|<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> The Rotary Club of Allen</style=”font-size:>
Chartered May 26, 1978
The Addison Rotary Club was chartered in August, 1984 with thirty-five charter members. We were founded by Prestonwood Rotary Club. Of our sixteen past presidents, fourteen are still active members and contributors to our club. We currently have fifty-nine active members.
One of our first community projects was to help marshal and act as Master of Ceremonies for the Addison Christmas Parade. At least 50% of our members participate in this event each year. The parade serves as a large contributing factor in building synergy within our club and aligning us with the Town of Addison.
One of our early fundraising events was a booth at the annual Addison Fourth of July Kaboom Town. Over time we tried a variety of events including face painting, a fishing booth and the ill-fated watermelon sale. Fortunately, we did learn from our mistakes and finally found a winner with the basketball foul shot booth. This was another event well attended and enjoyed by club members.
Since 1988, the Addison Rotary Club has honored students from local high schools with a Student of the Month Award. Each month a student is selected and is invited along with his or her parents to our meeting. We ask the student to give a brief summary of their high school experience and their plans for the future.
Our first foray into a major community service project was the Addison Rotary Courteous Driver Award Program. This was a program involving The Town of Addison and Addison Police Department. Officers would literally present courteous drivers with a $20 check from the Addison Rotary Club for driving courteously. The Program ran from December 1st to Christmas morning for five years. The officers enjoyed this program because it was a chance for them to have a positive interaction with motorists and thank courteous drivers.
As we evolved as a club, we wanted to have a bigger impact in our community and the decision was made to start a golf tournament. Twelve years ago the Addison Rotary-Bryan’s House Open Golf Tournament was born. This tournament is for the sole benefit of Bryan’s House, a medically managed day care and 24-hour care facility for children with HIV/AIDS. The Bryan’s House Open was an undertaking far larger than we as a club had ever done. Fortunately, all our members have participated in one way or another from day one. The first tournament netted in excess of $25,000. Going into our 12th year we have donated over $1.2 million to Bryan’s House. The Addison Rotary-Bryan’s House Open Tournament has become one of the premier Rotary events in our district. The tournament has also facilitated the raising of an additional $2 million for Bryan’s House from the community and has made Bryan’s House a household name.
The Addison Rotary Foundation not only supports Bryan’s House, but also numerous other charities in our community. One hundred percent of our members are either Paul Harris Fellows or Paul Harris Sustaining Members and approximately 40% are Rotary Foundation Benefactors.
We’re proud of our Club and of the significant community service projects it has undertaken in the past 18 years.
The Rotary Club of Allen Sunrise
Chartered August 14, 1997
This year in September, the Rotary Club of Allen Sunrise will mark its fifth anniversary as a new club in District 5810. In 1997, largely due to the efforts of Linda Engle of the Allen Club, assisted by Cindy Alexander, the Rotary Club of Allen Sunrise was chartered. Barbara Erwin, then Superintendent of the Allen Independent School District, served as the club’s first president. We were also graced that first year with the guidance of Plano Rotary Club member L.B. Broach who was assigned to monitor our club by the District. In September 1997, thirty members were installed as charter members; five years later we still have six of those members. Over the next four years Kenneth Fulk, Danny McLarty, Kevin Kerr, and John Sprague followed in the office of president. Marty Wiarda, president elect, will begin his service as president in July.
The history of the Rotary Club of Allen Sunrise is the story of many individuals stepping up and volunteering their time and their talent to respond to the needs of our community and of Rotary International. It is a special honor for the club to actively participate in the RYLA program, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Each year, under the leadership of Steve Shafranek, the Sunrise Club sponsors two students, juniors at Allen High School, to participate in the week-long RYLA leadership camp. We are especially proud to have these students return and report on how much the experience has meant to them.
This year, with membership being a major focus of Rotary International, the club organized a New Member Orientation workshop under the direction of past president Kevin Kerr. While many neighboring clubs were invited, attendance came from the two Allen Clubs and the McKinney Sunrise Club. District Governor-Elect Pete Snider, Past District Governor Jim Griffith and a variety of service chairpersons from the two Allen clubs conducted the event. Plans are under way for follow-up orientation workshops.
