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2021-22 Rotary International President Elect, Shekhar Mehta announced the official theme of his tenure at the International Assembly.  We, at the Rotary Club of West Polk County, like our fellow members from around the globe, look forward to advancing and embracing the theme "Serve to Change Lives". 

Members and guests of the Rotary Club of West Polk Count had a special Featured Presenter at their November 30th meeting. Iowa native and All-Star Major League Baseball Pitcher Tony Watson tuned into a virtual meeting from his home to share his experience over the past year.  While currently a free agent, Tony pitched for the San Francisco Giants during the abbreviated 2020 season. 
Like the rest of the world, the year started out somewhat normal, but by March, there was much uncertainty.   Because of COVID-19, the season was delayed and for some time there was a real possibility that there might not be baseball this year.  However, the owners and the Player's Union came to an agreement and the national pastime was realized, even if it was different.  In order to advance the season, very strict protocols were put into place in order to keep the players as safe as possible.  Everything was different.  No fans, no autographs, frequent testing, a lot of cleaning, etc.  Watson indicated that, to put it plainly, it was "pretty bizarre".
Although it wasn't ideal, he was appreciative to all of the people who made the season possible.  Everyone had to change the way things are done.  There was a tremendous amount of stress on everyone involved.  Predicting the future, Watson suggested that he believes Spring Training will be delayed this year, but he hopes he is wrong.  For the time being, he is just glad to be with his growing family and is doing his best to stay ready for the next big opportunity.
As Tony is from Central Iowa and a graduate of Dallas Center-Grimes High School, we're rooting for him and all of his colleagues.   Thanks to Mark Watson for extending the invitation.  We're appreciative of Tony's time and insight. 
Spencer Johnson owns Emerge Academy in Grimes, Iowa.  Owning this facility, which is considered the best in Iowa for boys’ gymnastics training, has been a longtime goal.  From humble beginnings, to a run at the National Olympic team, to appearing on the hit television show American Ninja Warrior…Spencer has a GREAT story, which he kindly shared with the members of the Rotary Club of West Polk County at their regular meeting on October 19th.
After hearing Spencer’s presentation, those in attendance were inspired.  The Club would like to publicly thank Spencer and the Emerge Academy team for the work they do to positively inspire people of all ages to pursue their dreams and better themselves every day.  Learn more about Emerge Academy by visiting their website at www.emergedsm.com.
The 5th Annual Tour de Grimes will take place this year on August 29th, 2020.  Two rides will be offered.  A Fun Ride will be a 43 mile route with a scheduled halfway point pit stop at the new Kinship Brewing Co. location in Waukee.  The Family Ride will take place entirely within Grimes and will be a 4.3 mile route.  We'll do our best to make sure this is not only a fun, but a safe event that everyone can enjoy!
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Rotarian Mark Watson knows baseball.  His entire family is has been involved in sports at many levels, including Major League Baseball (MLB)  Because of this, he has some tremendous connections with the type of people who have great stories to share; the types of stories that resonate with our Club members.
Most recently, the Rotary Club of West Polk County had the great honor of hearing from Pat Hoburg.  While it was a long road to get to where he is today, he said it was worth the wait and the hard work to become a Major League Baseball Umpire; a title he has held full time since February 2017.  While hearing from anyone in his position would be great, it is even better when it is a hometown story.  Pat is a graduate of Urbandale High School and Grand View University (where he played basketball). 
Pat shared how he was able to go from a local boy to where he is now.  In short, it wasn’t luck, but rather a case of having a dream, a well researched and informed plan, and (although he didn’t share this part) a great deal of talent.  In fact, at age 33, Pat is relatively young in his career, but is already considered one of the top ten performing home plate umpires in terms of accuracy in calling balls and strikes in the league. 
Pat was kind to share his opinions and answers to questions on a great variety of baseball topics.  However, he was also very excited to share information about an organization that he is involved with called “UMPS CARE Charities”.  UMPS CARE Charities was founded through the compassion of Major League Baseball (MLB) umpires. UMPS CARE provides financial, in-kind and emotional support for America’s youth and families in need.  A few of the things that Pat and the other involved umpires do through this charity include hospital visits to young children, supporting Foster Care Clubs, take kids to games, and financial assistance via a variety of fundraiser support and appearances. 
We would like to publicly thank Mr. Hoburg for presenting to our Club.  Thanks also to Mark Watson for extending the invitation.  If you would like to serve your community and also have the opportunity to hear from great speakers, consider becoming a member of the Rotary Club of West Polk County.
Club Information
West Polk County
We meet In Person
Mondays at 12:00 PM
Toyota of Des Moines
1650 SE 37th Street
Grimes, IA 50111
United States of America
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, meetings might be held at alternative locations, dates, and times.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
President Nominee
Foundation Representative
Immediate Past President