Bettendorf, IA - Mel Foster Co. is partnering with Mulligan's Valley Pub in Coal Valley to collect canned food items for the 2009 Student Food Drive.  Mel Foster Co. is participating in the Student Hunger Drive Corporate Challenge and is looking to surpass last year's second place.

To help efforts, Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate agent, Pieter Hansen, who also owns Mulligan's Valley Pub, graciously partnered with Mel Foster Co. to help support the Student Food Drive, which greatly impacts our community.  Mulligan's Valley Pub is known for Taco Tuesdays and their support of great causes in our communities and for our residents in need.

The community is invited to Mulligan's Valley Pub at 310 West 1st Avenue, Coal Valley, Illinois for Taco Tuesday on October 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Patrons can enjoy a taco dinner for every donation of eight (8) canned food items or more per person.  Cash donations are also accepted.

Mulligan's provides Tacos for Charity every Tuesday but this is the first time they are accepting canned foods as donations.  "I think this is a perfect way support the Student Food Drive as well as providing tacos as a reward for your generosity.  This event has the potential to raise thousands of pounds of food for our local food bank," mentioned Pieter Hansen.

Kris Ratigan, Marketing Director, says "Mel Foster Co. is proud to once again be participating in the Student Food Drive Corporate Challenge.  We are excited to be partnering with Mulligan's Valley Pub in supporting the Student Food Drive, knowing how great a need the food bank serves in our communities."


MONTICELLO, IA? On Sunday, October 11, 2009, the East Central Federation and Cedar Valley Callers Association will sponsor the 20th anniversary of the Annual Square Dance Benefit for Camp Courageous of Iowa.  The calling begins at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. in the main lodge at Camp Courageous.

Callers and cuers are invited from all over eastern Iowa and the surrounding areas. Dance clubs as well as individuals and couples are welcome to enjoy the afternoon dancing or just observing in the spacious camp lodge. Tours will be available for anyone interested in seeing all that camp offers including the camp train, the barn and the indoor swimming pool! Admission fee is a donation to camp. Participants are asked to bring along cookies, or a snack to share---beverages are provided.

Camp Courageous of Iowa is a year-round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with mental and physical disabilities, located near Monticello, Iowa. The camp was built and continues to operate on donations, without government support, without formal sponsorship, and without paid fundraisers. In 2008, the camp served over 5,000 campers with special needs.


What:  the Zion Lutheran Church Blood Drive

When:  Wednesday, October 14th from 3:30 pm until 6:30 pm.

Where:  Downstairs  in the Fellowship Hall, 1216 W. 8th St, Davenport

Appointments: To donate, call Wanda McDonnell at 563-381-3893

About the Drive:  Donors who last gave blood on or before August 19, 2009 are eligible.

About Donating:  Blood donation is a safe, simple procedure that only takes about an hour.  Donors must be at least 16 years old, in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds.  A Bllood Donor coard or other photo I.D. is required to donate; 16 year old donors must present a signed parental consent form available from the Blood Center or for download from Controlled high blood pressure and diabetics are acceptable.

About MVRBC:  Mississippi Regional Blood Center is the exclusive blood provider to Unity HealthCare, Muscatine and Genesis and Trinity Medical Centers, Quad Cities.  For more information about the MVRBC, see the River Cities' Reader issue #731 (July 22, 2009).

The Mississippi Valley Growers' Association announces the following October special events at your local Farmers' Market - don't miss the fun, excitement and the locally grown fresh produce.

? The Davenport Farmers' Market at NorthPark Mall, 8:00 am until Noon, East of J. C. Penney's

  • October 3:  Apple Cider Press, taste some delicious fresh pressed cider
  • October 10:  Wine, grape juice and cheese tasting, compliments of our vendors
  • October 17:  Caramel Apple Day - don't leave without your apple for the day
  • October 24:  Carved Pumpkin contest - kids - don't miss out on the fun!
  • October 31:  Costume Party, get an early start for Halloween at the market.

? And, at the Bettendorf Market on Thursday, October 8th from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm, the Annual Wiener and S'mores Roast.  The Bettendorf Market is located at 23rd and State Streets, parking is behind the vendors if you enter from the light at 23rd Street.

