Welcome to Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary

When the sirens sounds be reminded it is Siren Wednesday on ThursdayAND, we will meet on Thursday, June 8 at The Edison Pub and Eatery, 475 Northland Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids for "Siren Wednesday on Thursday" this month.   This is an informal get-together to relax.  Stop by after 5 PM for conversation, food and beverage. If you would like to include any friends and family, bring them along. 
Erik Miles
Do you enjoy working with high school students???  Iowa RYLA 2023 is in need of a Rotarian to volunteer at this year's RYLA in Grinnell.  
RYLA is held in Grinnell Iowa from Saturday, July 15 to Friday July 21.  You would also need to be available on June 17 for training in Grinnell.
Please consider volunteering.  It is a life changing experience.  The Rotarian application is here.  Disregard the application deadline, there has been a cancellation that needs to be filled.

Peter Teahen and John Ockenfels are raising awareness for polio eradication by piloting a single engine aircraft all the way around the globe! Peter and John took off from Cedar Rapids, Iowa May 5, 2023 in a Cessna T210M (single engine) airplane. Along the way, they will encourage support of ending polio forever throughout the world. Both Peter and John are pilots, Rotarians, and members of the Fellowship of Flying Rotarians. Polio eradication has been a primary focus of Rotary for over 35 years and continues to be a major initiative. While the end of polio may be near, no child anywhere is safe until every child has been vaccinated. You can donate to ending polio inspired by their flight and you can follow their progress at their web site below:

