I was appalled to read your article lauding The Seven Project. (See "The Seven Project Means Hope for Teens," River Cities' Reader Issue 627, April 4-10, 2007.)

This is a church-sponsored program, an evangelical effort of the Assemblies of God church. However, your article (and the resource you quoted) made no mention of that fact.

While a good portion of the content seems worthwhile, there ought to be many programs available to the schools that promote character development without promoting religion. I was glad that Davenport Central High School was not among those participating.

I don't like my tax dollars promoting any religion; that is why I give to my church.

I hope you write a follow-up article that tells "the rest of the story."


Joe Chambers



Bettendorf Jaycees Could Be Disbanded


Here we go once more. A few years ago the Bettendorf Jaycees were struggling to maintain its membership in order to continue to serve our community. We were lucky then because we were not put on probation by the United States Jaycees organization. I am sad to announce that it is no longer the case. As of the first of April, 2007, the Bettendorf Jaycees has 90 days to bring its membership up over 20, or be disbanded. Currently the Jaycees chapter has about 14 members on its roster, six short of what is the minimum requirement to hold a charter.

In 1957 the Bettendorf Jaycees Chapter was organized to serve the community of Bettendorf, and to help train new leaders, to help young men grow not only in their personal lives, but in business as well. Over the past 50 years in Bettendorf this organization has helped in that cause. In 1984 women were admitted into the chapter's membership, and the Bettendorf Jaycees grew in many directions. We were able to expand the types of projects done for the community, and at the same time help young women grow into leaders in our community as well.

In 2007 the Bettendorf Jaycees are facing a new problem. Lack of volunteers. Understandably many people ask the question: Why should I pay money to volunteer my time when I can do it for free at my local food bank, or animal shelter, or through my church? Granted that is a very valid point. To respond to that, the membership dues that are paid to the different service organizations like the Bettendorf Jaycees help pay for many of the programs offered by the club. It is used to help in the training of our membership. It pays for training material, Web-site information, award programs, and much more.

If you have access to the Internet and are willing to learn more about these kinds of programs that I am speaking about, you can go to (http://www.usjaycees.org). There you will find everything from smoking-awareness programs for kids to AIDS-awareness programs. On the local level we are looking for people who are willing to give of their time, not just their money. Each member of the chapter has the chance to develop programs that benefit the community. Yes, we have events set up through the year that you may have heard of, such as: the Mayor's Easter Egg Hunt, the July Fourth parade, and the Halloween Parade. Those projects are there to help train our members to lead others and develop skills outside of employment and schooling. Real-life experience that will not cost them their career or college money if something goes wrong.

What is needed from you, the citizen of Bettendorf between the age of 18 and 41, is to join us. Our dues are only $50 per year, with a $5 discount in renewals. This is a small price to pay to prevent our chapter from closing its doors and having our community lose some great events. Payment plans are in place, so if cost is an issue, it can be worked through. We really need people who want to make a difference in Bettendorf, not just for themselves but for the future of our children.

Please contact the Bettendorf Jaycees by calling (563) 359-6111, or by e-mail at (bettendorfjaycees@hotmail.com). You can check out our Web site at (http://www.bettendorfjaycees.com) as well.


Don Wells

Chairman of the Board

Bettendorf Jaycees, Inc.

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