Mini of the Month Calendar

Every year since 2006 owners have submitted photos for inclusion in an annual Mini of the Month calendar. If you would like to submit a photo for 2021, or just want to buy the finished calendar, here is the latest information from John and the folks who take care of this project.

Well, it’s September and time is running short to submit your MINI or Classic Mini photo entries to be included in the voting to select the photos for the 2021 Mini of the Month calendar.  For those of you who have already submitted photos, thank you. For everyone else, I look forward to seeing all your MINI and Classic Mini photos soon. Voting to select the photos to be published in the 2021 MINI of the Month Calendar(s) will occur in late September/early October which will be here before you know it so don’t delay.

Calendar photos for 2021 must be submitted by September 20, 2020.

In my last email I mentioned that Lulu.com, the publisher of our calendars, has completely overhauled their website and that the new calendar creation tool was not yet available. I have recently received an email from Lulu indicating the new and completely revised calendar tool will be available in late September. This fits our schedule pretty well as long as Lulu delivers the tool on time and there are no glitches in the new release. For those of you who want to know the reason for this change, the previous versions of the calendar tool used Adobe Flash which will no longer be supported by Adobe after the end of 2020.

I encourage all participants to visit the MINI of the Month website for full details. MINIoftheMonthCalendar.com

Please review the photo guidelines, schedule and samples of some of the previous winning photos on the website. We have quite a few photos submitted every year that do not meet the minimum requirements for format, resolution or quality. Here are some key points to make sure your photos are of sufficient quality to be used in the calendar:

  • Photos must be high resolution to be sharp and clear when enlarged and printed on the final calendar – at least 3 megapixels, if possible. More is better.
  • Photos must be in landscape (horizontal) format (width is the largest dimension).
  • Most photos will have to be cropped to fit the 8½” x 11” format of the printed calendar. Many cell phones now make photos with very wide aspect ratio. Compose your photos so they can be cropped without losing important picture elements.
  • By submitting photo(s), you are giving permission for your photo to be published in the calendar. If you submit a photo taken by someone else, you must provide a statement indicating that you have the photographer’s permission for the photo to be published.
  • Photos entered in previous years may be resubmitted for 2021 as long as they have not been previously published in a MINI of the Month Calendar.

All the details are on the website. You can also keep up to date with the latest calendar information by visiting the MINI of the Month Calendar Facebook page: facebook.com/MINIoftheMonthCalendar

For each submitted photo, please include a descriptive caption (100 characters or less) and the first initial and last name of the photographer and/or person submitting the photo. Captions should contain information about the subject, event and/or location where the photo was taken along with any other interesting information. Please keep this in mind. If I have to track down winners to get caption information after the voting is over, it just slows down the preparation of the calendars.

Also, if you know of MINI events you would like included in the calendar, please send the date, location and name of the event. This is especially important for non-US participants since I do not have access to most non-US MINI events. Most major US MINI events are included in the calendar, but some events have not finalized their dates before the calendar is completed. Non-US participants can also send dates of important holidays in your part of the world if you would like them included in the calendar. We now have quite a few participants from several other countries. I would like to include significant dates, events and holidays for all MINI of the Month participants.

The worldwide pandemic caused many of this year’s planned events to be cancelled or rescheduled. It is possible that some 2021 events could also be disrupted by the ongoing pandemic. We’ll include event dates as we know them, but the calendar is finalized in October and we have no guarantees that events will take place as scheduled once we get into 2021.

Photos, comments or questions can be submitted to: MINIoftheMonth@gmail.com

If you send links to your photos stored on a photo sharing website, please make sure that the original full resolution photos can be downloaded. Many of these sites only save much smaller, lower resolution photos to download.

2021 MINI of the Month Calendar schedule:

September 20, 2020 – Deadline for submission of photos

September 25, 2020 – Start of voting to select winners

October 18, 2020 – Voting closes

October 23, 2020 – Winners announced

November 6, 2020 – 2021 calendars available for purchase

8th Annual Photo Scavenger Hunt

Saturday April 25 2 – 5 PM
MINI of Des Moines
9900 Hickman

Jeremy, once again, has volunteered to host our yearly photo scavenger hunt.

