We’re falling into fall, and looking at some of the good news and positive things going on around the Quad-Cities, as we HAVE DONE (foreshadowing there) every month in What’s The Good News, Quad-Cities? Every month around this time, we’ve dropped this column on QuadCities.com and I appear on our media partner show, “Paula Sands Live” on KWQC-TV6 to give you a rundown of some of the cool things going on in and around the area. It’s all good news, all the time.

AND… because this has been such a popular feature since it debuted three years ago, we’ve decided to give you EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS! That’s right, What’s The Good News? is now going to be BI-WEEKLY! So, every other week, we’ll be giving you a rundown of some of the POSITIVE news going on in and around the Quad-Cities!

So, what is the good news this time around? Find out…

Looking For A Few Good Pumpkins…

We at QuadCities.com are looking to post pictures of your pumpkin carvings!

Send us your pumpkin carving pics! #quadcitiespumpkins

Whether it’s something simple or elaborate, whether they’re pictures of your artistic designs or pictures of your kids with their pumpkin creations or you helping them carve them, we want to share them for smiles and to celebrate the Halloween season on QuadCities.com!

So, feel free to send us your pictures at Sean@QuadCities.com, and make sure to hashtag your posts #quadcitiesusa and #quadcitiespumpkins!

Pete The Bull Helping to Prevent Bullying

October is National Bully Prevention Month, and Pete the Purple Bull and the City of Riverdale, Iowa together will host Pete’s 5K Humane Race to support bully prevention programs in QC schools this Saturday Oct 10 from 9 – 11 a.m.

The race will be offered two ways:

Join the virtual race for charity with Pete the Bull this weekend!

1) Real-time with CDC Covid recommendations followed

2) Virtually, to allow runners/walkers more flexibility.

Virtual entries can pick their own time and place to run their 5k race between 10/1 and 10/23/20. The in-person race will take place.on Saturday, October 10th, 2020, 9am, at Riverdale City Hall. The event is sponsored by Arconic’s HABLO group and Royal Neighbors Chapter 20046. Each participant who registers online by Oct 4th gets a custom-made t-shirt, a special neck scarf and other goodies. The live-event participants have a chance to win a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place medal for males and females. All participants, once they submit their race times and a picture to Pete the Purple Bull. will be entered for a chance to win $100. The drawing will take place October 24th, 2020. For more information, email: qcunited1@gmail.com.

Register here: https://www.cognitoforms.com/QCUnited1/Petes20205KHumaneRaceInpersonVirtual

Putnam Hosting Mad Scientists Ball For Little Scientists

In its major annual fundraiser, the Putnam Museum and Science Center, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, will hold a virtual Mad Scientist Ball starting at 6 p.m., Oct. 17, on Zoom. Reservations are due this Friday, Oct. 9.

Calandrelli’s series, “Emily’s Wonder Lab,” is on Netflix.

The event – originally planned to be held in person – will help the Putnam to raise necessary funds for the support of programs, services and collections such as summer camps, rotating and permanent exhibits, and virtual learning.

This virtual event includes an interactive science experiment, instruction from a local mixologist on crafting a signature cocktail, as well as a Q&A session from MIT aerospace engineer and Emmy-nominated TV host, Emily Calandrelli.

“The hope was to do it in person, but then obviously, Covid happened and we made the decision in June to just go virtual,” Nisha Ladlee, the Putnam’s vice president of development, said recently.

Calandrelli was not yet secured for the benefit when they made that decision. “She was excited that she could volunteer her services to help us out, given this is a new way of doing things,” Ladlee said.

“I think it’s exciting she has her Netflix show; it’s new, so it’s a really good opportunity to add in that other element of experiments and families being able to go and watch that with their kids and try things like that,” she said.

Emily Calandrelli. “The Space Gal,” is a popular guest speaker.

“She’s a perfect fit for the Putnam,” Ladlee said, noting the organization’s focus on STEM (science-technology, engineering and math) and encouraging girls to pursue STEM-related careers.

According to Calandrelli’s website, thespacegal.com:

“Emily is wildly passionate about space exploration. Through her show, she wants to prove that the space industry is more exciting today than ever before in history. As the host, Emily works to explain science-related topics in an easily digestible, and entertaining, way.

