During the week of July 8, the Kalona Historical Village celebrated its 50th anniversary with Mayor Herington declaring the week of celebration Museum Week.

On Wednesday evening, Marilyn Woodin was honored for being the originator promoting the moving of the Railroad Depot to land donated by Glenn Wahl for establishing the Historical Village. Marty Beckman and Tracy Anderson were honored for being among the first to join the Kalona Historical Society which operates the Historical Village. 

Jan Peterseim, Beckman and Woodin were among those starting the Kalona Quilt and Show and Sale. It was fun to hear them reminisce about the moving of the depot.

Thanks to these early promoters who started the Historical Village which draws people from throughout the world to Kalona. 

And it was Marilyn Woodin’s gift of quilts that sparked the construction of the Welcome Center to house those quilts in a climate-controlled environment. Now that collection has grown to more than 600 quilts in the Quilt and Textile and the Amish Quilt Gallery putting Kalona on the map as Iowa’s Quilt Capital.

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I and the children at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital still need your contributions for my efforts to help the Iowa Optimist raise $100,000 statewide for the Children’s Hospital.

I am one of 12 Optimists to volunteer to have their beards and heads shaved in the effort to raise funds for the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. I joined this group because some of those funds (about one-third) goes to the neonatal targeted programs, which is headed by Dr. Patrick McNamara. The rest of these funds go to childhood cancer research and other childhood diseases treatment. 

I got involved because our youngest grandson, Logan Marner, son of Jon and Beryl Marner, spent the first two months of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit. Thanks to surgery by skilled doctors and care by awesome nurses, he is now a healthy 2-year-old.

Make your checks out to Optimist International Foundation with NICU or Children’s Hospital in the memo line. 

The “Save to Save” event will be at the Iowa Optimist convention in Des Moines on Aug. 3. Your help to make this event a success would be appreciated.

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Thanks to the 63 people who reported to donate blood at the semi-annual Optimist Community Blood Drive at the Kalona Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall on Monday, July 15, despite the extreme heat.

There were 54 people who were able to donate plus two who gave double red units and seven who were deferrals for various medical reasons.

The Kalona Optimist especially appreciate the support of the Amish community who always strongly support the blood drive in July and December.

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The Chamber staff has been busy this summer welcoming people to Kalona, telling them about the community and directing them to various businesses that suit their needs as well as places to eat and sleep.

Local people probably don’t appreciate the treasures we have here, especially the Kalona Historical Society’s Historical Village. Most visitors are interested in the Village.  Many come to Kalona to see the quilt collections at the Village as well as to buy quilting supplies.

Recently there have been visitors from Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, Canada, France and the Netherlands to mention a few. There have been a lot of people from California and Texas as well as Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

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Welcome to Kalona’s newest antique business: Boxcar Treasures, owned by Carol Riggan and Jodie Schimke. They are in the former Kalona Antiques building.

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