OMAHA, Nebraska - (December 28, 2009) - Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) is hosting a special meeting in 16 Iowa locations and a South Sioux City, Nebraska location in January.

The purpose is to share options and insights to help producers plan for the 2010 crop year.

Steven Johnson, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension, will be the keynote speaker. He will give a crop price outlook and reveal strategies for marketing and managing risks and costs. "Despite expected input cost declines in 2010, costs will remain relatively high by historical standards," says Johnson. "Couple this with price volatility brought about by the late harvest this year, farmers' margins will be tight. More than ever, in 2010, careful thought needs to be given to grain storage, marketing, production costs and risk management strategies."

FCSAmerica crop insurance specialists will also present at GrowingOn 2010. "Because of the anticipated 2010 tight margins, producers need to position themselves to take advantage of marketing opportunities," states  Doug Burns, vice president-insurance for FCSAmerica in Perry, Iowa. "Revenue insurance is the best tool to protect risks with forward contracting. Options to reduce insurance premiums, such as the Enterprise Unit and the Biotechnology Endorsement discounts should be considered as part of 2010 crop insurance decisions as well. A good crop insurance plan uses the right crop insurance products to help protect an operation's income and maximize profitability. A good crop insurance agency, an agency like Farm Credit Services of America, works with producers to create a plan that connects their financials, working capital and crop insurance coverage."

This two and one-half hour program will be held Monday, Jan. 4 in Newton and Marshalltown, Iowa; Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Mt. Pleasant and Waterloo, Iowa; Wednesday, Jan. 6 in Festina and Manchester, Iowa; Thursday, Jan. 7 in North Liberty and Davenport, Iowa; Friday, Jan. 8 in Yale, Iowa; Monday, Jan. 11 in Eddyville and Harlan, Iowa; Tuesday, Jan. 12 in Corning and Carroll, Iowa; Wednesday, Jan. 13 in Storm Lake, Iowa; Thursday, Jan. 14 in South Sioux City, Nebraska and Webster City, Iowa and Friday, Jan. 15 in Mason City, Iowa.

Pre-registration is required. Specific times, locations and registration details can be found at or by calling the nearest Farm Credit Services of America office at 1-800-884-FARM.

Farm Credit Services of America is proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With 79,000 customers, a cash patronage program and assets of $13 billion, FCSAmerica is one of the region's leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.


America's Farmers Grow Communities Project to Give $2,500 Awards in all 99 Iowa Counties

ST. LOUIS (Dec. 23, 2009) - Iowa farmers can kick off the new year by applying for an award to help a non-profit organization in their community that's dear to their heart.  The award is available through Monsanto's America's Farmers Grow Communities™ Project, a new pilot program being offered throughout Iowa and in parts of Missouri and Arkansas.  Through the program, farmers can direct a $2,500 award to a local non-profit organization that's important to them and their community.

The program is intended to benefit non-profit community groups such as ag youth organizations, schools and other civic groups.  Farmers can apply online or request a copy of the official rules of the award program at, by calling 1.877.267.3332 or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to America's Farmers Grow Communities Project, 914 Spruce St., St. Louis, Mo. 63102. 

Farmers, age 21 and over, who are actively involved in producing a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton are eligible.  The application period runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2010.  The program is open to all qualifying farmers, and there is no purchase requirement.  In Iowa, one winner will be drawn from each of the state's 99 counties.  Monsanto will announce winning farmers and recipient organizations they chose in March 2010.

"Farmers in Iowa and across America work hard to feed, fuel and clothe our country and the world," said John Raines, Vice President of Customer Advocacy for Monsanto.  "As a company whose only business is agriculture, we want to work together with farmers to help them grow their local communities through the America's Farmers Grow Communities Project."

The pilot program is part of a broad commitment by Monsanto to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to our society by reinvesting in their local communities.  The company also recently launched a national advertising campaign to build greater consumer awareness about the importance of U.S. agriculture, its economic impact and advances in preserving our vital natural resources. 

In addition, Monsanto, as one of the sponsors of America's Heartland, aired nationally on public television stations and RFD-TV, is helping educate consumers through first-person farm stories on the vital contributions of the American farmer. The program is in its fifth season. 

