Club Information

Welcome to our club!


Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 6:00 PM
West Side Family Restaurant
229 West Sixth Avenue
Grinnell, IA  50112
United States of America
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     Grinnell Rotarians met March 10, 2020, for a meal, business meeting, and program.

     The focus of the short business meeting was hearing a report on the Shults and Company performances, recently held in February.  Members of the Shults and Company group will be hosted by the Rotarians at West Side Family Restaurant for a thank you meal.

     Speaker for the evening was Marta Hrybechavo, a foreign exchange student from the Ukraine.  She has been attending school at HLV in Victor, and she has been hosted by Robert and Lynette Lender.  She was invited to speak by club member, Doug Cameron. Hrybechavo gave an overview of what it is like to live in the Ukraine.  Most Ukrainian citizens are Catholics. The economy is very poor. Marta’s parents live and work in a different country because jobs are very hard to find.  Because of this, Marta lives with her grandmother. Ukrainians celebrate eleven holidays. A tradition on Christmas Eve, is not to eat meat. Especially around the Easter season, you can see exquisitely decorated eggs (a tradition supplied by Ukrainian artists).  They are known for vodka and for borscht, a beet soup usually served with sour cream. If you are a student, you do not have a choice of classes. You are told which classes you will attend. School rules are very strict. Unlike students in the USA, Ukrainian students do not participate in school sports.  Annually, a National Event is held where students are tested in Math and English. If you do not pass, you work at home rather than furthering your education in college or some other setting. Marta announced that she will be furthering her education in Canada.

     Thank you, Marta, for the wonderful program.

     Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.  If you would like to attend a Rotary meeting, contact any Rotarian.


Dennis Conway


Grinnell School Superintendent Janet Stutz highlighted four unique and different challenges that education faces today during the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club held Tues., March 3.

Foremost among this is safety and security, she said.  Coincidentally, Stutz faced a lock-down situation at the Grinnell High School and Bailey Park Elementary School that same morning when a suspicious-looking man dressed in a trench coat and carrying heavy bags was spotted near the area.  Her first instinct was to make sure that the students were safe. She immediately ordered a lock-down. The police came right away, checked every room, and determined there was no intruder. “It was a kind of situation when one has to make 30 decisions in the first six minutes,” she said.

Stutz sent out timely communication via the school website, text, FB, and media to combat the rumor mills and assure parents and the community that there was no danger.  Stutz said that she “was extremely proud of the way the teachers, staff, and students acted today. We plan (for situations like this), review constantly, share info, debrief, and learn.”  

A second challenge that schools face today is the “high mental health needs of students,” Stutz said.  She said that trauma affects about 20 percent of the student population. Grinnell, like the rest of Iowa, employs a “trauma-informed care” approach.  Instead of asking, “what is wrong with this child,” teachers are trained to ask, “what happened to this child.” A determination is made whether a child has suffered an “acute” or “chronic” trauma. Knowing the specific situation of a child helps pave the way to helping the child.

A new approach to deal with students exhibiting violent behavior is “room clear.” Stutz explains that this would involve creating therapeutic rooms for these students. Grinnell will have a therapeutic room in the high school and in Bailey Park with trained teachers and social workers. A current bill in the Iowa legislature is being considered to fund these therapeutic rooms in school districts.

A third challenge is teacher shortage.  Stutz cited that in the past, there would be 800 applications for one teaching position.  “Now, we are lucky if we get five applications for one position,” she said. Today, Iowa needs 75 special education teachers.  There are no applicants. Schools districts resort to incentives such as sign-up bonus.

Finally, Stutz cited the need for high schools to provide career technical education.  “College is not for everyone. We have a great need for plumbers, electricians, welders, auto mechanics,” she said.  Thus, Stutz has established partnerships with businesses to provide high school students experience in these technical fields.  

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at West Side Dining on 6th Ave., Grinnell.

Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, February 25, 2020, for a meal, meeting, and program.