The details of the hunt are kept under wraps until that day. Jeremy is thinking we could do this as a ‘never have to get out of your car’ event. We could dust the cobwebs off our walkies and use those! Or some other form of technology….

We’ll gather in the service drive behind MINI of Des Moines at 1:45 pm for the “No Contact” drivers meeting and proceed from there. Laura promises an awesome prize for the winner!

Remember to keep your distance, wear your mask and be very mindful of others. Stay safe MINIacs and here’s hoping to see you all for our first event of 2020!!

First Membership Meeting of 2020

Sunday January 19
1:00 PM
Tavern II Pizza – Pasta – Grill
1755 50th Street (Across from Lowe’s)

West Des Moines

Our first meeting of 2020 is an important one as we will be determining our Board of Directors for the 2020 season. Five of the current board members have offered to stay on the board in 2020, if the members so vote. That leaves us one opening to fill. If you are interested in helping direct the club this year you can contact a current board member to find out more or just come to the meeting and express your interest.

We also need someone to step in and lead the club next year. Someone to take charge in planning & leading the board/general meetings and events, to name a few. So think about it and remember someone has to do it so it might as well be you, right?

Let’s gather on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 1 PM at The Tavern II on 50th in West Des Moines (across from Lowe’s). You can take care of your 2020 dues, we’ll take care of business, have some food, and as always, great conversation with fellow MINIacs. Please RSVP via Facebook or email to Laura by midnight Wednesday January 15, 2020. And don’t feel you can’t join us if you’ve stored your MINI for the season or if you haven’t joined the club yet. Anyone is always welcome, it’s how we roll.

Seventh Annual Jolly Holiday Lights Tour

A night of food, fun and support for Make A Wish Foundation. Mark your calendars for Monday, December 2. We’ll meet for dinner at Perkins, 2621 Adventureland Drive in Altoona, at 6:00 PM and then head on over to the show. Jolly Holiday lights is a 2.5 mile cruise through over 100 holiday themed light displays. All that for a mere $20 per car! Show your support for an awesome cause and join us. Please RSVP via Facebook or email to Laura by midnight Friday, November 29.

If you’re unable to make dinner but would still like to join us for the tour meet us at the entrance to the park at 7:30 PM.

17th Annual Fall Colors Tour with Eastern Iowa MINI Club

Sunday October 20, 8:45 AM to 5 PM

Via hilly, curvy highways and byways we’re heading to Farmington in Southeast Iowa. We’ll lunch at the Bridge Café and Supper Club (no coat and tie needed) then head back to Des Moines passing thru Fairfield, Fremont and Oskaloosa. There are several pumpkin patches along the way but no ‘Fresh Egg’ signs were seen.

The convoy will meet at Petco in Southridge Mall. Drivers meeting at 8:45 AM and departure at 9:00 AM. It’s about 300 miles and will take about 7 1/2 hrs, including a pit stop and lunch. RSVP via Facebook or email to Laura no later than midnight, Wednesday, Oct 16 and please note the number in your party. Fill up the tank, charge the walkies, don your shirt and name badge and prepare to motor!

PLEASE NOTE: It’s a NO GO if the day is going to be a wash out with rain. We’ve done this on rainy days and it just isn’t any fun. Final decision will be made Saturday night and posted so stay aware.

Villisca Axe Murder House Tour

Saturday October 12, 9:00 AM at HyVee, 1005 E. Hickman Road, Waukee

Join us at 9am at the Waukee Hy-Vee parking lot. We will drive to Drew’s Chocolates, down White Pole road , stop for lunch to be determined (Oinkers or Weitzel’s) then off to the Villisca murder house

The Villisca axe murders occurred between the evening of June 10, 1912, and the early morning of June 11, 1912, in the town of Villisca in southwestern Iowa. The six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found bludgeoned in the Moore residence. All eight victims, including four children, had severe head wounds from an axe. A lengthy investigation yielded several suspects, one of whom was tried twice. The first trial ended in a hung jury and the second ended in an acquittal. The crime remains unsolved. Many believe the house is still haunted by the ghosts of the victims.