? Coming in November - the Indoor Market.  More details to follow.


Kuhl's Under The Sun is holding their annual Scarecrowrow on Friday, Oct 9th (9am-6pm), Satuday, Oct 10th (9am-4pm) and Sunday, Oct 11th (11am-4pm).

Come out to 1850 South 1st Street in Eldridge for antiques, one-of-a-kind gifts, artisans, handcrafted gifts, Tabor Home Wines, pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, food tent and more tents in the gardens. Baked goods from Northridge Community Church and the 4-H girls. Plan on lunch at the farm!

For safety concerns, no pets are allowed. Free parking is provided.

For more information, go to

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra launches its 2009-10 season with a concert showcasing the talent and versatility of the 95-year-old organization. This concert features the intricate and concise music of Mozart juxtaposed with the sweeping  majesty of Mahler. These concerts will be performed on October 3 and 4, and are sponsored in memory of Katherine Stafford, by her family. Saturday evening's concert will be held at the Adler Theatre in Davenport at 8 PM, and followed on Sunday afternoon at 2 PM at Centennial Hall in Rock Island. Tickets for this concert can be purchased in person at the QCSO Box Office, 327 Brady Street in Davenport, by phone at 800.745.3000 or online at

A gulf of 100 years lay between Mozart's final symphony and Mahler's first. In 1788, as Mozart was scoring his final and perhaps greatest symphony, the romantic period in music was yet to be born. By 1888, when Mahler was completing work on his symphonic premier, composers found themselves in a world just beginning to challenge the now established the romantic movement. In both cases, the powerful music created by these two masters merits the celestial monikers with which they have come to be associated: the primordial Titans of Greco-roman mythology and the Olympian god Jupiter who led their overthrow.

On the Thursday before the concerts, Quad Citians will get the chance to hear Music Director Mark Russell Smith give his insights into the upcoming performance at Inside the Music. Expert and novice alike will enjoy this casual musical conversation at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport from 5:00 to 6:30 PM on Thursday, October 1. This event is free to the public, with wine and cheese provided.

Mark Russell Smith will also be available at Kai Swanson's Concert Conversations, held an hour before each of the weekend's concerts. At Concert Conversations the audience members will be given a quick tour of highlights from the program they are about to experience. New this season, concert conversations will be held in the concert hall itself. This look into the background of the concert's repertoire, sponsored by Rich James of Wells Fargo Advisors, is in its tenth year and has become an audience favorite.

Also new this season, audience members are invited to reminisce about the amazing performance at the Woodfire Grill, 131 West 2nd St., Davenport, immediately following the Saturday night concert. Mingle with Mark Russell Smith, musicians from the QCSO, and sometimes even the guest artist. You never know who will be there! The evening promises free hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and remarkable repartee.


27 Mothers Presented with Gold Star Banners; More Than 80 Families Attend

CHICAGO - September 27, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today presented Gold Star Banners to 27 Illinois mothers whose sons and daughters died in combat while serving their country in the Global War on Terror. More than 80 members of Illinois Gold Star families who lost family members on active duty since September 11, 2001 attended the ceremony at the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center.

The ceremony, which was co-sponsored by USO of Illinois, marked Gold Star Mother's Day. The day has been commemorated on the last Sunday in September since President Franklin Roosevelt declared the first Gold Star Mother's Day in 1936. Please see attached list of the 2009 Illinois Gold Star Recipients.

On August 16, Governor Quinn signed legislation to formally designate the fourth Sunday in September as Gold Star Mothers Day in Illinois.

"Gold Star Mother's Day honors those whose sons or daughters gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our democracy," said Governor Quinn. "It is so important that we give everyone in our state the opportunity to express our reverence and respect for these patriotic families and their loss."

Presenting Gold Stars to mothers is an American tradition dating back to 1918, at the end of World War I. At that time, President Woodrow Wilson suggested that instead of wearing conventional mourning black from head to toe, families of men and women who had died in service to their country should wear a black armband with a gold star to signify their loss and their pride. Bereaved families also displayed Gold Star banners - gold stars on a white background with a wide red border - in the windows of their homes.

