Metro North Rotary

We meet Thursdays at 11:30 AM               
Butcher Block Steakhouse
568 Boyson Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Home Page Stories
The painting at Metro High School was all completed by a great crew of teachers and Rotarians. 

Every year our club has successfully applied and received a grant to help make Metro High School Projects a reality. These grants are made possible through Rotary Foundation Giving in our District. Our club goal is $1 per day per Member. Please consider signing up to give annually to this great cause.
One of the easiest and most secure ways for us to support our Foundation is through Rotary’s recurring giving program, Rotary Direct.  Select an amount, frequency (monthly, quarterly or annually), and contribution method that is convenient for you. Enrollment is integrated with the Foundation’s secure online contribution system.
Efficient, convenient and secure. Enroll at  We are Club #62433. Ask me (Cheri Popp) for your Rotary Membership ID!

The Rotary Foundation will send you one annual statement of Rotary Direct contributions for tax purposes.
Here are some examples of what your $100 annual contribution can help provide:
  • Three backpacks filled with school supplies for primary school children in Honduras
  • Fifty malaria diagnostic tests to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria in Mali
  • One biosand filter and water hygiene training for a family in Peru
Here are some examples of what your annual $1000 contributions can help provide.
  • Fourteen anti-retroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their babies in Liberia
  • One bicycle to play sports for youth with disabilities in France
  • Sexual assault and domestic abuse education for young women in Texas, USA
Enroll at

Zombie Prom was a great success with around 220 1/2 people attending. See all the great photos in the photo album "Zombie Prom 2015"

Jack Hardin is planning a trip for November around Thanksgiving time to Senegal.  Jack said, “What a great time to serve others and help the kids at the school in Tivaouane, Senegal.”  We have helped educate over 800 students at the school for the children that can’t attend the regular school system due to several reasons.  One being the lack of money so they can’t pay for the school costs.  This school is ran by volunteers and still enjoys a better graduation rate than the public system.  We have been helping now for 10 years; started in November of 2005 on Jack’s second trip there.  His goal is to buy more computers and school supplies such as notepads, pencils, sharpeners and pens.  Jack can buy paper there for their copier which our Club purchased on his last trip. Jack shared that it is such a gratifying experience to see these kids get out of the “rut” that many generations have been in due to no education. The trip is very hard and demanding, but 100’s of hugs from those kids ranging in age from 6 to 26, it makes it all worthwhile.  Every hug bring tears to his eyes!!

Welcome to Maki who recently arrived from Japan.  Maki is here through the Rotary International Youth Exchange program and will be here through the end of the school year and attending our meetings regularly.  She will be staying at Dave Reisner’s home for the first few months and we are in need of more host families.  Maki is attending Linn Mar High School.  
If you are interested to host please contact Tiffany Chamberlain or Kimm Harris  We would also like to send an outbound student but have not done so since Kayla.  This year Tiffany and the committee are focused on recruiting good candidates for outbound, so we hope to send a student next year.  If you know of a high school student that would like to apply for next year, please let us know. Deadline for applications to our club for outbound exchange is October 17th.  Here is a link to a brochure and more information.  LIKE US ON FACEBOOK – Rotary District 5970 Youth Exchange. 

After last year's washout, the MNR Social Committee nailed a hole in one with this year's golf outing.  The event was held August 6th at Hunters Ridge in Marion.  We had 61 golfers participate and thanks to a much needed assist from Mother Nature, it was a gorgeous day.  
The MNR Social Committee helps find fun ways to get our members together to meet and mingle and get to know our fellow Rotarians better.  Thanks to everyone's participation we were able to make a small profit which we will roll into our annual holiday party budget.
A big thank you to Janice Novick and Amanda Hoffman for their help in planning the event.
An extra special thanks to Don Fuller, Heather Fleming, Cheri Popp, Dave Sorg, Laurie Wahlert, Kayla Phelan, and Janice Novick for securing sponsorships from the following:
        * Shelter Insurance
        * Van Meter
        * Cipco
        * OPN
        * Olives Oil
        * Phelans
        * Allsteel
The 2016 Golf Outing is already on the calendar so make sure you save Thursday, August 4th, 2016 for another great event!

