Bettendorf, IA - Jessica Palmer, Director of Marketing and Research at the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CRACVB) will be speaking to local public relations, marketing and media professionals on August 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm at the Quad City Area REALTOR Association office located at 1900 State Street, Bettendorf, IA on behalf of the Public Relations Society of America - Quad Cities Chapter.

Jessica will be speaking about the Cedar Rapids flood and the overall crisis response from your organization to the citizens and businesses.  Also she will talk about what was done as a city to overcome the devastation and how the community retained and encouraged area businesses to stay in the community after the floods.

PRSA members, Local Public Relations, Marketing and Media professionals, students, and the general public are invited to hear Jessica discuss the CRACVB's response and overall role in this crisis.

Jessica Palmer is currently director of marketing and research for the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CRACVB). Her responsibilities include working with community and partner organizations to support regional needs. She is responsible for strategic planning, marketing and communication activities. Prior to joining the CRACVB, Jessica was manager of communication and research with Priority One.

Jessica serves as a board member of YPIowa, Co-chair of ImpactCR, Chair of the Corridor MPO MAC, Cedar Rapids Area Recovery and Reinvestment Coordinating Team, Rebuild Iowa Economic and Workforce Development Taskforce, United Way Young Leaders Society Committee, Cedar Rapids Downtown District Committee, Eastern Iowa Marketing Roundtable and is a 2008 graduate of the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber Leadership for Five Seasons program. In 2007, Jessica was named as one the region's "40 Under 40" by the Corridor Business Journal. A Cedar Rapids native, Jessica earned a B.S. in business marketing from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids.

The Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CRACVB) is the area's official destination management organization. The CRACVB is entering its fourth decade of operation. Over the past 30 years, the CRACVB has played a variety of roles in the community from destination marketing leader, to event developer, to facility development advocate.

Formed in 1978, the Quad Cities Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America serves public relations and communications professionals throughout the greater Quad Cities region. The chapter offers programs, resources and networking opportunities for area PRSA members.


To RSVP for this event please email Cissy Wendt, Chapter Administrator at

Legislation includes $6 million for UNI's Project SOAR, $2 million for Rock Island Arsenal

Washington, DC - Today Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) voted for the FY2010 Defense Appropriations Act (HR 3326), which includes $8 million secured by Braley for two eastern Iowa programs. The bill includes $6 million for the University of Northern Iowa's Project SOAR, and $2 million for the Arsenal Support Program Initiative (ASPI) at the Rock Island Arsenal. The bill passed the House this afternoon, 400-30.

Project SOAR (Student Online Achievement Resources) helps children from military families receive a better education by providing a common set of assessment and instructional tools to be used by all military families as they transition from one school to another. The program provides additional support for military families and increases students' academic achievement. The $6 million will help fund the continuation of the program. Braley secured $5 million for Project SOAR in 2007, and $4.75 million in 2008.

"Project SOAR helps improve educational opportunities for children in military families," Braley said. "Military families make sacrifices every day in service to our country. This funding helps provide a more stable learning environment for military children growing up."

The Arsenal Support Program Initiative (ASPI) renovates unused office and manufacturing space at Rock Island Arsenal to lease to commercial firms. It currently has 30 tenants, generates $700,000 per year in revenues, and has created or retained an estimated 500 jobs. Last month, Braley and Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) successfully added an amendment to the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act extending the ASPI program for an additional year. The funding secured today will fund the program for a year.

"The funding secured today for the ASPI program will help spur economic development in the Quad Cities, save taxpayers money, and maintain infrastructure at the Arsenal," said Braley. "The Arsenal has a tremendous impact on the Quad Cities' local economy. Investing in this program will help create and maintain jobs at the Arsenal."

The Defense Appropriations bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today announced that $1 million for the replacement of the I-74 Bridge in the Quad Cities he secured is included in the FY2010 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill.  Specifically, the bill provides $1 million for the city of Bettendorf to acquire the right-of-way and prepare for construction of the new I-74 bridge.  The House Appropriations Committee approved the Transportation Appropriations bill earlier today.

"The replacement of the I-74 Bridge will have huge economic benefits for the Quad Cities region," Braley said.  "This funding will help speed construction of the bridge project, which will create construction jobs, boost the local economy and improve highway safety in the Quad Cities."

Braley has long been a supporter of the I-74 bridge project.  Earlier this year, Braley and Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) sent a letter to Chairman Oberstar encouraging him to include a "mega project" grant fund in the upcoming Highway Bill that could help expedite construction of the new I-74 bridge.

The Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill now moves to the full House for consideration, and will likely be scheduled for a vote before the first week of August.

