Heart of Iowa Chapter
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Meet our Chapter Leaders
|I am the proud mother of my son, Derek, who lives in Minneapolis. I work as a chief financial officer for a local company. When I'm not busy at work, I can be found spending time with family, reading, gardening, duplicate stitching and crocheting.
I have been involved with the Heart of Iowa Chapter since its inception over 22 years ago. Ben Kiefer and I started the group out of frustration at not being able to get good answers to questions about Marfan syndrome. I also wanted to develop relationships with others facing similar issues.
As president, I help make the Chapter a viable group that physicians, lay people and those affected by Marfan syndrome can reach out to and receive positive support, education and fellowship.
|Kari and her husband, Marty, are the proud parents of Adam and Haley. She works out of her home as a freelance writer, in addition to working part-time at a local veterinary clinic. She enjoys spending time with her family, following her kids' activities, reading and scrapbooking.
I got involved with the Heart of Iowa Chapter nine years ago shortly after my two year old daughter was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. It was wonderful to find a group of individuals who understood what we were going through. They provided a tremendous amount of support to my family over the years. I joined the Board of Directors to give back to the group that has given me so much.
As secretary, I record the Board of Director meeting minutes and help with publicity and communications for group activities throughout the year.
I am the proud mother of my son, Chris, and doting grandma to my grandchildren. I work as an office manager at a nursing home. Outside of work, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading, flower gardening and raising cactus plants.
I first got involved with the Heart of Iowa Chapter when my nephew was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. Raising awareness of Marfan syndrome was so important to my sister (Teri Dean) that I started volunteering with the walk many years ago. My involvement just kind of grew from there.
As treasurer, I assist in setting the financial goals of the Chapter and maintaining a detailed account of the Chapter finances.
Marfan syndrome has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Over the years I have lost two brothers (Kenric, 14, and Chris, 33) to Marfan syndrome and also have a sister, one niece, and two nephews diagnosed with the disorder. My father was a widow and father of three children when he met my mother. Dad's late wife, Bonnie, died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm at age 29 in the early 70s and eventually it was determined that she had Marfan syndrome. Testing confirmed that my siblings all had Marfan syndrome.
My involvement with the Heart of Iowa Chapter has become a passion for me because I feel like I'm doing something in memory of my brothers Chris and Kenric. I love giving back through volunteering and since this organization is so near and dear to my heart, it is a great fit. If I can help raise funds to advance research or speak to medical students about Marfan syndrome, it makes me feel like I've made a difference.
Laura lives in Osceola where she stays busy selling Tastefully Simple, attending concerts, and helping her boyfriend, Tyson, with the cows.
Teri Dean, President
Stella Lane, Treasurer
Kari Dostalik, Secretary
Marsha Jones, Member at Large
Sherry Heldt, Member at Large
Laura Biggart, Member at Large
Description of the Group
Dates of Future Meetings and Events
February 15, 2012, 8pm, Chapter BOD Meeting - Conference Call (details)
April 15, 2012, 9am, Walk/Run Meeting (details)
May 19, 2012, 9am, Walk/Run Meeting (details)
June 16, 2012, 9am, Walk/Run Meeting (details)
July 27, 2012, 8:30pm, Moonlight Stroll (details)
July 28, 2012, 8am, 12th Annual Walk/Fun Run (details)
August 6, 2012, Dostalik Annual Garage Sale for Marfan syndrome (details)
October 8-9, 2012, Maze for Marfan syndrome, Ankeny, Iowa (Chapter members also volunteer at the maze throughout the month of October) (details)
September, 2012 (TBD), DTBD - Drink for a Cure, Mini Medical Symposium, Presentation to Des Moines University
Spring, 2013 (TBD), Presentation to University of Iowa
The Chapter Social at the Cornmaze took place on Sept. 17, 2011.
The was a Chapter Board of Directors Meeting on December 7, 2011.
Maze for Marfan is another event that we participate in every year. This terrific fundraiser doesn't require us to ask for money from our family and friends. Instead, all we ask is for people to volunteer to work a shift at the maze in October. In turn, our Chapter receives an hourly wage donation for each volunteer's hour worked. In addition, on the Maze for Marfan weekend, we receive a dollar per admission. This is a phenomenal way to raise funds that does not come out of our own pocket. We generally help the last weekend in September and every weekend in October. Check your calendar to see if you can spare some time to help. This year, we will conduct our annual chapter meeting at the corn maze in mid-September. Check the webpage for the exact date. Our social event held last year at the corn maze was awesome. All who participated had a wonderful time. It was great to get together and just "be friends".
Drink for a Cure held January 29, 2011 was a wonderful time for all. The staff at Overtime (especially owner Kim Cobb) helped us create the type of event we have been working so hard to achieve. In addition, the night manager at Overtime thanked us for doing an event such as this because she has a connective tissue disorder. She appreciated the fact that we were trying to reach a new audience to raise awareness while having a little fun. When a few of us went into the main restaurant area to invite a patron to participate in our silent auction, Teri Dean had the pleasure of meeting a young Drake University student who was very knowledgeable about Marfan syndrome because he had been tested. This event has never been about drinking. It's more of a social event that reaches an entirely different group of people than our other events, enabling us to raise awareness and funds for Marfan syndrome. We need all the avenues of diversity we can get. Our normal pool of people who can donate or wish to donate gets stretched a little thin with all the events we try to do. Check the webpage for announcements of the event next year. Marty Dostalik (husband fo Chapter secretary Kari) has agreed to take over as chair of this event and I know he will add some "flavor" to an already great evening. Looking forward to seeing you next year!
Board of Directors Openings (Please Consider Volunteering to Serve)
In October 2012, there are five members coming off the Board (including President Teri Dean), as directed by our bylaws. The Board is looking at making a slight adjustment to that, as we have seven board members and having five roll off just doesn't feel appropriate or fair to the new Board. We will be having this discussion at our BOD meeting on July 30, 2011 after the walk/fun run. Our hope at that time is that one of the current members will agree to step up and be President starting in 2011, and then stay on for a few years until we get the terms a little better spread out. It is time for new ideas and blood at the helm. There is a good base of activities going on but there could be so much more added. New ideas, suggestions and leadership are needed. The responsibilities are truly not so time consuming. We have four meetings a year -- two by conference call (in January and early spring) and two in person (coinciding with the walk/fun run in July and the corn maze in October). Generally, the meetings are done in one to two hours depending on participation and items that need to be discussed. Location is not an issue. E-mail and conference calls make it much easier to get together and have meaningful discussions, make decisions and share. President, Secretary and Treasurer positions are rolling off, as well as two member at large positions.
Again, we will work on not having all of them roll off at the same time. We need you to get involved now so the momentum is not lost. Young people -- we need you! Don't think you can't be huge contributors to this Chapter. The future of the Chapter lies with you. We can either move forward with your direction or wither and die if you choose not to get involved. It would break our hearts to see that happen. So much can be accomplished if we all pull together. Everyone in the state deserves to have a voice in the Chapter and to have a stronger voice with National which the Chapter provides.
Please look in your hearts and see if there isn't time to contribute to this group. By-Laws limit your term so it's not a never-ending commitment. Come join the group and help us take the chapter to the next level. Nothing would make us happier!
"Volunteers are unpaid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless." - Anonymous