Tag: 010913

Meditations – January 9, 2013

During this series of articles during the month of January, I would like to take a look at La Porte City and point out just a few things that we should be incredibly thankful for.  Individually these things might not be special just to La Porte City, but when you combine them all together and place them in one city, then it all adds up to make our city a very special place.
This week I would like to focus on Union Community Schools. First let me share with you some of my experience with schools. My father is a retired superintendent of schools and as his career progressed, I experienced schools in Oklahoma and four locations in Colorado. Also, one of my sisters is a retired grade school teacher and her husband is a retired superintendent as well. Needless to say, when the family gets together, we “talk school.”
I have taught Junior Achievement in high school and was an adjunct professor at Drake University. I have two master’s degrees and one is in Adult Education and I used to help lead one of the largest corporate universities in the U.S. In addition, I have experienced schools as I lived in five different states. As I have traveled, I have experienced schools in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, China, and Africa. And after all of this experience, I can only say, “WOW!” when looking at our school district. My friends, if you think that what we have in our community when it comes to a school system is the way it is everywhere else, then you really need to get out and see for yourselves.
Our school system is nothing short of a miracle. They excel in academics, sports, music, drama, and all of the extracurricular activities. They excel in supporting at-risk kids, those who are hungry, those with tough situations in their lives, and those with learning disabilities. And the amazing thing is that the people who work in our school system, including teachers, administration, coaches, secretaries, janitors, the food service employees, nurses and retired school employees don’t just stay in the school system and then go home at night. Instead, they contribute all over our community as the volunteer for activity after activity.
Personally, we see the impact of their skills at St. Paul United Methodist Church, as most of our Sunday school teachers are current or retired school teachers and they also serve in leadership positions on committees. We simply would not be able to do all that we do without their expertise and commitment.
I know that we have a few people that the school system just cannot satisfy, but I want to say to all of those involved in the day-after-day-after-day job of educating our children, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Civil War Roundtable to Feature History Professors

Four well known area history professors will speak at a forum “Revisiting the Civil War: Annie Wittenmyer, Stonewall Jackson and Iowa Troops” on Saturday January 12, 2013, at Windridge, Western Home Communities, Cedar Falls. The event is co-sponsored by Western Home Communities and the Cedar Valley Civil War Roundtable and is free and open to the public.
The program begins at 9:30 AM with displays featuring uniforms and equipment of soldiers and members of the cavalry, flags, stamps, patriotic covers and supplies gathered and shipped to the soldiers.
Dr. Robert Martin, UNI History Department Chair, will be the first speaker at 10 AM. Martin will tell of Annie Wittenmyer of Keokuk and her work in organizing shipments of supplies to the soldiers and reorganizing of hospital kitchens.
Dr. Wallace Hettie, also of the UNI History Dept., will examine the heroic status of Gen. Stonewall Jackson at 11 AM. Lunch will be available to purchase at Windridge for a nominal cost.
The experiences of Iowa’s soldiers will be related by Ken Lyftogt, Lecturer in the UNI History Department at 1 PM.
Rounding out the program at 2 PM will be Dr. Terry Lindell, Wartburg History Department. Lindell will recount the encounters Iowa cavalry regiments had with the Indians in Dakota Territory.
No advance registration is necessary. Attendees can attend any or all of the sessions.
Windridge is located at 5311 Hyacinth Drive, Cedar Falls. For further information please call 319-984-9268.

New Year, New Opportunity to Volunteer with Allen Hospice

Have you resolved to get more involved in your community in the New Year? Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of those around you? Allen Hospice is seeking individuals who are interested in learning more about becoming a hospice volunteer.
Allen Hospice will offer a four-part orientation and training course beginning on Wednesday, January 9, and continuing January 16, 23 and 30, for individuals interested in volunteering with hospice patients and their families. All sessions will meet on Wednesdays from 8:30 AM – Noon on the first floor of Allen Hospital, 1825 Logan Avenue, in Waterloo. Allen Hospice provides physical, emotional and spiritual care for end-of-life patients in their place of residence, including their homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes or in a hospital.
“Our volunteers provide compassion and care and are very important to a patient’s and family’s hospice experience,” explained Linda Alexandres, volunteer coordinator at Allen Hospice.             “Becoming a hospice volunteer is an excellent way to make an impact in the community. Many of our volunteers state that hospice service is fulfilling, life-affirming, and an honor and a privilege. We offer many opportunities for individuals to serve, depending on their interest, time and talents.”
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), approximately 468,000 hospice volunteers provided 22 million hours of service in the United States during 2009. Hospice volunteers work in three general areas: direct patient care – spending time with patients and families; clinical support – providing clerical and other services that support patient care and clinical services; and general support – helping with fundraising efforts and other projects.
Allen Hospice volunteers who choose to work in direct care may spend time reading to and visiting with patients or providing respite care to allow family caregivers a break. Support work may include helping with mailings and other special projects. And because Allen Hospice serves patients living within a 50-mile radius of Waterloo, there are many volunteering opportunities available in different communities.
All individuals interested in becoming a hospice volunteer must complete an orientation and training program. The session provides in-depth education about the end-of-life process. Participants will learn about the goals of hospice, care and comfort measures, the psychosocial and spiritual dynamics of death and dying, grief and bereavement support, and much more.
For more information about becoming an Alleospice volunteer, please call Linda Alexandres at 319-235-5027 or email at AlexanLL@ihs.org

Auditions Set for WCP’s Show “Bloody Murder”

Auditions for Waterloo Community Playhouse’s production of “Bloody Murder” will take place Saturday, January 12 at 1 PM and Sunday, January 13 at 7 PM at the the Walker Building, 224 Commerical Street in Waterloo. Production dates are March 8-16, 2013.
Twelve exciting roles are up for grabs in this comedic mystery that takes a unique look at a typical English murder-mystery. Think Agatha Christie meets Pirandello. When the usual British mystery types gather for a weekend retreat at the sumptuous country estate of the esteemed Lady Somerset, little do they know what lies in store. Slowly, the characters begin to realize that they are merely pawns in a formulaic murder mystery, their every move dictated by an author! One-by-one, the characters set out to change their fates. As they rebel against their author, it’s bloody murder!
Auditions are open to all, regardless of experience or membership. The auditions will involve reading scenes from the script. Scripts are available at the Walker Building for a $10.00 deposit. If you are unable to make the audition dates/times listed above, alternate auditions times may be scheduled by calling Director Chuck Stilwill at (319) 235-0367 for an appointment.

Pre-diabetes Education Session Offered

Plan to join diabetes educators for an informational session about pre-diabetes on Friday, January 11 beginning at 2 PM in the Kimball Ridge Board Room, 2101 Kimball Avenue, Waterloo. Certified diabetes educators help you learn about the signs, symptoms, risk factors for diabetes and preventative measures such as food and activity. You can lower your risk for developing diabetes.
Classes are available to Wheaton Associates, Wheaton Wellness Center members and Wheaton Cardiac Rehab patients at no cost. Others are welcome to attend for a fee if $10 per class. Register by calling 272-2265 or email mary.steffensmeier@wfhc.org

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