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
District Site
Venue Map

    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

This past Tuesday, October 4, 2018 the Grinnell Rotary Club gathered at the Westside Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting.   The highlight of this meeting was to re-cap the Kites over Grinnell Event that occurred on September 29, 2018.  Bruce Blankenfeld shared photos and indicated that, “we clearly do this for the good of the community.  This is an event in which all community members can come out to enjoy watching our students and professional kite fliers from all over the country fly unique kites”.   Although cold and potential rain threatened the outdoor event at Ahrens Park, it did not stop the many community members from attending.

The Grinnell Rotary donated the materials for the event for all students with the help from their sponsors.

More than 800 students in Kindergarten through sixth grade participated in building either a sled or diamond designed kite.  Farren Johnson, k-4 art teacher and Josh Wardenburg, GMS art teacher invited Rotary, PTO, and members from the community into their classrooms to aide in the construction of the kites.  More than 200 students attended the event throughout the day on Saturday to test out their kite flying skills. Games, food, and spectacular kite flying views masked the cold and potential rainy weather.  

Professional Kite flyers came in from Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, Texas, Pennsylvania and Minnesota along with our very own kite flyers from Grinnell.   The annual event will be held next year on September 28, 2019. We hope that our community will come out to enjoy some spectacular sites!


Janet M. Stutz

Photos were taken by GHS student Rebecka Reed


Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, September 11, 2018, at 6:00 p.m.  On the agenda were a meal, business meeting, and program.

    The majority of the business meeting was spent organizing and reviewing the details for the upcoming event:  Rotary Kites Over Grinnell, which will be held Saturday, September 29, 2018, at the Ahrens complex.

    Rotarian Gerry Adams introduced the speaker for the evening, Rachel Bly.  Bly first became interested in tonight’s topic, Emergency Management, through her role on the city council, and her role at the college.  She has taken FEMA classes online, followed by a month long set of classes at the Basic Academy. Bly stated that the vision of emergency management seeks to promote safer, less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters.   In 1802, the Congressional Disaster Relief Act was passed, giving federal aid in a disaster to businesses. The next step in emergency relief was Civil Defense. In the 60’s and 70’s, a series of natural disasters hit the U.S., most of them having impacts that were much greater than the local community could handle.  In 1979, President Carter created FEMA, and in 1988, the Stafford Act was passed. This put into place the system that we have today, and allows for a presidential declaration that frees up money to assist with disaster response and recovery. It also gives FEMA the authority to coordinate response efforts and covers all hazards, including terrorism and natural events.  FEMA has a bit of a checkered history, with Hurricane Katrina being one example of a disaster where many things went wrong. Major reforms have been implemented since Katrina. Using the theory of whole community, every one of us has a role in a disaster, we share a responsibility in preventing a disaster (by being aware, reporting things that are out of the ordinary, learning about mitigation); being prepared personally and in our organizations, and by being a part of the recovery efforts if a disaster should strike.

    Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant.


Dennis Conway



    Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at West Side Family Restaurant.  A meal, business meeting, and a program were on the agenda.

    Most of the business meeting was spent organizing for the annual celebration, Kites Over Grinnell.  This year, Kites Over Grinnell will take place in late September.

    Mayor Dan Agnew was introduced as speaker for the evening.  He is a born and raised Grinnellian, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and a former teacher and coach in the Newton School District.  He joined Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance and retired in 2010 after a 40 year career, which included 19 years as President and CEO. In 2009, Agnew was inducted into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame.  Dan is currently serving his first year as Mayor of Grinnell. Mayor Agnew reported that Grinnell is in good financial shape, as evidenced by the repairing of our city streets. He praised the employees of the city, and stated that they are a very dedicated group of employees.  He believes that Grinnell’s new, improved Central Park is a great addition to our downtown, and mentioned that there are many projects currently in progress throughout the city. Dan Agnew said that he is honored to serve as the Mayor of Grinnell.

    Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant.  


