta, he played numerous practice rounds with other golfers there, some with a professional title. He got to attend a dinner for winners of various golf outings over the years. To top it all off, his son got to catty for him throughout the trip. He admitted that even though all the golfing wasn’t perfect, it was the perfect experience.
Mike has also showed a great amount of success off the golf course as well. He works as an insurance executive at Arthur J. Gallagher and Company, the 3rd largest insurance broker in the country. He has been honored by his colleagues the last 13 years in a row by achieving Gallagher's President's Club Award, one that honors the elite of their organization.
At the end of McCoy's presentation, he asked the crowd, "So what is the message?" He replies with saying the message is you do not have to be young to have dreams. Insurance is his profession but golf is his passion. So find the time to live your passion and enjoy it.
Morgan McLaughlin


On Thursday March 27, the Waukee Rotary had Chris Jones speak about the Vision Soccer Academy, also known as VSA. This academy began in 1996 with over 700 member families. VSA provides soccer development opportunities for nearly 1,100 players every year. These players come from all across the state of Iowa including Grimes, Waukee, Urbandale, Johnston, Van Meter, Clive, and West Des Moines. VSA offers four different leagues a child can play in. This consists of a developmental league for 3 and 4 year olds, recreational for U5-U19, academy for U9-U10 and select for U11-U19.

Jones introduced the new VSA soccer complex that will soon be coming to the Waukee area. This is an area of soccer fields on 18.5 acres of land that will be located right in town next to the newest Waukee Elementary School, Timberline. There will be one main field with turf and stadium lights, dozens of additional grass soccer fields, a track, multi-purpose building with restrooms and concession stands and plenty of parking for all events that might be hosted there. VSA chose to build this new soccer complex to help encourage soccer development, be able to host more tournaments, create a soccer destination for the Waukee Community and to help meet the needs for sports facilities in the Waukee area.

Thank you to Chris Jones for coming to Waukee Rotary and sharing your knowledge and the newest information about the Vision Soccer Academy with our Rotarians!
 Morgan McLaughlin


On Thursday, April 3rd we had Matt Wille, the CEO of Dallas County Hospital, speak to Waukee Rotary at the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Clive. Over the years, Dallas County Hospital has continued to focus on providing the highest quality healthcare to the people we serve through their knowledgeable staff and physicians, up-to-date facility and modern equipment. Their mission statement is, “To improve the health of the people we serve”, and their vision is “Partnering to deliver quality healthcare now and into the future through passionate caregivers with open arms.”

Wille stated that the Dallas County Hospital ranks in the 99th percentile in out patient experience.They do not just want to be a hospital, they wish to be a place to help with prevention, somewhere that provides an open and welcoming atmosphere etc. It is a new modern and clean hospital located on 610 10th St, Perry, IA 50220. A very important factor Matt told everyone to remember about the DCH is that their patients always will know ahead of time how much out of pocket money they will have to pay for their visit or surgery. The Dallas County Hospital cares about the patients and their situation.
Thank you to Matt Wille for coming and speaking to Waukee Rotarians about his job and the hospital he works for!
Morgan McLaughiln



Behindthe Scenes at the State Dinner for Vice President Xi Jinping.



Today at Waukee Rotary we had Tivon Feeley, the Forest Health Program Leader at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, speak with us about ash trees and the arrival of the emerald ash borer. What is this insect you ask? It is a green insect that is a primary invader who attacks ash trees and kills other healthy trees as well. It was first seen in Summer of 2002, and has been a big infestation problem ever since. But how do you know if you have the larva in your trees? There are many signs. If you see a split in the tree, that is a big indicator. If you peel off the bark, you can really get a good look to see if it is present or not. Underneath the bark there will be "S" shaped trails that the borer makes to make its presence known. One other sign to look for is white spots in the bark. These spots are left by woodpeckers who eat the larva that are living in the ash tree.
The emerald ash borer problem seems to keep getting bigger and bigger. There are a few solutions out there to get rid of them and save your ash trees, however they can be unpredictable and pricey. Feeley discussed how this insect is spreading over the country so fast, and the answer is through infested firewood, logs and trees. It has gotten so bad, there has been boundaries set up throughout the country that says people can't bring firewood across it. A lot of people are doing they're best to try and limit the problem but unfortunately we still have a long way to go.
Thank you to Tivon Feeley and his VERY interesting presentation about the emerald ash borer. He made a lot of Rotarians aware of a very serious problem occurring right now in the U.S. 

