Posted by Jean Kresse
This month the eyes of the nation will be on Iowa as we hold the 2020 Iowa caucuses.  Whether or not you participate in the actual events, you have been bombarded by the news, political flyers and advertisements by presidential hopefuls. It will get pretty quiet around the state after February 3. 
Fortunately there is more happening in February than the caucuses.  Did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month and National Canned Food Month?  Let’s not forget about it being National Grapefruit Month. 
February does include monthly observances that are even more serious, Black History, Creative Romance, and National Heart Month.  These three topics encourage us to do something different, but are very similar. All are about caring.
History has proven that if we better understand our past, we won’t repeat injustices and failures. One way to begin learning more about Black History Month is to attend the 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Thursday, February 13 at 5:30 p.m.  Sponsoring this event is the Ames Chapter of the NAACP. If you haven’t attended in the past, I encourage you to do so.  Leon Andrews, with the National League of Cities, and the first Director of REAL (Race, Equity, and Leadership) Program is the Keynote speaker. ISU President Wendy Wintersteen will provide the welcome. 
February is also the month when we are encouraged to love one another and to demonstrate that love in creative ways. Many of us celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone special by dining out, sending flowers, or devouring chocolates.  You may also sprinkle Random Acts of Kindness throughout the month, to show you care. However you celebrate, you do it out of love.
During the month we are reminded to pay more attention to our own health, especially our heart. You may already be living a heart healthy lifestyle, but if not, take this month to consider what changes you can make to begin.
All three observances fit perfectly into Rotary’s vision to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.  To condense all of this into two words – we care!   
Jean Kresse
Club President 2019 - 2020