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RaySociety Events and Social Schedule

August 29, 2008
Events and Social Schedule

Fall 2008

Wednesday, Sept. 10 - Blank Park Zoo and Lunch – 11 a.m.

The RaySociety will meet at the admission gate of the Blank Park Zoo at 11 a.m.  The tour begins with a fun sea lion demonstration followed by lunch – a buffet consisting of pasta, salad, bread and chocolate chip cookies.  After lunch, we will visit the seahorse exhibit which is temporarily on loan to the zoo. We’ll then move on to learn about the bald eagle rehabilitation program. We hope to meet the newest member of the Blank Park Zoo, “Mkuu”, (pronounced ‘em-COO-you’ in Swahili meaning ‘chief’), a male reticulated giraffe. You are invited to linger after the tour and explore the zoo on your own.  The cost of this event is $15 per person which covers the cost of admission and food. There is a maximum of 40 for this tour. Directions to the zoo, located at 7401 SW 9th Street in Des Moines, can be found on the Blank Park Zoo Web site,  Please RSVP to Rena Wilson at 515-271-2120 or by e-mail at Payment in advance is preferred but because our timeline is short, payment will also be accepted at the zoo the morning of our visit.  Exact change would be much appreciated!

Saturday, Sept. 13 – RaySociety Tailgate, 4:30 p.m., and Drake Football Game

Put on your ol’ Drake Blue and join us as we gather for a pre-game tailgate in the Paul Morrison Room (ground floor of the Knapp Center) at 4:30 pm. The menu will include brats, burgers, beans and slaw. Cookies too! Water and assorted sodas will be provided. After tailgating, we’ll head over to the Drake stadium to cheer on our beloved Bulldog football team, under the direction of their new coach Chris Creighton, as they take on William Penn at 6:00 pm. We extend our gratitude to Drake Athletics for giving us free football tickets! The cost for the tailgate is $10.00 per person.  Please RSVP to Rena Wilson at 515-271-2120 or by e-mail to Payment in advance is preferred but, again, because our timeline is short, payment will also be accepted at the tailgate. Exact change would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, Sept. 23 - Drake University Stalnaker Lecture - 7 p.m.

Dennis J. Goldford, professor of politics, will present the 24th annual Stalnaker Lecture at 7 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium. His lecture is titled, “One Nation Under God?  Law, Politics and Religion in America.” A reception will follow upstairs in Levitt Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, Oct. 5 - Bucksbaum Lecture - 7:30 pm

Please join us in the Drake Knapp Center for an evening with retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering. During his career, Pickering served as U.S. ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, Russia as well as the United Nations. He is actively serving on many committees and advisory boards. We look forward to hearing his stories, insights and opinions. This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, Oct. 21 - Gold Star Museum – 10 a.m. (Group 1) or 1 p.m. (Group 2)

Join us for a free, guided tour of the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, located at 7105 N.W. 70th Ave. in Johnston.  The museum honors and depicts the military experience of Iowa citizens in all wars, homeland defense and Iowa service. You won’t want to miss this patriotic opportunity to hear the story

of Iowa’s military past from statehood to the present. AND… you won’t want to forget your photo ID!!  Given increased security, all participants will be required to show a photo ID upon entering Camp Dodge. Note that the Beaver Drive gate (near the tank park) has been closed. You will need to enter through the main gate.  (As you travel north on Merle Hay Road, turn left (west) onto N.W. 70th, then turn right into the Camp Dodge Main Gate. Note that both the morning (10 a.m.) and afternoon (1 p.m.) sessions are limited to 25 people each. The guided tour is estimated to take 90 minutes. Please RSVP to Rena Wilson at 515-271-2120 or by e-mail at if you are interested in attending.

Thursday, Nov. 20 - History Hunters Historical Museum Vault Tours at State Historical Museum - 10 a.m. (Group 1) - Optional Lunch - 1 p.m. (Group 2)

This hour-long, behind-the-scenes walking tour explores the museum’s “vault”, an underground climate-controlled preservation center that is home to more than 100,000 artifacts. Guided by museum curators, this entertaining and educational presentation explores the artifacts, the stories they hold about Iowa’s rich history, and how the museum collects, catalogs, preserves, studies, cares for, and displays them.
The cost of this tour is $12 per person, payable in advance to the RaySociety office. An optional lunch of pasta, salad, bread and chocolate cookies is available for an additional $12.50 (Total $24.50). Tour participants from both the morning and afternoon groups can “mix and mingle” during the lunch (in classroom B). The guided tours (both morning and afternoon) are limited to 20 persons each. The State Historical Building is located at 600 E. Locust St. in Des Moines. Free parking is available north of the building in a ramp on Grand Avenue. Metered parking is also an option on the streets surrounding the building. Please RSVP to Rena Wilson at 515-271-2120 or by e-mail at if you’d like to participate. Payment in advance is appreciated as we need to guarantee tour numbers and food counts prior to the event.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 - Christmas at Salisbury House - 10:30 a.m.

Discover the holiday charm of this treasured Des Moines mansion as we take a guided tour through the impressive, decorated rooms. See the majestic Great Hall, take in the art-filled Common Room, the elegant dining room, the classic library and some new rooms now open to the public (including the bedrooms of the sons of Carl and Edith Weeks).  We will meet at 10:30 am at 4025 Tonawanda Drive in Des Moines. The cost of this tour is $5 per person, payable in advance to the RaySociety. Please RSVP to Rena Wilson at 515-271-2120 or by e-mail at if you’d like to sign up!

Something else you might enjoy…

The Terrace Hill Society is pleased to present singer/actor John Zickefoose in TIN-PAN-THOLOGY,
a collection of songs from music halls and drawing rooms at the turn of the (last) century. Each performance is followed by a short reception.  Musical direction and piano accompaniment will be provided by Bruce Martin (leader of our own Great Book Discussion Group!)
Proceeds from the show will aid the Society's much-needed renovations to the Terrace Hill kitchen. The performances will be given in Terrace Hill's Drawing Room. Guests will convene at the Carriage House, from which they will be escorted to the house. Show times are as follows: Sunday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as well as Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person. For reservations, please call the Terrace Hill Society at 515-242-6317 (reservations are required).