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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 AM
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 Jenny Seylar at for the link. Breakfast is served at the 7 am morning meetings. Members supplement the meals for guest. Join us!
Home Page Stories
Speaker Miriam Timmer, Co and Vice president of the League of Women Voters Johnson County spoke on "Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy".
Miriam is an attorney.  Iowa has always been well represented in women's suffrage.  Miriam gave an run down on:
"Who Can Vote" from 1776-1962.  1776-land owners' white men over 21, 1856-all white men, 1870-black men, 15th Amendment, 1920-Women 19th Amendment, 1924-Native Americans, 1943-Chinese Americans, 1961-Washington DC citizens for Pres at least 23rd Amendment, 192-Poor, no poll taxes 24th Amendment, 1965-Black Voting Rights Act,
People died for this right to vote:  Vinea Liuzzo, Medgar Evers, and Marthin Luther King, Jr., 1971, 18-21 years old 26th Amendment, also eligible for the draft!
The current goal of the League is to help people register to vote, lobby for good government, and to educate.
Nenu Piragine introduced Yasmina Sahr talking on" SWANA" What is it?  Why is it?  She is studying advance for SW Asian, North Africa, and Arab communities. SWANA-South, Western, Asian North Africa and Arab. The Muslims celebrate RamAan den by fasting from Sunrise to Sundown. Yasmina said To Support the International SWANA Community is to be Anti-Imperialism:  Against Colonization, Pro Women's Right and Pro Choice, Anti-Racist Anti Sexual violence, for, For Healthcare Equity-Amti-Police Brutality.  It is important to understand the terms of the 1st world, 2nd world and 3rd world and the south. 
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT:  Educate yourself and your peers without depending on SWANA Americans to work for you.  Amplify, but don't speak for, Be an informed consumer. Promote Arab American History Month.  Pay attention to Global Events, Many SWANA Americans have family living abroad.
PDG Chris Knapp introduced PDG Tom Gump and RIPN Stepanie Urchick.  Tom is a member of the Rotary Club of Edina Morningside.  He was District governor in 2020-2021.   Tom has formed many caused based clubs:  veterans focusing on human trafficking, Rotary Corps for Refugees.  He is one of only 95 Rotarians in the world to be named to The Gold Level of The Membership Society for New Member Sponsors bringing in 50 active members to his club.   He has held many positions within Rotary and is RIPN Stephanie Urchick aside.  Dr. Stephanine Urchick is a member of the Rotary Club of McMurrary, Pennsylvania.  She has held mamu positions in Rotary and is currently Rotary International Presidental Nominee.  Tom and Stephanie "Tagged teamed the presentation").   Action Plan to Energize the Club:   Rotary Vision Statement "Together we see a world where People united and take action to Create lasting Change across the globe in our communities and in ourselves.  
ROTARY'S STRATEGIC PRIORITIES AND OBJECTIVES:  Increase Our Impact, Expand Our Reach, Enhance Participant Engagement, and Increase our Ability to Adapt.  
Tom and Stepanie stressed the need to have continuity from one leader to the next leader.  They also said keeping the club members engaged. 
Complete a vision and strategic planning session.   Conduct a club survey to determine what the members woudl like to do and how they would like the meetings to look. 
Karin Franklin, Program Director, introduced Jason Taylor, Executive Direct of Bur Oak Land Trust.  He is a UI Graduate with a BS in Enviromental Science, a MA Education Measurement and Statistics. Sgt. in Marine Corps for 7 years.  Team Rubicon volunteer disaster and humanitarian relief.  He joined Bur Oak in July 2018. He became Director in 2019.  In 1978, the goal of Bur Land Trust was to Protect and Restore the Lane of Iowa.  There are 36 native orchids.  Plant extinction is happening 500 times faster Jun 2019, Jason talked about Habitat loss, fragmentation, degradation.  Team Rubicon staff members have assisted with disaster response in six states. Classroom training provides individuals to better serve the community when the next disaster hits.   
