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Welcome to our club!

Ames

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Gateway Hotel & Conference Center
US 30 & University Blvd.
Ames, IA  50014
United States of America
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Home Page Stories
This month the eyes of the nation will be on Iowa as we hold the 2020 Iowa caucuses.  Whether or not you participate in the actual events, you have been bombarded by the news, political flyers and advertisements by presidential hopefuls. It will get pretty quiet around the state after February 3. 
 
Fortunately there is more happening in February than the caucuses.  Did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month and National Canned Food Month?  Let’s not forget about it being National Grapefruit Month. 
February does include monthly observances that are even more serious, Black History, Creative Romance, and National Heart Month.  These three topics encourage us to do something different, but are very similar. All are about caring.
 
History has proven that if we better understand our past, we won’t repeat injustices and failures. One way to begin learning more about Black History Month is to attend the 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Thursday, February 13 at 5:30 p.m.  Sponsoring this event is the Ames Chapter of the NAACP. If you haven’t attended in the past, I encourage you to do so.  Leon Andrews, with the National League of Cities, and the first Director of REAL (Race, Equity, and Leadership) Program is the Keynote speaker. ISU President Wendy Wintersteen will provide the welcome. 
 
February is also the month when we are encouraged to love one another and to demonstrate that love in creative ways. Many of us celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone special by dining out, sending flowers, or devouring chocolates.  You may also sprinkle Random Acts of Kindness throughout the month, to show you care. However you celebrate, you do it out of love.
 
During the month we are reminded to pay more attention to our own health, especially our heart. You may already be living a heart healthy lifestyle, but if not, take this month to consider what changes you can make to begin.
All three observances fit perfectly into Rotary’s vision to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.  To condense all of this into two words – we care!   
 
Jean Kresse
Club President 2019 - 2020
  • On average, each club member volunteers 275 hours annually within the community.
  • We have 210 active members.
  • That’s 57,750 volunteer hours club members give back to our community.
  • At $24.14 per hour, that is an impact of $1,394,085 annually.
The Rotary Club of Ames, IA provided a major grant of $10,000 for the project “​Human Trafficking in Central Iowa: How You Can Be Part of the Solution”.   This grant, together with a matching local community grant of $5,000 from Rotary District 6000, provided funding for building awareness about human trafficking throughout the Ames and Iowa State University communities, and encouraged citizens to educate themselves on identifying victims of human trafficking. 
 
Major outcomes of the Rotary Club of Ames human trafficking project:
The level of public concern and interest in learning about sex trafficking was outstanding as measured by the large turnout for project funded speaking engagements and six major public forums. A grand total of just over 4,500 attended these forums and public awareness events. This Rotary funded project helped to also create enough awareness of the growing trafficking problem in Iowa, that the group able to reach our Iowa legislators resulting in passage of two anti-trafficking bills. One of these bills created The Office to Combat Human Trafficking within the Iowa Department of Public Safety which opened last August 2016.
 
Twenty-four hotel managers and supervisors attended a sex trafficking awareness meeting hosted by Rotary. Seven of these hotels agreed to have their employees trained on how to recognize and report suspected trafficking. Each hotel received a plaque to display in their lobby that certified the training and that the hotel will report suspicious behavior. Rotary funded a showing of the documentary, ​Sex Trafficking in the USA​, and discussion of Nicholas Kristof's new film, ​A Path Appears.
 
​This forum was held one week prior to a lecture featuring Nicholas Kristof. The documentary was viewed by 480 in attendance which far exceeded our expectations. Copies of the documentary were offered to groups, schools and service clubs who were unable to attend the forum. The 2-​ hour documentary has been an excellent anti-human trafficking training tool. Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist for the ​New York Times,​ spoke on the global fight against human trafficking. His address was entitled ​“Why We Should Care About the World and Want to Change It”.
​ An astonishing 1,600 attended the lecture. Rotary was listed as a major funder and sponsor. Kristof began with slides of trips to Asia and his early exposure to human trafficking. He has been expanding his research and discussed writing about trafficking. Domestic US sex trafficking became the focus of the documentary special he wrote and produced. Kristof's writing on human trafficking resulted in winning a Pulitzer Prize. His book was for sale after the lecture, and he signed many copies for those attending.
 
