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Community

Solon Methodist sponsoring Lake Macbride Earth Day cleanup April 14

SOLON- Solon United Methodist Church (SUMC) is looking for some help to clean up Lake Macbride State Park and Highway 1.
The church is hosting a Lake Macbride Community Earth Day Event Sunday, April 14, from 1-3 p.m. (rain date April 28).
Participants can meet at the playground just past the modern campground inside Lake Macbride State Park or at the SUMC Family Life Center parking lot (for Highway 1 chores).
The event is for all ages.

Old Gold Diner hosts fourth graders April 17

SOLON– The Old Gold Diner hosts a fourth grade class on Wednesday, April 17.
There are usually 23 students who visit. The Old Gold Diner would like to have at least one senior citizen for each student. Non-seniors are also welcome with a reservation and a payment of $4, same as seniors, for the meal. Try to join this fun occasion and visit with the young Solon School students. Call 319-624-2251, by noon the day before, to make reservations. Lunch is served promptly at 11:30 a.m., so arrive by 11:15 a.m. The class scheduled to visit this month is section 4D, teacher Mr. Bogard’s class.

Join Solon team at NAMI Annual Walk Saturday, April 27

IOWA CITY– The four churches of Solon collaborating on mental health programming have established a community walking team to join the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Annual Walk Saturday, April 27, at the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City.

Around the world

Van Allen celebrates diversity at 2nd International Night

NORTH LIBERTY– The flags of many nations waved at James Van Allen Elementary March 28.
Twenty-two countries were represented at Van Allen’s second annual International Night, which brought between 500-800 people to the North Liberty school, according to Mandy Bezoni-Puaina, one of the founders of the event and an English Language Learner instructor.
The evening provided a showcase of national heritage, allowing the young student population to demonstrate its diversity and fellow students to familiarize themselves with cultures other than their own.

Resolved

Fledgling debate team looking to grow

SOLON– “We’re the Solon speech and debate program,” Jesse Miller announced.
Miller and teacher/coach LeeAnn Gilroy stood in front of the Solon school board members at a March 11 meeting.
“We used to be the program,” the Solon senior clarified. “It’s grown. I guess you could say it’s doubled over the course of a year.”
The two were there to spotlight the young debate program as part of a regular agenda slot for celebrating achievements.
Miller qualified for the National Speech and Debate Association National Championships each of the last two years.

Senior to senior

Solon Senior Support looks to bridge gap between generations

SOLON– They want to make sure senior citizens have the help they need.
A group of Solon High School (SHS) students and a local pharmacist have joined forces for an ambitious project– the establishment of a non-profit to assist seniors with a variety of tasks from a simple visit to tackling technology issues.
The organization they’re forming, Solon Senior Support, will attempt to match Solon senior citizens with volunteers from the community and the high school.

Nearly double

Liberty High’s second Dance for a Difference raises $43k for the sickest kids

NORTH LIBERTY– Nearly double last year’s total.
Liberty High’s second annual Dance for a Difference managed to accomplish it in just a few hours Sunday, March 3.
The school’s “Difference Makers,” a student-run organization, started the Liberty High tradition last year in an effort to raise money to help the sickest kids: those battling cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

A financial boost for the Bolts

A look at how the Liberty Fund helps organizations and students

NORTH LIBERTY– Parents of high school kids, as well as co-workers, friends and neighbors of parents with high school kids are no stranger to fundraisers for various student activities; from candy bar and fruit sales to car washes and even painting the school logo on driveways, students spend time every academic year generating cash for a special trip, extra equipment or something else not provided for in the budget.

Snowdrifters are America’s Snowmobile Club of the Year

Local group cited for volunteerism, community impact

SOLON– The snow came late, but it was still a banner year for the Iowa Snowdrifters.

The area snowmobile club was the 2018 Club of the Year for the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA).

“I just want to thank club members, landowners, our sponsors– everybody, in terms of the award, made that happen,” said Bill Hogan of rural Solon, the current club president. “I’m just happy to be part of the club.”

Hogan said the club was recognized for outstanding achievement in fundraising, community projects and the dedicated efforts of the members to manage and maintain the trails.

A Christmas village in Tiffin

Al Havens’ festive holiday display

TIFFIN– Al Havens’ holiday spirit is on full display.

The Tiffin resident and city council member annually hosts his own miniature Christmas village at his Ponds Court residence. With a dimming of the lights, the display comes to life with 50 miniature lit buildings and monuments. A moving train cart, as well as an ice-skating rink with animated skaters and a ski slope with a cycling ski lift round out the exhibit to a backdrop of holiday music.

“One of my favorites is the ‘57 Chevy on a carousel,” he remarked, pointing to a vintage Chevrolet store display.

Second sight

Katie the Service Dog brings renewed hope to Solon man

NORTH LIBERTY– Two friendly, furry creatures were spotted at the annual Breakfast with Santa event at the North Liberty Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 8. One was the North Liberty Lions Club’s mascot; a six-foot tall lion who greeted kids and adults alike, freely dispensing hugs and posing for pictures. The other was a ten-year old German Shepherd named Katie who, despite being on the job and in her uniform (service dog vest), graciously accepted petting and pats from complete strangers.

Hotcakes and holiday wishes

Santa returns to North Liberty for his annual breakfast with children

NORTH LIBERTY— A Christmas tradition continued in North Liberty as Santa Claus appeared at the Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 8, for the annual Breakfast with Santa event. Between 250 and 300 kids spent a ltime with the Jolly Old Elf discussing their hopes and dreams for Christmas presents, as well as their behavior over the past year.
The event has grown over the years, since starting in 2006, said Recreation Supervisor Matt Meseck.