Metro North Rotary

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

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Corridor Women Connect will host a workshop on the keys to being a resilient business leader. This interactive workshop utilizes positive psychology, resilience research, and business leadership principles that equip women to prepare for, cope with, and grow through today’s most pressing challenges. This workshop delivers practical applications to support your growth in the office and beyond!
Participants will learn how to grow resilience and leadership skills with Dr. Mollie Marti, resilience researcher, author, and founding director of the National Resilience Institute. 
The workshop will take place from 8 a.m. to Noon on October 25, 2016. Find out more and register here.

Rotary Youth Exchange applications for the 2017-18 year are due by Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
The Rotary Clubs of greater Cedar Rapids invite high school students to apply for a Rotary scholarship to study abroad for one year. This is an opportunity for students to learn a second language, experience a foreign culture, and make new friends. This experience could help a student in future endeavors such as obtaining acceptance into college and an interesting job upon graduation. 
Free room and board are included while overseas, along with a small monthly stipend. The recipient will be hosted in homes of Rotary members in that country and will receive support from local Rotarians. Applicants must be enrolled in a high school in the Greater Cedar Rapids/Linn County area and 15-18 years old. Exchange can take place in the junior, senior, or post-senior year. Candidates must have at least two years of foreign language study prior to their exchange. 
The application can be found at here. Four copies of the application should be submitted directly to:
Jim Halverson
HR Green
8710 Earhart Lane SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Metro North Rotary has established the following objectives for its giving guidelines:
  • Serve disadvantaged children in our community and/or internationally
  • Demonstrates "service above self"
  • Demonstrates the Rotary four-way test
    • Is it the truth? 
    • Is it fair to all concerned?
    • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
    • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Groups or individuals are required to submit a completed grant application by October 31. The application is to be no longer than two double-spaced pages typed and requests are to be no more than $1,000. Groups or individuals may only request funding once per calendar year. Applicants will be notified of the results via email. 
The grant application can be accessed under the contact and about pages of
Please send questions and grant applications to 

Chris Figureida, Cycle for Heart 
Since 2005, Chris Figureida has cycled over 31,000 miles across the globe promoting healthy heart awareness. He has worked with schools to increase health, education and community development programs to help improve the future of our children. Cycle for Heart inspires both children and adults alike to take control of their lives and know they can do anything they put their mind to.  Chris makes regular stops on his biking trips to speak at Rotary and has also spoken to over 60,000 kids.
Chris is on day 48 of a 100-day bike ride across the US.  The current ride will cover 5,100 miles and end in New York around Thanksgiving.  He averages 75 miles a day at 15mph on his Trek 520 bike. You can follow Chris's trek across America here: 

The Summer Blood Drive Challenge was a success! The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center was able to collect 17 units of whole blood, which will serve 68 area patients. Daybreak Rotary won the challenge, but only beat Metro North Rotary by three people! Thank you to the Metro North superheroes who donated:
Mark Blough
Sandi Lafferty
Erin Mendez       
Joe Schmitt
Geri Schmitt
Jackie Oliver

Thanks to all that helped with the Beer Tent during the Market After Dark. We all had such a great time and of the five beer tents, the Metro North Rotary beer tent was the second highest grossing right after the tent closest to the stage! Woohoo!
The Market After Dark will be held Saturday, August 22 in Downtown Cedar Rapids from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  

It’s time to give some blood, Metro North! We are in competition with Marion East and Daybreak Rotaries. Last December, Daybreak lost to Marion East on their turf at the American Legion in Marion. Now it's our turn to compete!
Each unit has the potential to help 4 patients here in our local hospitals. Summer is traditionally the most difficult time of year to maintain a steady blood supply and we need volunteer donors to step up to ensure we meet the needs of our local hospitals. LET'S SAVE SOME LIVES!
The challenge will take place on Wednesday, August 24 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Artisan's Sanctuary in the front gallery. Please bring your photo ID and remember to eat and drink before donating. 
For more information, contact Sarah Oldag at or click here to sign up online.