It is with great pride that the Rotary Club of Allen Sunrise partners with the Allen Independent School District in its volunteer work. For several years our members teamed up with the Channels Program in mentoring students at the middle school level. Under the direction of past president Kenneth Fulk, each year a growing number of our members continue to volunteer to read one-to-one with students at Rountree Elementary School.
On the national front this past year, in response to the horrible events of September 11, 2001, the club was able to make a financial donation to the Red Cross of America for its relief fund. And internationally, the club has arranged a small matching grant from the District to assist Dr. Tom Brian of Allen with his Send Hope dental service program to the indigenous in the far reaches of Honduras.
Some of the club’s community service activities over its five-year span include: hosting an appreciation breakfast for the Allen Fire Department and Police Department, adopting a mile and maintaining a clean-up schedule for a road in Allen, and volunteering for the Allen Chamber of Commerce Northern Lights Christmas holiday activity. This year, club member Larry Becker accepted the challenge of Rotary International and organized the first Art and Poster contest for middle school age children. The two Allen clubs sponsored contestants who went on to be judged at the District level. He followed this success by arranging for the Sunrise club to hold a Four-Way Speech contest and send a contestant to the annual District competition.
The premier annual activity of the club, largely through the efforts of club member Susie McCloud over the years, and community service chair Bill Rushing this year, has been to sponsor the annual Allen Christmas parade. This is an activity which we partner with the noon club to accomplish. It’s such an exciting event to see nearly a hundred floats and many hundreds of kids make their way through Allen with the Rotary banner leading the way.
We have seen many members come and go over five years, and many have made significant contributions. One such member is Pat Schmoranz, a past district governor from Florida, who provided much insight and guidance over the past year. To these and, to all our members, we say thank you.
John Sprague, President 2001-2002
The Rotary Club of Bonham
Chartered April 14, 1921
Bonham Rotary Club was organized in April, 1921, largely through the efforts of Ralph A Risser, who was sold on Rotary and its motto, “He profits most who serves best.”
Mr. Risser worked constantly until he had secured twenty-five members, the required number for formation of a Rotary Club. That same club has functioned faithfully and well since, profiting much by its well-laid foundation as well instilled in the hearts and minds of its membership by Mr. Risser. Unanimously, Mr. Risser was elected to serve as the first president of the Bonham Rotary Club.
Other officers of the club were M.A. Taylor, vice-president; Charles R. Inglish, secretary; and Bland Smith, treasurer. The first meeting of the club was held in the basement of the U.S.A. Presbyterian Church, with Mr. Risser explaining the aims and ideals of the organization.
At this initial meeting, he explained that the only obligations imposed by Rotary are the maintenance of high business standards, a militant of good citizenship, an unswerving loyalty to one’s government, active participation in all matters before the club, and active membership in craft, civic, charitable and commercial organizations.
The official charter date is May 1, 1921 for the Bonham Rotary Club. The club at the time of its admission to membership of Rotary International was situated in District 18. Subsequently, it was located in the following districts, each change becoming effective in the year stated: 1922, District 13; 1925, District 48; 1937, District 128; 1949, District 188, 1973 District 581; 1991, District 5810.
The Bonham Rotary Club has been active since its inception with the community and particularly the youth. As early as 1922, a boys club was established in order to encourage boys to stay in school, stressing the importance of education. A student loan fund was established enabling many students to attend college. Other youth participation has been with Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Little League Baseball, the Bonham Free Kindergarten, Special Olympics and DFYIT (Drug-Free Youth in Texas).
Countless community projects have been completed since the beginning of this club. Still to this day efforts are made to contribute to the community and youth. The Bonham Club has participated in the Youth Exchange offered through Rotary International as well as the Group Study Exchange. What a pleasure it is to meet and share ideas with our visiting guests from other parts of the world. In the past Rotary was composed of men only, but soon asked the business women to become a part of Rotary. The women of Bonham Rotary are active and participate fully as officers and directors.
Mr. J.O. Tate served as District Governor in 1973. Ms. Margaret Morston was the first and only pianist until 1960. Mr. Walter Puckett served as secretary from 1939-1964. Many continue to follow in their leadership roles.
The Bonham Rotary Club organized the Sherman Rotary Club No. 1364 on March 2, 1923, by Will H Evans. Later, Mr. Evans became a member of the Sherman Rotary and was a member until his death.