Dennis Conway


Habitat for Humanity had a presence in Grinnell sometime ago.  It can do so again. All that is needed is ten good volunteers.


That was the message that Lance Henning, executive director of Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, had for Rotarians at its weekly meeting held Tues., June 19.


A native of Iowa, Henning became involved with Habitat through a church study group as a young student.  He made it his career after college, serving as executive director in Kansas City and 15 years in Des Moines.


Henning said that Habitat partners with the community to build affordable housing for people in need.  They also provide critical home repair opportunities. The Des Moines Office currently has projects and volunteers in Polk, Dallas and Jasper counties.


The typical family that is helped by Habitat has to meet three criteria: need, willingness to partner, and the ability to pay.  The homebuyers put in sweat equity into their own home as well as render volunteer hours at other Habitat homes. They are required to take the Blueprint to Homeownership course that focuses on financial education and homeownership responsibilities.  They purchase their home from Habitat with an affordable mortgage.


Volunteers are at the heart of Habitat.  One does not need to have construction experience, according to Henning.  There are experienced people who will show volunteers what needs to be done for a particular project.  Henning said, “You will be surprised by what you can do.”


Typical projects are exterior home repair, weatherization, safety and accessibility improvements, and landscape planting.


Another Habitat service is ReStore, a store that sells new and used home improvement materials at discounted prices.  There are two ReStore locations in the Greater Des Moines area. Habitat also has a tool lending library available to volunteers to borrow tools.


Habitat is currently in 70 countries and in all 50 states in the US, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.  The most famous Habitat volunteer is President Jimmy Carter, who at 93, still renders 20 hours of volunteer work when he is on a job.  He’ll be in South Bend, IN, soon, and was in Canada for a project last year.


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


 This week’s Grinnell Rotary Club speaker was fellow Rotarian Zach Weiderspon.  Zach recently began a new role as the Director of Integration and Planning for UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.  In that role, he is charged with helping lead UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s transition into the UnityPoint Health System.  Prior to taking this new role Zach served as a member of the Finance team at Grinnell Regional Medical Center. He is a resident of Grinnell and an active member in the Grinnell community.  Zach spoke to the Grinnell Rotary Club to give a hospital update and discuss some of the exciting new developments that are occurring in partnership with UnityPoint Health. He shared that the hospital has completed the planting of the giving gardens located throughout the community.   Wellness Director Chad Nath, helped prepare and plant the gardens, which are open to all and help to provide fresh produce to residents, as well as local food pantries. Weiderspon also mentioned that the hospital recently held a community open forum to discuss the opioid abuse epidemic that is impacting the U.S.  The open forum was put on in conjunction with several community and regional stakeholders including local law enforcement, fire department, substance abuse counselors, assisted living and nursing homes, and other community stakeholders. The stakeholders were able to discuss preventions and interventions for limiting opioid abuse throughout the community.   Zach discussed some exciting new developments at the hospital through its partnership with UnityPoint Health. The hospital will be adding and expanding several specialties including Cardiology, Orthopedics, Dermatology, and Ear Nose and Throat. Beginning in June, the hospital is planning six more days/month of cardiology services. In late July/early August, the hospital will be welcoming two orthopedic providers that will offer a full range of orthopedic services.  The hospital is looking at adding an additional day/month of dermatology services to help meet the community’s need. Finally, the hospital is excited to welcome and expand ear nose and throat services as a new full-time ENT provider will be joining Surgical Associates, LLP in July. Zach closed by saying that there are a lot of exciting things happening at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center that will help improve and expand access to care locally.

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


It all began in 1995 with the first Shults & Co. show.  It was a perfect time to launch a collaborative effort. Frank Shults was president of the Grinnell Rotary Club.  He and wife Sherry had a love for music that they had already been sharing with the community through various programs.  Frank presented the idea to Rotary – let’s have a fundraiser. He and Sherry will create a musical show and through ticket sales and ads sold by Rotarians for the program, they could raise funds for various community causes.

