Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
International Service
Public Image
Service to Youth / Youth Exchange
Immediate Past President
Club Service I
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Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M.
Welcome to our club!
Iowa City A.M.

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Tuesdays at 7:00 a.m.
Kirkwood Room
515 Kirkwood Ave
Iowa City, IA 52240
United States of America
Most meetings will have hybrid options for those who cannot attend in person. Contact President Theresa Burns at theresa. m.burns96@gmail,com for the link. Breakfast is served at 7:00 am. Please join us.
Home Page Stories
Alta Medea introduced speakers Lisa Roberts, Director of Iowa City Youth Poetry and Caleb Rainey, Poet and author. The Iowa City Youth Poetry began in 2019.  The goal was to reach every high school.  In 2020 they had to use a Hybrid version to keep things going.  
There are several programs:  Spoken Word Club, this is a High School Open Mich to enhance public speaking.   Looking Back at Black American.  The purpose is to teach Balck History and Poetry.  They have been able to go to all four schools, attend 11 classrooms, and affect 277 students.  The teachers have asked them to come back in 2024-2025.  They have every other month "Porch Highlight Hangouts, where they come together with a potluck, social, and may write but not required to write.  
There is "A Slam Team Poetry Competition" that is held in Washington DC.
There may be one poet writing the poem or up to three.
The cost to send one person on the trip is $1500
$500 On Poets fare
$100 One-night Hotel
$20 One poets' meal 
The Trip this year will be July 17-21, 2024.
Vernette Knapp, President Elect, John McKinstry and Mark Patton led a Club Assembly.
Vernette thanked President Theresa for allowing the assembly to happen during her year.
The purpose of the assembly was to engage all members in one of the 7 Areas of Focus
The Area of Focus sheets were distributed around the walls and each member was to place three dots on different Areas of Focus.
The 7 Areas of Focus are:  Water and Sanitation, Maternal Child and Health, Basic Education and Literacy, Community Economic Development, Support the Environment
Pease and Conflict Resolution, Disease Prevention. 
After each member voted, the top 4 Ares of Focus were selected, and the members place a dot in round 
# 2..
Those 4 areas sheets were place on separate tables Wherever you placed your dot for round 2 is where you went for discussion. 
The 4 Areas of Focus left were:  Basic Education and Literacy, Maternal and Child Health, Disease Prevention, and Support the Environment.
Members were to come up with several projects.
Vernette Thanked everyone for coming to the meeting today. 
Vernette will compile the results of the 4 Areas for next week meeting.
Liz Nichols introduced Ellie Heiar Outbound Youth Exchange Student from North Liberty, Liberty High School. and Juliette Genin from France and going to City High School. Ellie talked about what was important to her. 
Family and Friends.  She showed many pictures of her friends and family. RYLA was also very important to her as she attended two time.  She had PDG Steve Dakin as her Rotary Counselor and show several pictures of them together. 
She is going to Italy.  She has spoken to her hose family. She has three host siblings.  Her counselor will be the girl from Italy in District 5970 mother.  She is truly grateful for the opportunity to have The Rotary Club of Iowa City AM sponsor her.  
Juliette spoke about her year in school. She listed subjects for all trimesters.  She landed on August 17th at 1:00 pm Iowa Time and 8:00 pm France Time. 
On August 18th her host family took her the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.  She was suffering Jet Lag at this time. August 23rd was the 1st day of school. 
Juliette 1st host family was Biran, Brianna, and Charlotte Wills.   Charlotte and Juliette became very close. She attended City High 's Football game.  The lost.  
Juliette 2nd host family was Gregg Gerdes, Mary Murphy, and kids.  Juliette was very fortunate to travel with both host parents and to see a lot in several states.
She has traveled to these states:  
Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas City Mo Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, California and DC.
Juliette is fortunate to be able to go on the US Trip from June 13, to July 10, 2024.
When she returns to France, she will have two years of High School left, and she hopes to be very active with ROTEX. 