They made it to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerates.
You can also order a tee shirt to help support the flight below:
Flight to End Polio T-Shirts are available, $8.50 per shirt is donated to The Rotary Foundation PolioPlus fund. Click to order https://endpolionow.itemorder.com/shop/home/      
On May 9 our Club hosted students, parents and Marion City and school district officials to recognize students who have worked to create a safe and drug free school environment at Linn-Mar, Marion Independent and St. Joseph schools. Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary has represented the community in honoring some very accomplished and busy students for 30 years. Pictured is the 2023 class honored.
The date and the place changed for this year's Waffle Breakfast. On Saturday, April 29, we hosted the community at Indian Creek Country Club. Dad's Waffles provided the waffles and we provided the hospitality and support. This all-hands-on deck project had fantastic participation from our Club members. While the number of guests were lower than usual, this was a transition year learning various alternate ways of accomplishing this fundraiser toward kid's shoes. The venue was very inviting. Parking was easy. Newer Club members got a sense of the event and work required. There was good conversation. The food was excellent again. Here are some pictures:
At the April 25 meeting, Kyle Low was elected President-elect Nominee. He will serve as Club President following Cindy Shipley who will be President during the July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024, Rotary Year. The overall slate included:
President elect nominee is Kyle Low
Director to replace Steve James is Kristin Myers
Foundation chair is Roger Carlson
Secretary is Jeff Selfridge
Treasurer is Cindy Shipley
We are looking for more board members for the 2023 - 2024 Rotary Year.
President Bob accepted the Club Excellence Award at the 2023 District 5970 Conference. There are several categories needed to attain to get this award which our Club has done many years straight. Bob's leadership and Club participation has made this possible again. Thanks everyone.
On January 10, Jill Olsen and Cindy Shipley were presented certificates from District 5970 recognizing them as Founding Members of the PolioPlus Society. As a member of the PolioPlus Society, you pledge to donate a minimum of $100 USD each year to The PolioPlus Fund until the world is certified polio free by the World Health Organization. You too can become a member of the Society by pledging your commitment and submitting it to District 5970. You can access the form using this link or through the District website.
We rang bells for the Salvation Army again this year. It is a great way to get to know a fellow Rotarian better while raising money for those in need. The dates were Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 10 at the Marion Hy-Vee. The generosity of our fellow citizens is always overwhelming. While the weather was not "Chamber of Commerce-like", it sure could have and has been worse. Thanks to everyone who could help out again this year.
District 5970 Governor Don Meyer and his wife Kris visited our Club on November 1 at Indian creek Country Club.  He updated us on what is happening in the District as well as Rotary International. He met with the Board and got feedback on how the Rotary Club of Marion-East Cedar Rapids is getting along. Prior to our meeting Erik and Tom showed Don and Kris the District Grant project, Echo Hill Station. Don was Foundation Chair and worked with us as the project was developed. 
On Thursday Oct. 6, Marion-East CR Rotary held its golf outing at Indian Creek Country Club. This fun event was mostly a traditional best shot event tee to green however, when you were putting, everything changed and the "fun?" began. Here are a few highlights of the day.
The Butschis were the overall winners of the event.
On the first hole you had to put backwards between your legs.
Bob Mollman demonstrates follow-thru on the first hole.
John Bender sinks a long put using a flamingo. He will be putting the flamingo in his bag from now on instead of his putter.
Vicki Barnes adopts the new left hand low putting grip or her put on #5.
It's the start of a new Rotary year and a good time to reassess how each of us can best serve as a member of our Club. We each have individual talents, experiences and resources that when combined make our Club better. We can start by adding our 2 cents worth. If some someone's 2 cents is combined with someone else's 2 cents, we have a better idea than as an individual. 2 + 2 > 5. Now when we add our talents, experiences and resources to everyone else in the Club, we can accomplish bigger things. Our impact is multiplied. 
Our Club has certain identified needs for your talent and what you like to do. That could be service, administration, management, membership, fundraising, publicity, technology, finance and/or having fun. These things make our Club run efficiently and easily. These things also bring out new ideas. If you would like to help in an area where you are comfortable or where you would like to stretch your experience, let President Bob or one of the Board members know. You may also have a friend or business associate that would be a great partner in our Club. The place to start is to think about it but then step forward to share. If I can be of any help or answer any questions, I would be happy to help as would any of our members who have been around for a while. Thanks for your consideration!
Bob Butschi is a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Marion-East Cedar Rapids. He served as President of the Club in the 1972-72 Rotary Year. Now 50 years later his son Bob takes the reins as President for the 2022-23 Rotary Year. What a special event that reflects the Butschi family's dedication and support of Rotary and the Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club. Thank You! 
Our June 7 meeting was a magic show for kids of all ages. We hope to do this on a regular basis and it follows the fifth item of the "Four Way Test" - Is It Fun?
April 9, the MECR Rotary Club planted new trees at Prospect Meadows as a service project.  Weather cooperated for a hardy crew to plant several trees as guided by Prospect Meadows staff who had the trees spaced out and set up where they would like the trees to be planted.  
Marion resident and former Collins employee Joyce Stepanek. very much appreciated our Echo Hill Station monument and donated funds to provide plantings around the plaza area of the display in honor of her mother, also a Collins employee. Working with the Marion Parks Department arborist Mike Cimprich and horticulturist, Mary Weber, a plan was developed and has been installed. The plantings include:
  • Bouteloua gracilis ‘Honeycomb’ – Grama Grass
  • Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’ – Little Bluestem
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ – Switchgrass
  • Andropogon geredii ‘Red October’ – Big Bluestem
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Totem Pole’ - Switchgrass
"I love this so much and thank you and thank Rockwell for being such a wonderful place for my family to work."  Joyce
On September 13, Novak Brannon Monument installed the replacement middle granite tablet at Echo Hill Station at Lowe Park. Our Club's contribution to Marion's Lowe Park Art Trail is complete again after a wind event on August 10, 2021. Be sure to stop out and see the entire installation. 
The Town Clock provided by the Marion-East CR Rotary to the Marion community has provided a "way-finding" point commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Club. Located in City Square Park Uptown Marion, it also helps to make the community aware of the Club as a partner in making Marion a great place to live and work. This project could not have been accomplished without the leadership of Tom Barnes and contributors who are now listed on the base of the clock. 
The Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club's Echo Hill Station project was dedicated on May 4, 2021 at the site at Lowe Park.  This has been a major undertaking for the Club. This was a truly community project with support from the Marion Parks Department and some funding from the Marion Hotel/Motel Tax Grant as well as the vast majority of support from businesses and individuals financially and in-kind.   David Nieuwsma, President of Collins Aerospace Avionics Business Unit spoke on the importance of the legacy of accomplishments employees and suppliers of Collins Radio and successors have provided to today's technology in space and how students today can carry on that legacy with education and career choices.  Mayor Nick AbouAssaly congratulated the Club on this addition to the community and the Lowe Park Art trail as did Parks Director Seth Staashelm. We  appreciate the support provided by our Club. The core committee of Don Stulken of the Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association, Tom Barnes and Erik Miles of the Club provided technical and historical guidance, physical fabrication and installation and project management for Echo Hill Station.   
We received several positive comments for our work as well as personal remembrances such as the following comments from Cynthia Stretch appreciating our work:
"I just learned about the Lowe Park Echo Hill Station project today.  I read on your site that the donation period has ended.  However, I would still like to make a contribution." 
"My motivation for this is very personal.  My father worked at Collins Radio from 1955-1968.  Without question, it was the highlight of his working life.  Even as a child, I felt his excitement and enthusiasm about what he and the company were accomplishing together.  The words "Echo,"  "radio wave propogation," "ionospheric forward scattering," and many more such terms I really didn't understand, were a part of my childhood.  I remember the electric mood as we watched the moon landing together in the basement of our Cedar Rapids home." 
"There are three stone markers at the Lowe Park Site.  One of them is entitled "Legacy".  There are two pictures beneath the title.  I believe the one on the left must be of Art Collins.  The one on the right includes a group of men.  The man on the right side of the photo nearest to the camera is Clifford Beamer, my father.  I am so moved to see him there, and ecstatic to think that the work he was so devoted to is still valued today."
"Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this project, from initial concept to completion.  It means more to me than you could know.
Very Sincerely,
Cynthia Stretch"
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Rotary Foundation
Youth Protection Officer