Twelve shows later this collaborative effort reached a milestone.  This year’s musical revue, “As Time Goes By and Other Great Movie Songs,” presented in April, raised a net of $11,500. This sum was augmented with a Community Service Grant of $1,500 from Rotary District 6000.  Adding these to past proceeds of $87,000, the long-standing collaboration of Shults & Co. and Grinnell Rotary has raised a total of $100,000 that have been donated to various local organizations through the years.

This milestone was celebrated at Rotary’s weekly meeting on Tues., May 15, at West Side Dining with a presentation of this year’s net proceeds to UnityPoint Health-Grinnell Regional Medical Center Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center, represented by its director of wellness/fitness and integrated health,  Chad Nath. The occasion was marked as well with the presence of members of Shults & Co.

Members of Shults & Co. celebrated reaching $100,000 fund-raising milestone. (From left) seated : Rick Young; Anthony Nieuwsma; Debby Pohlson; Sherry Shults, and  Gailanne Dill; standing: Bill Hammen; Austin Jones; Keith Briggs; Chad Nath of UPH-GRMC; George Drake; Tim Dill, and Frank Shults. (Not present: JoAnn Britton; Mary Fopma; Kent Kastendick; and Adam McFee)


Shults, in his remarks, noted that past beneficiaries have been Drake Community Library; GRMC’s Medical Lab and Chemo Unit; the music department and middle school music lab of the Grinnell-Newburg School District; Grinnell Area Arts Council; Grinnell Recreation Dept.; Grinnell Senior Center; and the former Grinnell Productions.  He likewise thanked Effie Hall, current Grinnell Rotary Club president, Bruce Blankenfeld, chair of the ad sales committee, and the many Rotarians who sold ads and provided vital behind-the-scene support.

        The rest of the meeting featured guest speaker Marilyn Kennett, director of Drake Community Library.  She gave an update on what is happening at the library. Kennett stated that the library has been in its current location for nine years.    A new sign, designed by Ryan McGuire, and built by ASI Sign Systems, Inc., is now placed outside of the entrance to the library. Kennett said that there are approximately 7000 visits to the library monthly, tracked by a laser counter.  The library recently added the capability of tracking usage of its wireless Internet service. One unusual service provided recently was to give out eclipse glasses to enable visitors to view safely the August 2017 solar eclipse.

Other services provided are online research tools, a database of local obituaries, and a wide variety of programming.  Additional services are E-books, print materials, assistance in using public internet stations, and a Code Club for students in 3rd through 8th grades.  The services listed do not include the standard services, which many visitors still stop at the library to use.  

Coming to Drake Community Library in the near future is Michelle Gutlove, an artist from Massachusetts, who will construct artwork that will be suspended from the ceiling in the center of the library.



The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at West Side Dining. - Dennis Conway.


Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at West Side Family Restaurant.  On the agenda were a meal, meeting, and program.

    During the short business meeting, Rotarians thanked club member Frank Shults, for the work that he and his group, Shults and Company, put in preparing for the wonderful musical program that they presented to the public.  Upcoming events are the scholarship program in May and the Annual Chicken Barbecue in early June.

    Mike Olson introduced the speaker for the evening.  David Hyatt, President of Iowa Speedway, was named to that position in February 2018.  Iowa Speedway is wholly owned by NASCAR, the premier sanctioning body (league) for stock car racing in the United States.  Hyatt is a native of southern West Virginia, and has 30 years experience in broadcasting/auto racing. Prior to his current position, he served as President and Executive Producer of the Motor Racing Network.  He has received numerous awards in broadcasting involving the racing industry. Hyatt and MRN received the prestigious “Best Coverage” award from the American Auto Writers and Broadcasters Association for the team’s production of a broadcast of the Daytona 500, marking the first time in history that the Motor Racing Network and/or a NASCAR race was chosen for the honor.  David Hyatt and his family currently live in Concord, North Carolina, however, they have plans to move to Central Iowa in the near future. He ended his talk with the statement “Remember racecar spelled backwards is racecar”.

