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Spring 2009

A Newsletter from Helping Services for Northeast Iowa

Bringing to light the facts about Raises Big Money Sexual Violence Mentoring Bowl-a-thon

On March 29th, 54 bowlers brought in donations totaling $2,978.14 for the fourth Mentoring Bowl-a-thon at Oneota Lanes in Decorah. Many businesses were lane sponsors who donated funding or provided door prizes for the event. Helping Services would like to thank Oneota Lanes for the generous discount for bowling and use of their facilities. Oneota Lanes also donated a bowling ball, family packages for bowling, and trophies for second place winners for a total value of $800.00. The “Flying Eagles” team of Dan Krambeer, Jay McGee, Cody and Cole Mincks was credited for bringing in the largest donation of $1,304


Continued on page 4

May: Graduation Month

What you need to know about Iowa’s laws regarding alcohol and graduation parties

Graduation parties have traditionally been alcohol-related events. That has changed as more parents are taking the initiative to become informed and responsible hosts. Bill Deutsch, Prevention Specialist for Helping Services, recently presented an alcoholawareness program called “The Birthday Party.” Turkey Valley and South Winn High Schools participated along with the Winneshiek County Attorney, Decorah Police Department,

Graduation Continued on page 5

Work i ng



p rev e nt i on

veryday Jennie Hill works hard. She is on a mission and there is little time for rest. Time is short and she is persistent as she leads Helping Services effort to educate children and adults about sexual abuse and sexual assault. The numbers are overwhelming. One in four women experience sexual assault, one in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Everyday Jennie grapples with these numbers. As Violence Prevention Educator she is trying to change these tragic outcomes. Sexual violence is widespread and too often we fail to acknowledge this fact. Many times we think that only “bad” girls get raped or all rapists are “crazy” or insane. We fail to realize that most sexual abuse occurs within families, and most victims of rape knew, or were friends with the perpetrator. Or we think that rape does not happen in rural areas. Unfortunately, sexual violence impacts many lives right here in northeast Iowa. As an educator, Jennie conducts workshops in area middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She helps students look at the facts of sexual violence honestly and openly. Her questions are probing: “Why would someone sexually assault another person, who is most often sexually assaulted, and who is most often the perpetrator of sexual assault?”

t hroug h

e d u c a t io n

Jennie facilitating discussion about date rape with the students of Oelwein High School.

One in three girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Her classes include mock debates, group work, and other hands-on learning techniques to get students to critically analyze their beliefs around these issues. Many of the students reveal that their notions of rape come from the latest blockbuster movie or Law and Order SVU show that aired that week. Media has a great impact on students’ beliefs. Students complete a quiz on common rape myths. One of these myths states that a majority of rapes involve black men raping white women. Students are quick to point out that this myth is racist, but many times believe

Sexual Violence

Continued next page

From the Executive Director:

Observations, outcomes and opportunities of the hard times I’m reluctant to pick up the copy of Timothy Egan’s “The Worst Hard Times” a chronicle of the dust bowl of the 1930’s. It sits on my night stand waiting to be read. Each month we see more evidence that “hard times” are a present reality for many in our neighborhood. An advocate for our domestic violence program told me this morning that clients are making desperate choices. Courts are closing their doors a day a week, judges are less accessible, all designed to save government’s dollars. More calls to the crisis line are for financial help, and food, and less about looking at options related to protecting themselves from the violence in their relationship. Serious mental health issues are surfacing more often. Requests for help from victims of sexual assaults and abuse have more than doubled over last year is a sad reality of our present time. We are waiting to receive state and federal contracts for next year. It has been a long winter as we have watched the economy tumble and legislatures grapple with their budgets. We expect that contract funds will be down just as service requests are going up. We are still optimistic, though, because we know we are in the right place to help people during this time. And that is why Helping Services is here. Helping Services came into being because neighbors wanted to help one another deal with challenging social issues facing the community. There is still a neighborhood and community feel to our work. Together we will get through this new “hard time.” - David Runyon

2 Prevention - Spring 2009

Sexual Violence

Continued from front page

that it is in fact true. Students have shared that this was what they saw on a recent movie or television show. Jennie gently moves the discussion to evaluating the information the students get through various media including TV, movies, and music. Sexual violence can be prevented if we all work together. You can help by having open dialogues with your children, grandchildren, or other youth in your community about this topic. For more information or to find out how you can get involved, please contact Jennie Hill, Violence Prevention Educator, at 563-387-1720 ext. 111.

House for Sale

Helping Services was recently gifted a generous donation of a house located at 811 Ravine St. in Decorah, IA. The property is listed with Friest & Associates Realtors of Decorah. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Transitional Housing Program that supports domestic abuse victims. Call Friest & Associates at 3823227 or visit their website at

Moving on to new ventures after 10 years at Helping Services

When Dave asked Bill Deutsch if he would be interested in applying for a job opening at Helping Services their conversation initiated a relationship that has lasted ten years.  At the end of June, Bill will be moving to a new agency to ply his knowledge and skills as a clinical social worker with the Hispanic community in northeast Iowa.  Catholic Charities, Bill’s new employer, will be very fortunate to have him on staff.  Bill has made a significant contribution to the work in the field of substance abuse prevention.  His skills in parent education, underage drinking policy and intervention, and his skills at bringing a diverse group of professionals and community people into the process have been honed to a sharp and effective edge.  We will miss him here at Helping Services and wish him much success in his new job.

