Ely Community Food Drive


Facebook Event Page Here

“The members of St. John Lutheran Church and the City of Ely invite you to participate in the Ely Community Food Drive. Particularly in these times, area food pantries need our help. Monetary donations can be extremely helpful or we would be grateful for any of the following items:

• Financial donations (see below)
• Canned foods of any kind (meats, fruit, beans, soup, veggies)
• Pastas and rice
• Toilet Paper
• Paper Towels
• Feminine hygiene products
• Toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner)
• Any other non-perishable food items (boxed meals, hamburger helper, etc.)

Church members will be distributing paper bags throughout town this Sunday. If you would like to donate, please leave the bag with your donation from the above items outside your front door next Saturday, May 16. They will pick up bags beginning at 9:30 am. If your bag is not picked up by 1:30 pm on May 16, please call 319-361-3061 to arrange for pick-up.

For financial donations, checks should be made payable directly to the Food Bank of your choice. Many of the food banks also have an option to donate online if you prefer. Checks can be dropped off in the drop box outside City Hall or the Ely Library book return slot anytime between May 10 and May 16. These will be collected and sent to the appropriate agency. Food Pantries supported by the Ely Community Food Drive Below:

North Liberty Community Pantry
89 North Jones Blvd
North Liberty, IA 52317

Mission of Hope
1700 B Ave NE, Suite 101
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Olivet Neighborhood Mission
230 10th Street NW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

Solon Community Food Pantry
122 N West St. Solon, IA 52333

Linn Community Food Bank
310 5th St SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
(319) 364-3543

Freedom Foundation (currently closed)
Specifically supports veterans
609 Center Point Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

If you have any questions about the Ely Community Food Drive, please contact the church at 319-848-4510 or pastorstjohnely@southslope.net”

To download the Food Drive letter from the Church, click here.

Updates to 2nd Quarter Expression 2020


NOTICE: The 2nd Quarter Ely Expression that was mailed to all residents this week has a few updates that we would like to clarify. This publication is produced weeks prior to being printed and mailed as it covers a 3 months span of time into the future. Because of this, cancelations to events have occurred due to COVID-19 and a few items have been updated regarding City services.

1. The Earth Day Park & Roadside Clean Up event has been cancelled (April 25)

2. The Plant Swap event has been cancelled (April 25)

3. City-wide Garage Sales are postponed (May 2)

4. The Fishing Event at City Park has been postponed to August 2 (May 3)

5. Ely Spring Clean up Day has been cancelled (May 16)

6. Limb Chipping will now take place on Tuesday mornings rather than Monday mornings. This announcement was made several weeks ago; however the Ely Expression was printed in March stating Monday’s.

We apologize about any confusion this may cause.


Ely Snowman Contest


We had 27 fantastic snowmen submissions from this past weekend! ALL of the snowmen and women were so great that we couldn’t choose our favorites so we decided to put everyone into a bucket and had staff choose out three winners. Congratulations to those who won and THANK YOU to everyone who participated, it was great to see so many families outside having a fun time working together! #beEly #beHome

Thank you to everyone who participated in the snowman building contest over the weekend. The prizes were made possible because two of our wonderful local businesses offered to donate gift cards to the contest, thank you to Odie’s Bar & Grill and My Mom’s Bakery for supporting your Community! As a recap, our lucky winners are:

– Finnley & Ally
– Mike, Bryce and Miley Murtagh
– Sydney & Chase Nelson and Henry & Luke Edwards

2020 Ely Citizen of the Year


Jim Miller Ely Citizen of the Year

After reviewing many wonderful submissions, the Selection Committee has named Cheryl Krob the 2020 Ely Citizen of the Year! Volunteers are truly the heart and sole of every Community, which is why we are unbelievably lucky to have someone like Cheryl Krob spend her life helping make Ely a better place for us all to call home. After reading Cheryl’s nomination letter, it’s easy to see why:


“Cheryl Krob is a quiet, honest, hardworking and well deserving person. If you would ask her family and close friends, they would know of her quiet dedication to our community and to her church. She has given selflessly of herself and her time for many years to Ely, in many different aspects. With many in our community not knowing her and what she has done for the city or the residents. But that is how Cheryl is; she is happy knowing what she has contributed without recognition or accolades. Our library would not be where it is today without the countless hours Cheryl spent getting the library established and having it grow into the building that it currently occupies. Cheryl is one of the founding members of the Ely Public Library, along with Gladys C. Holets. The library’s humble beginnings started with donated books and materials, shelving and furnishings, as well as countless hours of volunteer time. The library was originally housed in Ely Community Center, in the small room where the Deputy Clerk’s office is currently located. Cheryl lovingly devoted her time as the first and only volunteer librarian at the time. As the library continued to grow with more and more community support, it then moved to where the current council chambers are. She organized the summer event programs when the library was in the Community Center. Those programs included ordering films and playing them on a film projector once a week. At that time the library was open limited hours on certain days. Cheryl organized the fund raising, cut box tops and counted the money raised to purchase the library’s first computer, which was an Apple 2GS. Without her key involvement at the beginning stages of our library’s existence, the library we have today would look completely different than it does. When the new fire station was being built, Cheryl was instrumental in acquiring, fundraising and planning/remodeling the fire station to the current library on Dows Street. The community celebrated their new large library, knowing and hoping that someday this space would be too small. Once Cheryl relinquished her role as volunteer librarian, she continued to serve the community as a Library Board member for many, many years. Cheryl now serves as the Treasurer for the Ely Iowa, Friends of the Public Library. Our little city library has definitely grown over the years, but Cheryl has stayed involved in many ways and is active through events held at the library as well as Friends of the Library fundraising and other community building events. Cheryl’s passion and dedication continue to influence the library as the staff look to her for visionary support and guidance. The one-woman volunteer operation that she started has grown to a paid staff of 2 full time librarians and 4 support staff. Cheryl assists with Ely Senior Dining as needed, taking time to cook, serve and deliver food as well as doing the dishes! She was also way ahead of her time, as being instrumental in starting the city’s first recycling initiative, by coordinating a drop off center near the Community Center. Donations of plastics and recyclable materials were dropped off at the shed, where she would then take the items into Cedar Rapids to be recycled. She is also involved with St Mary’s Catholic Church in Solon, where her husband David is a Deacon. Cheryl helps with various church service projects with St. Mary’s. Cheryl and her husband David have been residents of Ely since 1974, with David being one of the owners/operators of Krob Elevators. Cheryl and David raised 5 children, 3 boys & 2 girls in Ely. Cheryl worked at College Community School District in the library at Prairie Heights, retiring in 2012, but still volunteers there weekly. Her dedication to education and our community goes deep and reaches many. We are fortunate that libraries are near and dear to Cheryl, because ours would not be what it is today without her. Many residents have no idea of the small beginning of our library, they just think it has always been where it is. It would not be the vibrant, growing, prominent, and ahead of its time library that it is today, without Cheryl’s involvement and continued influence. We believe Cheryl is very deserving of the Citizen of the Year award because of her behind the scenes dedication to our town, to our children and their future.”

Congratulations Cheryl, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our community!

2019 Winterfest Recap


2019 Ely Winterfest

Winterfest was started as a way to celebrate the Holidays with the Ely Businesses. Winter is often a time where people go into hibernation, but this event provides a family friendly opportunity for people to get out of the house for a day regardless of the weather and enjoy everything that our small town of Ely has to offer. This end of the year celebration is thrown by the Downtown Businesses. It is their way of giving back to the Community and saying ‘Thank You’ to all of those who patronize their stores throughout the year. The day may have been chilly, but it was filled with laughter and warm smiles. Winterfest kicked off with the annual 5k Fun Run, which is always a big Holiday hit! Hundreds of people enjoyed a day filled with horse drawn carriage rides, a busy vendor fair, cookie decorating, hot cocoa bar and last but not least, a visit from the Ice Princesses AND Santa!

Our local businesses would like to extend their sincerest appreciation to all those who came out to celebrate and would also like to thank the amazing volunteers! On behalf of the City and all of our residents, we would like to thank all of those who worked so hard to make this event so magical! Until next year, Happy Holidays!