Sarah Gardener, coordinator of the Iowa City Action Plan.  The goal is to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 45% 2030 and 0% 2050.  In 2020 they were down because of the pandemic.  They are gradually going up once again.  Residential use at homes in Iowa City.  Energy 2.9tons in 2018 down to 2.3tons in 2021.  Replacing all light bulbs with LED's will help.  In 2020 there were 2000 energy kits delivered to households. A mascot Goldie was developed to grow awareness of the serious of this problem. A study was done on different types of transportation.  59% of people drive alone, 3% bike, 12% walk, transit 3% carpool 7%.  Promote electrical vehicles.  The city has 4 electrical buses.  
Sarah expressed the need for charging stations. She also talked about recycling and important it is. Trees help.  The City of Iowa City is handing out 50% vouchers for trees.  
President Jenny called the meeting to order at 7:05 am.  Prior to the meeting several members labeled dictionaries. The members delivering. dictionaries:  Phil Peterson, Mark Patton,
Peggy Doerge, Joan Garity, Sue Cronin, Pam Ehly, Joan Nobling, Chris Knapp, Vernette Knapp.
The meeting today was to brainstorm on what we could do for a District Grant.  President Elect Theresa Burns talked about some changes to the process this year for completing a grant.  The entire process for District Grants will be done on Club Runner.  Goals must be entered in My Rotary on R. I. site. She talked about the point grading system. She also had a list of this current year's community grants.   Several members talked about previous grants.  Hazel-Human Trafficking Bill Boards:  Alta said there is still a board up by Mt. Plesant.
Amy:  13 Buddy Benches Elementary Schools.  Deb:  Talked about The Coat Project, last year was the Shoe Project, Pam: Talk about Family Sanction Room at the Childrens Museum.
Everyone talked about grants at their tables.  The ideas will be shared next week. 
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 am. 
Karin Franklin, Program Coordinator for February, introduced Brianna Hoffman from the Rotary Club of Iowa City Downtown.   She discussed Solar Panels for non-profit.  There first project for DVIP, 2021-2022.  They put on 128 panels.  The benefits are reducing the carbon footprint and monies saved on utilities.  The current project is The Free Medical Clinic.  This morning the Rotary Club of Iowa City AM presented the Rotary Club of Iowa Downtown with a $6500.00 check for the Free Medical and Dental Clinc.  The cost of the project has increased.   There was a $20,000 increase due to an electrical problem. The club has been given an extension to complete the project into 2024.  The Downtown club did a District Grant for $10,000, There was an amanous donation of $5000, and Kim Schilling donated $4,000.  This project will reduce the carbon footprint and save the clinic several thousand dollars per year. 
Today we were off site at Open Heartland.  Deb Dunkhase founder of Open Heartland gave a summary of what is Open Heartland.  She said that they were very lucky too have a home at their current location.  The building had not been used for three.  There were many volunteers to spruce the building as to what it is today.  It began with a few people needing help.  Today there are 350 families that need help.  Open Heartland is a 501C3 nonprofit organization.  The members have a leadership team that has helped to determine what the members need.  Tutoring the children, learn to sew-Deb Ockenfels started a sewing club. Everything is free of charge.  The PM Satellite club once a month packs food bags consisting of sugar, cornmeal, wipes, and other items that the family needs. The one main concept of Open Heartland is friendship, Acts of Love.  She said multiple families live together because they do not have the funds to live alone. 
Deb Dunkhase and Mark Ruggeberg gave tours of the facility. 
Karin Franklin introduced Dr. Christopher Peters.  He is a surgeon and has a vein clinic in Coralville.  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Iowa City.  He has a wife Julie and three sons and one grandson. He is occasional. Politician He has presented at various Rotary Clubs on Braver Angels. His speech today was Braver Angels Update and Better Ballot IA.
Baver Angels used to be call Better Angels.  He talked about pre-covid how there were many workshops to help people on both sides of red and blue to see common ground. 
