New Veteran Program Needs Your Support!

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We here at Quakerdale are so blessed to have The Ranch.  If you’ve ever participated in an activity here, you know what a place of happiness and healing it is.  This facility is a powerful tool to reach out to the community and spread the love of Christ through a wide variety of activities.  We are excited to announce that we are working on a new program to serve another group in our community, Veterans!

According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Office of the Actuary, Marshall County Iowa is home to 2,751-4,850 veterans.  When you add in the adjacent counties (Story, Jasper, Tama, Hardin, and Grundy), then the estimated veteran population reaches 13,006-25,900.  That is a huge number of men, women, and families that have sacrificed so much for our country.  Many of these soldiers carry the weight of service with them long after they leave military.  Wolfe Ranch is in a unique position to offer programming that will bring happiness and healing to this amazing group of individuals.

IowaVetHomeWe are currently working on plans to partner with the Iowa Veteran’s Home to offer weekly programming for its residents at The Ranch.  The initial plan is to offer this program starting in August.  Our hope is to accommodate 10-20 Veteran’s per session, where we will groom, lead, and spend time with the horses.  This is meant as a quiet time to bond with the animals and enjoy being out in the country. To operate, we estimate the program cost at $50/day, $250/week, or $1,000/month.  It is our intention to offer this program free of charge to any veterans who wish to participate.  Would you consider supporting these heroes?

Please take a moment and watch this 5 minute video:

then … MakeDiffDonateButton or text “WolfeRanchVets” to 71777


Family planning : not the usual type….

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Every three years Quakerdale enters a strategic planning process.  For us the planning has been happening for months, but the actual sessions start next month.   In these meetings our board and some staff will be talking about important topics like:

  • Mission, vision and values of Quakerdale
  • Trends in our culture
  • Things that make Quakerdale remarkable or set us apart
  • Opportunities and threats to consider
  • New ideas to start
  • Old things to end

Thinking about this caused me to think about family (strategic) planning.  Early before our marriage we had exciting planning discussions when we talked about our hopes and dreams.  We reflected on our past and talked about where we wanted to go.  We talked about things happening in our culture and what we thought about them.  We talked about who we were and what made “us” remarkable as individuals and as a team.   It was just two of us and things were much more simple… and overwhelming too!

No, we didn’t call it family strategic planning or anything like that… we were just surveying where we were and where we’d been as we embarked on this huge journey together called marriage.  Things were new.  We didn’t know each other as well as we do after 26 years of marriage.  We had big ideas, few resources and plenty of question marks!  We were talking about life together – forever.   We were being strategic and it was exciting.  The world was a wide open place and we were ready to experience it – together.

But why do so many couples fail to do what viable organizations and companies do and think like we did before we got married after we get married?  Why do we plan at the beginning and then just let life sweep us up?  Except for some major purchases like a home, job changes or major health challenges through the years couples don’t talk and plan like we did at the beginning and it certainly isn’t done in an organized disciplined way?

“Honey, lets talk about the future on June 10th… OK?  And then three years out lets plan to do it again”

I encourage you and your spouse (and you could invite the kids if you want) to take a day and consider these same questions Quakerdale planning strategically about for your marriage or family:

  • What is our family Mission, Vision and Values
    • (why do we stick together, what is important to us, how do we choose to interact within and outside our family)
  • What trends in our culture impact our family and how can we respond
    • (Post Christian culture, healthcare, technology, Sexually charged culture, economy/job availability)
  • Things, traditions, or characteristics that make our family remarkable or set us apart
    • (truth telling, hobbies, no phones during meals, individualistic, accepting, hard working, tight knit)
  • What types of opportunities and threats are we moving toward
    • (internet, social media, financial, maturing children, Older age, college debt)
  • New ideas to start
    • (Church/community involvement, go back to school, new traditions, exercise, travel, mission/service plans, eating habits, etc.)
  • Old things to end
    • (A job, feeling helpless, wasting time watching TV, spending money on ___? ___)

These questions are pertinent at all ages and phases of life.

I wonder what it would take for couples (no matter if they have 3 months, 3 years or 30 years of history together to consider doing some healthy reflection on where they are, who they are and where they want to go the next two or three years…  What if couples and families were more strategic and planned regularly?