The Bonham Rotary Club will have been established eighty-one years this May, 2002. With much tradition, we continue to support the ideal of service as a basis for worthy enterprise.
The Rotary Club of Carrollton-Farmers Branch
Chartered November 30, 1960
The original club was chartered on Wednesday, November 30, 1960. Recommended by District Governor Calvin Clyde, Jr., and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dallas, its chartered name was “The Rotary Club of Carrollton, Texas, U.S.A.” Meetings were held weekly at noon, beginning the next day at the Tower Hotel Restaurant, 10108 Harry Hines Boulevard, just north of the Harry Hines circle, in Dallas.
The founding President was Edgar A. Pledger, Jr., Vice President was Jack Blanton, and Jack Ramsay, Jr. and D. E. Spradling were Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. The directors were Bill Proctor, Ray Erickson, Kenneth Moore and the ever-present Carl “Catfish” Montgomery. Included among the programs the first year were Dr. Willis Tate, President of SMU, Jim Barton talking about the Dallas Texans Professional Football Club (Lamar Hunt’s AFL Team), and George Coker, Manager of Love Field. In 1966, under President D. E. Spradling, the club made its first scholarship award. Totaling $250, it was presented to R. L. Turner H.S.
The name was not officially changed to “The Rotary Club of Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Texas, U.S.A” until 1975, under President John Prickett. The club met at the Tower for 3 years, until moving in 1963-64, under President Carl Fleming, to Otis Engineering on Beltline in Carrollton. With Robert H. Davis at the helm in 1969-70, the club moved to the new Holiday Inn restaurant on the east side of IH-35E, just north of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch boundary.
President Percy Pentecost, in 1977-78, started the tradition of member Rotarians presenting a three-minute autobiography/vocational talk, and that year, membership in the club went over 100 for the first time.
In 1985-86 and 86-87, under the direction of Presidents Phillip Foote and Gary Carley respectively, the club sponsored two new Rotary Clubs. The first was Farmers Branch, with first president Paul Watten, which met Mondays at noon at the Ramada Inn Restaurant (it became the Best Western Oak Tree Inn in 1989) in Farmers Branch. The second was Carrollton Sunrise, with President Andrew Jurisich, which met at Trinity Medical Center in Carrollton. Bill Innes was the District Governor’s Special Representative for establishing the new clubs.
On February 13, 1986, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club celebrated its 25th Anniversary at Brookhaven Country Club, under the direction of President Phillip Foote.
In January of 1988, while Phillip Hettich was president, the club admitted its first woman member, Patsy Fulton of Brookhaven College. In 1989-90, during Dick Calvert’s presidential term, the Carrollton Health Department shuttered the kitchen of the old meeting place. After eating cold catered chicken fried steaks and beans for a couple of months, the meeting place was moved to its present meeting place, the Brookhaven Country Club.
In June 1990, club members Gary Embrey and Bill Innes, at the behest of District 581 (now District 5810) Governor Milton Kessel, went to Taos, New Mexico, to observe first-hand a RYLA Camp (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) in operation. The next June, they, along with Committee Chairman Chris C. Christopher, and a number of members of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club, including Dana Mackison, founded the District 5810 Camp RYLA at Lake Bridgeport. Embrey was the first Camp Director, and Innes was the assistant Camp Director. Mackison has served all 11 years of the camp’s existence as Program Director and Activities Chairman.
In April, 1994, U. S. President George W. Bush spoke to the club, while he was still the managing partner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. That was the meeting that President Tom McWhirter discussed with the Secret Service the advisability of displaying a big butcher knife.
Two months later, at the District 5810 Awards Banquet on June 3, the club received the Presidential Citation for Balanced Club Achievement for the 1993-94 Rotary year. This was the second year of the Presidential Citation program, and the first of eight consecutive citations for the club. The club has had two District 5810 Rotarians of the Year, Dana Mackison and Doug Rudman, and four District 5810 Award winners, David James, PDG Walt Leonard, Keith Vanderburg and Shawn Bhagat.
