Modern Woodmen will award $5,000 to a volunteer and his or her cause


Vote to reward a local resident and group who gathered to give back.

A story submission from Bettendorf was named one of five national finalists in Modern Woodmen of America's Gatherings with Purpose giveaway. The Gathering with Purpose entrant earning the most votes in the online contest at will win the grand prize - $2,500 in cash, plus a $2,500 donation for the worthy cause described in his or her submitted story.

Visitors can vote daily through Dec. 6.

Sarah Herr of Bettendorf 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. 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.

Visit for complete rules and details.

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 our stakeholders - members, their families and their communities. How? Through social, charitable and volunteer events where our 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.

For additional information, contact:

Kim Woodward, Corporate Communications

Direct: 309-793-5660


The People Draw the Line in the Sand for America

Beyond Elections.
Beyond Petitions.
Beyond Tea Parties.

ST. CHARLES, IL - The first time free people assembled as a Congress of the People for such a critical point in the nation's history was in 1774 in Philadelphia.  Over 230 years later 116 Delegates from 48 states have convened a modern day Continental Congress to exercise popular sovereignty and restore self-governance to the people of America.

The twelve day Congress is being broadcast live via streaming webcast at:,,
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT through Saturday Nov 21st.

The Citizen nominated and elected Delegates, all passionate about holding our servant government accountable to this nation's founding documents, have been meeting together day and night since Wednesday November 11th,  generating a written and digital record for the history books.  Despite the devastation across the US and the world as a result of our government's pervasive and unconstitutional acts, the Delegates have been quick to assert that the People have only themselves to blame for allowing these continued and escalating Constitutional violations. 

Thus the Delegates seek to "draw a line in the sand" and convene this Continental Congress to end the nation's distress and restore the Republic form of self-governance that made America the most innovative and prosperous nation on earth.

The format for the Congress includes two sessions per day with guest speakers and documentary films to illustrate for all audiences how unlawful billion dollar bailouts, federal spending via limitless debt that enslaves our children, trillions spent on unconstitutional wars in places most Americans can't find on a map or tell you why we are there, the Bill of Rights -- intended to protect our God-given individual rights as a free people -- is now ignored on a daily basis,  and has eradicated our Republic.

In addition, the Delegates have established Committees for each major area of violation, charged with drafting Remedial Instructions to be formally served upon both the Federal Government and each State's legislature. Delegates are quick to point out that these Instructions will be accompanied by a pro-active, peaceful mass movement of Civic Actions that all Americans can readily implement in order to ensure complicity from this and future servant government officials. 

The Committees have been meeting and debating during breaks and late into the evening hours each night.  For approximately four hours per day, the Delegates convene formally via the live webcast in a public forum to deliberate and vote, one vote per state, and adopt proposed Instructions and Civic Actions brought forth by the Committees. Participants and supporters cite that any individual right that is not enforceable is no right at all. 

The non-partisan, non-political event has been organized by the We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education ( and is the next appropriate step an ongoing 14-year process to hold state and federal elected officials directly accountable to the federal Constitution by enforcing the Petition Clause of the First Amendment. 

Please see the update about CC2009 from the We The People Foundation here:


Media requests for interviews and credentials can be directed to: or by calling Todd McGreevy, Media Relations at 563-650-0120.


List of Seated CC2009 Delegates

Schedule of Events & Speakers
(being updated daily)

Watch the Livestream and Rebroadcasts at:

Live Audio Stream

Access Archives & Supporting Documentation at:
(being updated daily)

Social Sites

We The People Petitions for Redress of Grievances
The Petition for Redress Regarding the WAR POWERS CLAUSES

The Petition for Redress Regarding the GUN CONTROL LAWS

The Petition for Redress Regarding the FEDERAL INCOME TAX

The Petition for Redress Regarding the FEDERAL RESERVE

The Petition for Redress Regarding the "USA PATRIOT ACT"

The Petition for Redress Regarding ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

The Petition For Redress Regarding the NORTH AMERICAN UNION

AIG Bailout Lawsuit Documents
WTP Brings Federal Lawsuit to Stop AIG Bailout

Forthcoming As Available:
Remedial Instructions for Congress & The States - As Passed by the Congress
Civic Action Resolutions - As Passed by the Congress

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) issued a floor statement today congratulating Rose Frantzen on the premier of her exhibit, 'Portrait of Maquoketa', at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

"I congratulate Ms. Rose Frantzen on this tremendous honor and recognition," Braley said. "Her exceptional skill is evident in each of the individual portraits. When placed side by side, the portraits are an inspiring interpretation of American life. The exhibit is an expression of the dignity of small-town Iowa, and the unique beauty of Maquoketa."