     The speakers for the evening were Sara Hegg-Dunne and Karen Phillips, and their topic for the evening was the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women in the United States the right to vote.  Hegg-Dunne and Phillips were representing the Grinnell League of Women Voters.  This year, 2020, marks the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the Amendment.  The Iowa League of Women Voters has coined the phrase “Hard Won, Not Done” to commemorate the centennial.  Amendment XIX notes that the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. At first, the constitution placed the question of the right to vote into the hands of the individual legislatures, and this led to chaos around this basic right.  The Seneca Falls convention of 1848 is often described as the birthplace of the suffragist movement. During the Civil War, the suffragist movement went quiet, probably because the abolitionist movement and suffragist movement attracted many of the same people, and the people’s attention was on the war.  Meanwhile, in 1850, Carrie Clinton Lane Chapman Catt was born in Wisconsin, and she later moved with her family to Charles City, Iowa. She later became an important figure in the Iowa movement. After the Civil War, three important Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were passed. In 1865, the 13th amendment which abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude; in 1867, the 14th amendment which grants citizenship for freed slaves and equal protection under the law; and in 1869, the 15th amendment which grants African American men the right to vote, however, none of these amendments addressed the question of women’s rights.  In the 1870’s, Iowa suffragist groups petitioned the legislature for a suffrage amendment. Later in that decade, the Women’s Suffrage Amendment was presented to the Congress.  The House of Representatives approved the 19th Amendment, but the Senate later rejected it.  It wasn’t until a year later, in 1920, that Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.  Iowa actually ratified the amendment in June 1919, the 10th state to do so.  The last state to ratify the 19th amendment was Mississippi in 1984.  Carrie Chapman Catt went on to found the League of Women Voters.  There is a center in her name at Iowa State University, where she was the only woman in her class, and the valedictorian. 

     Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant.

Dennis Conway



   Grinnell Rotary met on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., for a meal, meeting, and program.

     The main topic of discussion at the business meeting was the upcoming Shults and Company performances for February 20, 21, and 22.  Rotarian Jim White will be “head of the house”, and other Rotarian members will serve as ushers for the three performances. The performances will benefit our first responders.

     Guest speaker for the evening was Margaret Christensen, RN (ret), PhD.  She is Clinical Director of Renfrow Senior Care in Grinnell, Iowa. She moved to Grinnell from NW Arkansas, with plans to establish a geriatric medical practice with her husband Bob and niece Marjorie Renfrow.  Margaret attended Iowa State University, received her nursing diploma from St. Francis School of Nursing in Wichita, KS, a Bachelor degree from Wichita State University, Master of Education from University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond OK, and Doctorate from Oklahoma State University.  She has post graduate hours in gerontology from the University of Southern California and is also certified as a Dementia Practitioner. Christensen’s topic was Living with Dementia. People suffering from dementia can’t learn new things, and they can’t change their behavior. Three things that they can remember are Happy Birthday, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Lord’s Prayer.  People with dementia have difficulty finding correct words, and they are not able to do complex things. To them, their feelings are most important. If you are working with someone who is living with dementia, try to follow these rules: agree, never argue; divert, never reason; distract, never shame; reassure, never lecture; reminisce, never say “remember”; repeat, never say “I told you”;  do what they can do, never say “you can’t”; ask, never demand; encourage, never condescend; and reinforce, never force. Christensen presented a very informative program on a topic that affects an aging population, either as patient or caregiver.

     Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.  If you are interested in attending a meeting, contact any Rotarian for meeting information.


Dennis Conway

GRINNELL, IA (Jan. 8, 2020) – Wind turbines have now become a familiar sight in Iowa.  Last year Poweshiek County became the home of the English Farms Wind Farm, Alliant Energy’s newest wind farm.  

    Located between Montezuma and Deep River, the new wind farm has 69 wind turbines that will generate enough electricity to power 60,000 Iowa homes annually.  This is according to Matt Hansen, manager of customer relations at Alliant Energy, who spoke at the Grinnell Rotary Club meeting on Tues., Jan. 7.

    Hansen emphasized “Iowa homes,” to correct any misconception that electricity generated by wind turbines in Iowa goes out of state. “It stays in the state,” he said.

    When asked if these turbines pose any environmental danger to birds, Hansen said that, “it is a concern but is really not a problem” as they have not observed any increase in bird fatalities in the area. If it does occur, they document every incident.  Likewise, they have not observed any change in bird migration patterns because of the presence of wind turbines.