Doug Rudman became the first president to serve longer than one year, when he replaced Kennedy Quick in January of 1996. He served until June 30, 1997. During his term, the club’s Foundation was created, shepherded by 1997-98 president Craig Greenway. During Greenway’s year, the club recognized 21 people as Paul Harris Fellows, the record for any year. Theodora A. Barker, for 1998-99, was the first woman president of the club.
On November 30, 2000, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club celebrated its 40th Anniversary at Brookhaven Country Club at its regular luncheon meeting, under the direction of President Fred Ferguson.
Presently, 15 of the 42 presidents the club has had since its inception are still active or honorary members, and 1982-83 president George Grimmer is an active member of the Farmers Branch Rotary Club, which he helped found. Still active in today’s club are 47 Paul Harris Fellows, and charter member Carl “Catfish” Montgomery, who is an honorary member.
Douglas E. Rudman, President 1995-1997
The Rotary Club of Commerce
Chartered October 18, 1921
The founding of the Rotary Club on Tuesday, October 18, 1921 was a major event in the annals of Commerce history, and the story was page one news in the Commerce daily paper of October 19, 1921. Under the heading “Rotary Club is organized here”, the Journal described the occasion as follows:
“A movement that had been on foot for sometime to organize a Rotary Club in Commerce came to a successful head Tuesday afternoon when the organization was perfected by the election of directors and officers. Rotary law requires that new clubs applying for charters must not have less than fifteen nor more than twenty-five charter members, and that they must not represent the same line of business.”
The Commerce Rotary Cluib started with eighteen members. The president of East Texas State Normal College, Randolph B. Binnion, was the first president.
Since its founding, the Commerce Club has provided continual support to the community and to the world. The Club has been a leader in the Ambassadorial Scholarship program, continuing to successfully identify and sponsor these outbound scholars. In addition, the Club provides two college scholarships annually to Commerce high school seniors. A Mother’s Day program provides complimentary bud vases to female nursing home residents.
The Club is currently assisting a local group of citizens, headed by Rotarians, with the establishment of a Children’s Museum in Commerce. During the city’s annual Bois ‘d Arc Bash celebration, the Club sponsors a Chili Cook-off, which attracts competitors from throughout the state.
The Club has participated in many of the programs offered by Rotary International, such as Matching Grants, in which the Club provided fire extinguishers, refrigerators, and a bus to a children’s home in Iqueque, Chile. The Club has participated in youth exchange, mini-exchange, Group Study Exchange, Camp Enterprise, and Camp RYLA. We are currently assisting a local group of citizens, headed by Rotarians, with the establishment of a Children’s Museum in Commerce. Numerous members of the club provide fifty percent of the contribution.
In 1996, the club commemorated its 75th Anniversary with a celebration held on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce. During its existence, the club has gained the admiration and respect of the local citizenry, and is recognized as an integral part of the community. The thirty members are community leaders, well respected within their chosen professions.
The membership is commited to continuing its proud legacy by sharing the Rotary philosophy with all of Commerce.
The Rotary Club of Coppell
Chartered June 10, 1983
The Coppell Rotary Club was chartered in June 1983 and from the beginning established a strong partnership with the citizens of Coppell to make their city a better place to live, work, attend school and play.
Mr. Ron Beggs, Club President, and the other charter members of the Club determined early on that in order to make any significant contributions to Coppell they would have to develop fund raising projects to finance their community support programs. In December of that first year the Coppell Rotarians came up with the idea of sponsoring a community wide event to celebrate the heritage of their small but growing city. On May 5, 1984, the inaugural Coppell Rotary Founders Day celebration was hosted by the Club and became a major fund raising project for many years to come.
In the ensuing years the Coppell Rotary Club made major contributions to the community parks, schools, YMCA and public library. Coppell Rotarians built a pavilion at Andy Brown Park, provided picnic tables and BBQ grills for other neighborhood parks, built a walking bridge at another park, made a major financial contribution and provided a significant amount of labor in the construction of Kid County community playground, and donated over 3,000 trees to the City through the District 5810 Rotatree Program.
Coppell schools received a banner machine, art display stands, overhead projectors, sprinkler systems for school playgrounds, running tracks, backstops, football goal posts, maps, globes and financial grants. In addition, 200 Coppell High School seniors have been recognized for their academic, athletic, school and community achievements as Students of the Month and 25 seniors received college scholarships from the Coppell Rotary Club.