MNR hosts an annual Zombie Prom Halloween Party to raise money for disadvantaged youth both locally and globally. The event has produced more than $60,000 and has provided the opportunity for MNR to renovate several spaces at Metro High School to enhance learning.
Dr. Carlos Grant, Metro High School Principal said, “The area in the library where the Incubator Lab now sits was an awkward and inefficient use of space.  When MNR approached us to see if there was a project they could tackle for us, we saw this as an opportunity to redesign that space to uniquely meet several learning needs for both teachers and students.” 
The Incubator Lab’s design facilitates a variety of functional needs for the school including: classes, meeting space and an area for seniors to relax before classes begin.
Jon Brightwell, MNR member, led the building effort. “The space before was really underutilized and not user friendly.  This was a fun project to work on with our own club members as well as other local businesses,” said Jon.
Craig Galassi, Project Manager for Septagon Construction and MNR member, volunteered his expertise and time to complete the initial demo work. Through his leadership, Galassi organized Septagon employees, as well as some of their suppliers, to tackle the construction aspect, which saved a significant amount of time and money. “We were happy to step in,” Galassi said.  “It was really an opportunity for Septagon to get a better understanding of what is going on at Metro High School and have a better appreciation for it.”
Tabby Janak of OPN Architects and MNR member collaborated and worked with Dr. Grant and school faculty to design the space to meet the students’ needs. As educational technology has moved away from large desktop computers to more mobile laptops and tablets, the design takes advantage of that mobility and breaks from the industrial seating paradigm to a setting better designed for comprehension and learning.  The room uses non-traditional furniture that, according to Dr. Grant, research has found to reduce anxiety of traditional classrooms.  The more relaxed setting fosters better focus on subject matter for longer periods of time. “This was a great way for us to show the students and teachers how much we value them by making it an awesome space,” said Janak.
Future enhancements for the room will include repainting walls with white board paint to allow for better communication when students work on group projects as well as a projector with scrolling announcements on the outside of the room.
Dr. Grant would eventually like to see all the classrooms in the school have the type of flexibility for non-traditional settings like the new Incubator Lab does.

Trisha Hinke Photo
In three weeks, P.A. student Trisha Hinke will be traveling to Xicotepec, Mexico on a graduate-level medical mission. Metro North Rotary is proud to sponsor her travel with Rotary District 5970, which is comprised of 54 clubs. Once Trisha arrives in the town near Mexico City, she will collaborate with Rotary International and work with dental teams, pharmacists, and visit children in schools to deworm them.
Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, this Iowa native has extended her experience and service well beyond the state’s borders. Trisha has studied at the University of Kentucky, traveled to Tasmania, and went on a trip to Honduras that she said had the most impact on her and her future plans to practice in global health.
Trisha is currently a student at Des Moines University and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She has one full year of school that will involve 12 rotations before she completes her education.
She is intrigued by different cultures and says she keeps an open mind to encourage interaction. Trisha said she strives to become a P.A. that patients feel comfortable with and connected to.

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. 

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 & Girls Club. With school starting please try to take a look at your schedule and see if you are able to free up a Tuesday afternoon. We are looking to build an AIM Committee, if you think you are able to participate one Tuesday 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

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.

Oct 27, 2016
Randy Krejci
Missouri Valley Athletic Conference
Nov 03, 2016
Sgt Mark Andries CRPD
Handling An Active Shooter Situation
Nov 10, 2016
Joe Greathouse - Kirkwood ACE Board Leader
Development of Architecture Construction & Engineering Careers
Nov 17, 2016
Erin Mendez - Riverview Center
Sexual Assault Victim Advocate
Nov 24, 2016
Dec 01, 2016
Dec 08, 2016
John Hughes - Hughes Nursery & Landscaping
History, Efficiencies & Production
Dec 15, 2016
Dec 22, 2016
Dec 29, 2016
Jan 12, 2017
Dave Clark
Eastern Iowa Honor Flights
Club Executives & Directors
Past Pres.
Virtual reality films bring new dimension to polio fight
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Rotary Day at UN highlights role of business in building a better world
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ShelterBox prepares for Mosul refugees
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Skydivers raise thousands for polio eradication
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Rotary and ShelterBox on the ground in Haiti
Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless. The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne...