Great response to Optimists’ Community Blood Drive

By Ron Slechta
Posted 7/12/23

Once again, the Kalona community responded by turning out in good numbers for the Kalona Optimists’ Community Blood Drive on Monday, July 10, at the Kalona Mennonite Church.

ImpactLife, …

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Great response to Optimists’ Community Blood Drive


Once again, the Kalona community responded by turning out in good numbers for the Kalona Optimists’ Community Blood Drive on Monday, July 10, at the Kalona Mennonite Church.

ImpactLife, which conducted the blood drive, credited Kalona with giving 67 pints of blood. The goal was 57.

That total included 57 single-unit blood donors and five double-red (platelets) donors (credited for 10 units), according to Deanna Poe of the Optimists. She also reported there were 20 walk-in donors, which was greatly appreciated, who had not pre-registered to donate blood. 

There were also a few deferrals and several first-time donors.

Impact Life staff said they were amazed by the turnout for the Kalona Optimists’ blood drive as we exceed the drive in the city of Washington, which is a much larger community.  

“It was a success all the way around!” Deanna Poe said.

As a member of the Optimist Club, I would like to thank all the blood donors as there have been a number of other blood drives in the area in recent months.  The Optimists would also like to thank Jeremy Ours of the Kalona Rotary Club for sending out an email encouraging Kalona Rotarians to donate blood.


Flag stolen

Why would anyone steal a flag that was put up to respect our nation and all who have served to make sure the USA remains a free nation?

It happened over the 4th of July weekend. Someone stole a flag from the display of 35 flags at the north end of Kalona City Park.

Jan Peterseim, a Friend of the Optimists member, proposed to the Kalona Optimists that they expand their Community of Flags program to include an array of flags at the City Park on the southside of Highway 22. At the time, some members thought it might be possible to get 10 or so people to pay $40 a year or $75 for two years to place a flag at the park.

Businesses and individuals overwhelmed the Optimists, with 35 paying to place a flag in the park. That is in addition to 320 Kalona residents subscribing to have flags placed in front of their homes on special national holidays, including Memorial Day, Flag Day (June 14), Juneteenth/Emancipation Day (June 19), Independence Day, Memorial Day, Patriot Day (Sept. 11), and Veterans Day.

That is over 355 flags paying tribute to our great nation.

Please have respect for the flags and the Optimists who work hard to put up and take down the flags each holiday and to maintain the flags.

This isn’t the only time that someone has shown disrespect for the American flag in Kalona.  Shortly after Jan Peterseim spearheaded an effort to put up 100 USA flags lining Sharon Hill Cemetery on Memorial Day, a motorist ran over a row of flags.

The criminal has never been found, even though there must have been some damage to his or her vehicle.  The Washington County Sheriff’s office also offered no hope of ever finding the person who stole the flag from City Park.

If the person who stole the flag would like to bring the flag into The News office at 419 B Avenue during office hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, the Optimists would appreciate the return of the flag with no questions asked.

If anyone would like to subscribe to having a flag placed in their front yard on the above-mentioned holidays, please stop into The News to pick up an flag subscription form and leave a check for $40 for one year or $75 for two years before the price increases next year. 

The Optimists use the funds raised from the Community of Flags to help pay for programs for youth of the community, including Youth Ball, Golf Camp, Kalona Public Library youth programs, youth bikes given away on Kalona Day, Students of the Month at Mid-Prairie Middle School during the school year, and other youth programs and activities.