Margy Winkler introduced speaker, Randee Fieselmann speaking on Iowa City Congregational Church Tiffany Window.  Paul Jehle took a picture the church in 1870.  The beautiful Tiffany window was given to the church by the widow of Rev. George Hebard.  The inscription on the window is Rev. George and Margaret Hebard George died in 1970.   Thirty-Two years after George died then Margaret died.  The window was given to the church in 1904.   Randee showed pictures of Margaret and her sons and daughter.  They moved here from New York.  They then moved to Wyoming where she was a professor. 
Randee talked about the Tiffany Company being in business for 40 years.  She talked about the window being in landscape mode.  The window show "The River of Life" with grape vines and flowers. 
Randee talked about beautiful Tiffany windows in Dubuque at a Methodist Church. 
Past President Jenny Seylar introduced the speakers for today-Lorena and Scott Bergin-Kailen Heroes.  Kaitlin's heart for Heroes was established to horror the life of Kaitlin Bergan and her dedication to life as a Firefighter/Paramedic.  Kaitin valued family relationships.  Early in her life she dreamed of becoming a firefighter/paramedic.  Kaitlin began her career as volunteer Fight fighter in Coralville, Iowa while attending the UofL I.  Next, she was a paramedic in Anamosa, She then moved to Memphis, TN to join their Fire Department as elite responder.  Kaitlin pass away by suicide on April 27, 2-22at the age of 27 after suffering from PTSD associated with her work.  Kaitlin's family has dedicated their time to support First Responders and their loved ones experiencing similar crises in their life.  Her parents have created:  "STOMPOUTSTIGMA.".   WHY Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, Seeking Treatment, Suicide.
They prepare Care Packages consisting of:  Weighted blankets, coloring books, colored pencils, journal. Pamphlet, hand sign, thought cards, bracelet, red/white. And blue ribbons, crystal light, water bottle, quote cards, note pad, pen, lip balm, and stress ball. 
 These care packages will be distributed by a law officer who is part of the Crisis Intervention Team.
Resources:  KHFH SUPPORT GROUP through our Facebook page. 
Any First Responder can request an invitation to our Support Group by emailing us at as this a private group for confidentiality. 
Mark Emory, member of the Coralville North-Corridor Club introduced Michelle Voss, PHD Director of Brain and Cognitive Lab. The goal is to improve brain health.  How do W.E. get together?  Health Spa mobility and cognitive health is very age related. health Spa is the period of life when we are in good health. She discussed Alzheimer's and dementia.  
Department of Radiology-Cognitive (e.g.) memory and brain interact functions.  Cardiorespiratory Fitness (CRF) works with your heart, maintains brain structure 
Engage your brain, keep it challenged.  Do ceros word puzzles, cryptos anything that will stimulate your brain.     
Ann Romanowski introduced Ann Browning, Principal of Tate High School.  Ann talked about Tate High School MTTSS/PBIS Supports Plan.   The Mission is to maximize every student academic potential and personal well-being through personalized educational experience.  The four areas that are covered:  Academics, Attendance, Behavior, and Mental Health.    There are three tiers to each category.  The Mascot for the school is Tate Warrior.  The name came about as the students said that they are Warriors every day to survive.  If a student is having an issue, they usually attend The Student Advisory Center.  The students are asked to give their cell phones to the teachers.     
Tate High School is able to accommodate 10-12 students in each category. 
To support the food pantry that the school offers, there are fundraisers throughout the year.  Last year our club contributed $3,000.00.
The school has an IEP Individual Education Plan for each student.
Jack Cameron "Steve "Sherman who grew up in Grinnell Iowa on a farm.  He has written many books.  One that is near and dear to Iowa City.  "Beer Money"
"Beer Money" talks about Iowa City Beer Riots of 1884 that is being produced as a motion picture. "Beer Money" can be purchased at John's Grocery. John Grocery currently has the caves below where the one of the Brewery's existed.
There were many breweries in Iowa City run by the immigrants from Italy, Czech Republic, England, 
This was also the time where P.T. Barnum and Baily Circus came to town. The Circus had jumbo the Elephant. 
There were city officials that were hung. 
To learn more, go to: 
