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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Waukee!

We meet Thursdays at 6:45 AM
Des Moines Golf & Country Club
1600 Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines, IA  50266
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
On May 5th, Dr. Jim Blessman gave us an update of his work in Africa.   Dr. Blessman spends a lot of time over in Africa and is very proud of the work they have accomplished so far.   He also updated us on a couple of the projects that Rotary is involved with.   With the water project, there are 8 wells that are done, with 2 more that will be completed in June.   With the toilet project, they are in the middle of the 1st build with a 21 toilet building at one of their local schools.   They expect that 1st build to be completed in July.   Thank you Dr. Blessman for giving us an update on your work in Africa!

Congratulations to Steve Sandahl for being recognized with the Paul Harris Fellows program!

President of Iowa Realty, Brennan Buckley, gave an excellent presentation this morning about the company Iowa Realty, the housing market, and different ways to shop for a home. The main purpose of Iowa Realty, the number one broker in the state, is to bring buyers and sellers together. In addition to that basic purpose, Buckley mentioned Iowa Realty is emotionally invested in their clients. This is evident in their recently adopted mission statement.
Mr. Buckley also shared that the way people shop for homes is evolving. More families are looking towards the internet and the mobile app now rather than the newspaper, though there are still listings in the paper. Approximately 60,000 people use the Iowa Realty app to shop for homes. This may be because the housing market is improving. The Des Moines metro "will continue to win" and the market will gradually become more mobile friendly.
Similar to the Rotary, Iowa Realty is dedicated to service. They donate to several deserving causes such as Variety, Habitat for Humanity, and United Way. Just last year they donated $2,300,000 to Blank Children's Hospital! We are proud to be a part of a community that is so dedicated to serving others.

Thank you to all Rotarians for making this year's Auction a huge success again!     There are more photos in the Photo Library on the homepage.    

The Brewer Family Farm has all hands on deck as the weather starts to warm up! This family business was named the 2015 Waukee Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. It's great to hear how passionate Joe Brewer is about his farm and the well-being of his cattle. Keep an eye out for Brewer Family Farm beef brats, steaks, and roasts at the local Hy-Vee and other farmers markets.

We were joined this morning by Dr. Dave Wilkerson, superintendent of the Waukee School District. He's led the fastest growing school district in the state for 25 years, and recently announced his resignation set for January 2017. As of late, Waukee has approximately 10,000 students and 700 teachers in the district. Under his guidance, the overall student success rate is the highest it's ever been and well above state averages (for example, 60% of 5th graders scored above the 90th percentile on the annual Iowa Assessments).
Waukee High School has also excelled in both athletics and the music program. Last year, the Des Moines register named Waukee All-Sports Champions. This title is awarded to a high school that achieves success throughout all athletic programs. The band and choral music programs are nationally recognized at Waukee. In the next couple days, Jazz Band will be defending their championship title at State competition.
Among other topics of conversation, Dr. Wilkerson's plans for after retirement were brought to the table. He would like to work in education for a few more years until retirement. Currently, there is a college pursuing Dr. Wilkerson and his teaching ability. He's also considering a position at the capitol. We know he'll be of great help wherever he goes.
As Dr. Dave Wilkerson finished his presentation, our club joined in a standing ovation to honor the outstanding work he has put into the Waukee School District. We are sad to see him go, but we couldn't be more pleased with the progress he has made for Waukee Schools.

This morning we had the pleasure of meeting Waukee High School's new principal, Cary Justmann. Justmann has been in education for 21 years, and he's exceptionally excited to be a part of the growing Waukee team. We can tell he'll be a great fit for the High School. After getting to know Justmann better, we were given an update on the growth of the district. This update was intended to be a preview for the meeting next week with superintendent Dr. Dave Wilkerson. We look forward to learning more about his newly announced retirement, APEX building, Grant Ragan Elementary, and more!

ALL OF US contributed to the following awards that our Waukee Rotary Club received:

DISTRICT GOVERNOR CITATION: clubs that are growing stronger, creating positive change in our communities and enhancing our public image.

END POLIO AWARD: presented in appreciation for the financial support of End Polio Now.

Our Rotary Club is getting anxious for summer after hearing about the new Waukee Railroad Pergola. Jim Miller and Randy Jensen spoke with us about the cultural, recreational, health, and economic benefits of enhancing the Waukee area with this attraction. The Pergola is going to be 350 feet long featuring a design theme of "in the shadow of the rails". An estimated 300,000 citizens visit this 89 mile-long trail system every year, and that number is expected to increase within the next couple of years. We can't wait to cure our cabin fever once the Waukee Railroad Pergola is finished!

We had an excellent discussion this morning with Steve Bruere, People's Company President, regarding today's farmland market. Everyone left the meeting having learned something new, including the local farmers. A few items addressed by Steve were the average price of an acre of land, Iowa's fertile farmland, how to estimate the cost of renting land, etc. These topics were so engaging that we ran out of time! Steve is welcome to come back anytime to discuss agriculture with us.