Morgan McLaughlin






Many Waukee Rotarians and their families/friends, got a twofer on Saturday night(February 8th, 2014) and the chance to support Polio Plus. Waukee Rotary made a great showing at both the Iowa Energy basketball victory (85-82) at Wells Fargo Arena and the Metro Rotary Friends and Family event at the Iowa Hall of Pride which preceded the game. 




Today, January 30th , 2014,  we had Theresa Liewer, from the Iowa Genealogical Society, speak to Waukee Rotary. The Iowa Genealogical Society is active in promoting family history, education, and the preservation of records vital in the search for your ancestors. The Society’s mission is to create and foster an interest in genealogy and to aid others in researching their family history.( It is a system that  really allows people to dive deep in their family's past. It is supported by memberships and donations. The IGS also offers beginning genealogy classes.

Liewer stated that, "There are no such things as family secrets, there are just things they don't talk about." People might think their family kept a secret from them by what they find, but in reality, their family just didn't even talk about it. There are so many amazing ways someone can trace their ancestors footsteps to find out how they came to be where they are today. The Iowa Genealogy Society does this by the use of the census, military records, wills, civil war records and much more.  
So many new and wonderful things can be found out through the IGS. People can be astonished by what they might end up finding. You will never know until you try! Thank you to our speaker, Theresa Liewer, and to the IGS for providing everyone with the opportunity to explore further into family history.
Morgan McLaughlin

Bright and early on this wonderful Thursday morning(Jan. 16), we had Dr. Dave Wilkerson speak to us about the Waukee Bond Referendum and what he sees for Waukee moving forward. Waukee has about 8,200 students enrolled throughout the entire school district. This consist of seven elementary schools (eighth is in planning), one fifth grade building, two middle schools, one ninth grade building and one high school. Waukee is growing so fast, administrators and staff are having a hard time trying to keep up with it! With that said, for ten consecutive years, enrollment in Waukee schools has grown by an average of 470 students per year. Each year that number will continue to surprise everyone.
One main focus for the Waukee School District that Dr. Wilkerson shared with us was the soon to come CAPS Program for high school juniors and seniors. CAPS stands for Center for Advanced Professional Studies, and it gives students the opportunity to explore professions of interest through a problem-based, inquiry-learning method. What CAPS does is partner with local businesses to allow students to experience real life work in their department of interest. There will be roughly 12-15 students per class with one teacher help guide them through the process. It is something that almost every student will want to be a part of.
Thank you to Waukee Superintendent, Dr. Dave Wilkerson, for sharing information with us about the upcoming developments Waukee sees in the very near future.
Morgan McLaughlin


At the Waukee Rotary we had Bill Northey, the Secretary of Agriculture, share a little bit of background of agriculture and how important it is to keep up with it. Agriculture is more important than a lot of people think. Northey talked about how the demand of crops, such as corn, goes up as the population number continues to rise as well. 
Today, there are about 7 billion people in the world. Northey estimated that number to be at about 9 billion in the next 30-40 years. This means the crops need to be able to keep up and provide enough food for those billions of families. He mentioned that if just Iowa alone were a country, it would be the fourth largest corn producing country in the world. Northey believes it is an honor to be a part of the great agriculture business in this world, because it is today and forever will be a family operation.




        On Friday, November 1st, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the beginning of the Alice's Road Corridor Project in Waukee. This is a big step for the Waukee Community because the numbers within it keep increasing, which causes the city to expand as well. With the expansion of the city comes some expansions of developmental projects, Alice's Road being the biggest at this time.
I feel extremely honored to have had the experience to be at this event as an intern with the Rotary because it really opened my eyes to how much our community works together to accomplish one goal. I had a great time meeting new people that included Senator Harkin, Senator Grassley and Mayor Peard. From attending this event, I realized how many people work so hard and put forth so much to make sure the Waukee Community is the best it can be.





Join our Club!

Becoming part of Rotary is a fantastic way to network with other business and community professionals while at the same time serving your community by putting Service Above Self.  If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Erna Morain, President 2013-14 at or Craig Thompson at or 515-309-8512. 




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