    To date, Alliant Energy has four wind farms serving Iowa customers, with three more planned in 2020.

    Hansen also spoke about the installation of a new battery storage facility in Wellman, Iowa, Alliant’s first large scale battery storage capability in the state.  It will store 2.7 megawatts hours enough to power 650 homes for four hours. 

    He explained that “Wellman has a lot of solar panels but when it gets cloudy, the grid has to kick in right away, which is hard on equipment.”  A battery storage facility nearby can store power generated by solar panels that can be used when needed. He said that “battery technology is getting better.”

    Hansen anticipates that Alliant will be able to provide solar energy to Grinnell soon.

    Alliant also has recently combined its Grinnell and Newton operations in one building on Pinder Ave.  They are also increasingly going digital which maximizes the efficiency of technicians while working on the road. 

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at West Side Dining on 6th Ave., Grinnell.

On December 3, 2019, the Grinnell Rotary Club gathered at the Westside Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting. The Rotary Club's guest speaker was Duane Neff, Building and Planning Director of Public Services for the City of Grinnell who shared with the club the current recycling Grinnell Program, provided updates on 16th avenue retaining wall construction, shared that the automated garbage pickup is going much more smoothly, and provided other public service updates. 

Neff explained that the current recycling changes in the community were based costs per pound increases for the city to recycle, as well as the current costs that have escalated due to items in bins that are contaminated, or items identified as not recyclable; such as glass or other plastics not labeled a 1 or 2. He expressed, “it is important for community members to know that if they make the trip to the recycling center off of East street, to place mixed recycles in the appropriate containers and corrugated cardboard into the appropriate containers”. He also noted that the city will have designated times for drop off of recycling materials in the near future, much like what is done at the brush dump. Please note that you will have to have a driver’s license or documentation that shows you are a resident of Grinnell. The public who do not live in the city of Grinnell will be charged for recycling. 

Rotary will meet on January 7, 2020 at Westside following the winter break. 

Janet M. Stutz


   Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, October 29, 2019, for a meal, meeting, and program.

     The focus of the short business meeting was the Shults & Company performances scheduled for February 2020.  The proceeds of this project will benefit the local fire department.

     The speaker for the evening was Valerie Steinbach, Executive Director of Grinnell Community Daycare and Preschool.  Steinbach is a resident of Newton, Iowa, and has five children. She reported that the daycare center is now fifty years old, and can accommodate one hundred ninety-five children.  Children, ages ten weeks through ten years, may be enrolled at the center, and presently one hundred fifty children are enrolled. Forty-one staff members care for the children. The new name of the organization is Grinnell Community Early Learning Center, and it is a non-profit organization.   It is located at the Ahrens Center, a building now twenty-six years old. The center applies for grants to assist families who qualify, for monthly fees.

     Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.

Dennis Conway



Eleven percent of Poweshiek County residents are food insecure.

Thirty-six percent are one emergency away from slipping into poverty.

Thirty-five percent of students in the school district are on reduced lunch.

These were some of the sobering statistics that Jennifer Cogley, AmeriCorps VISTA project coordinator for Imagine Grinnell, shared with Grinnell Rotarians during their weekly meeting on Nov. 5.

Cogley learned of these statistics while researching food insecurity in Poweshiek County this summer.   Her efforts led to the development of a resource guide to finding food in Grinnell.

Rich in information, the guide has sections on food pantries, food distribution, and access to fresh produce.

Most residents know that Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) operates a food pantry.  But there is also a food pantry in Montezuma, at Grinnell High School and Grinnell Middle School.

Hot food is distributed on various days at different sites –  at First Presbyterian Church at noon three times a week through the Food Recovery Network while Grinnell College is in session; the Community Meal on Tuesdays at 5:45 p.m. at Davis Elementary School; and Blessed Community Meal at United Methodist Church on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. All these are free and open to the public.  

In addition, Meals and Wheels provides meals to homebound seniors and Tiger Packs or backpacks with food are distributed to some school children on Fridays.