The service committee is working on renewing our relationship with Metro High School and we are actively searching for ways that we can engage with the school as a club and provide assistance with some of their needs. This week with the help of Lindsey Flannery, who has kindly agreed to be a co-chair for the service committee, we will be conducting a ‘focus-group’ with Metro High School’s ‘Buildinig Leadership Team,’ a collaboration of teacher leaders, to discuss the biggest needs of the students and teachers at Metro and come up with ideas for our club to become more active and physically present for the students. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for some opportunities to get involved!

Nate Weber has kindly agreed to continue the AIM efforts with the boys and girls club. With school starting please try to take a look at your schedule and see if you are able to free up a Wednesday afternoon. We are looking to build an AIM Committee, if you think you are able to participate one Wednesday from 4-5pm every 1-2 months please contact Kayla Phelan ( to be part of the committee. It would be great to provide the kids with some consistency and familiar faces each month, if you have participated in the past, you know that sometime you get more out of it than the kids!Naturally, the service committee is always looking for help and participation so please do not hesitate to contact Kayla to get more information about getting involved.

The Year of YOU has begun and we are excited to not only get more acquainted with members but learn more about what we all do on a daily basis.  We have some great, new ideas coming up to do just that.  For instance:
Hopefully you've been to a meeting where you have learned more about your fellow Rotarians.  We've had 7 people take the time to stand in front of our group and tell us all about themselves both personally and professionally during News, Member Sports.  We are looking forward to hearing more about EVERYONE over the next year.
On September 17, we will have our first Get-to-Know-You Progressive meal.  That day we will have a three course meal where every 15 minutes we will switch tables and get to know more about each other.  If you haven't been in awhile, plan to attend that day!  
Visiting member companies is something more than one person suggested during our "strategic planning" in January. On November 5, our meeting will be at a member business.  If you are interested in having your business spotlighted, contact Sam Hammes.  He will be coordinating that process. 

The Rotary Foundation helps fund our humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. Our club applies for grants from the Foundation to invest in projects at Metro High School and our international projects. Grants received from the Foundation have to be matched with club funds, which come from our Zombie Prom fundraising efforts. These grants are vital to funding our club’s projects! 
The Foundation also leads the charge on worldwide Rotary campaigns such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Rotarians and friends of Rotary support the Foundation’s work through voluntary contributions.
Rotary Direct makes giving easy! Complete the Rotary Direct enrollment form or enroll by phone at +1-866-976-8279. You can give monthly, quarterly or annually and as little as $10. Last tax season I reviewed my charitable giving and decided to become a Paul Harris Society Member by giving $85 per month. There are lots of asks out there of us all. The multiplier effect of my donation was a huge factor in my decision to give to this great cause. 
Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have! or 319-213-5915

John's Demologist hard at work. With Phase one completed, all that was left was the refreshments. 

     October 24th is the date for our signature rotary event in 2015.  This event is what provides the means to complete the amazing projects that help at risk youth both in our community and abroad.  We are proud to be able to put together an event that is unique to Cedar Rapids and raises funds to allow us to do such great things. Without it, we would have to find another way to raise money for our international exchange program, various projects at Metro High and the CR Boys and Girls Club, and the work we have done for children in Africa.
The event is an adult only Halloween party themed as Zombie Prom and goes from 8pm-12am. This year we are doing a celebrity theme, so people are encouraged to dress as a Zombified celebrity, however it is not required and we would love to have anyone attend who just wants to come be a part of a night of giving.  There will be music, dancing, food and drink, a make up artist, games, a photo booth, and a Zombie Queen and King contest.  
I have heard great feedback on the last two events.  People really love that we are doing something different.  We grew from 200 people to 300 from year one to year two, and intend on taking that up another 100 this year.  We have a great committee that meets every month and works very well together to be sure this event runs smoothly. Everything from decorations to fundraising it taken care of by fabulous individuals willing to put their time and effort into making this a great event so we can support our community. 