I encourage you to be strategic as a couple and a family and see what happens!  Don’t wait for outside persons, or a crisis to sweep you up and control your future.

John Maxwell, a world recognized speaker, teacher and training leadership has a great training on intentional living.  Maxwell does personal planning each year for himself.  It is hard to grow and plan as a family if you are not growing and planning as an individual!

Next we will talk a little about action planning and how Quakerdale takes big strategic issues and begins to break them down into small steps.  If you and your spouse or your family has ever done a family planning session together we would enjoy hearing what you did and how it went.  Please share in the comments or send us an email!

The Quakerdale Team




Quakerdale Winter Classic Qualifies as a Birdies for Charity Participant

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May 10, 2016


Daniel L. Smith
Director of Development

(641) 497-5294

Quakerdale Winter Classic ProAM Qualifies as a “Birdies for Charity” Participant

2016 BFC Logo(New Providence, Iowa) – Quakerdale is pleased to announce that the 2015 Quakerdale Winter Classic Pro-AM Golf Tournament has been accepted as a qualifying 2016 Birdies for Charity program through The Principle Charity Classic. This qualifies the $16,550 raised both during and after the event for the 15% matching funds offered through Sammons Financial Group. Adding the matching funds of $2,482 brings our total to $19,032.

The Principal Charity Classic

This PGA TOUR Champions event will be held May 31 through June 5 at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa. It is presented by Wells Fargo. In 2015, The Principal Charity Classic distributed $1,402,487 of its tournament proceeds to local charities in Iowa, including: Blank Children’s Hospital, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, and United Way of Central Iowa, just to mention a few. They also helped Birdies for Charity participants raise $780,246.

Birdies for Charity

The Birdies for Charity program is a fundraising vehicle through which participating organizations solicit pledges from supporters based  on the number of birdies made by PGA TOUR Champions players during the three-day Principal Charity Classic. Participating organizations keep 100% of the pledges collected on their behalf.

Matching Funds have been added to the 2016 event. Birdies for Charity, sponsored by Sammons Financial Group, will contribute an extra 10% on all pledges made through the program. Charities that collect pledges totaling over $10,000 are eligible for a 15% match not to exceed $10,000. Matching funds will be distributed on pledges collected up to $66,667.


Don’t  miss a great opportunity!

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As a child and as a parent, dinner time was an important time to be together and it was expected for us to be there as a family.   Dad mounted a dinner bell outside the back door and whenever it rang we knew it was time to come in, wash up and set the table for dinner.   Dinner time was the time my parents used to have us practice reading aloud our children’s Bible the stories and verses we were studying we were often learning about in Sunday School.  We also closed with singing our Sunday school songs.

My favorite one had the following words:

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.


In our busy schedules today it appears families are missing this great opportunity to plan, laugh, learn, share and pray together.  So I went looking for ideas to try to encourage us eating together.    I liked the following ideas and added my own:

Have a jar in the middle of your dining table with  different conversation starters and have each kid pick one starter out of the jar each night.  Click here for some great conversation starters!

More ways to utilize a jar with questions at your dinner table!

You can change the jar contents according to different holidays for example you could do themed questions such as a Thanksgiving one related to gratitude!

You could focus on values-based choice questions by using this wheel for variety!

Click on the link below to open a PDF that you can see more clearly and print out for making a spinning wheel!

converstation starter-wheel

Here are more ideas for conversations using your jar!

  • Put Bible verses in the jar you may want to memorize as a family.
  • Share inspirational quotes
  • Riddles, jokes, and word games
  • Prayer requests to draw out and pray for specifically




You could also plan a family fun night once a month!  This expands on your meal time or it could be that your evening meal is in the back yard or on a blanket in the living room  Maybe you will like some of these ideas on this blog!  Family fun night is also enjoyable and memorable with favorite finger foods.  You might like to look at this blog to find great family game ideas!  If you have younger children these could be some great options!

Finally, it isn’t just the conversation, but the planning that goes into having a family meal.  There are schedules and grocery shopping that must be done also!  This is a nice video by the Washington Post about the planning that goes into the actual family meal.  One important point is to not be an all or nothing family.  Maybe just one or two nights a week can be a meal together!

If you have any questions or comments please share!  We’d love to hear your ideas!

The Quakerdale Team