About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit Follow our business on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.


Davenport, Iowa (December 23, 2009) - It's official ? Winter is here! Iowa American Water reminds homeowners to take precautions now, if they haven't already, to protect their home's plumbing system from freezing winter temperatures that can cause frozen pipes and water meters. Acting now can prevent costly plumbing repairs and headaches for homeowners.
"During winter weather, water pipes need special care to keep them from freezing, so homeowners should take reasonable precautions to help protect their property from damage," said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. "Weatherproofing your home against the cold will pay dividends on energy bills in the winter and will also help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks."
Iowa American Water encourages its customers to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of freezing pipes that can burst.
Before cold weather sets in:
· Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
· Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
· Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
· Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric may also work. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation so don't disturb it.
When temperatures fall below zero:
· If you have pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
· Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.
If your pipes freeze:
· Shut off the water immediately. Don't attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
· Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended, and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
· Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
When you are away:
· Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check your property to insure the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
· Also, a freeze alarm can be purchased for less than $100 and will call a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45 degrees.
Currently, Iowa American Water is including cold weather tips information in all of its customer billings. In addition, more cold weather tips can be found at
Iowa American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 200,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, December 18th -- enlighten technologies incorporated is excited to announce that it has fully recovered from the flood of 2008 and is completely operational after a year and a half of rebuilding the business and the office space.  enlighten was forced to relocate for over a year while it reconstructed after the flood had devastated the building it called 'home' for 15 years at the corner of 4th Avenue and 1st Street.

enlighten™, a videoconferencing and networking provider, is giving back to the community by offering some 'holiday cheer' in the form of 6 months free of their web based videoconferencing service to any business that was affected by the flood of 2008.

If you are a business in eastern Iowa and you were directly impacted by the flood, you can go to the following link: and fill out the online form with your business name, address affected, and a brief description of your recovery efforts, including contact information. enlighten™ will then contact you to set up the web based videoconferencing on your website for free.

For more information about the enlighten technologies incorporated™ videoconferencing system, products, and services, please call 1-800-529-5121 or e-mail  Also visit the enlighten™ website at

Below are 6 press announcements regarding the The Moline Foundation scholarship deadlines for the year 2010.  The due date is the same for all of them - February 16, 2010.

    • Applicants are sought for the Moline High School Class of "59" Scholarship through The Moline Foundation.

    • Applicants must:

      1. Be a 2010 Moline High School graduate
      2. Have a GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
      3. Provide a transcript and proof of class rank
      4. Be involved in at least one community service activity
      5. Submit an essay answer to the questions "What do you anticipate your life to be like in fifty years?" and "What prompts your interest in this scholarship?"
    • Applicants who want to pursue a college, university or trade/technical school education are encouraged to apply for this newly established scholarship.

    • The scholarship funds have been generated by alumni of the Moline High School Class of 1959. They have conducted hog roasts, participated in Birdies for Charity and received other donations. The initiation of this scholarship in 2009 commemorated the MHS Class of 1959's fiftieth reunion and the golden anniversary of the current Moline High School campus located at 3600 Avenue of the Cities, Moline.

        • Applicants are sought for the Maggie Webb Scholarship through The Moline Foundation.

    • To obtain a copy of an application for the Class of "59" scholarship, please contact the counseling department at Moline High School or call Linda Daily at The Moline Foundation, 309-764-4193.


    • Applicants must:

      1. Be a 2009 Moline High School graduate
      2. Have a GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale
      3. Provide a transcript and proof of class rank
      4. Be involved in at least one community service activity
      5. Submit an essay answer to the question "If you were to leave this earth tomorrow, what would be your legacy?"
    • Last year two graduates of Moline were chosen by Maggie's friends and family through the Moline Foundation to receive $3,000 in scholarship funding.

    • Maggie Webb graduated from Moline High School in 2001. As a senior in high school, Maggie began working at the Von Maur department store in Moline. Upon graduating from college, Maggie became a department manager for the Iowa City Von Maur store. She then worked at several other midwestern Von Maur stores earning acclaim for her sparkling personality and commitment to customer service.