The Coppell Rotary Club was a major contributor to the community YMCA from the very beginning, providing much needed financial support to establish and maintain effective programs for the citizens of Coppell.
Coppell Rotarians supported the public library by providing periodical publications, furnishing a library conference room and providing over $28,000 in outright financial grants.
In addition, the Coppell Rotary Club has made significant contributions in the International Avenue of Service. The Club has participated in teacher and student exchange programs as well as GSE Teams. The Club sponsored student exchanges with the countries of Belgium, France, Norway, South Africa, Thailand and Japan. Also, the club partnered with the Rotary Clubs of Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Cozumel, Mexico, providing much needed school supplies as well as assisting with upgrading the local school facilities in Cozumel. Finally, the Club sponsored Jennifer Bayne, who received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which allowed her to further her studies in England.
The Club recognizes the important role of the Rotary Foundation around the world and has long been a strong supporter through the Paul Harris Fellow Program, resulting in sixty-six current and former members and spouses becoming Paul Harris Fellows. Additionally, the Club currently has six Rotary Foundation Benefactors.
The Coppell Rotary Club has accomplished much in the past nineteen years, but certainly one of the most significant accomplishments has to be the contributions made to more than forty young people from the Coppell High School who were sponsored to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camps. Since the very beginning of RYLA in District 5810, this Club has provided a number of camp counselors and assistant counselors to support this effort, as well as equipment, supplies and transportation. The investments made in the lives of the young people from Coppell who have attended RYLA Camp will live on and certainly pay dividends to the schools, communities and companies they associate with in the years ahead.
The Coppell Rotary Club has been blessed with a dedicated and talented group of members who have, over the years, touched the lives of many and made Coppell and other parts of the world a better place to live. Our members have embraced the Object of Rotary and encouraged and fostered the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.
The Rotary Club of Dallas
Chartered April 20, 1911
In late 1910, Price Cross of Dallas visited the Rotary Club of San Francisco. He returned to Dallas and discussed the Rotary idea with Fred Johnson and others. They invited a number of Dallas business and professional leaders to a meeting at the Oriental Hotel on April 20, 1911. They organized the Rotary Club of Dallas, the first club in the State of Texas and 39th in all of Rotary. Marvin E. Martin was the first President.
The Dallas Rotary Club met for luncheon each Thursday noon at the Oriental Hotel. Lunch cost $.50, the Club initiation fee was $5.00 and the Club dues were $12.00 per year.
The Dallas Rotarian began publication in 1912, but only a few copies have survived. The name was later changed to Rotograms to avoid a name-conflict with The Rotary Magazine, “The Rotarian”.
Name buttons were first used in 1913.
Rotary Districts were first formed in 1914. Dallas was in District 12, the Texas District. Our first District Governor was Lynn B . Milam (1916-1917). Lynn, like Price Cross, was never president of Dallas Rotary, even though they both contributed greatily to the growth of the club.
In 1919, “Bill” Fukushima came from Japan to open a trading business. He joined Dallas Rotary. His friend, Umekishi Yoneyama visited Dallas and learned of Rotary. In 1920, he organized the Tokyo Rotary Club.
Through its history Dallas Rotary has been a “service club.” It has helped flood and storm victims, handicapped individuals, orphans, shut-ins, the needy, the blind, newsboys, students, Boy Scouts, The Salvation Army, Community Chest, United Way and others.
The Oriental Hotel had been torn down. The Baker Hotel opened on the site of the old Oriental. Rotary met there for the next 48 years. Ms. Lorella Cullum was the Dallas Rotary Club pianist for the next 48 years. In 1979, the Baker was scheduled for demolition. The club moved to the Hilton Hotel for three years and then found a permanent home at the historic Union Station.
In 1946, the Rotary Glee Club was organized. This later would be known as the Greater Dallas Rotary Chorus. The chorus has traveled world wide to sing at Rotary conventions. Dr. Travis Shelton was the director for many years, followed by Thomas R. Britt. Mrs. Inez Teddlie has been the pianist for the Chorus, as well as playing for the Dallas Rotary Club luncheons.
In 1971, the Rotary Townhouse became the club’s most ambitious project. It was a halfway home for judicated young people to provide a positive life style for six to twelve months prior to their release. The project continued for twenty years before it was turned over to the Salvation Army.