Social Committee 
The Social Committee is busy working on the 2015 MNR Golf Outing.  This year’s event takes place Thursday, August 6th and will once again be at Hunter’s Ridge golf course.  Last year’s event was marred by rain which eliminated the first try and limited golfers to a handful of holes in try #2.  But the rain didn’t keep the fun away.  
What folks might not know about the golf outing is that the extra funds that are raised go directly towards the MNR Holiday party.  So the more golfers we have, the more holes we have sponsored, the more mulligans we sell, the more money we have to use for our annual year-end fiesta.  
In year’s past the event has lost money but under the leadership of Janice Novick, the last few years we have been able to turn a fairly decent return and were able to ramp up the fun at the last two Frosty Fiestas.
We would love to have you join us in August for this year’s golf outing.  Hope to see you there! 

Our committee has two main areas of oversight, The Exchange Student Program and also the International Projects Program.

For the Exchange Student Program, we are excited to learn that we have another student lined up for next year.  Our student is from Japan and we are in the process of securing host families.  We have one host family at this time, the school district will be Linn Mar.  It is critical that we line up our host families in the near future.  The project we are working on involves connecting with entities outside of Rotary to source the host families.  As the host family does not need to be involved in Rotary, we are reaching out to other groups to plant the seed and hopefully garner support for the program.  We would ask that each MNR member think of a group they belong to outside of Rotary, who the best contact may be for that group, and then pass it along to a committee member so that we can connect with them.
For the International Project side of the committee.  Jack Hardin would like to go to Senegal later this year to continue his good work and he has made the initial contact overseas to start the process.  He will let us know what we can do to support this effort.  Patti also has a project in Nicaragua that we could team up with Habitat for Humanity on.  Our area of focus right now is understanding the Rotary Global Grant.  Patti & Brian are currently researching the Rotary Global Grant as an additional level support for our projects.  As a club, we have never applied for the Global Grant.  With a grant levels starting at $30,000, we could support a much larger project than in the past.  

Sandi and Cristiane pictured in front of 2015 Metro High School book donation. This past month at our annual Metro High School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, the Speakers Committee was pleased to donate a book in honor of each guest speaker to the Metro High School Library for the 2014-15 Rotary calendar year. The Speakers Committee is in charge of obtaining a list of books, purchasing, and labelling the books for donation. We were able to donate 33 books this year. Upon donation to the Metro High School Library, Kirstin Miller from Metro mentioned that “It’s through community groups that we receive new books each year so thank you again for your support of Metro!”
With the change in our Club President comes the change in Speaker’s Committee Chairs. Introducing Sam Hammes as your new Committee Chair for 2015-16. Sam is actively working on lining up speakers. We value your input and want to offer the most intriguing speaker line-up to date to continue to engage and entertain our membership. Our challenge to you, the member: Think of past speakers and topics you’ve enjoyed (or maybe haven’t enjoyed as much) and send your speaker suggestions to Sam ( A big round of applause to Sandi Lafferty and Cristiane AbouAssaly for being the speaker scheduling wizards for the 2014-2015 calendar year! Your work is much appreciated.

Right now, we’re in the middle of planning our club’s signature project for 2015 (the Metro High School Library).  
We have met with the staff at Metro High School, and they have identified and prioritized the list of tasks that our Rotary Group will lead, including:
•         Brightening up the Commons/Library with a fresh coat of paint.
•         Creating a “think tank” space within the commons area.
•         Adding new furniture.  
We are in the process of putting all of the bids together and are hopeful we can accomplish the majority of the project within our allotted budget.  Once that is complete and approved by the board, we’ll be looking for volunteers from the club for the remodel.  More updates to come!

Thanks to all the MNR members that helped with food and/or volunteering to serve the Metro High teachers.
 Severing Metro High School teachers Severing Metro High School teachers Severing Metro High School teachers
Severing Metro High School teachers Severing Metro High School teachers 

Dec 03, 2015
Julie Kelly
Unity Point- Director of Child Protection Center
Dec 10, 2015
Maki Watanabe
Rotary Inbound Student from Japan
Club Executives & Directors
Past Pres.
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