RIVERSIDE, IOWA -- Thanks to the generosity of Dollar Tree, Inc., Operation Homefront Iowa is providing backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies to military families in need, including active duty, active reserve, and National Guard personnel.

"We are delighted to have the support of Dollar Tree as we work to assist military families in need. School is important to children's long-term success in life, and these supplies can make a big difference in the lives of children as they prepare to return to school," said Chapter President Michelle Reuss.

In addition, Congressman Dave Loebsack will be at the American Legion facility in Swisher on August 14 from 4-5 pm to help prepare backpacks. He will be at the same lo

Military families interested in participating in the program must first register online at: https://www.operationhomefront.net/chapter_root/chapter_backpack_form.asp?Chapter_ID=25.

Additional sponsors for this program include Hanover Direct and General Dynamics. Operation Homefront extends a warm thank you for the generosity of these organizations.

About Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront provides emergency and morale assistance for our troops, the families they leave behind and for wounded warriors when they return home. A nonprofit 501(c)(3), Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers in 30 chapters nationwide, and has met more than 105,000 needs of military families. Operation Homefront also hosts the Web community Operation Homefront Online. For more information, please visit www.operationhomefront.net and www.homefrontonline.com.

Immanuel Lutheran Church & Preschool is having their Annual Neighborhood Ice Cream Party on Sunday, August 23rd 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. There will be Ice Cream, Hot dogs, Chili dogs, Popcorn, Pop, and Lemonade; Live music, Games, and much much more for all our neighbors in the West end!

Live Music will be provided by the Band "Smile", wide variety of ice cream flavors to choose from, face painting, games for children & adults, and fun. All food items will be priced at $.50 each; upon registration everyone will receive 3 FREE tickets for the food items of your choice! Come and join your neighbors and friends for some great family fun! This event is outdoors; feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket. In case of rain event will be held indoors.

This is open to the public, and all are welcome to join us. For more information please contact the church office at 563-324-6431.

Penguins Comedy Club would like to extend an invitation to all veterans - be they active or retired - a complimentary admission to our comedy shows. They are welcome to bring a guest.  We just ask that they make a reservation and show military ID at the ticket window when they attend the show.

Questions?  Please call Penguins Comedy Club 563-324-5233.

As a fundraiser for the Mississippi River Eco-Tourism Center, the Clinton County Conservation Foundation is hosting a fishing tournament. The Rock Creek Catfish Classic wil be held on Saturday, August 30th at Rock Creek Marina near Camanche, Iowa.

Event registration and rules are available at: Rock Creek Marina, any Clinton County Conservation office location, or at  www.missecocenter.org.

The primary purpose of the Clinton County Conservation Foundation Board is to raise, procure and manage funds for the betterment of conxervation and environment education in collaboration with the Clinton County Conservation Board for the benefit of the citizens of the Clinton County area.


Rock Island/Milan School District #41 Head Start/Preschool program is now taking applications for the 2009/2010 school year. The program serves children ages 3, 4 and 5 who are not eligible for kindergarten and whose families reside in Rock Island/Milan school area.

Families are provided a comprehensive Early Childhood Program for their children as well as other support services. Transportation is provided. There is no cost to families for these services.

The Head Start program is funded through the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Preschool program is funded through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Applications are being taken from 7:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M., Mondays through Fridays at the Head Start/Preschool office, 2101 - 6th Avenue, Rock Island.  For more information, or to schedule a different time, call the Head Start/Preschool office at 309-793-5900, ext 272.


MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS will host the 10th Annual Brew Ha Ha at LeClaire Park in downtown Davenport on Saturday, September 19th from 1 to 5 p.m.

The annual tasting event will celebrate its 10th Anniversary and will feature tasting a variety of brews and cheeses.

Musical performances by Minus Six will take place from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., and Penguins Comedy Club will present Dwayne Clark at 2:30 p.m. to bring the "ha ha" to Brew Ha Ha. The always popular Sports Corner will feature big screen televisions to catch Saturday's sports action. Admission to the Brew Ha Ha includes an event program, unlimited tasting, and a commemorative tasting glass.