Casey Cook called on Phil Jordan to do "What Jazzes You Up"?  Phil said that the Club and members is what kept him going, during the time his wife passed away.   He said I only wrote checks at the time; however, I knew I had the club.  He is very appreciative to all members of the club. Casey asked what was on his "Bucket List'?  Part of Phil's bucket list includes enjoying every moment of every day.  He went on a Mississippi cruise over Christmas.  He enjoyed everything about the cruise.  The crew, the people, food and entertainment.  He would like to go on another river cruise.  While his wife was alive, they enjoyed coffee and taking their dog for walks at the dog parks.  After he retired, he enrolled in a Kirkwood cooking class that he enjoyed.  He plays alto Saxaphone, however is a little rusty at this time. He is also an actor and enjoys the Community Theatre.  He feels that this helps him give back to the community.  
He has two daughters, one is a lawyer, and one is a doctor. 
Phil Petersen introduced Jennie Schmidt, Executive Director of the Free Medical and Dental Clinic. and Lisa, the new Development Director. Jennie stated that the theme is growth. Their mission is to provide quality health care for the uninsured and underinsured. The clinic is used by many--98% of their patients are uninsured/underinsured, 83% from Johnson County, and 61% are employed. Many of their patients have complex needs. The Free Medical Clinic helps with the Health Kids program at ICCSD. They run clinics and a laboratory. They can help provide insulin to people. Their service providers include over 200 volunteers.
Their biggest challenge is growing demand as they serve thousands of patients and are booking medical appointments into May. Challenges also include that 
  • there are an increasing number of women seeking access to contraception, especially following changes to state and federal laws,
  • Iowa allows dentists to take Medicaid but many do not,
  • they offer prenatal and postnatal care,
  • Mercy has provided mammogram services and they are waiting to see what happens with Mercy's changes, 
  • they want to got to electronic records to replace paper,
  • they are funding a growing budget, 
  • space to provide services and 
  • funding
The Free Medical Clinic had a grant to hire a dentist as of October 1, 2023--the dental waiting list was 1 year in fiscal year 2023. Their dental team includes three Spanish speakers. Kirkwood dental hygiene students are helping in the dental clinic. They have new groups funded by grants, including Wednesdays for Women group and Diabetic Education and Support groups (which they can offer in Spanish). The Free Medical and Dental Clinic is also working with OPN Architects to improve their space. 
Lisa stated that keeping patients out of emergency care saves money and "we can be proud" that we are one of the oldest medical clinics. They are hoping to get more people on board and she asks that you please like The Free Medical Clinic on Facebook. They have an unticketed event May 1 at the Kirkwood Room.
They appreciate Rotary helping to fund the moving of the electrical meters to outside at a cost of about $25,000. Brianna Hoffman was instrumental along with other Rotary clubs.
Vernette Knapp introduced Amiritha Kumar, President of the Roteract Club of Iowa City.  Amiritha grew up in Fairfield and attend Interact there.  She is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Medical Anthropology with a pre-med tract.    Amiritha showed slides of the Executive team.  She talked about the goals of the club.  The main goal is to increase membership.   Jasimine Sanashinh, past president of Roteract is working on increasing membership of the club.  Some of the student involvement includes fairs, pop ice, and working at Open Heartland on service projects with the PM Satellite Club. The Roteract Club has had speakers:  Jim Peterson speaking on Xiocepetec,  Professor Brett Johnosn speaking on journalism, and Amanda McFadden speaking on International Students affairs.  The Rotaract Club of Iowa City sponsored a bus stop in Xiocetepec.  The raised money for this project and "Girls for the Greater Good" award them a scholarship of $1,000.
Amiritha, Jasmine and Allie will leave Saturday March 9, 2024 for their mission with Xiocetepec.  
Amiritha has gone to RYLA and she says that RYLA transforms people in many ways. 
Chirs Knapp presented Amiritaha with a 4-way test coin and a breakfast invitation. 
