The August 12th meeting of the Rotary Club of Polk County was especially interesting because members were treated to two guest speakers. Molly Patterson, an incoming Junior at Dallas Center-Grimes High School was on hand (accompanied by her proud father Craig Patterson) to share her experience at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Molly attendance at RYLA was sponsored by the Rotary Club of West Polk County and, upon hearing of Molly’s experience, we are quite certain we chose a great representative. Molly shared about the friends she made, the fun she had, and the leadership skills that she and other attendees were able to hone during the week-long event.
Our second speaker, who was invited by Rotarian Mark Watson, was non other that noted sports writer Chuck Schoffner. Chuck, who has covered sports in Iowa and around the world for more than 34 years, shared some of his most memorable encounters. His career as a sports writer allowed him to interact with many memorable coaches and athletes. From covering in state universities and colleges (including his alma mater Drake University) to rubbing elbows with world class athletes at no less than five Summer Olympic games, Chuck has seen a lot. One of the memories he shared was when he was able to cover the 1992 Summer Olympics, which featured the “Dream Team”. This was the first time the United States had allowed professional basketball players (non-amateurs) to represent them at the Olympics.
Because he was from Iowa, it was often assumed that he was the go-to guy for coverage of women’s basketball and wrestling. While he didn’t consider himself an expert in either of those sports when he began, he admitted that he became one over the course of time. In fact, in 2009, Chuck was awarded the Mel Greenberg Media Award from the Women’s College Basketball Coaches Association. Chuck shared a number of stories about well-known athlete from across Iowa and kindly fielded questions from a very interested group of attendees.
You can learn more about Chuck Schoffner’s remarkable career by visiting his website at www.schoffner.com. We would like to publicly thank both Molly and Chuck for spending some time with the Rotary Club of West Polk County and sharing your experiences.