Iowa City Noon Rotary

Pam Ries, Director, UI REACH
Fellow Rotarian Ted Pacha introduced Pam Ries for today’s program on the University of Iowa’s REACH Program.  
The University of Iowa REACH program is a two-year, transition certificate program for students 18-25 years old with multiple intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. UI REACH provides a campus experience to empower young adults to become independent, engaged members of the community. Courses, campus life, and career preparation assist students in reaching their full potential. UI REACH strives to maintain periodic contact with alumni to encourage them to become independent adults by utilizing the independent living and career-related skills they learned in the program.
The program was founded in 2008 by the Honorable Sally J. Pederson (former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa) and welcomed the first students that fall. Dr. Pam Ries, a native Iowan, became the director three years ago after 30 years of educational teaching. What is unique about the program is that students live on campus in Stanley Hall among traditionally admitted students and have the opportunity to experience a college experience on a Big 10 university campus while interacting with traditionally admitted students in all classes. Experienced teachers, advisors, and counselors support each student during their coursework while specially trained Resident Assistants (RA’s) oversee the dorm living and enforce the curfew nightly.
Cost of the program is approximately $26,000 per year and rates stay the same while the student is enrolled in the program. UI REACH offers generous scholarships for Iowa residents and for non-residents.
With 24/7 support for these students who might not have had the opportunity to leave home and attend college the program is currently attracting students from 20 different states. Dr. Ries noted that one of the biggest compliments is that other universities and colleges frequently contact her to model a program after this award winning program.
For more information, please visit or call 319-384-2127.
Singing:  Bob Crane led singing of America the Beautiful and Smile with Jim Conard on the piano.
Ride the Goat: The club heard from two goat riders, Emily Schoerning and Andre Perry.
President Thais had the following announcements:
The members all stood for a moment of silence for Fellow Rotarian Mel Schlachter’s wife Barbara who passed away recently. 
Fellow Rotarian Bill Olin is back at his Florida condo after a fall.
Today’s program was one of the best programs ever since I have been involved in Rotary. What a pleasure to be a member of this distinguished group of community leaders.
Deb Kacmarynski had the following announcement:
Dr. Kacmarynski returned Sunday night from the most recent IowaMost trip to Guatemala. This is the 11th year of the annual trip and Dr. Kacmarynski’s first time on the trip. She noted that the opportunity changed her and how humbling it was to treat children in Huehuetenango. She shared photos of many of the children that were treated during the group’s stay. The most moving story was of Roxelio who at 14 has never been to school. Because of the life changing surgery provided by the team Roxelio will now be able to attend school and live a more productive life. For more information, please visit:
Anna Schuchert (granddaughter of Fellow Rotarian Pete Wallace)  had the following announcement:
On Sunday, March 6, please join us for an evening of music, art and free food during intermission at the Iowa Miles of Smiles Team 4th Annual Benefit Concert at West High. Doors open at 5:30 with the event beginning at 6:00 in the West High Auditorium. This year marks the first year that City High will be teaming up with West High to host the event.  Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults. All proceeds will help support the Iowa Miles of Smiles Team annual trip to Guatemala to perform cleft palate surgeries for children in need.  
New applications for the 2016-2017 Outbound Rotary Scholarship are now available at  Our club will award two scholarships of $2,500 each for international study during the 2016-17 academic year.  If the recipient is enrolled at the University of Iowa, additional funds may be available through the Allin Dakin fund.  Applications must be submitted by April 15, 2016.
Questions regarding the Outbound Scholarships may be directed to Gene Wandling  at
Effective immediately, we have a new Member Proposal Form to complete for all new members being proposed.  You will find it on the information table prior to the meeting and it is available on our website at: If you have any questions regarding the new form, please contact
Casey Kidwell has graciously taken over the pre-meeting PowerPoint for our club. Please forward any newsworthy items and/or photos to him to include in the weekly presentation. You can send information to: or to: The pre-meeting PowerPoint is a great way to reach fellow Rotarians who may not be at the weekly meeting. 
Please remember that all members need to go into the ClubRunner system and update their own records in the membership directory as they have changes. We want to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information on all of our members.  Please use this link: and follow information directly from ClubRunner on how to update your individual record.
For questions related to Club administration, please contact us at
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
Melissa Schooley introduced Visiting Rotarians Tomeka Petersen (West Liberty) and Amy Nicholson (Iowa City AM) as well as guests Anna Schuchert (Pete Wallace), Taylor Artz (Casey Kidwell), Jenn Van Noy (Christina Kimerle), Jody Thomas (Sherry McKay), Raj Rajagopal and Kristi Rasmussen (Usha Balakrishnan).
Program: Tom Cilek; Attendance: Nancy Droll; February 25 – Steve Quigley and Erica Hach, March 3 – Pat Collins and Jerald Forrester and March 10 – Brad Baldes and Nat Beebe.