Hi All,
I would like to update everyone on a few things as the COVID-19 situation continues.  I know that we are facing some changes and challenges as we navigate life while social distancing.  As you know, the Governor has directed Iowans to limit social interaction and so we have canceled meetings through April 13th.  As Rotarians and leaders in the community we should look to assist organizations and people in need during this crisis when we can.
On March 17th, the Rotary Board held a meeting using computer conferencing which included audio, video and screen sharing to discuss our response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Due to our Club not having our Monday meetings, we are not spending the approximately $1000 each week on our meal.  We discussed whether to refund or credit each member the cost of the meals.  It roughly relates to a little over $8 a meal for all 120 members.  In the spirit of community and helping organizations most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, we as a  Board decided to donate the $1000 each week to organizations most impacted by the crisis.  We voted to do this for the next 4 weeks.
The first organization identified to receive a $1000 award from our Club was the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.  Attached you'll find a press release by the Food Bank and in it they discuss the increased need from people who are temporarily or permanently out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Also, the March Empty Bowls event, which is a major source of revenue for the Food Bank scheduled on March 27th has been changed to a two-week silent auction beginning on that date.
I know there are many worthy organizations that will be impacted by this outbreak and we as Board identified a few.  To help foster some feedback, We have created a survey which is at the following link:
A story each week will follow our donation on why this is a worthy organization and how they are coping through this crisis.
We are also looking at doing a Facebook Live event for our March 30th meeting so look for details on that.  If you are a part of the Rotary Shelter committee, the Park Ranger has delayed activity on this project and we will be scheduling a field visit hopefully in 4 to 6 weeks.
Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.  Let us remember those most impacted by this outbreak and most importantly, everyone stay healthy.
Mark Durbahn
Club President