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The Week in Social 5/17 - 5/21

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

The state has a brand-new hockey team — the Iowa Heartlanders. The team, a part of the ECHL, revealed its logo and nickname last Thursday, a white-tailed deer which represents the essence of what Iowans are — “strong, determined and full of spirit.” The team’s secondary logo is Iowa’s state flower, the wild prairie rose, which symbolizes the “magnificent riches and traditions of our home.” The Heartlanders’ season begins on October 22 at Coralville’s Xtream Arena. Get your tickets here.

Want to help your community win a custom mural created by Iowa artist Ben Schuh? Here are the details: The #IowansUnite Community Pride Contest is inviting Iowa communities to submit creative and inspirational videos that showcase their small businesses and how the community supports them.

Small businesses provide more than just goods and services — they’re the fabric of Iowa’s communities. This contest allows communities to show just how much their local small businesses mean to them. Video submissions will be accepted until June 22 and a voting period between June 23-30 will ensue. The video with the most votes will receive the custom mural welcoming visitors to their shopping district or downtown area!

Undergoing treatment for cancer is scary for any individual but can be particularly difficult for children. One former University of Iowa medical student helped ease the fears of nearly 70 child cancer patients by creating custom radiology masks, a colorful and creative way to make kids more comfortable as they underwent radiation treatment.

Weiren Liu, who double majored in biology and art during undergrad, provided his skills to create the custom masks, which were designed with input based upon the child’s interests. After Liu’s recent graduation, he gifted a Hawkeye-themed mask to the Radiation Oncology department, dubbed “Super Herky.”

The Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled helps more than 6,000 patrons who are blind, have low vision, or reading disabilities. Recently, the library took home one of the nation’s top honors.

Thanks to its an expansion in outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic, the library was named the 2020-2021 Regional Library of the Year by The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress. The award includes a $1,000 prize and a commemorative plaque, as well as a virtual ceremony, and eventually an invitation to the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Are you an avid reader? If so, you may be familiar with the works of Iowa authors Nickolas Butler, Randy Ribay and Remy Lai. The Iowa Center for the Book is hosting nine virtual visits with these three authors from May until the end of the year. The webinars are open to the public and will feature discussions about the books and an opportunity to ask the Iowa authors questions.

“This is the first time we have been able to offer this many author visits so widely accessible to the public,” said Nancy Medema, coordinator of the Iowa Center for the Book. “We are looking forward to welcoming the authors and celebrating the way reading and discussing a book can unite us and provide a sense of community, which is what All Iowa Reads is about.”

Learn more about the upcoming virtual visits with Iowa authors.

Published May 25, 2021

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