Post Covid beginning to get back to the workshops helping people every day.   Rotary has a partnership with Braver Angels Better Ballot Iowa is to improve the voting in Iowa. 
To learn more, visit these websites:,
Karin Fraklin, Program Coordinator for January, introduced Ann Ruckdaschel, Program Director of Carin Hands and More for the last three years. Her experience gives her the opportunity to work with elderly, those with different abilities, those with mental heal issues and last, but not least, pre-adjudicated inmates. In 2004 Mayor Bruce Teague began home health care. In 2011 and 2012 the community became involved.  In 2023 there 9 homes serving the community.  There are day programs to help individuals learn basic things as to how ride the bus, go to art museums, play cards.  The idea is to provide socialization.  Home Health Care is available.   There is a cost 2 hours minimum, 4 hours at $30.00 per hour. Over 4 hours is $20 per hour.  Currently there is a staff of 30, The day program has a staff of 18.
Liz Nichols, December Program Coordinator, introduced Allie Boge, President of the PM Satellite Club. Allie's first memory of Rotary was the 4th grade dictionaries.  Allie is from Davenport and was a Junior Rotarian -2014 with the Rotary Club of North Scott.  Being a junior Rotarian was a requirement to go to RYLA 2015, Counselor 2017 and Head Counselor in 2018. She has been to Xictopec and will go again this year.  She has been very involved in The U of I Dance Marathon and also running marathons. She is currently President of the PM Satellite Club. 
"Who is the PM Satellite Club"?  They are part of the Rotary Club of Iowa City AM, students, young professionals, inovative, unconventional.  The PM Club meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday night at Open Heartland.  The 1st meeting is a speaker, and the 3rd Wednesday is a service project at Open Heartland.  Deb Dunkhase said that after the PM Club has done the service project it is like "Magical Faries have been there".  What are they doing to grow.  Taylor Sung is a liaison the City High Interact.  Hopefully some of the Interactors will become part of the PM Club. 
Liz Nichols, December Program Coordinator, discussed how the "Book Table Talk Would Work" If a person has more than one book, each person should talk about one book and if there is time talk about a second book.  This meeting is dedicated to Pat Schnack who passed away December 26, 2021.  Liz Nichols talked about her book Red Hotel.  This book dealt with hotels that targeted for terrorism.  Beth Belding also had a book on hotels:   Mistress of the Ritz taking place in Paris.   Ann Romanowski talked about cookie decorating.  She brought some of her creations. Brian Adamec talked about mental health.  The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Sack.  Vernette Knapp talked about The Boys from Bloxi by John Grisham. John has had 47 best sellers.  This book is about an attorney trying to take down drug lord's establishments.  Margy talked about Lessons in Chemistry.  This book made her laugh, and it was a fun book. 
Jim Peterson talked about The Rotary Foundation Grants.  These are large-long term projects that are at least $30,000.  They must be sustainable.  You need to really know you International Partner and Club.  There Is an International Host sponsor that is a club outside of the country.  There is an individual that is s sponsor.  The grants are within an area of the Seven Areas of Focus. All applications are submitted online at  There is no application deadline. In order to qualify for a Grant, you must attend an annual Grant Management Seminar. Other items needed to be completed:  Oversee application, prepare a community needs assessment, project a budget, financing, bank account, project manager, have a measurement and evaluation tool, prepare a report to R. I. two months after grant completed.  Keep very detailed and accurate records. There are three sources of funds for a Global Grant: Cash from clubs and organizations, District Designated Funds, and matching funds from The Rotary Foundation. One Global Grant that our club is doing is Vocational Training Technique VTT the Ponsetti method training project in Argentina.  The International Sponsor is the Rotary Club of Iowa City AM, The Host Sponsor is Rotary Club of Grand Boug D 4805 Argentina.  The project cost $49,749.  Where do you find Global Grants:  Rotary International House of Friendship, Project Fairs, Travel Internationally and try to go to Rotary Clubs in that country. YE, VTT, Friendship Exchanges. 