Camp Enterprise, a three day event to teach high school students the Free Enterprise system, was started in the mid-80s, under the direction of Dallas Rotarian Doug Reeder.
In 1987, Rotary International began it most ambitious project ever, to inoculate all of world’s children against Polio and other dread diseases. Dallas Rotary’s gifts and pledges would inoculate 1,000,000 kids in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In that same year, the first woman Dallas Rotarian, Nicki Nicol, was elected to membership. She was the daughter of PDG Bill Nicol.
The Dallas Rotary Club is the direct sponsor of twelve other Dallas area Rotary Clubs and the grandparent to more than thirty other clubs.
Dallas Rotary has hosted three Rotary International Conventions….1929, 1958 and 1982.
In 2002, we celebrated our 91st birthday. The Who’s Who of Dallas Rotary members lives today on school houses and street signs. Without question, the Dallas Rotary Club has been an integral part of the history of Dallas.
The Rotary Club of Dallas Market Center
Chartered May 24, 1971
The Brookhollow Rotary was conceived at a meeting of Jerry Page of Dallas Downtown, Larry Beckman of Park Cities, and two prospective members, Bob Michaels and Roland Cazes. Bob and Roland became the first two Presidents of the newly founded Club.
In 1987, following a move to the Dallas Market Center, President Joe Bender lead a move to change the name to the Dallas Market Center Rotary Club. In 1995, with Don Arquit as President, The Club switched from a Monday breakfast club, to a Tuesday noon club.
The Club has followed a tradition of believing that a smaller club can make tremendous contributions to the world community, and affect the lives of many, many people, by helping others. As it was put some years later, “Small Clubs can Change the World”. The Club has attacked this daunting task by:
First – In order to finance our goals, the Club has raised a great deal of money through golf tournaments, silent auctions, the sale of Christmas gifts, donations from local businesses, project sponsorships, fruit sales, and on and on.
Next – Selecting projects that will accomplish our goals such as:
Obtaining a RI matching grant to equip the charity hospital in Monterrey, Mexico with new neo-natal care equipment which, each year, saves the lives of over 300 special-needs babies.
Obtaining a RI grant to help found a camp for children with Down’s Syndrome in Monterrey, Mexico. Monterrey had the highest incidence of Down’s Syndrome of any major city in North America.
By participating in Rotary International’s fight against Polio by having every member contribute $1,000.00 (a Paul Harris Fellow) to eradicate this dread disease; the results have been magnificent.
By recognizing the work of others in our community who fight to “Change the World” through programs such as the “Unsung Hero’s Award” program where 13 citizens of Dallas have been awarded Paul Harris fellows as a “thank you” for their efforts in helping others.
By organizing blood drives, honoring the Police of the Month, the Firefighter of the year, the student of the month from North Dallas High School, and on and on.
By donating a computer to a student in Macedonia, hosting Russians to learn about the free enterprise system, hosting foreign exchange students, sponsoring Ambassadorial Scholars, etc.
By providing the leadership of our members Mark Healy and Tom Bright to help found, and then direct District projects such as Camp RYLA, The Salvation Army Angel Tree project, etc.
By providing thought provoking guest speakers who stimulate and educate our members. We have learned about the life of a missionary in new Guinea; the lack of hospital facilities in India; boxing reform from the International Secretary of the World Boxing Council; about the Palestinian and Israeli’s problem; about Christians and Muslims on the resolution of a very difficult situation, to name just a few. The way to peace is through the understanding of others. The way to help is “do something”.
Over the years, the Club has established a tradition of District leadership, with members serving on the District Round Table every year since it’s founding, chairing the District Conference, acting as chair person of Camp RYLA, acting as Camp Director for Camp RYLA, and providing an Assistant District Governor. And last, but certainly not least, we are proud to announce that one of our own, Mark Healy, will be the District Governor of Rotary District 5810 in 2003-2004.
So, in the end, the question we ask ourselves is “have we met our goals of service over the years”? The answer is a resounding “yes”, thanks to many dedicated members who have worked diligently towards that goal. One of the secrets of our success has been the retention of a core of members, including 9 past presidents who are still active members and two founding members (up to 2 years ago).