    • Maggie's life tragically ended in December, 2007 with the mass shooting at a Omaha Nebraska mall. Maggie had recently moved to Omaha.  She was employed as a Von Maur Store Manager when she was killed along with five other employees and two customers.

    • "Her friends and family wanted to honor Maggie's life with this scholarship. She always had a smile on her face and was such a bright light for so many people,"Kelly Melliere Ryckegham,  Moline High School Class of 2001.


      The Moline Foundation announces February 16, 2010 as the deadline to apply for the Charles Curry SMART Bus Scholarship. Applicant must be a 2010 graduate of a high school in Iowa or Illinois living in Henry, Mercer or Rock Island counties in Illinois or Scott or Muscatine counties in Iowa. Applicant may also be a freshman, sophomore or junior at an Illinois or Iowa college who graduated from a high school in one of the above five counties. Applicant must plan on majoring in or currently majoring in a Natural Resource curriculum or an Education curriculum. Students must enroll on a full-time basis. Students should contact their counseling office at your High School for an application or the Moline Foundation.

      The scholarship award winner will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and will receive a scholarship of $500.00.

      Charles E. Curry is the Founder of the Interstate Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) SMART (Sharp Minds Are Reading Thoroughly) Bus. The SMART Bus Program, committed to reducing illiteracy, which began in 2000, has handed out over 36,000 books to children in the Muscatine and Scott Counties in Iowa and Henry, Mercer and Rock Island Counties in Illinois.

      Charles E. Curry is a successful farmer and businessman from Alpha, Illinois and has served his community as a volunteer with many organizations including Interstate RC&D, Inc., the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District for the past 34 years, the Livestock Feeders Association, the Henry County Board of Education, the Black Hawk Shrine Club, the Ophiem, IL Lutheran Church, and many other civic organizations.

      Mr. Curry is well-respected in the Quad Cities area serving in various capacities with the Interstate RC&D Council. His leadership qualities combined with a passion and a vision for improving our natural resources, promoting community and rural economic development and education has contributed greatly to the success of the RC&D program and to helping improve the quality of life in our area.

      The Charles E. Curry Scholarship Fund was established in November of 2008 by the SMART Bus Committee to honor the hard work and dedication of Mr. Curry.

      The scholarships are also administered through the Moline Foundation founded in 1953 to further the growth and development of citizens living in the Quad Cities region in Iowa and Illinois.

The Moline Foundation announces February 16 as the deadline to apply for the Clem T. Hanson Scholarship.  Residents of Moline School District No. 40 are eligible to apply for the four year college scholarship based on scholarship, financial need and extracurricular activities.  Students should contact their counseling office at Moline High School, Alleman High School or Black Hawk College for an application.   The three Hanson scholarship award winners will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and notified of their selection by May 1, 2010.  They will receive $1,500 annually for the next four years with an annual renewal based on satisfactory progress in their post-secondary education.

Since 1985, approximately 100 students have received the Hanson Scholarship Funds as a result of an endowment fund established through the generosity of Clem T. Hanson (1901-1985), a former Moline businessman and community leader.  He was the founder of Hanson Advertising Agency in Moline and was a co-founder of HON Industries in Muscatine.  Mr. Hanson also served as president of Moline Rotary in 1952 and was a volunteer for Boy Scouts, Arrowhead Ranch and United Way. The Clement T. Hanson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established with the Moline Foundation by his family, following the death of Mr. Hanson on July 17, 1985.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Joy Boruff, Executive Director, at (309) 736-3800.  The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has assets of approximately $14 million.


    • The Moline Foundation announces February 16, 2010 as the deadline to apply for the Dolores A. Hulse-DiIulio Scholarship.  Female  seniors at Moline High School going on to pursue a bachelor's degree on a full-time basis with studies in the fields of chemistry, physics, engineering or pre-medicine are eligible to apply. Students should contact their counseling office at Moline High School for an application.

    • The scholarship award winner will be chosen by a local scholarship selection committee and will receive a scholarship of $1,000.

    • Dolores A. Hulse-DiIulio was a chemistry teacher at Moline High School for 36 years.  She retired in 1994.