Kate Malkusak (majoring in International Studies: Global Health, Spanish, & Arabic at the University of Iowa with an expected graduation date of May 2023) presented about her recent Rotex Study Abroad experience in Santiago, Chile. Kate had been a Rotary Exchange high school student in 2018-2019 in Spain, attended RYLA,  and is involved in Roteract. Her experience in Chile enabled her to improve her Spanish as her host family did not speak English, she was able to observe the voting process, met other students at the University she attended, took day trip to museums, participated in cooking and other classes, and attended cultural events. Academically, Kate participated in a "Health Program, 2 Spanish classes, Health Studies Seminar, 60 hours of clinical observations over the semester...[and a] Native Culture Class," learning more about indigenous cultures. Kate had the opportunity to learn more Spanish medical terminology and visited hospitals in Santiago. As part of her experience, she learned more about public and private health care in Chile and their differences. Kate personal travels included to San Pedro de Atacama, La Serena, Valparaiso, a cultural celebration Pelluhue, and  celebrating her own birthday by hiking in Patagonia. Kate benefitted by being able to make medical observations, using and improving her language skills, expanding her worldview on health care, and improving her cultural competence. Kate's goal is to work for a nonprofit in global health. She appreciated the financial aid from Rotary, which made her semester experience in Chile possible, gave credit to Rotary Youth Exchange for the experience, and thanked Rotary and those present. Kate has a blog where Rotarians and other can learn about her experience at
Marge Winkler asked Kate when and how were you first inspired--Kate replied that at RYLA, she learned from her counselor, Megan, about her experience as a Rotary Youth Exchange member and inspired, Kate then transferred to City High and graduated early in order to be an exchange student. In response to another question about her observations about health care in Chile, Kate replied that she observed different levels of health care and doctor availability, was able to converse with a doctor and other professionals and observed a surgery. In response to a question from Phil Peterson, Kate said that public universal health care was paid for by taxes and private care was paid for by individuals. Covid was prominent initially and then a mask mandate went away in October. Kate's program was through IES. In response to other questions, Kate said she had wanted to learn a character language and started Arabic in Spain because there is a lot of Arabic influence in the southern half of Spain. Kate wants to work in international health care at a not for profit (e.g., Gates Foundation) and eventually travel and implement a health program. When Jenny Seyler asked "what was the hardest thing and most growth," Kate said that about half way through the semester, she felt that her Spanish was not improving as much and as quickly as she had hoped and that she has learned she cannot compare herself to others and further said that at the end, "my Spanish has improved beyond measure."
Jon Engelbrecht, executive director of Public Space One gave a little history on the current site formerly the Mansion.  Jon is in photography. Public Space One will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on December 1, 2022.   Public Space One was born December 1, 2020 at the Deadwood bar with a handshake a funky space and the vital energies of artists in need of a venue.  A lot of changes over the years, however, PS1 is an artist-led and community-driven space that alms to provide low-barrier access to arts resources support artists and harness the power of art to collectively build a better world. The structure was built in 1874 as a single-family home. It has also been an orphanage, Johnson County Administration and in 1980 became The Mansion which was a high-end furniture and home interior decorating establishment. 
It is now the home of PS1 and has 9 studios that are rented out and an 800 sq. ft. apartment available for rent. 
A tour was given to 2nd floor. 
, and harness the power of art to collectively build a better world. 
President Elect, Theresa Burns called the meeting to order at 7:05 am. Mark Stanley, Foundation Chair, shared The Rotary Foundation minute. The Rotary Club of Peterborough announced Friday November 18 that the club's application for a Rotary Foundation of Canada Grant to fund vocational training for women in Badikhel, Nepal has been approved. by R. I.  68, 874USD will fund the training of 140 Nepalese women in skill that will enable them to work in their chosen professions or to run their own businesses.