Prevention is published quarterly by Helping Services for Northeast Iowa Administrative Office P.O. Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101 email: Phone: 563-387-1720 Fax: 563-382-5730

Board of Directors Carolyn Havenstrite, President Dennis Koenig, President Elect Dick Graham, Treasurer Steven Drewes John Molumby Sue Kiel Tom Buresh Reggie Gross Barb Duwe Peterson Steve Chambliss

Stronger Familes, Greater Prevention

Calendar May 18: Dubuque Area Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting, Keystone AEA in Dubuque- 6:00 p.m. May 19: Delaware County Tobacco Free Partnership meeting/ training, Regional Medical Center in Manchester- 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. May 19: Clayton County Community Partnerhips for Protecting Children Meeting, Elkader10:00 a.m. May 20-21: Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in Des Moines May 21: MY Club Steering Committe Meeting, Cresco Public Library- 4:15 p.m. May 21: Howard County Tobacco Free Coalition, Subway in Cresco- Noon-1:00 p.m. May 25: Memorial Day Agency Holiday May 26: Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition meeting May 30: MY Club’s recognition celebration at 4:30 p.m. after the Howard County’s Spring Clean-up day, Cresco- 1 p.m.-4:00 p.m. May 30: Methamphetamine presentation at Spring Clean-up day in Cresco June 2: Howard County Interagency meeting June 11: Northeast Iowa Regional Mentoring Coordinator’s meeting, Oelwein Chamber of Commerce Office- 10:00 a.m.-Noon June 11: Fayette Mentoring Partnership Meeting, Oelwein Chamber of Commerce Office- Noon12:30 p.m. June 12: Agency All Staff meeting in Postville June 13-14: Relay for Life at Decorah High School June 13: Adopt-a-Highway Clean-up Day, Meet in Clermont at the Larrabee Building- 9:30 a.m. June 17: Allamakee Mentoring Program’s Recognition Celebration, Mt. Hosmer in Lansing5:30 p.m. July 14: Delaware County Tobacco Free Partnership meeting/training, Reginonal Medical Center in Manchester- 10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. July 23: Puppet Show & Resource Fair at the Riceville Public Library, Riceville 6:30 p.m. -8:00 p.m. August 22: Turkey River Classic III Golf Tournament- Shotgun start at Noon

Visit for additional details and calendar items

This spring, every Monday night for seven weeks, families in Dubuque got together to share a meal, get some new ideas and tools for their parenting tool box, and support each other in the sometimes daunting task of raising healthy kids. The Strengthening Families Program is recognized nationally as a program that improves family communication and encourages healthy family interaction. The program also helps prepare children for teen years and avoid problems with drugs and alcohol. Helping Services is excited to be able to provide childcare, transportation and meals to help overcome any barriers that prevent families from attending. This year, classes have been filled to capacity. Clare Jones, program facilitator, notes that “some parents who attend feel like they already have a pretty good hold on things and want to sharpen their skills. Others want to prepare for the teenage years ahead. Still, other parents are really struggling and frustrated and this is a safe place for them to come and get the support and skills they need.” “Everyday activities have pulled In the first hour of each us apart and this brought us session parents have a chance together as a family.” to talk about their successes and frustrations with parenting -Strengthening Families Participant and learn some new ideas. At the same time, youth take part in interactive activities about stress, peer pressure and making healthy choices. Participants then gather as family units to create projects and practice what they are learning. Families have fun by identifying what makes their family strong by creating a family shield, or they practice having a family meeting to resolve problems and encourage communication. These activities are not only fun but reinforce the Strengthening Families concept of setting limits while also showing love. Parents and children are aware of the pressures to engage in underage drinking and drug use. Kids report that peer pressure is a strong influence in their lives. But, parents also have a great impact on the choices that their children make. Jones knows that helping parents to communicate their values and set limits, and also helping them to understand their child’s point of view is good prevention. It is also helping to create healthier, stronger families and communities. 3


Continued from front page for mentoring programs. The team bringing in the second highest dollar amount was “The Bowling Stones.” They gathered $284 of donations. Team members are: Vicky Jaeger, Rylee Upton, Alison Schwartzhoff, and Crystal Mensen. Kathy Schwartzhoff, Helping Services Mentoring Coordinator, is enthusiastic about the event, “We really appreciate everyone’s support whether you bowled, donated to a team, cheered on at the sidelines, or donated some type of gift, your generosity is greatly appreciated.” The fundraiser will go toward supporting the 96 mentors and mentees currently involved in the Mentoring Program.