Fresh produce is likewise available in several ways.  Fareway and Farmers’ Market provides coupons to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients who purchase fresh produce up to $10 that they can spend on more fresh items. Food Connection provides weekly food boxes with fresh vegetables courtesy of local farmers participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  Finally, Giving Gardens are planted and maintained by volunteers in nine locations during summer. Any resident can pick the vegetables; the rest are brought to MICA.

The food resource guide is available in print.  The information will likewise be put on Imagine Grinnell’s website soon. More importantly, it will be a basis for developing more effective ways to coordinate and expand on the efforts of volunteers and local organizations to address food insecurity in Poweshiek County.  

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at West Side Dining on 6th Ave., Grinnell.


Grinnell Rotary Club met Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., for a meal, meeting, and program.  

     During the business meeting, a discussion was held on the recently completed event, Kites Over Grinnell.  All agreed that it was a very successful event, and a fun, family-oriented activity. The weather was great, and the community was well represented.  Next, the club members discussed the upcoming project, the Shults and Company Program. This is a musical performance, scheduled at Hotel Grinnell for February 20, 21, and 22, at 7:30 p.m.  Proceeds from the Shults and Company performances will benefit Grinnell’s local fire department.

     Rotarian Brent Nickel introduced the speaker for the evening, Mike O’Conner, with the Boy Scouts of America.  Boy Scouts originated in London, England, in 1908. Girl Scouts began in 1910. The programs are not co-ed, but at the present time, there is litigation pending to bring the two organizations together.  Grinnell has both Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. The scouting organizations are working toward building up their memberships.

     Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.

 Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, August 27th, for a meal, meeting, and program.  

     During the short business meeting, the main topic of discussion was the upcoming event, Kites Over Grinnell.  Kites Over Grinnell will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., at Ahrens Park.  Rotarians are providing kite kits to Grinnell elementary students in grades K - 4, and the kits will be assembled in art classes.   At Kites Over Grinnell, there will be open flying (so bring your kites and join in), performing kites, kites flying to music, and a free lunch . Best of all, the watching is FREE!  Mark your calendars and plan to join in on Saturday, September 28th.

     Speaker for the evening was Shane Estes, who spoke of his trip to the United Kingdom.  He and his traveling buddy, Jim Ahrens (Rotarian, now deceased), planned and took the trip together.  Estes played a video, which highlighted the many sites that they saw, and he added his comments as the program progressed.  Estes and Ahrens did research on World War II during their time in the UK. The two saw a lot and enjoyed their trip so much that they became traveling buddies for trips scheduled later.

     Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.   


Dennis Conway


Service dogs can help veterans resume normal lives, according to Travis Thomson, a veteran who spoke at the Grinnell Rotary Club meeting held Tues., Aug. 6.

Travis Thomson, formerly of Boulder, CO., and now of Grinnell, IA, served in the army from 2010 to 2019.  Soon after his basic training, he was deployed to Iraq in April 2011 as part of the last battery to eventually leave Iraq later that year.  While there he encountered heavy indirect fire, mostly from mortars and improvised explosive devices or IED’s.

Never hit directly, he came home in time for Thanksgiving that year. However, his behavior was not normal.  Walking through a department store one day, he reacted quite violently to a noisy battery-operated toy dog. “I punched that toy clear across the floor,” said Thomson.  He realized it was an abnormal reaction to “a benign situation.”

Thomson had a heightened sense of awareness, always on alert, conditioned to identify threats. “Imagine if you thought you might always be in danger,” he said. “It was exhausting.”  He was suffering from sensory overload. The worst was when he would sleep and get nightmares that made him violent.

Yet he soldiered on. After leaving active duty in 2013, he joined the Army Reserve while trying to resume civilian life.  He taught fifth grade in Colorado and enjoyed it. 

In 2014 he helped an army buddy in Grinnell recover from surgery.  He found Grinnell to be “so quiet and peaceful” unlike the noise and bustle of the big city.  He called his wife Katelyn and said, “I think I found Mayberry.” He moved his family, got a job at Jeld-Wen as group manager, and his wife was hired by Wal-mart.

The year 2016 was a bad year.  A couple of his army buddies committed suicide followed by two more soon thereafter. He said, “It is one thing to lose someone to suicide; it is another to know someone who seemed so strong on the outside yet take his life.”