Nepal has the 6th largest rate of child marriages in the world.  Rotarians hope this training will promote female empowerment and self-sustainability that will have a long term effect in Nepal.  
Ann Romanowski shared that Tate High School Food Pantry will have a fundraiser at Wildwood Saloon Dec. 4, 2022 4:00-7:00 pm. Music by HomeBrewed..
225 cookies are needed for Open Heartland Christmas party for 225 families.  If you are interested in making cookies, notify P.E Theresa Burns.  Cookies are needed by December 17.  
The program was all members writing two items they are thankful for.  The items could not be about health, family, or Rotary.
Cassey Cook read them to everyone. 
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 a.m..  
Mark Patton, Program Coordinator for November introduced Jerry Schnoor speaking on "Climate Change and the Future".  Jerry is with the University of Iowa's Department of Climate and Engineering Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.  The earth is two to three time warmer each year.  There are 8 billion people.  The AR6 a" Code Red new from the United States   The goal is to release GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.  We are seeing increased heat, heavy precipitation, droughts, tropic cyclones.  Jerry talked about the increase in wildfires, and the country's worst drought, the surface melting in Greenland and the ocean temperatures increasing. The future in a change world with more floods, droughts, wildfires and sea level rising.  "This is the Decade to Act".
Mark Patton, November Program Coordinator, introduced the speaker James Larew, Attorney at Law. James talked about his career as attorney for Iowa Governors.  He then talked about the Railroads in Iowa.  He talked about all the advantages of living in Iowa being between the two greatest rivers.  He talked about Alan Dakin and Virgil Hansen and their friendships.   
Mark Patton, November Program Coordinator introduced   Scott Hawes, Executive Director of Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity.   "Why Helping Hands"?  The number of residents age 60+ has risen 37% since 2010.  30% of the homes in Johnson County are at least 50 years.  6000 homeowners are having a difficult time buying a home.
Conclusion:   seniors need low-income homeowners for accessibility, aging in place, modifications, critical home repairs.  Examples:  Building a ramp for easy access to the outside of the home.  Install walk in showers and high toilets.   Family had carpeting; son had severe allergies to pet dander.  The carpet was removed, and hard wood type flooring was installed.  
Scott talked about ERMAR:  Energy repair, appliance replacement.   He showed a video for affordable housing.  John Mckinstry was featured. 
Scott and Theresa Burns talked about affordable housing being around $200,000.  Theresa Said there may be multiple leans on the house.  Many loans may be involved. Som forgiven, some no interest in order for the family to afford the home.  Habitat for Humanity works with Homes for Iowa to build these homes. 
Chris Knapp, October Program Coordinator introduce Kelly Hayworth, Coralville City Administrator since 1988. Kelly received his B. B. A. and M. B. A from University of Iowa.   He has ridden 28 RABRAI.  Kelly talked about many improvements being made to Coralville.  A very large project is the 1st Avenue/Interstate Interchange.  This is called a Diverging Diamond.  The project has a budget of $40 Million Dollars and expected to be completed sometime in 2-024.  There will be new pedestrian and bicycle paths. There will also be a much easier access for all the truckers to refuel.
Forever Green Heights:  280 acres being developed.   There will be 1000 new housing units:  Single Family, Duplex, Row Houses, and a Senior Facility.  This should be completed in five years. The Auburn Ridge Sub-Division will be complete in fall of 2022.  The 5th Street Improvement project will be several components and completed in fall of 2025.
These improvements to:  St. Morrison Park, City Hall, Coralville Public Library and the pool, Police and Fire Departments.
Coralville will be celebrating the 150 years October 2022-2023. 
The 5th and 10th Street Roundabout will be completed after all the 5th Street improvements have been made.  May begin sometime in late 2025 or 2026.