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


Dennis Conway


This past Tuesday, March 13, 2018 the Grinnell Rotary Club gathered at the Westside Family Restaurant for their weekly meeting.   The Rotary Club's guest speaker was Jack Mutti, Semi-retired Grinnell College Professor of Economics. Jack continues to support independent study students at Grinnell College in some capacity.  Jack highlighted the economic status of our country and shared an overview of our country’s steady growth over the last few years.

Jack also highlighted current administrative strategies that continue the growth of our economy. He provided a variety of statistical information and trends over the last three years. Areas in which economists continue to pay close attention to following the recession of 2008-09 are the labor market, wage increase, inflation, jobs and labor force productivity.   He highlighted that Iowa in particular “is well above the national average for employment, 66% as compared to the national average of 60%”. Jack explained that economists attempt to make sense of the impact of the stock market and CPI, and how it will affect wage increases in the near future. What was most interesting was his explanation of how the value of the dollar in 2016 skyrocketed to 10%, yet only a year later it dropped.  Jack talked about the reasons why labor productivity may have spiked during certain times in our history such as the invention of something new, like electricity. I wonder what the next key life changing invention will be that may spike future labor productivity? Maybe it is just around the corner.


Janet M. Stutz

     Mr Lang, a long-time resident of Iowa, is the former president of the
Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Board of Regents, to name a few of his many
service activities.  He is currently seeking
office as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
     He expounded on three different themes in his address: Soil Health,
Cleaner Water, and increased job opportunities related to agriculture.  He
said that we could realize better soil health through diversification from
the corn/soybean crop rotation.
     It would be necessary to promote water-shed conservertion through the
the greater use of cover crops to control flooding and soil run-off.  He
said increased job opportunities could result from the expanded cattle
grazing on cover crops and the increased fertility produced by animal
      He concluded with how inscreased trade and export opportunities could
result from agriculture.
     The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday evening at the Westside
Family Restaurant in Grinnell.

The Grinnell Rotary Club met on February 27, 2018 at Westside Family Restaurant . Our speaker for the evening was the Regional Manager for the recently opened K and M Tire Distribution Center in Grinnell. This business opened last year in the old Donaldson Company plant.


K&M Tire is a family-owned regional tire distributor headquartered in the small Midwestern town of Delphos, OH. K&M owns and operates 26 distribution centers throughout the Great Lakes, Midwest, and Great Plains regions and distributes 20+ brands of passenger and light truck tires, 16+ brands of medium truck tires, and 10+ brands of agricultural, industrial, and specialty tires. K&M offers 18 associate dealer and marketing programs to tire retailers in more than 27 states. Because K&M does not own or operate any retail locations, nor do they sell directly online to consumers, they are able to offer a genuine partnership experience to our tire dealer customers.


The Grinnell Center is just getting started.  When it is fully operational, the Grinnell facility will move 80,000 tires per month to dealers in the states of North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. They will have thirty-five employees at the Grinnell site.  The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at Westside Family Restaurant. Any interested person is welcome to join us.


    On January 30th, Grinnell Rotary met at West Side Family Restaurant for a meal, meeting, and program.

    During the business meeting, several items of interest were discussed.  Rotarians will be serving the Community Meal on February 20th.  Different organizations and churches serve the Community Meal each Tuesday at Davis School.  Hospital representative, Chad Nath, was present to ask our club if we would consider sponsoring one of the seven Giving Gardens located in Grinnell.  As a sponsor, club members would be responsible for planting the garden, maintaining the garden during growing season, and harvesting the produce not picked by community members and turning it in to MICA.