Verizon Wireless also generously sponsored the Illinois 2009 Gold Star Ceremony. Committed to honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country and their families, Verizon was also a sponsor for the 2007 and 2008 Gold Star Mothers ceremonies.

Governor Quinn was joined at the ceremony by Dan Grant, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs; Anthony Enrietto, Jr., President of the USO of Illinois; and Alice Smith, Gold Star Mothers of Illinois. Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein recited the poem "To Illinois' Gold Star Mothers.


Davenport, IA - The Alzheimer's Association is inviting Quad-City residents to become Champions in the fight against Alzheimer's by participating in the annual Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk®.  The i wireless Center will be site of the Memory Walk on October 3, 2009 at 9 am.  Pre-walk registration begins at 8am the day of the walk.

Alzheimer's disease is a growing epidemic that is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.  It is estimated that someone in America develops Alzheimer's disease every 70 seconds.  By mid-century someone will develop Alzheimer's disease every 33 seconds.

"There has never been a greater need for Quad-City citizens to join in the fight against Alzheimer's disease by participating in Memory Walk," said Julie Seier, an Alzheimer's Association spokesperson.  "As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and funds raised will provide support services to area residents in Iowa and in Illinois living with Alzheimer's, while also contributing to critically needed research."

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk is an empowering event that gives participants an opportunity to be Champions and take action in the fight against Alzheimer's.  In addition to the 3 mile walk participants will enjoy music provided by Jukebox Junkie, face painting, children's crafts, food, raffle prizes and vendor displays. The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk is nationally presented by Genworth Financial.

About the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk®:

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk® is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research programs. Held annually in hundreds of communities across the country, this inspiring event calls volunteers of all ages to become Champions in the fight against Alzheimer's.

About the Alzheimer's Association:

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; to advocate for policy change; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. For more information visit


Boys Teams Grades 5-8 Pre-Season Basketball Tournament

A pre-season boys basketball tournament will be held at the Monticello Berndes Center in Monticello, IA on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday, October 25th. This event will be a fundraiser for Camp Courageous that is sponsored by 5th Quarter Sports. Steve Cooper, a past Camp Courageous counselor, and now with the Salvation Army in Cedar Rapids, is organize this event.

The tournament will be open to boys in 5th through 8th grades. Saturday will include the 5th and 6th grade divisions and the 7th and 8th grade boys will play on Sunday. There will be a limit to eight teams in each division. Expect an 8 AM to 8 PM time-frame. No schedule requests will be accepted for this tournament.

Team entry fee is $135.00. Spectator admission will be charged and concessions will be offered. All proceeds from this event will go to Camp Courageous, a year-round respite and recreational facility for individuals of all ages with disabilities that is run on donations. For additional information about this tournament or to download entry form go to or call 319-465-5916, ext. 2100.

FC John Patrick Kelly from Bravo Troop Second Squadron of the 106th Calvary will be returning to his local hometown of Aledo, IL at 6:30 p.m. today (September 28) with a heroes welcome.

Based out of Dixon, IL, PFC JP Kelly has had a long trip home.  Part of his squadron has returned home already, and some, I believe, are still awaiting a plane home.  PFC JP Kelly will be arriving at the Dixon Armory in Dixon, IL from Ft. McCoy, WI this morning and will attend a short ceremony before being released to his family around 4:30 p.m.  He will then be escorted by the Patriot Guard from the Dixon Armory where he will meet up with a pre-scheduled caravan of family and friends in Milan, IL, along Route 67 acrossed from Coyne Center and the old Silver Oaks restaurant (there is currently a trailer park there now and a BP gas station kitty-corner from the meeting place).  The Patriot Guard will then lead PFC Kelly and his caravan of family and friends down Route 67, through Viola, IL (around 6:20 p.m.) and into Aledo, IL around 6:30 p.m. and end at the Aledo Central Park Pavilion, where JP will be reunited with is remaining family and friends.

PFC Kelly is the only Quad Cities native, I believe, that will be retuning to this area today. Please come and help us welcome him home properly from a tour of serving his country.