Amy Nicholson introduced Kyle Nicholson and Al Mebus to talk about Safety Village of Johnson County.  Kyle Nicholson is on the Coralville Police force and Al Mebus is a retried policeman.  They have known each other since Kyle was 2 years old.   The Safety Village was founded in 1994.  Safety Village is a two-week summer camp for Johnson County children to learn about personal safety through hands-on activities and presentations in a child-size town complete with buildings, streets traffic lights and pedal-driven vehicles.  Safety Village is located on the campus of Grant Wood Elementary Scholls.  We provide a setting where children can prepare and practice safe habits when in their neighborhoods and community.  Students ages 5, 6, and 7 are lead under the watchful eyes of teachers, area volunteers and first responders. Over 5,000 Johnson County children have graduated from Safety Village.  Currently there are 25-30 children enrolled. 
This is an opportunity for Fireman and Policeman to be with the children under non-threatening circumstances. 
We are very appreciative of the Skaugstad family, Hodge Construct and the Safety Village Board of Directors who have already committed to the campaign to 30 years of Safety Village.  At this time there are many of the buildings and structures in dire need of repair.  Please consider a donation. '. The goal is to raise $50,000.  
During the last snowstorm and derecho, the Safety Village has lost many trees.  Funds are needed to replace trees. 
Casey Cook introduced Tomeka Peteresen, the Rotary Action Group RAG4Clubfoot Co-Chair, who spoke about clubfoot, a common musculoskeletal birth defect impacting approximately 1 in every 750 live births. It is twice as common in males as females and often occurs in both feet.The Ponseti method is a non-surgical treatment for clubfoot that involves a series of casting of the foot and when begun in infancy and done correctly has a greater than 90% effective cure rate. Rotary has global grants that support training doctors in the Ponseti Method training in Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, and Argentina. The average global grant for training a doctor in the Ponseti Method is approximately $3,500.
A Rotary action group can provide technical expertise and training to help clubs implement projects, including helping clubs and districts prepare grant applications and develop plans, conduct assessments, and find partners and funding. The mission for the Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot (RAG4Clubfoot) is "to inform, activate, connect, and engage Rotarians, Roteractors, Interactors and their friends to create ways and means to support action for a world free of clubfoot disability." This action group plans to continue its work in Latin America and seek new opportunities to partnership with NGOs and other Rotary action groups. Member John Ockenfels thanked Tomeka for work keeping RAG4Clubfoot going!
Past President Eric Weiler of the Rotary Club of Iowa City Noon introduced Dr. Christie Fisher, President of Kirkwood Regional Center at The University of Iowa.  Dr. Fisher wished Peggy Doerge well as she is on the Board of Trustees for Kirkwood Community College.  The mission is to ensures access to quality education, training, and lifelong learning with clear educational pathways and provide opportunities to succeed.  Our vision:  to be the community college in regional, national, and global education.   The are working enrollment.  It has had a steady decline over the past 10 years.  They have now partnered with the University of Iowa.  By closing the Iowa City Campus, Kirkwood is saving $100,00 per year.  The parking lot is being enlarged.  A number of programs will now be able to be offered:   Motorcycle training and School Bus training.  Kirkwood partners with Johnson County Childcare, Iowa Work Force, College of they have programs at Oaknoll dealing with OT AND PT.  
In the spring there will be a Home Repair course at the Johnson County Regional Center. 
Sue Cronin introduced speaker Brett Erickson, who spoke about Faith Academy. Faith Academy is a private Christian school in Iowa City whose idea originated in 2013 out of the Parkview Church. Faith Academy's demographics include West African refuges and families from Chicago. Mr. Erickson's wife works at the school and their sons attend Faith Academy. Mr. Erickson stated Faith Academy tries to infuse hope in its students and to provide cross cultural experiences, including a past opportunity coding with a school in Egypt. The students day starts with chapel. Faith Academy seeks to be funded by the community--prior to ESAs (education savings accounts) being offered in Iowa, Faith Academy was 100% funded by the community and subsequent to ESAs, Faith Academy is 53% funded by the community. 