    Rotarian Howard Raffety introduced the speaker, Bill Menner.  Menner, a former member of the Tom Vilsack staff, has started a new business, The Bill Menner Group.  The main objective of The Bill Menner Group is to deal with small town challenges, and to help revitalize rural towns.  Menner said that some of the problems facing rural America are that people are getting older and sicker.  The Midwest is losing population since this area is experiencing more deaths than births.  As the Midwest loses population, urban areas are growing.  Bill reported that on April 5th and 6th, Grinnell will host a gathering called the Rural Summit Conference.  Towns the size of Grinnell have been invited.  Approximately three hundred fifty guests from various towns should be present.  Those who attend the Rural Summit will observe Grinnell, and exchange ideas that seem to work in their communities.  Menner stated that having many towns get together should be helpful, as representatives exchange their ideas with each other.

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


Dennis Conway


Named after its founder, Paul Harris, this recognition program was first established in 1957 to acknowledge individuals who contribute $1000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.  Recipients receive a certificate and a medallion.  

Leading the group was Doug Cameron, who received his second Paul Harris recognition, marking the second time he has personally reached the $1000 giving milestone. Cameron, whose father was also a Rotarian, joined the Club in 1980.  Cameron served as president of the Club in 1992-93 and in 2007-08.

Another way that Rotary recognizes Paul Harris Fellows is through a point system established in 2009 by Rotary International.  Under the point system, Rotarians who have become Paul Harris Fellows through their own giving are able to accumulate points -- called “foundation recognition points,” -- for any additional gifts they make to the Rotary Foundation.  As these foundation points accumulate, they can transfer them to other Rotarians to encourage fellow-members with their own foundation commitment.

This year Bruce Blankenfeld, secretary of the Grinnell Rotary Club, undertook the paper work to transfer accumulated foundation recognition points belonging to Grinnell Rotarians, who were already Paul Harris fellows because of their record of giving, to fellow members who were not yet Paul Harris Fellows.  “Our goal is to become a 100-percent Paul Harris Fellows club,” said Blankenfeld.  

Named first-time Paul Harris Fellows through the foundation recognition point system were: Julie Beach, president-elect; Scott Beach; Dan Becker; Jim Buck; Denny Conway; Andy Dunham; Effie Hall, president; Heriberto Hernandez, president in 2015-16; Kevin Kolbe; Brent Nickel; Dennis Reilly, president 2016-17; Rod Rosburg, president nominee; Janet Stutz; Joe Trewin; and Zach Weiderspon.

During the award ceremony, Hall said, “The challenge to these new Fellows in our Club, like myself, is to earn our second Paul Harris Fellow recognition through our own personal giving to the Rotary Foundation.”

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at West Side Family Dining.

The program for the February 6, 2018 meeting of the Grinnell Rotary Club featured Dr. Christopher C. Peters, a surgeon practicing in the Iowa City area, specializing in the treatment of veins.


    This Kansas native, who did part of his medical training in Kansas, spoke to the assembled Rotarians at the Westside Diner.  He framed his message around three healthcare ABCs: Access, Benefits and Cost.  The last one increasing the most is cost.  For examples, the per capita cost per year is $19,886 and increasing.  One sixth of the nation’s economy goes to healthcare because of over-utilization.


    Dr. Peters maintained that the 3rd party payer system is a substantial part of the problem and should be reformed to encourage savings for healthcare because 5% of the population consumes the most of healthcare.


    The balance of the meeting’s business consisted of planning for the Valentine’s Dinner and seeking volunteers for the upcoming community meal on Tues., Feb. 20 for which the Club will be responsible.  


    The Grinnell Rotary Club meets every Tuesday night at 6 pm at the Westside Family Restaurant in Grinnell.


“As Time Goes By and Other Great Movie Songs”, a musical revue featuring the singing group, Shults & Co,  will be a major fundraising event this spring for the Grinnell Rotary Club, according to club president, Effie Hall.

The production, written and directed by Frank and Sherry Shults, will take place April 12, 13 and 14 in the Hotel Grinnell Auditorium, formerly the Voertman Theatre.   “We are excited to be presenting the first major production in Grinnell’s beautiful new Hotel Grinnell Auditorium. Like the building itself, the auditorium has been completely redesigned and renovated”, said the Shultses.

