Imagine This!  Newsletter

November, 2022

A Note from Your District Governor

Hello Rotarians!  Are you having fun “Imagining Rotary” this year?  I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!  I’ve now visited 21 clubs in the District and can’t wait to visit the remaining 28!  As I promised in my last newsletter, I’m sharing a few of the highlights from my club visits.  So here are a few more things to “imagine.”  I also have several announcements at the end so please be sure to take note of those as well. 
Imagine This!  Next January, the Spencer Rotary Club will be celebrating their 75th Anniversary.  Congratulations!  The photo below includes several longtime members of the club, and current President, Mike Koenecke, is holding the certificate from RI President Jennifer Jones.  Did you know the Spencer Rotary Club donates $15 to PolioPlus at every meeting in the name of the speaker for the day?  Thank you, Spencer Rotary Club!

Imagine This!  The Cedar Rapids Daybreak Club received the Presidential Citation Award from Past RI President Shekhar Mehta for reaching a high level of accomplishment last year.  It was a sincere pleasure to present the certificate to current President Chris Fischer.  Congratulations CR Daybreak!

Imagine This!  The Osage Rotary Club meets in a beautifully restored building in downtown Osage that provides a very attractive venue for their club meetings.  The building is the Cedar Valley Seminary Building which was moved from another site to its current location.  It was a reminder to me how important it is to have an inviting and attractive venue that members coming to each week!  And it shows in their attendance!
Imagine This!  The Emmetsburg Rotary Club had a significant part in building a beautiful memorial to our veterans who served in the military from Palo Alto County.  It’s a first-class tribute to them and permanently engraved in the stonework is the Rotary emblem.  So all can see that Rotary was a key player in the development of this memorial.  Great work, Emmetsburg Rotary Club!

Imagine This!  The Anamosa Rotary Club meets in a wonderful art gallery/gathering space that features many local artists.  We couldn’t help but notice that John Lennon was watching us during the entire meeting.  Note the painting of him on the wall in the photo below that includes President Reona Ewald on the right.  Thank you, John Lennon, for inspiring us with your “Imagine” song!  The Anamosa Rotary Club is doing lots of imagining and is hoping to start an after hours meeting for the young professionals in their community.  Nice work!
Imagine This!  And finally, the Rockwell City Rotary Club publishes a Community Calendar each year that every citizen can’t wait to receive.  The businesses whose phone numbers are listed can’t wait to sponsor it each year.  Each page includes a notice of where the Rotary Club meets.  The Rockwell City Rotarians say it’s the community “Bible” that everyone relies on.  Who needs the internet?  It’s a great public image idea.  Did you know that the Rotary logo can be found in over 200 different locations in Rockwell City?  Way to go, Rockwell City Rotary Club!  

A Note from Your District Governor

Greetings Rotarians!  Now that Kris and I have visited 38 clubs in our District, we are more excited about what our members and clubs are doing than ever.  We are so encouraged by the service you give to your community, to the Rotary world beyond our clubs, and to each other.  I’ve included more of our favorite highlights and ideas from the clubs, along with news about our Interact Clubs, and a gallery of our wonderful RYE students. 
Imagine this!  The Storm Lake Club hosted a Dad/Daughter dance at their local school with 700 people attending.  What a beautiful way to empower girls—one of our priorities in Rotary!
Imagine This!  Have you ever seen a bike rack that looks like a fish?  That may be unusual, but not in Guttenberg—a Mississippi River town. Thanks to the clever idea from the Guttenberg Rotary Club, you’ll find three fish bike racks along the river walk in that beautiful community. And note the “eye” of the fish.  It’s the Rotary wheel!  Clever work Guttenberg Rotary!
Imagine This!  The Dubuque Rotary Club marched in the annual, mile-long Dubuque Halloween Parade, sporting colorful capes with matching colored masks.  You can’t miss the fact that these folks are Rotarians as the capes show off the Rotary emblem.  This club has so much fun it’s almost “scary”!   Way to go, Dubuque Rotary Club!


Imagine This!  New Hampton Rotarians Bill Riley and Suellen Kolbet proudly stand by the Wooden Wonderland playground built and maintained by the New Hampton Rotary Club. It’s been joyfully serving children from miles around for over 30 years!  Once again, the Rotary wheel is an integral part of the playground. Thanks for serving kids, New Hampton Rotarians!
And here’s an important word from Katie Wilford, District Interact and Rotaract Chair:
Imagine This! Interact Clubs have been around since 1962. It is a branch of Rotary designed for students aged 12-18 that enables them to participate in community service. Every school year, Interact Clubs invest their time and energy in at least two community service projects. One of those projects must be angled towards benefiting the school or community that the students live in learning. The other project must promote greater international understanding with the goal of creating a more unified and peaceful global community. Rotary members support Interact as sponsors, guides, and mentors, working alongside Interactors to serve local schools and communities. In our district, we have 13 active Interact clubs. If you want to learn more about Interact in our district, subscribe to the monthly Interact Newsletter, or reach out to our District Interact Chair, Katie Wilford, at for more information. 
Imagine This! Rotaract appeals to young adults 18+ who prefer to grow their service, professional and leadership skills through a fun and inclusive near-peer network of like-minded people of action. Whether they’re studying at a university or starting a career, Rotaractors add so much to our membership and are Rotarians’ equal and valued partners in service. In 2019 Rotary International gave Rotaract clubs official status as members of Rotary, elevating Rotaractors to people of action who create lasting change — across the globe, in their communities, and within themselves. These young leaders are part of the Rotary movement to develop innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. In our district, we are working to re-ignite two Rotaract clubs, post-pandemic. If you want to learn more about Rotaract in our district, subscribe to the quarterly newsletter or reach out to our District Rotaract Chair, Katie Wilford, at for more information. 
Please subscribe to the newsletter and learn more about the great things these clubs are doing in their communities!
May I introduce you to our wonderful inbound Rotary Youth Exchange students who enrich our club experiences every day:
From Chile:     Fran at Decorah
                      Amalia at Waverly

From Spain:    Daniela at New Hampton
                      Rodrigo at Cedar Falls


From Argentina:         Pedro at Webster City
                                Alvaro at Cedar Rapids Sunrise

From Germany:           Arthur at Dubuque
                                  Louisa at Cedar Rapids Daybreak

From Asia:      Wayne (Taiwan) at Cedar Rapids Downtown
                      Su (Japan) at Cedar Rapids Metro North

Thank you to the clubs and families who are hosting these students, and to the terrific RYE District Team who train them so well!

Remember to save the date for our District Conference next April 21-22 at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.  We can’t wait to see everyone there!  

Don Meyer
District Governor 2022-23