Thomson reached a breaking point.  He sought help from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Iowa City. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), he was put on medication and underwent treatment like prolonged exposure therapy.  But none of the treatments worked. His doctor suggested having a service dog.

Thomson’s first service dog was Major, a beautiful Lab.  When Major died, he got Sadie, a Red Heeler, also known as Australian Cattle Dog. Trained by the American Kennel Club, Sadie is quite intelligent and knows about 150 words.  A steady companion, Sadie stays with Thomson as long as he is up and wakes him up when he is having a violent nightmare. Sadie goes wherever Thomson goes, including to his job as owner of Major Home Improvement, LLC., a business he started two years ago.  Thomson says that people can tell his mood depending on how Sadie looks. “If she is laying on the floor, relaxed, then people know I’m having a good day.” Sadie has definitely been a calming influence in Thomson’s life and a welcomed addition to the family.

Thomson and his wife and family are happy in Grinnell.  Thomson is taking one day at a time. He enjoys his job and is looking forward when school starts for his three children, all named after US presidents – Jackson, 7; Carter, 4; and Pierce, 2.

Thomson has a message for other Veterans: if you need help, go to the nearest VA.  They’ve done wonders for him and knows they will, too, for any veteran needing help

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at West Side Dining on 6th Ave., Grinnell.


Grinnell Rotary met July 29, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. for a meal, meeting, and program. 

     During the short business meeting, the main topic of discussion was Kites Over Grinnell.  Rotary is sponsoring Kites Over Grinnell, which will take place September 28TH.

     The guest speaker for the evening was Steve Johnson, of Johnston, IA.  He presented a program on fraud. This is a big topic that cannot be covered in a small article, so I am concentrating my space on one facet only.  AARP Fraud Watch Network has identified 13 ways that con artists can steal your money. 1) Phishing…Someone contacts you via email and says that there is some problem with your bank account and you need to verify this account with a social security number, bank routing number or birth date.  2) Stealing mail or sensitive documents…Personal information is taken from your trash, your office or from social media websites and used to steal your identity. 3) Bogus job opportunities…bogus job offers are made on various employment websites, and then use your personal information provided in the job application.  4) Gold coin scam…You are conned into purchasing gold coins that are priced at a mark-up that will result in you losing money the minute you buy them. 5) Free lunch…You are invited to a free lunch where an investment will be offered, you have no time to think about whether it is a scam, since the you are required to sign up now.  6) Oil and gas scams…You are encouraged to invest in drilling for oil where there has never been oil before, which could result in you striking out while trying to strike it rich. 7) Fake checks. 8) Tech support scams…You get a call that your computer has a virus. You allow the con to remotely take control of your computer, and they actually install a virus, and charge you to remove it.  9) Disaster-related charity fraud…Scammers use natural disasters to set up fake charity websites to raise money for the victims, and the money actually benefits the criminals. 10) Sweetheart scams…You go to a dating website hoping to find your special someone, a con artist shows an interest in you but can never meet in person, and eventually asks you for money. 11) Timeshare scams…You try to sell your timeshare, and are contacted by a con artist who says they work for a company that helps to sell timeshares, and after you pay the upfront fee, they disappear.  12) Grandparent scam…Con artist calls a grandparent and pretends to be grandson or granddaughter, saying that they have been arrested or detained. They need you to wire funds. 13) The foreign lottery scam…You are informed that you have won a foreign lottery, and all you have to do to collect your winnings is wire them a prossessing fee, when in fact, you have won nothing. Some prevention tips include: protect your social security number and personal information, monitor your bills and financial accounts, watch over your credit reports, protect your personal identification  numbers and passwords, protect your information online, protect your mail, and be cautious of scams and frauds.    

     Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant at 6:00 p.m.

    Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, May 28th, for their weekly meal, meeting, and program.

    The main topic of discussion at the business meeting was the Rotary Annual Chicken Barbecue, which is coming up on Thursday, June 13th.

