On Thursday, July 23, business leaders announced the realignment of Quad Cities economic-development organizations. This will mean the end of DavenportOne and the Quad City Development Group, and the beginning of the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce and Quad Cities First.
Effectively, this shifts control of external marketing and business-attraction efforts from the Quad City Development Group and its board to two chambers of commerce: the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa Quad City Chamber of Commerce (the successor to DavenportOne, whose staff and resources will be merged into the new entity).
The two chambers' chief executives will run Quad Cities First -- a new organization, taking over the role of the Quad City Development Group -- and the chambers will together nominate 10 of its 17 board members. (Seven city and county governments will each appoint one member.)
When he got started in blood banks almost 20 years ago, David R. Green's understanding of the blood-transfusion process wasn't very sophisticated. Green, now the president and CEO of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, had a background in finance.
"I thought they simply took that bag of blood after they tested it and made sure that it was hanging above the patient, and it just flowed back in the patient," Green said last week. "I really didn't know."
Now Green runs an organization that last year collected more than 133,000 units of blood products, serves 53 hospitals in four states, and had more than $38 million in revenue in 2008. The organization's 72,000-square-foot building off 53rd Street in northeastern Davenport suggests a big operation, but few people realize just how large, or the complexity of the issues the blood-donation community deals with.
"The core of it is making sure the donors are safe, and that the product that goes out the back door is safe for recipients," said Dr. Louis Katz, the center's executive vice president for medical affairs.
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is trying to optimize - and therefore drive down - blood usage by hospitals; it is working to help identify heretofore poorly understood risks associated with blood transfusion; and Katz is among those preparing for the next disease threat to the blood supply. And the organization's size has the key benefit of keeping costs lower for local hospitals.
The Putnam Museum's Egyptian Gallery is undergoing a renovation - and the museum is looking for a new gallery name to go with its new look. The gallery has housed two mummies since the 1960s and is slated to reopen August 22 with several updated components, including new flooring, new lighting, new mummy cases, and a touch-screen video monitor that features results from the CT scans performed at Genesis two years ago. Name suggestions should be sent to
by July 30. The winner will be notified in August, will receive a lifetime membership to the Putnam, and will be invited to the gallery's VIP premiere on August 21.
2009 marks Midwest Writing Center's 36th-annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest. This year Max Molleston, longtime contest administrator, passed the reins to local poet Kristin Abraham, author of Little Red Riding Hood Missed the Bus. Kristin reconfigured the contest to contain just two categories: regional and national.
A total of 349 poems were entered - 165 for the national category and 184 for the regional. Out of these entries, 25 finalists were selected to be judged by our regional judge, former Quad Cities Poet Laureate Rebecca Wee, and 25 were sent to our national judge, May Swenson Award-winning poet F. Daniel Rzicznek. From these entries our judges each selected first-, second-, and third-place winners as well as honorable mentions. First-place winners received $200, second-place winners received $150, and third-place winners received $75. The first-place regional winner also receives the Max Molleston Award, created by local artist Dee Schricker. All of the poems that were selected as finalists will be printed in Off Channel, Midwest Writing Center's Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest anthology, due out before the end of summer 2009.
The Midwest Writing Center accepts entries for the Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest from January 1 through March 31 each year. More information is available online at MidwestWritingCenter.org.
A reception and reading will be held on Saturday, July 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. in our conference room at 225 East Second Street in Davenport -- the Bucktown Center for the Arts. All individuals who submitted poems to the contest are invited to read their work.
On Wednesday, July 22, a team of cyclists participating in the Journey of Hope will arrive in Davenport as part of a nine-week, 4,000-mile cycling event across the country to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. The team will arrive in the afternoon and then have dinner and a friendship visit at 1757 West 12th Street beginning at 5 p.m. Visit PushAmerica.org for more information, or call (704)504-2400 extension 159.