Notes from last meeting – October 22, 2013:


October 22 - The Downtown Farmers Market has concluded another successful run this past weekend.  Thank you to all that have helped make the Rotary Orange Juice booth a success.  A final accounting of our profits should be reported in the near future! 


October 24 – This was World Polio Day.  Much progress has been made but in certain areas of the world (especially those in the midst of conflict such as Syria and Pakistan as noted by Kay Kramer), polio continues to show some resurgence.  Rotary will continue its efforts towards eradication.  As noted by President Tom at our last meeting, Rotary International is trying new approaches by better utilizing local citizens to deliver immunizations to improve the level of trust vs. having foreigners deliver the immunizations. 


November 9 – The 2nd annual District 6000 Foundation Dinner is set for Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the West Des Moines Marriott.  Reception begins at 6:00 P.M. followed by dinner at 7:00 P.M.  The editor does not have RSVP information.  If interested in attending, please let President Tom know and he can should be able to get you pointed in the right direction!


This week’s meeting will feature “Students of the Month” from West Des Moines Dowling Catholic High School. 


Two weeks ago, Harold Hulleman and 9 West Des Moines Rotarians gathered at Crossroads Elementary and brought smiles to the faces of 21 kids with our bicycle give-away.  The kids each received a bike fitted for them along with a new helmet, all free of charge!


Three Minute Speaker – Ken Kramer.  Ken is originally from Indianapolis is a Xavier (Cincinnati) graduate.  He lived in Florida for 25 years but always wanted to return to the Midwest.  He served in the Army Chemical Corps in the States during the Vietnam era and worked in various industries prior to changing careers to nursing and health care management.  He retired from this field just last year.  Ken is married with two grown children and five grandchildren.


Speaker of the Day:  Nick Wuertz of Lutheran Services In Iowa (LSI) provided our program for the day.  Nick hails originally from Waverly and is a graduate of Wartburg College (Waverly).  His presentation shared information on the world refugee situation and the welcome that Iowa has provided to many of them.  Worldwide there are about 15 million refugees.  A refugee is defined as someone that has fled their home country due to persecution and / or a government that cannot protect them.  In some cases, some people have lived in refugee camps for decades.  The best solution is to allow these people to return to their home countries.  The next preference is to integrate them into the country where they are now refugees.  About ½% of them tend to be relocated to other countries.  The United States annually sets a number of refugees that in can accept annually at about 70,000.  Those allowed into the U.S. are based on a priority system.  The government works with local organizations such as LSI to assist them with the resettlement process, find them homes, and help them get acclimated to their new world.  The new residents are provided with a green card and they are expected to get jobs.  Generally, the jobs are not the most desirable but does provide them with a way to support themselves and their families.  They are required to repay over time the cost of their transportation to get them to the U.S.  They also can eventually apply for full citizenship.  Iowa has been very welcoming to these new residents.  This was especially true when Robert Ray was governor and opened our state to refugees from SE Asia.  To learn more, go to or call 515-271-7335