Chris Knapp, October Program Coordinator, introduced Matt Degner, Superintendent Iowa City Community School District serving since July 2013.  Matt was Principal of South-East Junior High for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 years.  Since that time, he served as Director of Secondary Schools, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent.  He is married and has one son.  He is a member of noon Rotary and a Cubs and Bears fan.   Matt will tell us "What's New in the School District"?
He showed a video on Who are We?  All in for All Kids. There are 14,400 students in the Iowa City School District along with 2300 employees.   There is 91% graduation rate.  The school system is committed to Equity and Inclusion.  The school system has undergone a five-year strategic planning to provide equity and proficiency and growth. 
He recommended the book "Schools Cannot Do It Alone" by Jamie Vollmer. 
Additional Information can be found
Chris Knapp, Program Coordinator for October introduced Geoff Fruin, City Manager of Iowa City. "Is there a Round About in your Future"?  He talked about the population growth in Iowa City 1990 there were 2485 new residents, 2000 new residents 5642, and 2020 new residents 6966.  H talked about the city's strong response helping to weather COVID, state reform, and inflationary pressures.  Goeff talked about tackling critical infrastructural quality of life with roadways, utilities, and parks.  At this time there is a capital improvement from 2022-2026.  
The city continues to work on Student Housing, Arts, Culture as Economic Development.  Some examples, Film Scene, Englert, Public Space One, James Gang and the Muesum of Art.
Fed Recovery:  Forest View Relocation helping residents to find affordable housing.  
Chris Knapp, Program Coordinator for October introduced Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum; one of 13 museums and 15 libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.  He will speak on the past, present, and future of the Hoover Library and museum.  Dr. Schwartz came to Iowa in 2011 after working 26 years in Illinois and working on the Lincoln Presidential Library.  He said it is important to have Education through Entertainment. "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. He did a timeline of Herbert Hoovers life. At the age of 40 Hoover was a self-made millionaire.  Hoover fed over a million people.  His concern was about the quality of the meal and how many people he was able to feed. Dr. Schwartz that Storytelling is the most powerful way.
Casey Cook did "What Jazzes You Up" with Margy Winkler.  Margy said she was not sleeping worrying about Nancy Pacha and Sophia her granddaughter.  What made Margy happy was the beautiful sunrise today!  She is happy she is able to do so many things.  Attitude is the key to Happiness.  She loves reading a good book, playing French horn, piano, golf and tennis.  When she was getting her master's degree, she did some fencing.   Casey and Margy did a very comical program today.
Deb Dunkhase introduced Kate Moreland and Cady Gerlach from the Iowa City Area Development Group.  Kate is the President and CEO of the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD), working to help our community for 23 years.  Cady is the Executive Director of Better Together.  She moved to Iowa City in 2013 to join the firm of Meardon, Sueppel, and Downer PLC and practiced in nonprofit corporations, municipal law, and trust and estate litigation for before joining the Shelter House staff as the Director of Strategic Operations and Resource Management.  The topic of today is" Better Together 2030" a shared future for Johnson County.  They looked at the What:  Community wide initiative to help the community to recover from the pandemic. Why:  To build a transformed future with economic diversity.  How:  Short-term target actions turning to long term. Who:  Led by four community economic organizations, guided by steering committee across various sectors and executed by coalition of community wide network volunteers. 
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The 2023 Rotary International convention will offer endless inspiration for the year to come.

Watch: Rotary’s People of Action: Champions of Inclusion broadcast event

Watch: Rotary’s People of Action: Champions of Inclusion broadcast

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The Afghan women who were determined to run

A Rotarian tells the story of the perseverance of female runners in Afghanistan in the film The Secret Marathon.

Dr. Lee Alward
May 30, 2023 7:00 AM
Genetic glaucoma research
Jasmine Sanasinh
Jun 06, 2023
The experience of Xicotepec
Sarah Gardner
Jun 13, 2023
Electric vehicles
Michelle Kenyon
Jun 20, 2023
Field to Family
Jenny Seylar and Theresa Burns
Jun 27, 2023
Annual presidential turnover