'Portrait of Maquoketa' is a compilation of 180 individual oil paintings of Maquoketa residents painted between the summers of 2005 and 2006. During this time, Frantzen opened her studio to anyone who wished to be painted, attracting a diverse collection of subjects. Frantzen conducted formal interviews and made audio recordings' of her clients' stories, ideas and beliefs.

Frantzen's exhibit, accompanied by samples of the audio recordings, will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery from November 2009 - July 2010.

# # #

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) introduced legislation today that would make it easier for veterans to obtain the benefits they deserve. The Compensation for Combat Veterans Act would eliminate requirements within the Veterans Administration stipulating that soldiers injured in combat zones must provide official military documentation proving they were injured in a specific battle before qualifying for disability benefits.

"Common sense doesn't have to be lost in the fog of war," Braley said. "If an American veteran has been injured in a combat zone, they shouldn't have to worry about proving their injuries occurred while serving our country in a specific battle.  The Compensation for Combat Veterans Act would remove the bureaucratic red tape at the VA that currently delays wounded warriors from getting the disability benefits they deserve."

VA documentation barriers often cause unnecessary delays in providing veterans with the benefits they deserve and, in some cases, prevent combat veterans from receiving compensation for their disabilities altogether.  Currently, injured veterans must produce combat medals, unit reports, or even news reports as "official documentation" of their involvement in a battle before they're awarded benefits.

# # #

Bettendorf, IA - Mel Foster Co. is committed to community involvement and loves a challenge.  They participated in their second annual 2009 Student Food Drive Corporate Challenge and held an internal competition within each office to help the efforts.  The internal competition contributed to Mel Foster Co. receiving a Clunky Award from the Student Food Drive for having the most creative event.

Mel Foster Co.'s Commercial division partnered with Mulligan's Valley Pub in Coal Valley and collected over 900 pounds of canned food items during the event for the Student Food Drive.  The commercial division teamed up with Mel Foster Co.'s property management division and the marketing department to win the overall internal competition at Mel Foster Co.  They collected over 2,000 of Mel Foster Co.'s 10,273 pounds.

Kris Ratigan, Marketing Director for Mel Foster Co., says "Mel Foster Co. is thrilled to receive the Most Creative Event Award from the Student Food Drive.  With the help of Pieter Hanson, owner of Mulligan's Valley Pub, we are proud to have contributed to helping the Corporate Challenge top last year's collection for food shelves.  It's truly exciting."

Being in the top five for Division A (151 or more employees) of the 2009 Student Food Drive's Corporate Challenge, Ratigan added "we are very proud of our agents and staff for their strong participation in this year's Student Food Drive.  We collected 4,000 more pounds this year than last year."


On Wednesday, October, 28, 2009, at 6:00 PM, the NAACP Davenport Youth Council invite you to attend Disastrous Planning. Presented by the American Red Cross. Davenport Fairmont Library. For more information, call 563-323-4307.

Joins Rep. Yarbrough to Advocate for Crime Prevention Efforts

CHICAGO - October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined parents, lawmakers and neighborhood activists to stress the need for more anti-violence programs for youths and to highlight the positive influence such efforts have on the community. Governor Quinn was joined by Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), who has been a strong voice in the Illinois General Assembly for violence-prevention programs.

"I'm proud to join staunch advocates like Rep. Yarbrough who are working to confront violence in our neighborhoods," said Governor Quinn. "We must continue to support programs that strengthen our communities and provide our children with alternatives to risky behavior."

As Chairwoman of the Public Safety Appropriations Committee, Rep. Yarbrough has fought for increased funding for violence prevention throughout Cook County and Illinois. Rep. Yarbrough is also among the first to recognize the value of early intervention programs, which use trained mediators to diffuse tense situations before they become deadly.

"Young people who see violence every day need prevention programs and caseworkers to show them that it's not worth getting mixed up with gangs," said Rep. Yarbrough. "These programs help youth get back on the right track by providing new ways to resolve conflicts."