"As we did last year, we are limiting the number of attendees" said event coordinator, Bea Brasel. "

Presenting Sponsors for Brew Ha Ha are Old Chicago, Rock 104.9, Rhythm City Casino and the River Cities' Reader along with KWQC, Pratt Audio Visual & Video Corporation, Dimitri Wine & Spirits, Inc., Glazer's Distributors of Iowa, Wolfe Beverage, Vanguard Distributing, Midwest Originals Booking, Penguin's Comedy Club, Cabot Cheese, Downtown Partnership, City of Davenport, Hawkeye Ice, Iowa American Water, Millennium Waste, Quad City Golf Cars and Sunbelt Rentals.

Tickets for Brew Ha Ha are $20.00 prior to the event and $25.00 at the gate. Tickets may be purchased at the WQPT offices, Old Chicago in Bettendorf, CO-OP Records in Davenport and Moline or at www.wqpt.org. Attendees must be 21 or older. Children in strollers and animals will not be admitted. Feel free to bring your own lawn chair.

Brew Ha Ha is a fundraising event to support WQPT, the local public television station located in Moline, Illinois.

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Michael & Penni Steen, the owners of a popular Halloween attraction have moved their seasonal event to downtown Rock Island. Located in the former Masonic Temple at 420 - 18th Street, "Terror in the Woods" will now be known as " Terror at Skellington Manor".  Bringing this event to the District will be an exciting addition to the downtown area during the month of October.

Terror at Skellington Manor will be hosting open acting auditions for those dedicated individuals who have an extreme passion and creative talent for scaring the yell out of people! We need passionate and creative individuals to join our haunt improv team. Volunteer positions with profit sharing opportunities are available to those who can commit to working every operating night during the season. For our 2009 season calendar, visit: www.terroratskellingtonmanor.com  The cast at Terror have lots of fun, but it's not for everyone! Haunted House acting is hard work both in preparation for your role and throughout the season. It is also, extremely rewarding and fun! OPEN AUDITIONS will take place on Wednesday, August 19th and Thursday, August 20th 6pm - 9pm and Saturday, August 22 1pm to 4pm at 420 - 18th St, Rock Island. You must be 16 or older to apply. Applicants ages 16 - 18 will need parental consent to participate. If you cannot make it to an audition please email: terror@skellingtonmanor.com or call 563-344-9187.

Policy Forum Begins at 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 13 at Lewis and Clark Community College

Godfrey, Ill. - The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center's (NGRREC) Annual Conference will culminate on the campus of Lewis and Clark Community College as conference attendees present recommendations related to sustainable practices in the Mississippi River Basin to key elected officials and decision makers. The Policy Forum will begin at 10 a.m. in the Commons, on the College's Godfrey campus.

NGRREC's conference entitled "Visions of a Sustainable Mississippi River" will take place Aug. 10-13 in Collinsville and on the College's campus. The conference has attracted more than 200 diverse participants with interest in the nation's largest river. Participants include stakeholders in the recreational, navigation, and agricultural sections, as well as researchers and natural resource professionals.

"Through conference presentations, panel discussions and workshops, our conference attendees will formulate new and useful insights and recommendations on four issues critical to the sustainable management of the Mississippi River and the human communities that depend on it," Dr. John Chick, NGRREC affiliate and organizer of the conference, said.

The four issues to be presented at the conference include Ecosystem Services and the Economic Value of the Mississippi River; Floodplain Connectivity, Flood Control and Hydrologic Regime; Ethanol Production and the Mississippi River; and Clean Water and the Mississippi River - Uses and Threats.

Policy makers in attendance at the Aug. 13 Policy Forum will include Congressman Jerry Costello (Illinois), Congressman John Duncan (Tennessee), Brigadier General Michael Walsh and members of the presidentially appointed Mississippi River Commission, Tinka Hyde, Water Division Director , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5,  William A. Spratlin, Water, Wetlands, and Pesticides Division Director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director, Marc Miller, and Colonel Thomas O'Hara. Other invited guests include Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, members of Congress' Mississippi River Caucus, representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other key policy makers and legislators dealing with environmental and river-related issues.

The conference is hosted by NGRREC and The Nature Conservancy. This year's keynote address will be given by Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the legendary Jacque-Yves Cousteau and founder of Blue Legacy International. Cousteau will present "This Blue Planet" beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12 in the Hatheway Theater on the College's campus. The event is free and is open to the public.

For more information on the conference contact Chick at 618-466-9690.


