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Educator Recognition Program 2016



We had the honor of celebrating the significant and lasting impact of great teachers this week with the annual Educator Recognition Program. Each area high school nominated a representative from their teaching staff to represent the outstanding faculty serving students at their school.


This program aligns perfectly with Rotary West’s mission to support education. We recognize students each spring with our scholarship program. Our fall recognition is our opportunity to celebrate the outstanding efforts of their teachers.


Each honoree was introduced today by a school administrator and received a Certificate of Appreciation. The 2016 honorees are: Adam Conn, Cedar Valley Christian School; Stephanie Wendt, Xavier Catholic High School; Ian Kleman, Washington High School; Vera Rochotzke, Kennedy High School; Chad Allard, Jefferson High School; Paul Schenkelberg, Prairie High School; Becky Herman, Marion High School; Malinda Wilcox, Metro High School; and Jeanne Turner, Linn-Mar High School.













Rotary West Helps Monarch Butterfly Populations


Milkweed is crucial to the survival of the monarch butterfly, but since the Midwest was settled and turned to agriculture, a lot of the habitat has gone.  Liz Durham heads up Rotary West’s efforts to get Iowa lands reseeded with milkweed, to help the monarch butterfly populations recover.  This pollinator is advantagous to Iowa's ecosystem.  Our local efforts have met with success, and next year should be even better!   Here is an example from Liz Durham’s property.






Trapper Keepers Delivered

Rotary West members stepped up to help provide incoming 6th grade students with trapper keepers for the new school year.

Funds raised by our organization and others – including from our annual Pancake Breakfast - were used to purchase 1,000 trapper keepers that the staff at each of the six Cedar Rapids middle schools will distribute to students.


Rotary West’s contribution was $13,816! Other funders included the Alliant Energy FoundationWitwer Trustthe University of Iowa Community Credit Union, and Casey’s General Stores.


Jim Coller, president, Cedar Rapids West Rotary, said, "All of the members of Cedar Rapids West Rotary volunteer and contribute so hopefully every child has the necessary resources and the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as they possibly can. We believe the students, as future leaders, will pay it forward and continue with Cedar Rapids West Rotary’s mission of “Service Supporting Education” and follow the Rotary International’s  motto of “Service Above Self."


"Our Rotary club looks forward to continuing our work with the local schools and other community organizations in support of education," he continued.


This is the fourth year of the collaborative effort, and the first year working directly with the school district to identify a targeted need. In addition to Rotary West, partnering organizations include The Salvation ArmyHenry Davison Youth CenterFreedom FestivalTanager Place, and Hiawatha Parks and Recreation.



The KCRG story can be found here.





Van Buren Elementary Garden Project


Our own Betty Ehlinger heads up the garden volunteer project at Van Buren elementary school, and this year's sun and rain helped produce a bumper crop for local families to enjoy.  Not only does this plot provide a opportunity for young students to learn and experience gardening, but it's also a wonderful metaphor for growth and nurturing in our community.



Recently, President Christine Smart was presented with the Governor Volunteer Awards by Governor Terry Branstad on behalf of Cedar Rapids Rotary West, for the volunteer work though our community and the world. 




Our own Marcia Hughes served as emcee for the ceremony.



Passing The Gavel


On July 15, we officially changed leadership from President Christine Smart to President Jim Coller.  We look forward to another great year.







Rotary West-Service Supporting Learning



Visit CR West Rotary's Facebook page for photos. 


Rotary Serving Humanity is the Rotary theme for 2016-17. Rotary International President Germ urges Rotary members to give the gifts of time, talent, and knowledge to improve lives in communities across the globe.


Join Cedar Rapids West Rotary any Wednesday at noon at the African American Museum of Iowa with plenty of convenient parking.  Click here for information on upcoming programs and West Rotary's calendar.


Visit our Club Service Projects to learn more about our other projects both in our community and across the world. 


Welcome Messages

click on the photos to read welcome messages


5970 District Governor

President Cedar Rapids West

John Germ

Rotary International


James Coloff

District 5970


Jim Coller

Rotary West















Cedar Rapids Bank & TrustGuaranty Bank & TrustHouse of Carpets

Jazz 88.3 KCCK-FMNelson ElectricRinderknecht

Scott OlsonShive-Hattery