    Rotarian Mike Olson introduced the speaker for the evening, Jeff Stein.  Stein is an educator, journalist, and attorney. He holds the title of R. J. McElroy Chair and Executive-In-Residence in Communication Arts at Wartburg College, where he teaches broadcasting and media law and ethics courses.  Stein also serves as executive secretary of the Iowa Broadcast News Association. He is an award winning broadcaster, and has worked for a number of Iowa stations, and also has served as political analyst for a couple of stations.  Stein has spoken around the country on broadcasting, journalism, and mass media topics. He and his wife Carole Lackey, live in Waverly, Iowa. His presentation in Grinnell included a history of the broadcasting industry (both radio and television) in Iowa.  Stein explained how The Floppy Show began, and progressed through the years. Young Iowans were entertained by The Floppy Show for many years.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant at 6:00 p.m.


Dennis Conway


Senator Joni Ernst spoke at the Grinnell Rotary Club regular meeting on Tues., July 2nd, her sixth stop that day on her 10-day break from Washington D.C.

As expected, she spoke of issues she considered important to Iowans. Among them are her support of E15 fuel and the need for vigilance over Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) so that large oil companies do not get waivers for smaller refineries that they own, exempting them from ethanol production requirements.  

Ernst cited the need for additional disaster relief for farmers affected by recent flooding in addition to the passage of the Disaster Relief Act. She talked about farmers owning grain bins along the Missouri River that burst during the flood, ruining $7 million worth of stored grain—a loss not covered by insurance.

Less known are her efforts to work on a paid family leave act that would enable new parents to have paid family leave when they have a baby.  Among other things, the bill will allow these parents to defer retirement by two months for every month of paid family leave.  

Ernst spoke lengthily of her work on lowering the cost of prescription drugs through specific bills that would prevent “patent thickening” – the practice of pharmaceuticals to change a patent slightly that extends the life of the patent - and “sham patent transfers” that occur when a drug company sells a patent to a Native American tribe that is considered a sovereign nation, and thus, outside U.S. jurisdiction.

She emphasized the need for constituents to reach out to lawmakers to help them become  aware of what is going on in a community. 

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at West Side Family Dining on 6th Ave., Grinnell.


   Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. for their weekly meal, meeting, and program.

    During the business meeting, the main topic of discussion was the Rotary Annual Chicken Barbecue, which is scheduled for June 13, 2019.   It is taking place a little later this year, mainly because school is letting out later than usual. Rotary members also signed up to help in the concession stands at the Ahrens Little League Complex during the spring and summer months.

    Club member Dennis Snook introduced our speaker for the evening, Kathryn Bly.  Bly chose to speak on the topic of Human Trafficking. She said human trafficking is big business across the United States, and it accounts for forty billion dollars a year.  This figure is only second to the amount that the drug trade brings in. Human trafficking involves the buying and selling of humans, mainly women. Eighty-two percent of the women who are bought and sold in the U.S. are age 11-14.  In Iowa, the ages run from 16 to 21. The men who are in charge of these women are known as Full Pimps or Daddies. Many of the girls are found on Craig’s List and want ads, but they are most often found in person. Does human trafficking happen in Iowa?  Yes, mainly because Interstate 80 and Interstate 35 provide easy access. In Iowa, there are fourteen truck stops where human trafficking takes place. Bly also reported that other places in Iowa where human trafficking occurs include the Iowa State Fair, the Drake Relays, and the Iowa Speedway.  Because the human trafficking problem is far out of control, a number of organizations are offering their help to slow this activity.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.


Dennis Conway



    Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. for their weekly meal, meeting, and program.

    The brief business meeting consisted of a short financial update.

