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

Home Page Stories
Please enjoy this update from our outbound exchange student, Chloe:
I first want to start off by saying thank you! Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity! I have been loving a single second of my exchange so far! I am so happy to be in Turin, Italy! 
I first want to start off by saying that I love Turin! It has been very interesting living in a bigger city, there are about one million people living in Turin. It is very easy to get around with public transportation like buses and the subway. There are so many things to do here, whether shopping, going to museums, or going to see different monuments around the city! 
School has been going very well! It's starting to become easier to understand the teachers in class. I am also taking Italian as a Second Language at school, which has helped me a lot with grammar and speaking Italian correctly. All of the students are all really nice at my school too! They make me feel very welcomed and they are patient with me when I try to speak Italian but also correct me when I make mistakes to help me learn! I have also gotten involved in a couple of clubs at school!
I love my host family! They are so kind to me and I have felt loved since the moment they picked me up from the airport! I help out around the house as much as I can, but my favourite things to do are cook and help my younger host siblings with English. It is interesting seeing students here learn English and and how the foreign language classes are structured differently in the United States and Italy. I also love learning how to cook Italian food! It's really fun to help my host mom cook dinner every night so I can learn new recipes! My favourite foods here are pasta alla pesto (pesto pasta), risotto giallo (literally "Yellow Risotto" but its a rice dish with saffron, onions, and zucchini), gelato, and coffee! 
I am thankful because I have gotten to travel a lot! Last month I went down to Calabria, a region in southern Italy, for Orientation. I have been all around Piedmont (my region in Italy), and to Liguria, the region south of Piedmont. Next weekend I am so excited because my host Rotary District is taking all of the Inbound students to Geneva, Switzerland for Rotary Day at the United Nations. We are going to discuss the importance of cross-cultural education opportunities (like exchange years and study abroad programs in college) and how they contribute to international peace and cooperation! 
Again, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity! I am so thankful that I get to spend the next year of my life here! 
Chloe Clemenson 
Need to do some rotary makeups, here is a opportunity!  Be sure to let Don Homan know you did a makeup.

Rotary Open Coffee started in 2016 as a way to get Rotarians together with new or prospective Rotarians to discuss community engagement and ways to get involved.

We will meet monthly in 2017 and all are welcome. 

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Rotary Open Coffee is a way to get this conversation happening more often in our communities. 

Join us.  More information here,

We got an update from our outbound exchange student.  Check it out below!
Hi all,
I wanted to thank you for allowing me to come to Metro North to present my presentation over the similarities and differences between the United States and Italy. Again, thank you so much for allowing me this amazing opportunity, I can’t express how grateful I am!
Here is a link to my website! I’ve worked super hard on it and I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks again and I hope to see you soon!
Our first Lager Lympics was a success. This years raffle "bottle cap Drop" winners were 1st. place, Don Homan, 2nd place, Keith Hindman, 3rd place, Tricia Schutterly  A fun time was had by all. 

