Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Program

Dennis Wermerson was brought up on a farm in Britt, Iowa.  They had pigs, cows, chickens, geese and grew crops.  He spent a lot of time at school and in church where he played piano for the Sunday school and at 15 years of age began playing organ for the church.

Dennis graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in math.  He taught high school math for 13 years and then used his math skills at Iowa Bankers Association in the mortgage department.

Church music has been a specialty for him.  He has played the organ and piano for churches for 50 years, the last 28 years at Luther Memorial near  Grand View College. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

December Meeting

Our December meeting will be on December 8. The program will be Seasonal Music and a Sing-a-Long led by Dennis Wermersen.  We will meet at 10:30am at the Forte Banquet and Conference Center. 615 3rd Street, South Door.  The program will be followed by lunch at 11:30 and our business meeting at noon.  Please do not park in the spaces reserved for the other tenants of the building.
We will also have a gift exchange.  If you want to participate bring an unwrapped gift.
We also are collecting books for the Visiting Nurses Association's Storybook Project.  Bring new or gently used books that can be read by mothers who are incarcerated at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women. The greatest need is for books suitable for boys ages 8-12. The Visiting Nurses will also take cash donations.
The callers will be contacting you soon. Ask your caller about free off-street parking.
The program for our January 26 meeting will be the Community Outreach Program of the Des Moines Police Dept.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 2016

Christkindlmarket Des Moines

The first-ever Christkindlmarket Des Moines is coming soon! Christkindlmarket has its origins in Germany in Austria, but these events have spread across the world. It will feature music, European food, vendors with hand-crafted wares, a European-style beer tent, and so much more.
Christkindlmarket Des Moines is from December 2 to December 4 at Cowles Commons in downtown Des Moines (just across from the Civic Center). If you’re interested in attending or getting involved with Christkindlmarket, visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook.

Friday, October 28, 2016

President’s Corner

It is all about the trees right now. This fall has been amazing with the beautiful weather and the changing colors. You don’t have to travel far to take in the beauty and for me, it is right outside my front door.
About five years ago, just after I retired, I saw a notice in my water bill asking for volunteers to pioneer a program called Trees Forever. The group would be educated in the proper planting and pruning of our city trees. I had a passion for trees and plants and thought, “why not?”
Since that first meeting I have helped to plant several hundred trees though out the city along with pruning and mulching. The first tree planting happened in my neighborhood and I asked to have two trees planted on my parkway. Today “my” two Green Mountain Maples blaze with orange and scarlet leaves. I made that happen!
There are so many wonderful things to do as retirees. As members of DMARSPA, we provide books for the Story book project at the Mitchellville Prison. This program helps connect inmates with their children through stories on tape. We also help with the Food Bank of Iowa by providing cash for fresh food items.  
I guess my point is, you don’t have to plant a tree to help benefit our community. You can just come and be a part of our group to make a difference. Just say “why not?” You have everything to gain and can say , “I made that happen!”
Justine Finley

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Volunteer Hours

IRSPA has reported the volunteer hours totals for 2015-2016.  The 5919 IRSPA members that volunteered reported a total of 413,291 hours for 2015-2016. At a national rate of $23.56 per hour this equals $9,737,135.30 in value, up by $515,104.40 from a year ago.   DMARSPA reported 917 hours for youth, 5,657 hours for community totaling 6,574 hours valued at $154,883.44. Remember to record meetings, social get-togethers and phone calls in addition to unpaid care-giving for children and adults. Let's try to increase those totals for next year.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

2016-2017 Meetings

2016-2017 Meetings
Monthly luncheons and programs are held at the Forte' Banquet and Conference Center, 615-3rd Street, Des Moines, on the fourth Thursday of each month.  There is no meeting in November and the December meeting is on the second Thursday.  The meal is catered by Baratta's and the cost is $13. For reservations and cancellations call Dee Fleischacker at 515-221-2759 or  Cancellations must be made by 10:00 pm on Monday of the week of a meeting or a charge will be mandatory.
Program is at 10:30 am.
Lunch is at 11:30 a.m.
Business Meeting is at 12:00 pm.      
If classes for the Des Moines Public Schools are cancelled for weather conditions on the day of a DMARSPA meeting, we will not meet.

September 22, 2016      The Geology of Iowa
October 5-6, 2016        IRSPA State Meeting in Marshalltown
October 27, 2016         Grotesques and Gargoyles
November                    NO MEETING
December 8, 2016        Seasonal Music and Sing-a-long
January 26, 2017          Des Moines Police Department
February 23, 2017        Daniel Finney, Des Moines Register Columnist
March 23, 2017            On With Life
April 27, 2017              KCCI Stormchasing
May 25, 2017               Girl Scouts of America
June 22, 2017               Irish Dancers
July 27, 2017                Dorothy's House
August 24, 2017           Iowa Culture, Department of Cultural Affairs