    The program was presented by a local historian, Karen Groves.  Karen’s topic of discussion was a tour of Hazelwood Cemetery (in her own words).  Research for the tour of Hazelwood Cemetery was done by Betty Ernst and Karen Groves, and they both worked long and hard to complete it.  One interesting fact that Groves reported was: In the early years of Hazelwood Cemetery, family members would care for or maintain their own grave site.  The cemetery is now owned by the City of Grinnell. Groves detailed some interesting facts about Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, whose final resting place is in Hazelwood Cemetery.  J.B. Grinnell (as a conscientious breaker of the Fugitive Slave Law) used his influence, his home, and wool barn to aid escaping slaves in their quest for freedom. Founder of Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, is buried in Hazelwood Cemetery, on land that he donated to the town.  Josiah B. Grinnell’s gravesite, overlooking the community named for him, is the best place to commemorate his extensive involvement in the Underground Railroad. Hazelwood Cemetery is open to the public seven days a week during the daylight hours.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m., Grinnell Rotary met for their weekly meal, meeting,
and program. Several guests were present for the special program, along with six Grinnell
High School seniors who were working on the requirements to qualify for a Rotary scholarship.
At the short business meeting, the Rotary Annual Chicken Barbecue date was announced for
2019. June 13, 2019, will be the chicken barbecue date. It was noted that this date is a week
later than most earlier barbecues due to school letting out late this year.
The program for the evening was presented by Rotarian Gerald Adams, and his wife Sara.
They took an 82 day cruise, returning in January 2019. Their first stop was in Alaska and the last
stop was in Hawaii, with many stops in between. Gerry and Sara sailed with Holland America
on their cruise, and along the way, they visited 12 countries, 1 American possession, and 2
states. The trip covered a total of 23,000 miles. The presentation included many photos
depicting the culture, people, and scenery of places such as Russia, Japan, China, Singapore,
Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Australia (to name a few). All present enjoyed the program, and
many took the opportunity to imagine how interesting a trip such as this would be. Thank you
to Gerry and Sara for a very enjoyable program.
Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.
Dennis Conway

    Tuesday, March 5, 2019, Rotary members honored local farmers and those who work in agriculture related jobs.  Approximately 42 club members and special guests were in attendance.

    Guest speaker for the evening was Aaron Putze, Director of Communications and External Relations for the Iowa Soybean Association.  Putze began his program with some statistics of Iowa soybean production. Iowa is 2nd in soybean production, 1st in corn production, and 1st in egg production, in the world.  In Iowa, 86% of the land is used for growing crops, and Iowa has the 10th best soil for growing in the world.  

    Grinnell Rotary members thank the farmers for their hard work, and for taking time in their busy schedules to attend this special meeting.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the West Side Family Restaurant.


Dennis Conway


    On December 18, 2018, Grinnell Rotarians met at West Side Family Restaurant for their weekly meal, meeting, and program.

    Following a brief business meeting, the speaker for the evening was introduced.

    Marilyn Kennett, Grinnell City Librarian, was the speaker, and her topic for the evening was Trust.  When library staff interviews candidates for employment, one of the questions asked is…… what do the words “intellectual freedom” mean to you.  Most candidates come up with something close for an explanation. Marilyn stated that it makes her feel good when a 14 year old applying for a library page position talks about freedom to read what you want to read without feeling like you are being judged.  Many studies show that libraries are among the most trusted institutions. According to a 2015 study by Pews Research, 78% of adults say that public libraries help them to find information that they consider to be trustworthy and reliable. Marilyn said that a whopping 87% of Millennials, or those who are age 18 to 35, are the biggest users of libraries in the United States.  So, perhaps, libraries in general have a good handle on trust because of their policies on confidentiality and the fact that they do not operate on a commercial basis. When it comes to trust, it is important to be perceived as part of the local community. Trust can lead to community partnerships.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.


Dennis Conway

This past Tuesday, November 27, 2018 the Grinnell Rotary Club gathered at the Westside Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting.   The Rotary Club's guest speaker was Deanna Vogt from Second Mile, who shared information about the history of the Christmas Share program.   

Vogt expressed that the Christmas Share began in 1987 in which volunteers identified those families with a financial or health need to have something extra during the holiday seasons. Original items provided were a towel or sweatshirt.  Over the years, the Christmas Share program changed in order to give items that were needed and identified by families. Today the Christmas Share serves more than 170 families. Organizations throughout the community signed up to serve families between September and October this past year.  Sponsors who sign up received an anonymous family, and were provided a needs list in which they would purchase and donate items for the family. Items purchased by sponsors will be distributed on December 15. The Grinnell- Newburg Boys Basketball Team under the leadership of Coach Sharp, will once again help on distribution day.  

If you are looking for more information regarding the Christmas Share program, please contact Pam Montgomery at Second Mile.      

Rotary will meet next week on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at Westside for their Holiday Dinner and singing performed by Shults and Company.   


Janet M. Stutz



    Grinnell Rotary met November 6, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. West Side Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting, meal, and program.