Metro North Rotary is funding one RYLA participant and two Young RYLA participants in 2017. 
RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a life-changing leadership training program for youth in which leadership skills and principles are taught in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The purpose of both RYLA and Young RYLA is to assist potential youth leaders in methods of responsible and effective leadership. The goal is to help participants develop confidence! Many participants have said, "It was the best week of my life!"
RYLA is available to high school sophomores and juniors (classes of 2019 and 2018). Generally, applicants selected have excelled in one or more areas of high school involvement, have proven leadership experience, or have shown leadership potential. Applicants must be able to stay for all six days of the conference. RYLA will be held July 16-21, 2017 at Grinnell College. You can find an application for RYLA here.
Young RYLA is available to current 7th and 8th graders. Generally, applicants selected have been involved in school or community activities and shown leadership potential. Applicants must be able to stay for all six days of the conference. YRYLA will be held July 23-28, 2017 at Grinnell College. You can find an application for YRYLA here.
Registration closes April 30, 2017.
Please enjoy the latest update from our outbound exchange student, Regan, who is in Mexico:
I'm doing great--I just have been really busy lately! We just celebrated Carnaval here at the end of February. There were two parades in all of the Malecón, which is like a board walk for I think about 12 miles. They also had a lot of concerts and festivals every night for 4 nights. My favorite night was when they shot off fireworks and I went to my friend's house to watch them. We sat on her patio because her house is on the top of a hill and it was one of the most magically things I've ever seen. Then the following weekend I went to Guadalajara with a few of the other exchange students from my city. We stayed with the other exchange students there. We got to see their school and we also went to the center and museums. This Friday I will be going to Mexico City with my host mom for a week because they have an apartment there. I will also be able to hang out with my host sister that goes to college there! Then the following week my parents are coming to visit me. I am very excited to see them and to show them my home! :)
I have loved my second family and I will be going to my third family on the 9th of April. The chairman of my district named Martin recently recieved an award for having the best district for exchange in the world. All of the exchange students and I are going to surprise him with a cake and dinner sometime this week. We still continue to do a lot of things with Rotary. We ate breakfast with our club and talked about our experience. We also went to a Rotary event called Cuenta Cuentos. My second host family is part of Rotary, so almost every Sunday they have breakfast or a meal together with a few of the rotary families and I also go.
I can´t believe that my exchange is almost over! It has gone by SO fast and I still can´t believe that I´m living here. In April we will have two weeks of vacation for Semana Santa and Semana Pascua. Then at the end of April our end of the year trip begins for one month. When I come back I will have graduation on the 17th of June and I will return to the US on the 25th. Thank you again for this amazing experience. I can´t wait to share my experience and all of my pictures with the club when I get back!!
Te envio el calor,  
Did you know there's a mobile app version of our ClubRunner?  The ClubRunner Mobile App is your key to connect to your ClubRunner website anytime, anywhere!
Completely free to download and use, this app will allow you to access the key info you need while you're on-the-go. Password protected just like your website, the ClubRunner Mobile App allows you to to view your member directory, contact your members and executives, read the latest articles posted to your website, and even learn more about your upcoming events and speakers, right from your smartphone or tablet! 
To download the app from the Apple App Store or from Google Play, simply type in 'ClubRunner' in the search bar. The app is compatible with all versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch sets that have iOS 8.0 or later and with versions of Anrdoid that are 4.0.3 or newer. 
As our Foundation celebrates 100 years of Doing Good in the World, we are especially grateful for donors like you, who empower Rotarians to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in need.
Do you want to see how your gift makes a difference? Watch this.    
Thank you for serving humanity through Rotary.
P.S. Does your employer match your contributions to The Rotary Foundation? Here’s how you can double the good you do.
Please enjoy this update from our outbound exchange student, Regan, who is enjoying her time in Mexico:
Hola!! :)
I'm doing great and everything is perfect!
At the end of October I went to a town called Los Mochis with my host mom and little sister. It was the birthday of both of her parents and everyone came back to celebrate. My host mom has 8 brothers and sisters and I am so happy that I got to meet them all! They were all so welcoming and loving. 
I had the amazing opportunity to experience Día de Los Muertos here on November 1st and 2nd. On November 1st I went to Plaza Marchado with all the other exchange students. Everyone painted their faces like The Catrina and there was a parade in the street. On November 2nd we didn't have school because it is the actual day of Día de Los Muertos so I got to go to the cemetary with my family. There we put flowers on their family's graves. The whole cemetary was covered with decorations and people. I have never seen dealth look so beautiful. Here death is a celebration and I hope that when I am gone my family will celebrate my life like this. 
This past weekend we had a Rotary event. All of the exchange students went to a school on Sunday. There they had dentists, doctors, hairstylists, house hold items for sale and food for the people that don't have a lot. I enjoyed this day because it reminded me that I need to help others and I fell in love with all of the children there. I also got to speak to Kindergardners about the USA!!
Thank you for allowing me to follow my dreams :) 
p.s. I can't wait to hear all about the future outbounds!!
Rotary at the Rink has been rescheduled for January 13th. (Disregard the dates on the flyer below.)
You can purchase tickets here using the password Rotary2016
There is also a Facebook group for the event:
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. 
Upcoming Events
Fun event in place of luncheon
Nov 30, 2017
3pm -5pm Curling at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
Service Project
Dec 07, 2017
Soldier Letters
Music Performance
Dec 14, 2017
Madrigal Singers
No meeting
Dec 21, 2017
No meeting
Dec 28, 2017
Cliff Rudzki
Jan 04, 2018
Fitness Farm - Small Business Leader
Club Executives & Directors
Foundation Chair
President Nominee
Past Pres.
Five years since its debut, Rotary Club Central is getting a big upgrade
When we introduced Rotary Club Central in 2012, it revolutionized goal tracking and planning for clubs and districts — no more filling out paper club-planning forms or passing along boxes of historical club information every time a new leader took office. Rotary Club Central offered clubs and districts a quantifiable way to begin measuring local and global impact, specifically membership initiatives, service activities, and Rotary Foundation giving. But as with any technological advancement, in a few short years, Rotary Club Central began to show its age, and Rotarians took notice. They...
Rotary International Board adopts new zone structure
At its January 2017 meeting, the Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new zone structure for Rotary clubs. Rotary bylaws require the Board to complete a comprehensive review of the 34 Rotary zones no less often than every eight years to ensure that each zone has an approximately equal number of Rotarians. The Board’s previous review of the zones occurred in 2008. The Board earlier approved the creation of three regional workgroups to develop rezoning proposals for Asia, Europe/Africa, and the Americas. These workgroups comprised one representative (either a current director,...
Centennial celebration honors 20 noteworthy global grant projects
Through The Rotary Foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. We’ve also led the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. As part of our celebration of the Foundation’s centennial, we’re honoring 20 global grant projects with special recognition. Learn more about the projects using our interactive map.
Convention: Southern hospitality
The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...
Member spotlight: The power of the press
When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...