    • A 1958 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a major in Chemistry and minors in Math and Physics, Dolores began teaching at Moline when the new   high school opened on 23rd Avenue.   She has always wanted females to believe that the field of science was for them not just for men.  Her hope is that this scholarship may help female students and encourage them in their goals.

    • Founded in 1953, The Moline Foundation is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts, and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of the Quad City region. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and endowments with a current endowment fund of approximately $14 million.  For more information contact Executive Director Joy Boruff at (309) 736-3800 or visit The Moline Foundation web site at

The Moline Foundation announces February 16, 2010 as the deadline to apply for the Lee Womack Scholarship. The Lee Womack Scholarship Fund is intended to provide funds to deserving students graduating from Moline High School who plan to obtain a college degree in education or teaching special education. Selected recipients shall use the funds for first year expenses for tuition, room, board, or books at any accredited two-year or four-year institution.  Students should contact the counseling office at Moline High School for an application form.

Lee A. Womack graduated from Moline High School in 1956 and from Arizona State University in 1960.  He taught school for eight years at Central Junior High School in Rock Island, Illinois.  In 1978, he started work for Mr. Quick, Inc. and became President of the corporation in 1975.  He served as President until 1980, when he founded the Lee Womack Insurance Agency.  For 22 years, he owned and operated the insurance agency.  Mr. Womack also served as President of Porkie's Restaurants, Ltd. from 1987 until he died in 2002.

Mr. Womack was highly respected in the Quad City community and had a reputation for providing others with an opportunity to succeed.  By establishing the scholarship fund in his name, his family and friends continue to provide that opportunity for years to come.

The Lee Womack Memorial Scholarship award was established by Mr. Womack's wife, Peggy, and the Lee Womack Memorial Golf Outing Steering Committee. Since his death, a golf outing has been held in Mr. Womack's memory to raise funds for a local charity.   In 2004, a scholarship fund was established and is administered through the Moline Foundation's scholarship program.

The Moline Foundation, founded in 1953, is a community foundation which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of Moline and the surrounding area. For more information, contact Joy Boruff, Executive Director, at (309) 736-3800.  The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has assets of approximately $14 million.



New website called My H2O Online is a free, easy and convenient way for customers to manage their water services account
DAVENPORT, IOWA (December 22, 2009) --- Iowa American Water residential customers are accustomed to the convenience of 24-hour customer service, but a new website is making it easier for those customers to manage their accounts quickly and easily when the time is best for them.
The new site, called My H2O Online and available at, allows customers to take care of some of the most common reasons they have contacted the company in the past, from requesting appointments for turning service on or off to managing their account, checking their balance and paying their bills. Customers with more than one property will be able to see all of their accounts at a glance.
"We're excited about how this new site will help all of our customers - those who can take care of these common tasks online and those who need to speak with one of our representatives," said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. "Customers who use the site will benefit from taking care of important tasks when it's most convenient for them. If a customer needs to speak with one of our representatives - who are available 24 hours a day - we will be able to answer their calls and resolve their concerns even more quickly."
Any Iowa American Water residential customer can sign up for an online account and begin using that account today. All they need is the address of the property and the account number found on their most-recent billing statement, Moore said.
Customers can also reach the company's 24-hour customer service center at 1-866-641-2108.
Iowa American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 200,000 people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) and Sands Resorts Donate TWO HARLEY DAVIDSON SPORTSTERS

Operation Gratitude Sends TWIN Milestone 500,000th Packages

Van Nuys, CA - December 21, 2009 - With the classic roar of freedom catching their attention, more than 1500 Operation Gratitude volunteers witnessed the presentation of the organization's historic 500,000th Care Package, as a parade of motorcycles rode onto the Armory Drill floor delivering the keys to TWO Harley Davidson Sportsters.  The keys, along with several other unique gifts, were added to Operation Gratitude care packages, to be presented to two U.S. Service Members serving in the harshest combat zones overseas.

Co-founders Carolyn Blashek and SSG Elizabeth Cowie, who started the organization in 2003, thanked AVTT and Sands Resorts for their generous donation of the Sportsters, and recognized the tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters who have contributed throughout the years to the assembly and shipment of half a million care packages.

