By Lori Leonard
Local, regional and national media turned out for the IowaFRW press conference held prior to the Diamond Anniversary celebration in Sioux City on Aug. 15. With the Siouxland TV and radio stations, the Sioux City Journal daily newspaper, TIME magazine and various area media all covering the event, the IowaFRW gained exposure and heightened credibility.
Not only did the media cover the press conference, they clamored for time with keynote speaker J.C. Watts, Sen. Charles Grassley, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Congressman Steve King, U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann and our own IowaFRW president, Kim Reem, in addition to the various other elected officials and candidates in attendance. KTIV and KCAU television stations each did live spots during the VIP Reception as well. Lt. Gov. Reynolds told KTIV-TV the list of attendees was like a “Who’s Who of the state Republican party!”
As if having J.C. Watts, Sen. Charles Grassley, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Congressman Steve King, U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, Auditor Mary Mosiman, District 2 Congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Attorney General candidate Adam Gregg, Treasurer candidate Sam Clovis, RPI Chair Jeff Kaufmann, a host of area state senators and representatives, and our oldest and wisest living former IowaFRW president in the house wasn’t enough excitement, we added a live auction to the line-up. Thanks a million (or at least a couple thousand!) to: our generous donors of 11 highly sought-after items; our bidders and their impeccable taste; and our auctioneer, Mark Leonard from Holstein, who was committed to the cause and did a superb job of crying the sale for us. We had nine lots on the block, plus an additional two surprise lots to help sweeten the pot. The high-selling lot was donated by Sen. and Mrs. Charles Grassley and consisted of a flag that flew over the Capitol on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, plus a flag to be flown on the date of the winner’s choosing. Dave and Donella Bierman purchased this lot for $525. Following is a list of the items auctioned:
Lot 1 – Laura Bush book, “Spoken From the Heart,” donated by Lori Leonard with personalized book plate donated by the Office of George W. Bush – purchased by Sheryl Leonard for $110.
Lot 2 – 2005 Tarini Cabernet Sauvignon donated by former RPI Chair Ray Hoffman – purchased by Rep. Jason Schultz for $95.
Lot 3 – The newly released, limited-edition IowaFRW Convertible Wrap, donated by the IowaFRW and purchased by Susie Weinacht for $50.
Lot 4 – Framed print of the Iowa Capitol and wooden coasters donated by Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, who made the frame from birch wood reclaimed during a restoration projection at the Iowa Capitol. Purchased by Kim Reem for $240.
Lot 5 – Limited edition table cloth donated by the NFRW and designed exclusively for First Lady Laura Bush. Purchased by Donella Bierman for $160.
Lot 6 –American flags from the Grassleys purchased by Dave Bierman for $525. Dave says he’ll have the flag flown on Valentine’s Day 2015, which marks his and Donella’s anniversary.
Lot 7 – “The Congressional Club Cookbook” donated by Barbara Grassley and purchased by Carrie Almond for $260.
Lot 8 – The “Our Time to Shine Diamond Anniversary” necklace donated by Billee Leonard Madsen. The hand-crafted Designs by Billee necklace, the same jewelry designer who created the lieutenant governor’s elephant necklace, was purchased by Mary Ellen Miller for $400.
Lot 9 – The limited-edition, No. 1 red, white and gray Infinity Scarf was purchased by Susie Weinacht for $410. This scarf is the same one worn by Sarah Palin, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and Sen. Joni Ernst and we saved the best one for last!
Lot 10 – The “American as Apple Pie” Apple Pie, unofficially donated by Lt. Gov. Reynolds, was purchased by Arlan Ecklund for $200.
Lot 11 – Republican convention souvenir plate donated by Iris Morrison, purchased by Cody Hoefert for $50.