Iowa City Noon Rotary

The Rotary Club of Iowa City dates from the presentation of its charter by District Governor John Knutson on November 4, 1915. On that date 30 local business and professional men and university officials gathered to celebrate the culmination of the process of incorporation. The event must have had special significance, in part, because the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris, was an 1891 graduate of the University of Iowa Law School.
The Iowa City Club was sponsored in its application for membership by the Cedar Rapids Club. In turn, the Iowa City Club has sponsored three additional clubs – the West Liberty Club in 1925, the Tipton Club in 1954, and the Iowa City AM Club in 1989.
With a large membership from a broad range of professions, the Iowa City Club meets each week on Thursdays and meetings have often featured speakers of national and international renown.
The Iowa City Club has grown substantially in the services and programs since 1915. The Club has provided medical assistance in San Salvador by providing cleft palate and dental surgery in partnership with Rotaplast. In 2004, Iowa MOST (Miles of Smiles Team) was formed by club members Dr. Bill Olin, Dr. John Canady and Gary Pacha amongst others. They have since made annual missions to Guatemala. 
In 2009, the club began a partnership to work with doctors around the world with orthopedic remediation of club feet using the methods of famed University of Iowa professor, Ignacio Ponseti. Dr. Jose Morcuende, a member of the club and current Ponseti program facilitator, has been instrumental in working to share these non-­‐surgical methods with the world. Club members Tom Cook and John Buchanan have also played an important role in sharing the Ponseti story throughout Rotary and in the development of the RAG4ClubFoot (Rotary Action Group), which promotes the Ponseti Method to Rotary clubs around the world. 
Another significant achievement is the Xicotepec project, a project initiated by club members Ray Muston, Jim Peterson and Gary Pacha in 2003 with help from other district Rotarians. Among the many community assistance activities that have evolved throughout the annual missions since 2003 is the school library that the club helped to build with matching grants instigated by the Feddersen-­‐Mercer-­‐ Bywater-­‐Parker families. The club continues to be a sponsor in Xicotepec, Mexico with expanded programs throughout the community. Past projects include FAMSCO (Fire and Medical Supply Company), which acquired and donated used fire, medical and school equipment and supplies to countries in Central America and around the world. This program is no longer in operation. 
Members are rightly proud of the Club’s long tradition of service above self. That motto has been reflected in a range of social programs in Iowa, the nation, and around the world. In addition to the programs noted above, the Club annually sponsors two student scholarships to study abroad at a school in a country of the students’ choice. The purpose of these scholarships is to foster international peace and understanding.
Other programs have benefited both families and organizations in the state of Iowa. The club’s annual golf tournament has raised close to a million dollars for the benefit of the Ronald McDonald House at the University of Iowa. The club has also worked with the City of Coralville to establish Rotary Camp Park on land that was once owned by the club. The proceeds of the sale continue to support area Boy and Girl Scout programs.
The “I Can Read” Project was introduced by club member LaDonna Wicklund. Beginning in 2007 and continues to the present, the club has assisted more than 72 teachers and over 6,000 families in the Iowa City Community School District by providing them with books and curricular materials. The goal is to enhance literacy skills for children from low-­‐income and immigrant families.
The Iowa City Noon Rotary club has been instrumental in providing many scholarship opportunities to local students for Rotary leadership programs such as RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), World Affairs Seminar, study abroad, and Rotary Exchange programs. Other club initiatives have included a Rotarians Supporting Women Scholarship for non-traditional female students from the area.
The club marks each year with several annual events. At holiday time, for example, the club participates in the Salvation Army’s Kettle campaign to raise funds for that worthy organization. Not to be overlooked, the club hosts a joint service club luncheon each year that features a noteworthy address by the president of the University of Iowa.
Members of the club have been active in the leadership of Rotary International. The club has hosted or cohosted several district conferences and counts among its membership nine former district governors: Allin Dakin (1953-­‐54), George Rigler (1965-­‐66), Alson Braley (1968-­‐69), Lloyd Knowler (1980-­‐81) Paul McNutt (1985-­‐86), John Dasher (1992-­‐93), Ray Muston (1999-­‐2000), Herbert Wilson (2001-­‐02), and Gary Pacha (2002-­‐03). The Club is also proud that Dakin served as a Rotary International Director during 1955-­‐56 and was a vice-­‐president of Rotary International in 1956-­‐57.
In recognition of its history, the Club has celebrated regular anniversaries. The 50th anniversary celebration was held on September 30, 1965 when RI President C.P.H. Teenstra of The Netherlands spoke to 428 members and guests at a testimonial dinner. The club also celebrated the 75th anniversary in 1990, its 90th anniversary in 2005, and its centennial in 2015.