    After the meal, a business meeting was held.  We discussed the help Rotary members would be giving to the Jingle Bell Holiday on November 16th.  Another topic on the agenda,  was organizing for Rotarian participation in ringing  the bell for the Salvation Army at local stores on December 1st.

    The speaker for the evening was introduced by member Nancy VanTomme, who introduced Taz Stills, Senior Recruitment Specialist for the American Red Cross.  Stills presented her program through a power point presentation. The American Red Cross Iowa Region Headquarters is located at 2110 Grand Ave., in Des Moines.  The region has 800 volunteers, 24 paid staff members, and serves 2.8 million people. The Iowa region serves 96 counties in Iowa, 1 county in Nebraska, and 1 county in South Dakota.  A popular Red Cross project , called the Pillow Case Project, is supported by the Disney Corporation. The Pillow Case Project is provided to any group along with training from the Red Cross, at no cost.  Students design their own pillow cases to store their keepsakes in, much as a treasure chest would be used. The Red Cross presents the project to schools, and currently, 2.3 million people have been educated on this project.  As always, the Red Cross is ready to meet emergency needs for disaster victims, down the street and around the world.


Dennis Conway

Grinnell Rotarians met November 13, 2018, at West Side Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting, meal, and program.  

    During the business meeting, two upcoming activities were discussed.  December 1st, members will be serving as bell ringers for the Salvation Army, and on December 8th, Rotary members will be helping with a celebration for Santa in the Park.

    Speakers for the evening were Tom and Carol Narak, Co-Governors of Rotary District 6000.  They reported that there are 66 Rotary Clubs in District 6000. They mentioned that the reading programs benefiting students, sponsored by local Rotary Clubs, are very strong, and to keep up the good work.  Tom suggested several ideas for attracting new members . He also praised the work that Grinnell Rotary is doing. Tom concluded his talk with this final reminder……..always remember, service above self.

    November 20, 2018, Rotarians met for a meal, meeting, and program.

    Member Doug Cameron introduced the speakers for the evening, Ashley Grundler and Sandy Motta.  Their program was Big Brothers Big Sisters. Ashley Grundler is the Mentor Coordinator of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.  Her focus is the students at Davis School, who participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sandy Motta is responsible for the students at Bailey Park , who participate in the program.  Both Ashley and Sandy said that one caring adult in a child’s life is the essence of what Big Brothers Big Sisters is about. A mentoring organization’s goal is to tip the scale in a positive direction.  As positive support accumulates, children learn coping skills, helping them to deal with traumas that they have faced or will face. Some of these coping skills include the ability to problem solve, to plan, to monitor, and to regulate their behaviors and emotions.  So, what does it take to overcome childhood adversities? One caring adult. One mentor.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant, at 6:00 p.m.


Dennis Conway

This past Tuesday, October 30, the Grinnell Rotary Club gathered at the Westside Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting.   The Rotary Club's guest speaker was Grinnell High School Senior, Riley Osborne.  Riley shared her story as the Grinnell’s Rotary recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, RYLA.  As a RYLA recipient, dollars are allocated in order for the student to attend the leadership conference during the summer months.
Riley expressed, “this leadership conference was phenomenal and life changing”.  She explained that she had an opportunity to meet many people, learned not only about leadership development, but also how not to stigmatize a person’s ability based upon age. Riley was impressed by the counselors who lead various activities. She shared a letter from Danica Nolton, graduate from GHS, former RYLA recipient and now RYLA counselor, who thanked the Grinnell Rotary for supporting student scholarships and the RYLA event.  Danica expressed in her letter asking for more Grinnell Rotarians to participate in RYLA as she was so impressed with Rotarian role models who were there guiding counselors through various activities.   Riley thanked the Rotary group for affording her the opportunity to be a part of the RYLA team. Riley stated, “Rotary is shaping the minds and abilities of our youth by affording this wonderful experience to young people”.  Riley committed herself to encourage other high school students to apply for the RYLA scholarship.
Rotary will meet next week on Tuesday November 6, 2018 at Westside.  Next week the Rotarians will host a speaker from the Red Cross Pillow Project.
Janet M. Stutz


Club Executives & Directors
President Elect