What's Going On
Mike Vaughn spends most of his time at BDI Signs in Grimes, Iowa, where he is the Co-Owner and CEO of a vibrant family owned and operated business.  However, Mike has other passions as well, one of which is the Iowa American Legion Boys State program.    While not a member of the American Legion, Mike did have the honor of representing his community at the 1997 Boys State event.  It evidently made a positive impression, because for many years he has given of his time and expertise as a volunteer "General Counselor" at the annual event. 
We had the pleasure of hearing from Mike about the Boys State program in Iowa.  We learned about a storied past, a challenging present (lower attendee numbers in the wake of the pandemic) and a vision for a very bright future.  Learn more about this longstanding leadership initiative by visiting their website at THIS LINK.
Thank you to Rotarian Jason Kerndt of South Story Bank & Trust for inviting Mike to present.
Emily Easton is a Recruitment Coordinator for Four Oaks Foster & Adoptive Family Connections, a job she has held for three years.  Four Oaks, among other things, recruits, educates, and works to retain foster families for the good of thousands of Iowa children who need foster care in any given year.
There are a great variety of reasons that children require foster services.  None of them are good.  The top four reasons include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or emotional maltreatment.   The goal of their programs is to protect children while also trying to keep kids with their family, friends, or amongst existing community relationships.
Easton shared that there is a great need for additional foster families to step forward because there are more children in need than there are foster families to assist.  The age of children who require fostering ranges from newborns to teenagers.  The greatest need is for families willing to take in teenagers. 
According to JCFS Chicago, a foster care home, whether with a single parent or couple, affords a child the opportunity to develop healthy emotional intimacy, trust, self-esteem, and the opportunity to learn valuable life skills. A foster parent's most important role for the duration of the child's stay is to be that of a teacher and/or mentor.
If you, or someone you know might have an interest in learning more about what fostering looks like, you are encouraged to visit the website www.iowafosterandadoption.org.  You can speak to Emily or others at Four Oaks and attend no obligation seminars.  There are many ways to learn whether this is a service that might be calling to you.
The Rotary Club of West Polk County would like to share our sincere gratitude to Emily Easton (pictured above R w/Brian Buethe) for her visit and presentation.
The Rotary Club of West Polk County has been organizing an annual bike ride for many years, the format of the event changed dramatically in 2023.  What had been a Mayor’s Bike Ride, emanating from Grimes, Iowa.  However, due to lagging attendance, the Club decided to take an alternative tact.
The “Ride for a Reason” bike ride/fundraising event was envisioned as an event that can evolve as the WPC Rotary continues to grow and progress as an organization.  Each year, the Club can choose what issue, cause, or organization they wish to support and then designate the proceeds from the event can be directed.  As fighting the good fight against human trafficking was a priority at the District and International level, and something that deeply resonated with the members of WPC Rotary, a decision was made to use the profits from the event to support Dorothy’s House.
Dorothy’s House is a local non-profit whose vision is to “Provide a foundation of safety, basic needs, access to resources to remove barriers and provide community engagement to allow survivors to find their healing journeys.”  They work directly with victims of human trafficking to provide “A safe place for the practice of life for those whose lives have been interrupted by human trafficking, exploitation and prostitution.”  You can learn more about Dorothy’s House by visiting their website at https://dorothyshouse.org/.
The inaugural Ride for a Reason was held on Saturday, June 24th, 2023.  The event began and ended at Kinship Brewing Company, located in Waukee, Iowa.  The ride received tremendous support from several businesses and individuals, including Gabus Automotive Group, South Story Bank & Trust, Iowa State Bank, Fast Signs, Stew Hanson, Hope Development & Realty, Kinship Brewing Company, Thrivent, Marble Slab Creamery, Just Add Water, Food Depot, The Punching Pandas, Confluence, Tire Heroes, Jason’s Deli, Edward Jones, and Briggs.
Because of the generosity of these sponsors, the participation of friends and supporters from the public, and the hard work of some dedicated volunteers, the 24-mile bike ride was a success.  At the regular meeting of the Rotary Club of West Polk County on Monday, July 18th, 2023, we were able to present Dorothy’s House Founder and Executive Director, Kellie Markey with a check.
Pictured above is the presentation of the check.  Pictured left to right are Kellie Markey (Dorothy's House), Kay Day and Tim Day (both of WPC Rotary).  The Rotary Club of West Polk County was able to raise more than $13,000 in support of Dorothy’s House. 
Next steps for the Club are to find more members, determine a great cause to support next year, and begin planning the 2nd Annual Ride for a Reason event, which will take place in 2024.  We hope you will join us as a member, a sponsor, or a participant on the ride next June!
Club Information
West Polk County
We meet In Person
Mondays at 12:00 PM
Food Depot
3000 SE Grimes Blvd.
Suite 200 | Back Room
Grimes, IA 50111
United States of America
Prospective members and guests are most welcome. Regular meetings are sometimes supplanted by service opportunities, so watch events calendar for the most up to date opportunities.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Executive Secretary/Director
Foundation Representative
Youth Exchange Officer
Immediate Past President