Fifty-three percent of Faith Academy's 4th graders read on grade level. The teacher child ratio is 1 to 15. The school provides bussing. Faith Academy has seven grades now and will be adding another grade next year. Faith Academy does not plan to offer high school. Faith Academy works to have students treat others as they want to be treated--"each other bears the image of God." In the next ten years, Faith Academy wants to double its enrollment by adding additional classrooms at each grade level. Ways to partner with Faith Academy include the following:  annual fundraising banquet, donate, volunteer, visit--every third Thursday of the month from 8:15 to 9:00 a.m. is an open house, and pray. Faith Academy is accredited with Christian Schools International. Parents pay a sliding scale tuition based on income. Full tuition is $9,000 for one year. 
Mark Stanley introduced Gralon McGaffin State Director Nature Conservatory.  He talked about the mission:  To conserve the lands and water in which all life depends.  It began in 1963 in Iowa.  60 years 23 staff working 20,000 acres.  He showed many photos of Iowa Cedar Rive Bank, , Des Moines Riverbank, Loss Hills, Missouri River, and Little Sioux Valley.
They want to have active land, grow climate program and advocate at all levels.
There are outreach programs in Linn, Dallas, Warren, Jackson, Johnson and Polk counties. 
Today there was no speaker.
President Theresa had asked members to list three items that other members would have to guess who they were.
Theresa read several.  It was a lot of fun. 
This was a way to get to know each other better.
Karen Franklin introduced the speakers:  Sarah Nelson CEO Community, moved from Colorado 3 years ago and Emma Nelson who is the Animal Caretaker, Peer support specialist.  Colorado 10 years barns and animals reg and national champion Western Pleasure
Healing Prairie Farms provide a place for youth.  There is individual. And family stays.  They provide therapeutic recreation in art and gardening.  There are 8 beds for 3-10 day stay.  There are 4 beds for a two day stay.  
The Healing Prairie Farms is supported by Community involvement, grants, and IRS reimbursement.  
Why does the heling farms work?    The kids are close to nature, gardening, and animals.  This is all very therapeutic and healing.  There is staff on duty 24-7.
There will be an open house:  HYGGE OPEN HOUSE, Sunday January 14, 2:00 -5:0 pm.  There will be self-guided tours, crafts, warm sup, bonfire, and cozy vibes. 
y stay 
Today was Secret Santa Gift Exchange.  There were many wonderful gifts exchanged among our members and guest AG Mark Ruggeberg.
Some gits were candles, candy, pottery Christmas baking dish, golf balls, Fitz and Floyd Cheese and spreader, apple peeler, Cranberry bread, sparkling candle holders, ham and food items, candy and lotto tickets and may others 
What fun we had. 
Karin Franklin introduced Peter Rolnick who is an emeritus physics professor and amateur musician.  He has taught at Truman State.   In retirement he became the Iowa State Coordinator of Citizens Climate Lobby.  His talk was "Realistic Climate Legislation Realistic Impact.  The truth is we are Buring Up.  The world is getting warmer.  The population is growing.  We must minimize the damage.  We can do this by building political goodwill.  WE must lobby, have grassroot outreach.  Miller-Meeks is co-chair House Conservation Climate Chane.  Grassley has work with Cory Booker in bi-partisan conservation reserve program act. 
For more information you can email Peter at  Phone 660-342-3671. 
Simon Andrew, Executive Director of the Housing Authority, spoke about his work with The Housing Fellowship and about the organization itself. Simon's background includes employment with the City of Iowa City in budgeting and working with Habitat for Humanity in Uganda. The Housing Fellowship is a not for profit organization that manages 207 housing units and strives to provide affordable maintained housing to adults who are primarily greater than 25 years of age (federal requirement). Its typical client is not a student. The Housing Fellowship often supports scattered site housing, which fits into neighborhoods and most families stay a few years. Johnson County, Iowa, is the most expensive place to live in Iowa. The Housing Fellowship rent ranges start at $400 per month, and some market rate housing is available with no external compliance requirements. When there is no debt on housing, Simon said it is easier to keep housing affordable. The Housing Fellowship team consists of seven individuals, including Simon. He posed the question--"What