“Increasing the level of scientific literacy among the general public is also something Emily cares deeply about. She believes that everyone, despite their educational background, can understand scientific topics. Emily hopes to convince more people of this and foster a higher level of scientific literacy in society through various projects and speaking engagements.”

WIU Wins For Maskup Campaign

The #MaskUp campaign by the Western Illinois University Department of Communication Social Media Lab has been honored for outstanding volunteerism by the McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee.

The award was presented to WIU Associate Professor of Communication Josh Averbeck on campus.

Averbeck worked with students in the Social Media Lab on a campaign to encourage the University communities in Macomb and the Quad Cities to wear protective masks during the pandemic.

“I’m proud of the work we did,” said Averbeck. “Our posts were seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Helping our community is a central part of the social media lab’s mission.”

The McDonough County Quality of Life Advisory Committee sought nominations and chose local residents and organizations who have contributed to improving the safety and quality of life in the county.

Using the hashtags #maskupmacomb #maskupwiu and #maskupqc, Averbeck worked with students Josh Brennan, a senior communication major, of Davenport, IA, and Elizabeth Lutz, a senior communication major, of California, MO. Brennan joined the team this summer and manages the lab’s Twitter account. Both students have been promoting the hashtags on social media, as well posts by local agencies and organizations, which encourage the use of masks.

Birdhouse Project Flies In

Over 200 decorated birdhouses will be on display at the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, from Oct. 2 to 11, along with the Living Proof art exhibit.

“They are up a short time because we want to get them out to bring hope and joy to Quad Citizens touched by cancer,” Pamela Crouch, executive director of Living Proof Exhibit (LPE), said Thursday.

A wide variety of people, ages 2 to 82, participated in the “Make Hope Soar” project, including in and around the Quad-Cities, plus from Kentucky, Texas, and California, she said.

LPE provides free programs that celebrate the therapeutic benefits of the arts for cancer patients, survivors, family members and caregivers. The Moline-based nonprofit is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and recently opened a new exhibit of art by cancer survivors at the Figge (225 W. 2nd St.).

Chili Cook Off For Charity

All Quad Cities Chili Masters are invited to show off their skills while raising money for the RWK Foundation at the Big Swing’s Bring the Heat Chili Cook Off, noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at Big Swing Brewing Company, 113 18th St., Rock Island.

A small participation fee earns you a spot and all sorts of freebies! Your donation to the RWK Foundation includes the opportunity to be a Taster, A Chili Connoisseur if you may. This role also earns all sorts of freebies! Enjoy grilled hot dogs for the perfect chili dog, live music, vendors, door prizes, a raffle and treats for all ages.

Lead(her) Announces Girl On Fire Winners

In a virtual 4th birthday celebration, Tuesday, Sept. 29, Lead(h)er shared stories from across its 300-plus matches of female mentors and mentees, highlighted successes, and announced the 2020 Girl on Fire Award winners.

Cara Joiner, 2020 Mentor of the Year.

The awards honor Mentor of the Year and Mentee of the Year — amazing women nominated by their peers who show exceptional commitment. Lead(h)er offers free mentorship to young professionals, free networking, guest speakers and professional development, as well as an inspirational spark to serve their community.

All day Tuesday, on the organization’s Facebook page, they celebrated everyday successes. “That’s what Lead(h)er does really well,” executive director Megan Hasselroth said from The Empowerment Center in downtown Davenport. “We celebrate women and their own individual goals.”

“All of our Lead(h)er ladies are impressive in their own way, but the Girl on Fire Awards highlight two women who live and lead the Lead(h)er mission in all aspects of their lives,” Hasselroth said.

Mentor of the Year is Cara Joiner, a home care consultant at Home Instead Senior Care Quad Cities. Her first mentee, Lilie Johnson, was last year’s Mentee of the Year.

“I’m so humbled by this opportunity,” Joiner said, noting she initially didn’t feel qualified to be a mentor; she was new in her industry. “How could I help somebody else?”

“You don’t know who you impact and how, as long as you do it,” she said. Of Johnson, Joiner said she was very impressed with her personal and professional growth. “I’m so honored to still have her love and support today, we have more than a mentorship – we have a friendship.”

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.