Faye Clow was the first female president of Rotary Club and a woman who dedicated her life to helping children discover the wonders of learning and music.
Friday morning, under a clear, blue sky, the Rotary Club of Bettendorf unveiled a fitting memorial to her in the park space that bears her name.
A new educational outdoor space, Rotary Row, was dedicated at Faye’s Field, 2850 Learning Campus Drive, with a series of speeches by area luminaries, the release of multi-colored balloons and the unveiling of a row of outdoor musical instruments which were then plucked, knocked and bopped, releasing a wonderful array of sounds into the morning breeze.
Rotary Row features five permanent musical instruments, including hand drums and four aluminum chimes. The project was 18 months in the making and came to fruition with the support and assistance of the Bettendorf Park Board, the Bettendorf Public Library Foundation Board, the Family Museum Foundation Board, and Bettendorf City Council.
“With Faye’s focus on youth, the community and education, we feel this makes a perfect addition to this beautiful green space, and a great addition to the community,” said Jonna Schuler, president of the Rotary Club of Bettendorf. “It’s a great destination for families and groups of all ages.”
Schuler first had the idea for the space when she saw a similar project during a family vacation to Okoboji, Iowa. “I thought it would make a perfect addition to this space and a great addition to Faye’s legacy,” she said.
Clow, who passed away in 2011, led the Bettendorf Public Library for 30 years and was the first female president of the Bettendorf Rotary, serving from 1993 to 1994. After her passing, the Bettendorf City Council voted to name the green space near the library and Family Museum after her. The space is utilized for picnics, reading, children’s activities and outdoor concerts in the summer.
“Faye was passionate about the arts,” Schuler said, “and we believe that she would have been delighted by Rotary Row – especially the big musical instruments.”
Those attending the dedication seemed equally delighted.
“It’s wonderful, this club has been extremely philanthropic over the years and this is a terrific addition to that,” said Tom Howard, a 51-year Rotarian who was president in 1969-70. “This is a great new public space that we hope the public enjoys.”
“It’s a great day to celebrate Faye and all she gave to the community,” said Bob Gallagher, mayor of Bettendorf. “There are a lot of different organizations that have worked to help make this happen, and this is a great example of how nonprofits and cities can work together to create a great sense of place in our communities. The city of Bettendorf embraces this type of cooperation and this only serves to enhance our quality of life.”
Chartered in 1957, the Bettendorf Rotary Club has more than 100 members. For more information, visit www.bettendorfrotary.com.