sets The Housing Fellowship apart?" It is not unusual to have tenants with a past due balance, and during the pandemic, The Housing Fellowship helped folks access debt relief funds. The Housing Fellowships also works with other not for profits, including DVIP and the Shelter House. The Housing Fellowship does not need credit checks and is lenient with background checks of applicants. The Housing Fellowship has a twelve member board and 100% of equity stays in Johnson County. There will be a student built Leed certified house on Ronald Street available in the future, and The Housing Fellowship will acquire some houses by selling others with the intent of renting them affordably. In response to questions, The Housing Fellowship does refer tenants to Iowa Legal Aid and does validate the financial circumstance of their clients. The audience thanked Simon for speaking and he stayed to answer questions after the meeting adjourned.
Jennifer Skarda introduced Tim Ruth, Co-Owner of Mc Creedy Construction. Tim talked about High School Students in the Construction Trade.  He is President of the Home Builders Association. In 1993, he was in construction management.  He teaches construction management at Kirkwood.  In 1990 he worked on Oakdale Prison.  In 1993 he received his degree.  He has worked on the Red River Hospital Project in Burlington.  
Tim's philosophy is to always finish a project early to collect the funds sooner.   He enjoys working Kalona.  Building permits are easy to obtain. 
Tim said that we need more women in the profession.  He worked at Riverside Elementary School and now his children and grandchildren have gone to this school.  It really has a lot of meaning to Tim. 
Tim's motto is "Always Give Back to the Community". 
Liz Nichols introduced Juliette Genin, Rotary Youth Exchange.  Juliette talked about the history of Verdun, France where she is from.  The population is 23,000.1387-1443 was the 100-year war.  1778-1795 was the French Revolution where they beheaded the King and Queen.  1914-1918 World War1 between France and Germany.  1931-1945 World War 11 where there were Jewish people held at Auschwitz.  Juliette is from Verdun, Franch with a population of 23,000.  She showed a chart with listing:  Liberty=People, Equality=Reality, and Brother=People Her mother is a teacher in French Modern Art, and her dad is teacher in Junior High Physics and Chemistry.  She talked about education in France being very entailed compared to classes in America.  She begins her day at 6:00 am and ends at 6:00 pm.   She said the rooster is a symbol of pride,
She showed many photos of France. 
Deb Dunkhase and her guest Dr. John Canady spoke on Iowa M.O.S.T.  Dr. Canady said this mission has been going for 19 years.   Dr. Bill Olin, Dr. Pete Wallace, Dr. John Canady, PDG Gary and Nancy Pacha started Iowa M.O.S.T in 2005.
1 in 600 people Guatemalan's have cleft lip or cleft palate or both. The mission is now doing cataract surgeries.  She and Dr. Canady showed many pictures of patient's year after year.  The people trust the Iowa M.O.S.T. team.   The people will walk for miles to a bus to transport them to Huehuetenango hospital for surgeries.  Typically, the Drs. preform. Around 65 surgeries per year.   The mission this year will be January 19-28 and January 24-31 for cataract surgery. 
Photographer reflects on 18 years of chasing polio

Exhibit documents the scope of polio eradication efforts worldwide

Watershed moment gives rise to a revitalized riverfront

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee revitalized its city’s riverfront with a contribution from a local landowner — a strategy that could work in other communities.

Lebanon club channels the power of peace

he newly formed Rotary Club of Beirut Pax Potentia, Lebanon, which focuses on peacebuilding, has its origins in a project funded by a Rotary Foundation global grant

Solar energy expands access to health care

Solar energy isn’t just good for the environment — it’s expanding access to health care

Volunteers are at the heart of the Rotary Youth Exchange program

Rotary Youth Exchange runs entirely on volunteers and is a fulfilling experience for the students and host families.

Nancy Quellhorst, Michele Heinz
Jun 18, 2024
Inside Out Reentry Community
Craig Mosher
Jun 25, 2024 7:00 AM
Johnson County Energy District
Vernette Knapp
Jul 02, 2024 7:00 AM
Club Survey Discission
Liz Nichols
Jul 09, 2024 7:00 AM
Dementia Friendly Johnson County
Offsite at CommUnity
Aug 27, 2024
Crystal, CommUnity Off site meeting
Aug 27, 2024 7:00 AM
Food Insecurity
Jeff Mobley
Sep 10, 2024
Bike Ride for Cancer