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Arsenal Support Program Initiative creates jobs, strengthens Arsenal

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) and Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) today won passage of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 that provides a one-year extension of the Arsenal Support Program Initiative (ASPI).  Hare and Braley joined to introduce the amendment.

The amendment, which reauthorizes ASPI for one year through FY 2011, passed the House unanimously today.  The program was set to expire this year. The underlying bill also authorizes $3 million for ASPI at Rock Island Arsenal.

ASPI renovates unused office and manufacturing space at Rock Island Arsenal to lease to commercial firms.  It currently has 30 tenants, generates $700,000 per year in revenues, and has created or retained an estimated 500 jobs.  ASPI has dedicated $15 million to facility improvement projects over its existence.  The program had an estimated local economic impact of $27.3 million in FY 2008.

"ASPI has been tremendously successful in bringing tenants and jobs to Arsenal Island," Hare said. "Extending this program will provide a needed boost for the Quad Cities' economy and help strengthen and BRAC-proof the Arsenal."

"Extending the ASPI program will help spur economic development in the Quad Cities, save taxpayers money, and maintain infrastructure at the Arsenal," said Braley.  "The Arsenal has a tremendous impact on the Quad Cities' local economy.  Investing in this program will help create and maintain jobs at the Arsenal."

Hare and Braley have been strong supporters of the ASPI program.  ASPI was created in 2001 to allow private-sector commercial tenants to lease space for their businesses on military arsenals.  Funds generated by the program help reduce overhead at the arsenals and modernize arsenal infrastructure.

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WILTON, Iowa--Wilton community leaders and friends of the library celebrated and expressed appreciation to supporters at a ceremony marking the start of construction on the new Wilton Library and Community Center on Friday, June 12th. Major contributors, fundraising campaign executive committee members, government officials and building contractors participated in the groundbreaking ceremony held at Wilton High School and the building's construction site.

"This is a big day for our community and the entire area," said Betty Cram, president of the Wilton Library Board of Trustees. "The library and community center will benefit everyone in Wilton. We wouldn't be here today without tremendous support from our donors and volunteers."

More than $3.1 million has been pledged to the $3.25 million Wilton Library and Community Center campaign goal. Funding has come from a variety of sources including a Community and Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant from the state's Vision Iowa Board and numerous area businesses, community organizations and residents.

Representatives from several donor groups spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, Community Bank, HNI Corporation, Muscatine Community College, Gerdau Ameristeel and Wilton Candy Kitchen.

"This event signifies that the spirit of Wilton is alive and well," said Wilton Mayor Carol Wade. "We are celebrating more than just the start of a building project, we are celebrating commitment and cooperation in our community. We are celebrating our future."

Built on land donated by the city at the intersection of Cypress and Division Streets, the proposed 20,000 square-foot building will benefit schools, families, senior citizens, nonprofit groups and businesses. Plans for the joint facility include spaces in the library to gather, browse, read, study and use computers while the community center provides space for civic gatherings, commercial meetings, receptions, reunions, fine arts performances, displays, banquets and fitness activities.

The current library building was erected in 1938 and has been serving the community from its present location for more than 26 years. The small library is hot and humid in the summer, cold in the winter and lacks much-needed meeting space for activities like 4-H meetings, Boy and Girl Scouts and children's story hour. The new library will increase the amount of space and allow the library to expand programming opportunities to better prepare local youth citizens for global participation.

To make a contribution, call 563-732-2583 or download a pledge form at


For Flag Day, Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors honor those who serve

Throughout a two-week collection, Quad-Cities residents donated more than 750 cards and letters to send to members of the Armed Forces serving overseas.

Modern Woodmen of America and Royal Neighbors of America, two Rock Island-based businesses, sponsored a card and letter collection during the first two weeks of June. All cards and letters collected are donated to the Rock Island Arsenal Chapter of Association of the United States Army to distribute to service men and women stationed overseas.

This project was in honor of Flag Day on June 14, a patriotic holiday paying tribute to the adoption of the Stars and Stripes in 1777.

Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors celebrate Flag Day to honor the nation's symbol of freedom. The two fraternal financial services organizations have long celebrated patriotism and proudly offer fraternal programs that continue this tradition by donating flags, honoring veterans, and supporting troops and their families.

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.

Royal Neighbors of America is a non-profit fraternal membership organization with a 100-plus-year history of helping women and their families. The organization insures lives, supports women, and serves communities by offering insurance and annuity products. Its members also participate in a variety of locally based volunteer opportunities and are eligible to apply for many member benefits such as scholarships and disaster aid.

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Moline, Illinois? The Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and Genesis at Work are proud to present the 2009 State of the Community Address. This year's event will take place on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 12:00pm at the i wireless Center in Moline.