Skunk River Restorations Tour



On Sunday September 29 the Central Iowa MINI Club has been invited to tour Skunk River Restorations in Ames. Steve Myers, the owner, has offered to have our club visit and view his amazing collection of vehicles and his business. Steve started out with British cars, and he has many, but he also has many other types of cars too. I don’t think I would be incorrect if I said he has at least 100 vehicles.

Address is 709 Airport Road in Ames for those that want to meet us at 3:30.

We will meet at the Fareway store parking lot at 2:45 pm which is on the north edge of Ankeny. Address is 3205 N Ankeny Blvd, aka highway 69. If you come into Ankeny from I35, take the 36th St exit and go west. We’ll depart from there for a group drive to Ames for the tour.

Around 5pm, or after the tour, we will then depart for the Mucky Duck Pub for supper. (NOTE THE CHANGE. Was previously planned for Hickory Park, now the Mucky Duck).

Mark your calendar for Sunday September 29 and we hope to see you there.



Gather at the Grotto!

Sunday September 22

Jud Stover and the lady Helen will be leading us on a drive to West Bend to view the incredible Grotto of the Redemption. After West Bend we’ll be stopping in Ames for lunch at the Mucky Duck Pub, a British themed eating and drinking establishment. The Mucky Duck is especially noted for their excellent fish and chips and other British fare and also have a shop with a variety of products from across the pond.

We’ll leave MINI of Des Moines at 8 am. After visiting the Grotto we will return through Ames and gather at the Mucky Duck at about 2pm. FYI the Grotto is free but they do encourage donations.

Be sure and bring your fully charged walkies and RSVP by midnight Tuesday, Sept 17th, with the number in your party.

Mini 60th Birthday Party at the Chili King

Monday August 26 will mark our third annual visit to this iconic Des Moines Drive In but more important than that it’s Mini’s 60th Birthday! On August 26, 1959 the world had its first introduction to one of the most influential cars in history, the Mini!

The August 26, 1959 Press Reveal and Sir Alec Issigonis, father of the Mini, with 621AOK the first Mini off the production line

The Chili King has been a Des Moines staple since 1952 and is the last remaining classic car hop drive-in in the metro. In the 50’s and 60’s it was the epicenter of the hot rod scene in Des Moines and more recently was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with host Guy Fieri getting one on one with George himself.  You can view the episode at http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/episodes/oldies-but-goodies . We’ll gather at 6:30 PM and plan on filling the drive in slots with MINIs! If you can only make one event this year please try to join us for this one! This should be a fun evening for socializing and basking in the vintage vibe. We won’t need the radios, just drop in, but please RSVP via Facebook or email to Laura no later than Midnight, Saturday, August 24th so we can give George a “heads up”.

5th Annual Detail Day – April 27

Saturday April 27 – 9:00 AM – MINI of Des Moines – 9900 Hickman

Here’s your Spring opportunity to clean up your MINI when it’s generally not so nice outside (we’ll be having another in the Fall). Or maybe just give the inside a good cleaning in the warmth of the service bay. Also a great opportunity to meet and chat with other MINIacs.

Dedicated Willis employees and fellow MINIacs will carefully motor your MINI thru the car wash and return it to the service area. After that it’s all up to you. Bring your own cleaning supplies and cleaning accessories, like glass cleaner, leather cleaner, towels, rags… you get the idea. There will be vacuums for you to use and an area to hose off your floor mats. Be aware the MINI parts department will be closed so picking up supplies that morning won’t be an option.

CIMC merchandise will be available and you can also pay your dues if needed. RSVP’s are always needed for planning so please don’t forget. Please RSVP on our Facebook page or by email to Laura at ljjr101@hotmail.com by Midnight, Sunday, April 21st.