Rock Island County Master Gardeners, Dallas and Roxie DeShane, will host garden tours for the Home Grown Challenge through University of Illinois Extension, on Tuesday, August 11 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.  Their gardens are located at 3316 N. 1600th Avenue, Orion, IL (if you are coming from the QC Airport - go 5 miles east on Route 6, turn right at the green Orion sign on CR 12 blacktop - go 5 more miles to 1600 Avenue North.  Take a left and go 1.3 miles and their driveway is on the left).

At Whispering Winds Ranch Arbors and Gardens, there are a variety of gardens available to see, from informal country gardens to full size vegetable gardens, berry bushes, a grape arbor, rhubarb patch, small apple orchard, and other fruit and nut trees.  There are also four 40 foot gourd arbors with 102 hills, gourds growing in a container, over an antique wagon, on the ground and up a tree.   The DeShane's grow produce with no pesticides which they sell at the East Moline Skateland Farmers Market.  They also sell gourds in the fall beginning at the "Gourd"geous Day in the Country a day long free festival.  You will see various ornamental gardens and raised beds featuring plants and flowers.  They range from native flowers to roses, variety of shrubs and a number of hostas and heuchera.  Some of the gardens are shade and others are in full sun.  Down by the stocked 1.5 acre "Ponderin' Pond" is a grass garden with coneflowers and among the grasses is a bench to just sit, read a book or just ponder.

The DeShane's purchased their property 13 years ago when they started renovating their log home and planting their gardens.  About five years ago, they became interested in gourds by purchasing one apple gourd and so began the gourd arbors and gardens.  They started the QC Area Gourd Patch and host a gourd festival in the fall.  They try to plant for pollinators as they value their presence and they feed many variety of birds and have seen some rather rare birds.   Their gardens attract lots of wildlife, from twin fawns drinking down at the pond, to twin foxes who love ice skating on their frozen pond.  The DeShane's enjoy sharing a bit of the country with people (and wildlife) and have hosted a number of events at their home.  Each year they continue to add more to their gardens so each year when someone comes, they have new things to see.

The public is invited to attend the tour.  Please register in advance at (309) 756-9978 Ext 10 or online at www.extension.uiuc.edu/rockisland and follow the Home Grown Challenge Garden Tour link.

Davenport, Iowa - August 7, 2009 - Accomplishing your goals can be a difficult task but for USA Powerlifter Deborah Ferrell, overcoming obstacles is a skill that has given her world-wide recognition.  On Thursday, August 13, at 1:30pm, Ferrell will share her story with the Quad City community at a free public speaking event.

Text Box: Deborah Ferrell 2007 USA Powerlifting Women's Bench Press TeamThis 45-year old is a 4-time Master's World's Bench Press Champion and Champ of Champions.  She currently holds the Open and Master's world record in single lift bench press and is a 4-time Open World Bench Press Champion.  She is in the Quad Cities to help Palmer College of Chiropractic celebrate their 2009 homecoming and will participate in a free community presentation on goal setting, overcoming obstacles and achieving your personal best.

Deborah lives in Anchorage, Alaska and is a collections manager for GCI Communications.  She began lifting in 1996 and her best competition bench press is 420 lbs.  One of her motivations for success - being drug free.  She has been recognized by fellow lifters as the first drug-free female to bench over 400 lbs.

"When you think of powerlifting many think of it as a man's sport but Deborah along with her fellow female bench press athletes are changing that mind-set," said Jan Trimble, Executive Director of the North Family YMCA. "We are very excited to be able to share her inspirational story with our YMCA members, area athletes and the community at large.  Anyone looking for a way to discover the power within will not be disappointed."

Deborah will share here unique story and talk about her success in this physically and mentally challenging sport at 1:30pm, on Thursday, August 13, at the Paul Holzworth Auditorium, at Davenport North High School, 626 West 53rd Street, Davenport.  This free community event is sponsored by Palmer College of Chiropractic, the North Family YMCA and Davenport Community School District.

The YMCA: A Long-Standing Commitment to Health of Spirit, Mind and Body

The Scott County Family Y is one of the area's largest community service organizations.  Serving more than 2-million people in 2008, the Scott County Family Y offers a variety of programs and services focused on the holistic development of children and youth, family strengthening and health and well-being for all.  The YMCA unites men, women and children of all ages, faiths, backgrounds, abilities and income levels - proudly serving the Quad Cities for nearly 150 years by building healthy spirit, mind and body for all. For more information visit the Scott County Family Y website, www.scottcountyfamilyy.org.