East Moline Mayor John Thodos and Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Rick Baker will deliver this year's address. Listen to the local economic factors and learn about exciting economic developments that are underway in the Quad City area. The State of the Community Address will also serve as the Chamber's Blueprint2010 update.

The Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting reservations for the 2009 State of the Community Address. The cost to attend is $15 for Illinois Quad City Chamber members and $25 for guests. Registration is through the Chamber's website at or by calling (309) 757-5416.


MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT Quad Cities PBS has ended analog transmission ahead of the June 12 nationwide shutdown due to equipment failure. The station's channel 24 transmitter failed late Monday evening. According to General Manager Rick Best, the last time this same problem occurred three years ago, it cost nearly $20,000 to make the repairs. "With less than three weeks to go before analog broadcasting ends forever" said Best, "it's not feasible to spend that kind of money for repairs."

The early shutdown will affect over-the-air viewers still using an antenna who haven't installed a digital converter box or purchased a digital TV. The station's newer digital transmitter continues to provide WQPT to cable systems and those viewers able to receive an over-the-air digital signal.

Also affected are viewers in the Sterling-Rock Falls-Dixon area that use an antenna to receive WQPT's channel 48.  That transmitter receives channel 24 from the Quad Cities and re-broadcasts it on channel 48 for that area. "We were planning to modify that transmitter in a matter of days so that it could receive and retransmit our digital signal, but until that can be done, channel 48 will also be off the air," according to Best.

"The vast majority of WQPT's viewers will not even be aware that the analog transmitter is no longer working since they are already watching on cable or satellite or have installed the digital converter or purchased a digital TV."

WQPT is the local public television station located in Moline, Illinois on the campus of Black Hawk College.

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(ROCK ISLAND, IL) - The Royal Neighbors Foundation continues its efforts in Parkersburg, IA by sponsoring a "Remembrance & Renewal" breakfast on Monday, May 25 from 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Parkersburg Veterans Building at 205 Cemetery Street.  Iowa Governor Chet Culver will speak at this special event marking the 1-year anniversary of the F5 tornado that damaged or destroyed over 400 homes in this small Iowa town.

Royal Neighbors began their relationship with Parkersburg in October 2008 by announcing its Foundation will assist two women as they rebuild their lives after a tornado destroyed their homes.  Construction on one home began earlier this month.

"We're pleased to have the opportunity to help these women rebuild their lives after such a devastating disaster," said Judith Tshibangu, Vice President of the Royal Neighbors Foundation. "Our organization's Foundation is dedicated to changing women's lives.  In Parkersburg, we are doing this by assisting two individuals in starting over in their newly built homes."

Royal Neighbors of America is a non-profit fraternal life insurance corporation dedicated to helping women and their families for close to 115 years. It insures lives, supports women, and serves communities by offering insurance and annuity products. Its members receive valuable benefits and can participate in a variety of local volunteer activities.

The Royal Neighbors Foundation is an independent philanthropic arm of Royal Neighbors of America.  As a 501(c)(3) public charity, it was established to promote charitable and educational causes that align with the organization's mission.  Its focus is changing women's lives by supporting programs such as scholarships for women veterans and building homes.

For more information about Royal Neighbors of America and the Royal Neighbors Foundation, call (800) 627-4762, or visit


Scott County Family Y Helps Quad City Military Families Enjoy Their Summer

Davenport, Iowa - May 13, 2009 - Military families make a tremendous sacrifice on a daily basis and the Scott County Family Y wants to make sure military children have the opportunity to enjoy their summer vacation. This year, YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln along with the Sierra Club and Armed Services YMCA will offer a FREE 4-day/3-night resident camp for children of families who were, are or will be deployed.

Military Kids Camp will be held June 28 through July 1, and is designed for children ages 8 to 14. Space for this camp is limited to 50 children. Campers can expect to participate in action-packed activities such as canoeing, archery, horseback riding, camp fires, swimming and team building. In addition campers will take part in daily interest sessions specifically designed for military families that cover age appropriate topics while helping them build relationships among each other.

The cost of this week of camp is $315.00 per child however generous contributions from the Sierra Club through the Armed Services YMCA allow the Scott County Family Y to provide this unique camping opportunity free of charge. The University of Iowa and Illinois Extension Offices are also involved in this unique partnership.

For more information about Camp Abe Lincoln's Military Kids Camp call (563) 381-3053 or visit the Camp Abe Lincoln website,

YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln was recently voted Best Camp by River City Readers and offers year-round character development programming at its 250-acre site located just outside Buffalo, Iowa. Camp Abe Lincoln has been serving Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois for more than 85 years.

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,