Two Human Trafficking Community Forums were held at the Ames Public Library. The forum included the first showing of ​Any Kid Anywhere. Protecting Our Children was the lead forum sponsor and Rotary was listed as the sole funder. The DVD, ​Any Kid Anywhere​, features interviews of three Iowa women who were trafficked starting in their teens. The Rotary grant funded the production of 100 DVDs which were distributed free to schools across Iowa. The DVD was followed by a local panel discussion. The Ames Tribune had a front-page article about the two forums. Rotary hosted a lecture at which James Kofi Annan spoke on ​Stopping Child Slavery in Ghana.
 
​Through his work, Mr. Annan has rescued and supported over 10,000 children who have been forced child labor slaves. Approximately 460 attended the James Kofi Annan lecture. A Rotarian introduced the speaker. James told his personal story of being sold into child slavery at age 6 and escaped at age 12. He has established a survivors' program which provides safe housing, counseling, medical care and a school. A group from Ames including Ames Mayor Ann Campbell (a member of the Rotary Club of Ames) will be traveling to Ghana to help expand the school and its library.
The Rotary Club of Ames presented checks to four direct service agencies as budgeted in the Human Trafficking grant. Photos were taken of the check presentations with a cutline listing eight Rotarians who were present for the check passing. Rotary published two of these photos in the Ames Club newsletter. YSS, a statewide child welfare agency, used the Rotary funds to print an informational brochure on child sex trafficking. Rotary is listed on the brochure as the funder.
 
Rotary funds assisted the startup of the Ames High School Teens Against Human Trafficking (TAHT). The ​Ames Tribune​ carried a front-page article about the establishment of the AHS group. In addition, Rotary funds helped to expand TAHT in Ankeny, Fort Dodge and Des Moines.
 
Rotary was very fortunate to secure Luis CdeBaca to come to Ames and central Iowa for two entire days to commemorate Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness month. Luis CdeBaca recently stepped down as Ambassador to monitor and combat trafficking in person. He now leads the Department of Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) based in Washington, D.C. Although we had budgeted $2,500 for this Rotary grant line item, very little was spent since Ambassador CdeBaca decided to donate his time and pay for his own travel from Washington, D.C. to Iowa. Ambassador CdeBaca spoke at two major community forums and addressed the Rotary Club of Ames. He also consulted with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, and several and met with non-profits providing rescue and services to survivors of human trafficking.
 
Rotary funded the production and display of anti-trafficking signs for the CyRide buses in Ames. Primarily high school and college students ride CyRide. The signs were designed by Iowa State University students. Houck Transit Advertising produced the signs and displayed the signs on buses. All the CyRide buses rotate to a new route daily, giving full market coverage. The signs were displayed for three months.
 
Information about this successful project will be on display at the Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) booth No. 2926 at the Atlanta Rotary International Convention.
 
The Rotary Club of Ames urges other District 6000 clubs to join the fight to end modern day slavery both here in Iowa, and across the globe. For more information about RAGAS, go to their website www.ragas.online​ and sign up for their regular newsletter. For more information about labor and sex trafficking here in Iowa, go to the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking website at www.iowanaht.org​. Once you connect to this website, please subscribe to the twice monthly blog post written by Ames Rotary Club board member Dr. George Belitsos, by clicking on the contact tab. Dr. George also serves as chair of the Iowa NAHT Board of Directors.
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Speakers
Off-Site Fellowship meetings
Mar 09, 2020
No Regular Club meeting at Gateway
Off-Site Meeting
Apr 06, 2020
No Meeting at Gateway
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