Deb Dunkhase spoke about Iowa MOST at this Rotary meeting.


The meeting began at 7:05 a.m.

April Birthdays were celebrated.

Guests and Visiting Rotarians:

Nancy Pacha: guest, Gary Pacha

Hazel Seaba: guest, Gregorio Sanchez. Gregorio is from Xicotepec and will be staying in our area for four months.

Deb Galbraith: guest, Janet Koester

Rotarians in the News:

Pat Schnack is in a Rotary ad on TV about the fight against polio by Rotary District 6000.

Ryan Dye: started the Mideast Studies Program at St. Ambrose University

John McKinstry: the Disciples of Christ canceled their assembly in Indiana in protest of a discriminatory law enacted there.



For those attending the International Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil, ballots are available.

Brian Adamec is on temporary leave of absence because of ear problems.

Nancy Pacha asked members to sign up for the home dinners for District Conference. Sign up is based on where you were from or what you can’t eat.

Karin Franklin announced that raffle tickets will be for sale at the District Conference for youth services fund to send kids to Xicotepec. Prizes include a weekend at the Hoovers’ home in McGregor, and more. Also, in regard to the District  Conference, she asked that all members sign up for Friday noon lunch.

Myrene Hoover invited members to sign up to be responsible for programs for the coming year.

Roger Christian asked members to sign up to wash dishes over the coming months and to sign up to be greeters at weekly meetings.

Mike Messier encouraged attendance at the District Conference, especially for Saturday afternoon and for the recognitions dinner on Saturday night. Parking will be available at the ramp (no room in south lot because of a gymnastics meet).

Mark Patton requested that members make donations for the special Iowa City AM Rotary segment of the Johnson County Foundation being set up by Casey Cook; Casey will match $5000 in donations for this first phase.


World in a Minute

Pam Ehly reported on Guyana (Guiana) on the northern coast of South America. English is the official language  and the name means “Land of Many Waters” (1 min).


Happy Bucks – Happy Rotarians J:  “ovolactovegetarian”-new word from Mike Messier



Deb Dunkhase reported on the Iowa MOST Program with many thanks to Gary Pacha who started and continues to run this program. Over time, about 9 members have gone to help.

In Guatemala, 1 in 800 children have cleft lip and/or cleft palate. There is a high rate of cleft deformities that lead to malnourishment and speech impediments. Often, children are shunned, and often do not attend school.

Our District 6000 offers cleft lip and palate surgeries. People come any way they can – ride, walk, and so forth. The team includes an anesthesiologist, surgeon, dentist who work surrounded by organized chaos.  The team numbered about 35 this year, including medical doctors, nurses, dentists, speech therapists - and non-medical helpers.  The Johnson & Johnson Corporation provides some support for this project, and the local Rotary club supports and helps this program as well.

Patients and their children wait all day to be seen.  The surgeries are provided at a hospital run by a Rotarian in Huehuetenango.  People ride “chicken buses” to get there. In Guatemala, children are loved so much, and parents want this improvement in their child’s life. The rest of the family may be left at home for as long as 5 days. Patients’ ages typically range from 5 mos. to 20 years, but the team has even treated an 80-year old gentleman.

Often, the surgeries are done in stages, a series of surgeries to repair a cleft palate or cleft lip. The kids don’t always want the surgeries themselves and it takes some coaxing by parents and care-givers.

Deb Dunkhase and her daughter were on the post-op team to keep kids entertained and content. They brought beads to make necklaces, bracelets, and so forth. They made balloon animals of twisted balloons; they juggled balls, tossed rings around Coke cans. Pete Wallace performed magic tricks. They colored with kids, made origami birds that jump, and played guitar (from a neighbor).

Surgical repair brings hope to the child/to the family. Pre- and post- surgery photos are amazing and manifest a remarkable difference! Cleft lip surgery length varies from 1½ to more hours and cleft palate surgery takes longer than cleft lip

The housing for the program is planned to help the people feel safe, as it is important to build their trust.

Not all the volunteering was inside the hospital. The volunteers doing dental outreach taught children a song about brushing teeth and gave away toothbrushes and toothpaste, even in a remote mountain village.  A village elder there told the Rotarians about needs of his remote community. The place is so remote that it gets outside visitors only about 2-3 times a year.

Club members were asked to make donations to Iowa MOST and they were given cards with information about the project. Deb appreciated her experience and she wants to the project to continue and to become even better. She has agreed to take over leadership for the program from Gary Pacha.

Respectfully submitted by Joan Garrity.