Among the well-known and beloved movie songs to be presented will be “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun, “Soul Man” from The Blues Brothers and “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.

Shults & Co. vocalists are Frank and Sherry Shults, Tim and Gailanne Dill, Debby Pohlson,  Austin Jones, George Drake, Bill Hammen, JoAnn Britton and Keith Briggs.  Combo members are Mary Fopma, piano; Rick Young, bass guitar and vocals; Kent Kastendick, keyboard, Adam McFee, percussion and Anthony Nieuwsma; guitar and  vocals.

Profits from the show will be donated to UnityPoint Health Grinnell Regional Medical Center’s Paul W. Ahrens Fitness Center for the purchase of new equipment.

Tickets will be available at Brown’s Shoe Fit on March 12.


Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. for a meal, meeting, and program.  Rotarians meet every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant.

    The meeting on January 23rd was dedicated to thanking farmers for their contributions to society.  Club members invited local farmers and those who worked in businesses related to farming, to be their special guests.   

    Jim Buck introduced the speaker for the evening, Sharie Grief, a representative of Alliant Energy, who spoke about three energy sources:  coal, wind, and solar.  The main focus of the program was on solar energy.  Solar energy is a little more expensive (18 cents per kilowatt), but is more efficient overall.  If you are interested in purchasing and installing solar panels, the first step is to find an installer.  Get three estimates, and find out what the pay back would be.  You also need to have a tax liability.  Additional information is available through Alliant Energy.  Just contact their hotline for answers to your questions.


Dennis Conway


    Grinnell Rotary met January 16, 2017, for a meal, meeting, and program.

    Following the meal, a short business meeting was held.  The main topic of discussion was the upcoming Shults and Company musical program.  All proceeds from the Shults and Company program this year will benefit the hospital.

    The program for the evening was introduced by club member Jim Buck.  Fred Buck (Jim Buck’s brother) and his wife, Jill, presented a musical program.  Fred and Jill Buck play many string instruments:  banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and upright bass, to name a few.  They sang and played many songs for those in attendance.  The Bucks’ use the name Wind River, for performances.  They also play with a band called County Line.  Their program was enjoyable, and very much appreciated.

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


Denny Conway

Grinnell Rotary met Tuesday, December 19, 2017, at 6:00 p.m.  

    The evening started with a special recognition of the Ted Clausen family, as Paul Harris Fellows.  The Paul Harris Fellow program recognizes individuals who contribute $1000 to the Rotary Foundation.  The program also recognizes those in whose name contributions of $1000 have been made to the Foundation.  Clausen family members recognized were:  Helen Clausen, Christopher A. Clausen, Brett White, Rebecca G. Clausen Pinkerton, Jimmy E. Pinkerton, Rachel D. Pinkerton, and Benjamin Karl Havlik.

    The speaker for the night was Poweshiek County Treasurer, Sandy Ross.  Her topic was Grinnell’s Driver’s License Satellite Station.  Ross presented a history of the Grinnell Satellite Station, through a power point presentation.  Going forward, Grinnell will not have a satellite station.  She explained that Grinnell would not have a satellite station because of a county issuance number.  In order for the county to receive enough equipment to allow a Grinnell Satellite Station, the average license issuance number for the county would need to be 5000.  Poweshiek County only had 4857, averaged over three years.  Ross contacted all known sources to advocate for more equipment, but did not succeed in getting the additional equipment approved.  For this reason, the decision was made to have driver’s licenses issued in Montezuma only.

    Grinnell Rotary meets every Tuesday at West Side Family Restaurant.


Denny Conway



Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Rotary Foundation and Director
Membership Chair
Public Image chair
Public Image Vice-Chair
Service to Youth Vice-chair
Service to Youth Chair
Immediate Past President
Membership Vice-Chair
Rotary Foundation Director
Rotary Foundation Director
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