Door Prize Contributors A & W/Long John Silvers ACE Kitchen Place Amanda Schwartzhoff at Appearance’s Bookends & Beans Camp Site RV Cheesecakes by Denise Cresco Fitness Center Cresco Small Engine Repair Decorah Hatchery Decorah Implement Decorah Memorial Co Family Table Farmer’s & Merchant’s Bank Fitzgerald, Inc

Friends End Flowers Happy Joe’s K & H Custom Apparel Luther College Box Office Mabe’s Main Feature Theater Margaret’s Maurice’s O-Henry’s Oneota Lanes Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co Security State Bank Sim’s TV & Electronics Six Day Discount Furniture Unique Blendz

Lane Sponsors

A & J Petersburg Agency Bank of the West Bluff’s Inn Cresco Union Savings Bank Culver’s Decorah Clinic Decorah’s Viking Honda KDEC Marine Credit Union Sim’s TV & Electronics Sutton Motors Preston Equipment

A donation for $927.00 was presented by Barb Lauer, representing WELCA Shechem Cluster 10 to Dennis Osmundson, Development Coordinator Helping Services. The donation will be used to support children and families here in northeast Iowa. To schedule a presentation with Dennis or another staff call Helping Services, 563-3871720.

4 Prevention- Spring 2009

Mentor and mentee pair, Samantha and Makenzie enjoy Bowl-a-thon 2009

Vicky and Crystal share a high-five

Partner with Helping Services in

providing positive programming and resources that truly matter to the people of our community. Mail form below to:

Helping Services for Northeast Iowa PO Box 372 Decorah, IA 52101

It’s even easier to donate online. Please visit our web site.


From the Board of Directors:

Continued from front page

and the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department. The scenario: Suppose that it is your 17th birthday. Suppose that you are having a bunch of friends over to celebrate on Friday night. Suppose that your parents said that they’d supply beer as long as no one was drinking and driving. Suppose that somewhere along the line, somebody gets hurt… This opened the door for conversations regarding Iowa drinking laws, liability and responsibility, and about what parents can do. With graduation parties around the corner, Deutsch adds these words of advice: Make the graduation the thing to celebrate, not alcohol; Let your graduate know that you expect them to be safe, and NOT to drink; Know the who/ where/what about your teen’s graduation plans.

Participating in “The Birthday Party” program from left: Tim Felton, Deputy Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office; Dawn Wagner, Officer Calmar Police Department; Bill Deutsch, Helping Services; Andrew Van Der Maaten, Winneshiek County Attorney; and Warren Leeps, Captain Decorah Police Department.

I t ’s A g a i n s t t h e L a w : • To host underage drinking parties at your residence or on your property.

2009 Brings New Challenges for Helping Services Your gifts of service and financial support are so necessary for Helping Services to continue to provide quality services throughout northeast Iowa. It is difficult to turn on the television without being bombarded with new reports of people whose anxiety rises with the unemployment rates, and mood declines with stock values. Individuals and families who are struggling feel isolated, and bear the burden of this anxiety alone. Children do not understand unemployment and soaring costs, but they feel tension in their parents. Children still, more than ever, need to feel safe, they need reassurance, and they need good nutrition for healthy growth. Domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, substance abuse, all rise when families are under financial stress. If you are able to help, please do. We can work together to address the needs of children and their families. Possibly, you have previously gone through a tough time in your life. We hope that others were there for you and your family. Now it is time to ‘Pay it Forward’ for those stuck in the hardness circle. Check out the form in this issue for one of the three ways of giving to Helping Services. I want to express appreciation for all your past giving, and “Thank you” in advance for taking time to give now. Partner with Helping Services for Northeast Iowa and help your neighbors during this difficult time.

- Carolyn Havenstrite, Board President

P.S. Thank you to the anonymous donor who recently gave a van to Helping Services. The proceeds from the sale will support the transportation needs of clients in the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center.

• It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink. • You cannot knowingly allow a person under 21 to remain in your residence or on your property while consuming or possessing alcohol. • You can face a sentence of one year in jail and/or a $1500 fine for providing alcohol to a minor or for permitting the consumption or possession of alcohol. • You can face a sentence of two years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine for providing alcohol to a minor or for permitting the consumption or possession of alcohol by an underage youth who becomes injured or injures someone else.


Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage


P.O. Box 372 s Decorah, IA 52101

Decorah, Iowa Permit No. 4


Helping Services Gives Back Each spring the staff at Helping Services takes a “Retreat Day.” In the past this has been a mix of work, play, team building, and relaxation.  This year the retreat involved three and a half hours of volunteer service for the Park and Recreation Department of the City of Decorah.  This volunteering was a way for Helping Services to acknowledge and thank the City and its employees for the support the agency receives for Holiday Lights Magical Nights. The day included yard work at Phelps Park, painting of the park fountain, and trail cleanup.   The staff also had a good noon break and meal at the Whelan Cabin and a scavenger hunt to tie the day’s experience together. Helping Services

Domestic & Sexual Abuse

Resource Center Crisis Line: 800-383-2988

A team painting the fountain at Phelps Park. Pictured from left to right is Steve Drewes, board member; and Helping Services staff: Renee Matt, Lana Underwood, Jennie Hill, and Dennis Osmundson.

6 Prevention - Spring 2009

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Spring 2009, Prevention  

A quarterly newsletter from Helping Services for Northeast Iowa

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