"The 500,000 care packages we have sent are an expression of our enormous respect and appreciation for those who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom," exclaimed Blashek.  "How totally appropriate that today we are sending a classic American symbol of freedom--Harley Davidson Motorcycles--to two of our bravest warriors, both of whom have served multiple tours of combat duty."

"AVTT's mission is to honor, respect and remember those who served and thus those who are serving," said Don Allen, founder of AVTT, donor of one of the Bikes.  "The occasion of Operation Gratitude's 500,000th Care Package is a perfect opportunity to ensure that our message of support and gratitude is seen and heard by our Military around the world."

Lee Rawcliffe, President and CEO of Sands Resorts, and donor of the second Sportster noted:  "This exciting 500,000th package event represents a celebration of all the brave Americans who wear the uniform of our great nation.  We are honored to put 2 very special packages in the hands of two different service members who represent our courageous heroes-- past, present and future--from all branches of the Military."

In addition to the Sportsters, the twin 500,000th packages will include a year's supply of both 5 Hour Energy and Emergen-C. hand-made scarves, digital cameras from Target, t-shirts, hats, dvds and pins from the Shasta Salute to America Bike Rally, the usual items and personal letters provided by more than 250 Corporate Sponsors and Friends, and by tens of thousands of individual donors across the country.  Days of Our Lives Cast Members Jay Kenneth Johnson, Joseph Mascola and Taylor Spreitler presented a Certificate for two VIP Set Tours.

Special deliveries of the matching Half Millionth Packages are being arranged.

A 4th Grade student from North Carolina, the winner of the "Guess the Candy Weight and Letter Writing Contest,"  was announced, having guessed within a few pounds the total weight of candy donated to Operation Gratitude this Holiday Drive:  110,000 pounds.

Blashek and Cowie informed the energetic crowd that the 500,000th package represented:

~ 4 Million pounds of product
~ $5.5 Million of postage
~ 25 Million individual items
~ $50 Million worth of product

sent to the troops through Operation Gratitude since its inception in 2003.

With the shipment of its 500,000th package, Operation Gratitude wrapped up its 2009 Holiday Drive, having delivered more than 100,000 care packages to U.S. Service Members this year.

About Operation Gratitude:

Operation Gratitude ( ) is the 501 (c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individual U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions.  Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and express to all Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$100 and costs the organization $11 to assemble and ship.

About American Veterans Traveling Tribute ("AVTT"):

AVTT ( is a veteran-owned project that travels the USA to provide a forum for communities to HONOR-RESPECT-REMEMBER all who have sacrificed their lives for our country's freedom. In so doing, AVTT also honors all Veterans and those currently serving, by letting them know they will never be forgotten. AVTT is funded through sponsorship fees, donations, and sale of merchandise at events. Donations to support AVTT's mission are qualified charitable tax deductions through The Traveling Wall Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.

About Sands Resorts

Sands Resorts ( has been the leading provider of Myrtle Beach vacations for over 35 years. Established in 1972, Sands now includes seven major oceanfront resorts, restaurants, a water park,  the nationally known beach bar Ocean Annie's, and vacations featuring golf and theater packages, children's programs, and convention accommodations. Sands Resorts new "Hall of Heroes," honoring our military, police and firefighters who throughout history have protected our freedom, is open free of charge, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first floor of The Rawcliffe Center at Ocean Dunes/Sand Dunes Resort & Villas.

Operation Gratitude
Carolyn Blashek
818.789.0123; cell: 310.876.2594



Maquoketa, Iowa, Dec. 17, 2009: Maquoketa Art Experience presents a holiday performance by Maquoketa native, Chris Davis. Chris will play classical and holiday music on acoustic guitar. Free coffee will be served by Maquoketa native, Tony Schmidt. Christmas carols, sung by a group of Maquoketa Alum, will follow Chris' performance.

    Date: Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Location: Maquoketa Art Experience @ 124 S. Main Street, Maquoketa, IA 52060

    Time: 4:00 pm

    Cost: Free

    For more information: Call 563-652-9925.