Last month, Governor Quinn announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services will receive nearly $4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Justice Assistance Grant funding. This funding will support evidence-based programs that help reduce community violence. Programs that will receive the funding include those that focus on child welfare, youth violence prevention and juvenile delinquency prevention and reduction programs.

Governor Quinn was also joined today by Hon. Henderson Yarbrough, Mayor of the Village of Maywood; Gary Slutkin, Executive Director of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention and CeaseFire; Barbara Cole, Director of Maywood Youth Mentoring; Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, Senior Pastor at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church; Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero); Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago); Rep. Deborah Graham (D-Chicago); Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago); Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago); and Rep. Robert Rita (D-Crestwood).


New Law to Highlight Contributions of Hispanics in U.S. History

CHICAGO - October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez today raised awareness of a new law that requires the history of the United States taught in public schools reinforce the role and contributions of Hispanics.

"I salute Representative Hernandez for her work championing this important legislation," Governor Quinn said. "The new law ensures that U.S. History is taught accurately to our students and emphasizes the important contributions of Hispanics throughout our nation's history."

Senate Bill 1557, sponsored by Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) and Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero), was passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.

The bill amends Section 27-21 of the School Code by providing that curriculum on the history of the United States is to reinforce the study of the role and contributions of Hispanics, including on issues such as the events related to the forceful removal and illegal deportation of Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression.

"It was alarming to learn how Hispanics Americans were treated during the Great Depression, and that it has gone unreported for so many years," Rep. Hernandez said. "It's critical that this period in history be taught in our schools so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past."

Section 27-21 of the School Code currently requires U.S. History to be taught in all public schools, and further outlines that curriculum must include the role and contributions of various peoples and ethnic groups.

The bill is effective as of January 1, 2010.


Provision passed by House paves way for Pentagon to provide benefits to Iowa National Guard troops

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today announced that his Guaranteed Benefits for Our Troops Act (HR 1222) was included in the final FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House today by a vote of 281-146.  The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for passage and then onto President Obama to be signed into law.

Braley's fix will ensure that hundreds of Iowa National Guard members are provided benefits they were promised under the Department of Defense's Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA) program, commonly known as "Respite Leave."  Over 20,000 Army National Guard members across the country - including almost 800 members of the Iowa National Guard - did not receive benefits they earned due to delay between the announcement of the leave program by the Department of Defense and the implementation of the program by the individual services.

"Today brings us one critical step closer to ensuring that National Guard troops across the country receive the benefits they earned and deserve," Braley said.  "Iowa National Guard troops have served some of the most grueling and lengthy deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we owe it to them to provide these long overdue benefits immediately.  I'm looking forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation into law, and seeing Iowa National Guard troops finally receive the benefits they have long been promised by the Pentagon."

Respite Leave was designed to provide service members deployed to places like Iraq and Afghanistan for longer than established rotation cycles additional help to reintegrate back to civilian life, as well as to improve the retention of service members who had experienced especially long tours of duty.

Once the Respite Leave program was announced, however, there were significant delays before its implementation.  The Department of the Army, for example, didn't issue its corresponding policy for implementing Respite Leave until more than six months after the Pentagon's January 2007 announcement of the program.

Because of this gap, thousands of soldiers from the Army National Guard did not receive proper Respite Leave compensation.

Braley first introduced the Guaranteed Benefits for Our Troops Act in July 2008.  The bill, which will allow the Pentagon to retroactively grant up to $200 per day to affected troops, has previously passed the House as part of the FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act and as part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill.

The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for passage and then onto President Obama to be signed into law.

# # #


In addition to the Pumpkin Festival held at Fejervary Park on October 24th, the City of Davenport Parks & Recreation Department has focused their efforts in supporting the men and women of the U.S. armed forces by organizing Operation Tee Off To Iraq. Operation Tee Off To Iraq is an organized effort to collect and distribute donated golf supplies overseas to inspire the men and woman of the armed forces to keep up their efforts during demanding times.

To further support our efforts, inspired donations of used golf clubs, balls, tees, and monetary donations for shipment are greatly appreciated.

Donation table will be present at the front gate of the Pumpkin Festival at Fejervary Park on October 24th.

Interested donors not able to participate in Pumpkin Festival, please contact: Polly Delange -Senior Clerk, Davenport Parks & Recreation at 563-326-7816.