Information about Chris Davis:

A native of Maquoketa, Iowa, Christopher began his musical career with the Clarinet. At 14 years old, inspired by Black Sabbath and Metallica, Chris took up the guitar. He began his guitar education with Scott Dalziel, and his interests soon expanded to include jazz and improvisation. As his interest in music grew, Chris became interested in classical guitar. His studies took him to Drake University. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Drake and is currently pursuing a Masters degree studying with Stanley Yates at Austin Peay State University. He has performed in masterclasses for world renowned artists such as Odair Assad and Christopher Parkening. Chris' performance experiences include solo classical guitar performances and work with rock, jazz, and Christian groups.

Information about Maquoketa Art Experience:

Maquoketa Art Experience is dedicated to bringing accomplished artists to Maquoketa, Iowa for short- and long-term residencies, workshops, and exhibitions. Springing up in one of the Grant Wood Scenic Byway communities, Maquoketa Art Experience exists to nurture artists and provide opportunities for developing art-related businesses in the area. Recognizing what Grant Wood saw in Iowa, Iowans and the surrounding landscapes, the artists and board of Maquoketa Art Experience are dedicated to creating easily accessible resources for Midwest artists. Similar to the Stone City Art Colony of the last century, Maquoketa Art Experience is committed to supporting arts and artists by creating local opportunities for artists to nurture and expand their talents and skills within the inspiring landscapes of Eastern Iowa.

For more information:

Phone: 563-652-9925


Through the years we see movies that take us to another level and inspire us to expand of which we are most grateful. 'What the Bleep' provided us such a leap! So join us this Friday or Saturday (Dec 18 & 19) at 645 PM as we review how far we have come spiritually, mentally,emotionally and physicially since being introduced to such concepts as fields of infinite locations, intelligent water experiments and of course the Polka party reception!


As always Spiritually and Healthfully yours

The Sparkles cheer team, a partnership between Pleasant Valley High School cheerleaders and Davenport's Hand-in-Hand, are being recognized for gathering to give back.

In November, a story submission from Sarah Herr of Bettendorf was named one of five national finalists in Modern Woodmen of America s Gatherings with Purpose giveaway.

The story received the most votes in the online contest, earning more than 4,600 votes over the two-week voting period.

Hand-in-Hand and the Sparkles will each receive $2,500 as contest winners. The presentation will take place during the Sparkles cheer practice. Members of the media are encouraged to attend.

When: Monday, Dec. 21, 5:45 p.m.

Where: Pleasant Valley High School cafeteria

Herr shared the story of a wonderful, and perhaps unlikely, partnership between a high school cheerleading squad and Hand-in-Hand, a non-profit organization providing critical services for families with special needs. The Pleasant Valley High School cheerleaders decided to create a high school-based cheerleading squad specifically designed to include students with special needs. To find potential participants, the squad volunteered to gather and cheer at Hand-in-Hand's annual Family Fun Walk fundraiser. The group dressed in uniform and spent the morning managing the games and painting designs on eager little faces. During the walk, the girls cheered on the participants with Hand in Hand, yes we can!

Through this gathering, the cheerleaders met several young girls and their families who enthusiastically supported the idea of starting a new cheer squad to include students with disabilities. Within two weeks, 10 girls with disabilities from Down Syndrome to autism signed on to be the first Spartan Sparkles! Since this time, the Sparkles have cheered through two football seasons and one basketball season in front of packed crowds and standing ovations. To express gratitude to Hand-in-Hand and more tangibly support its programs, the cheerleaders again gathered on a Saturday afternoon over the summer collecting donations for Hand-in-Hand. The group raised both awareness and $2,000 in donations for Hand-in-Hand. Two weeks later when they attended the next Family Fun Walk, the Sparkles had much to cheer about!

Nearly 100 stories were entered in the online contest and five finalists were chosen. The stories spotlighted families and friends who volunteered together to meet a community need, raise money for a local cause or add a volunteer activity to a social gathering.

Modern Woodmen members nationwide gather for good through local camps (chapters) and youth service clubs. The giveaway was launched to complement national efforts to bring people together to help others and meet needs in their local communities. Modern Woodmen sells financial products not to benefit stockholders, but to support its stakeholders members, their families and their communities. How? Through social, charitable and volunteer events where members gather.

Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.