But we are not finished. New projects come to our attention every year, and we must continually meet these needs in order to continue pursing our goal of “Changing the World” through our good works. To borrow a line from the Jaycee Creed, we are proud to say that “Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life”.
The Rotary Club of Dallas North
Chartered May 17, 1962
The Dallas North Rotary Club started out with 25 members; unfortunately, all of them have gone on to their heavenly reward.
The Dallas North Rotary Club has had a very rich history.
Bob Burnam was certainly one of the most active Rotarians to have ever joined the Dallas North Club. He joined in the year of 1968 and passed away in the year 2000, with 32 years perfect attendance. He was the Sergeant at Arms and Secretary for all of those years. He also produced the bulletin as well as being treasurer and president! We are talking about true dedication!
Over the years the club grew and prospered. We inducted our first lady Rotarian, Susan Burns. We have had a total of 11 women members over the years and now have 3. One of the women, Cathy Rogers is a past president of our club.
Our silver anniversary celebration was held in 1987. The highlight of the evening was entertainment from a young Blue Grass Band that is now better known as the “Dixie Chicks”! Yes, the club knew them when!
Our most prolific community project has been the starting of the Marcus Annex. The Marcus Annex is the temporary home of many of our senior citizens. They are able to play bingo, cards, do exercise, and just visit and enjoy a meal together.
A brand new, very efficient complex has been recently built at the old site. As you enter the front door, you will see the Rotary Wheel very prominently displayed in the sitting room.
Today, Dallas North Rotary Club holds its weekly meetings at the Brookhaven Country Club, Tuesday at 11:45 am. We have one of the best program chairman in our district, Dave Curtis. He consistently brings us most interesting programs. On your next “make-up”, come to Dallas North and be prepared for a very interesting and well-presented program.
We feel communications with the members as well as the community is very important. To this end Dallas North Rotary Club started its own website in the year 2000. The URL is: http://dallasnorthrotary.com. On this website you will find a calendar of programs, club roster, as well as a map to our meeting place at Brookhaven Country Club. You will also find a lot of pictures of events and meetings. Any questions about the website should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dallas North Rotary Club is a large contributor to the Rotary Foundation. We have donated somewhere in the neighborhood of $104,000. We also have 84 Paul Harris Fellows and 15 who are Paul Harris Sustaining members.
As the contributor of this bit of history, I am very proud to be a member of this club. I moved from the island of Saipan, where there is only one Rotary Club. I was the president-elect for the year 2000 for Saipan. Since I moved to Dallas and joined the Dallas North Rotary Club, I have become very interested in the history and events of Dallas. The members were very gracious to vote me President for 2001-2002.
We’re all proud of Dallas North….and hope you will visit us at your first opportunity.
Bill Michling, President (2001-2002)
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>The Rotary Club of Denison</style=”font-size:>
Chartered June 1, 1916
The national Rotary organization had existed only eleven years when the Denison Club was granted Charter No. 227, making the Denison Rotary Club one of oldest Rotary clubs in Texas.
Father and first president of the Denison Rotary Club was Dr. J.E. Aubrey, a colorful Denisonian whom older residents still remember. Dr. Aubrey was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and later served as interim secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. But it was as a lecturer that Dr. Aubrey stood the tallest. He was a member of the once flourishing Chautauqua lecture group and toured much of the country as a speaker. Dr. Aubrey called four friends together to lay plans for the club: G.O. Morgan, head of the Denison Peanut Co., Guy Alexander, Insurance, Jack Tinsman, Druggist and H.E. Ellis, Editor of the Denison Herald. They invited others to each lunch meeting and soon they had enough men interested in Rotary to begin. The club was granted probationary membership by the National Organization, and on June 1, 1916, a charter was granted.
The Denison Rotary Club was established with what is a roster of who’s who of Denison: J.E. Aubrey, H.C. Platter-Importer, F.H. Kofieldt, H.W. Lingo, J.W. Madden, P.H. Tobin, F.B. Hughes, and J.R. Handy. An equal list of notables that served as president of the club were W.B. Munson, 1918-19, Ross Stoddard, 1927-28, Jerome McKinney, 1931-32, W.L Ashburn, 1939-40, and W.B. Munson III, 1953-54 and the list goes on.
Much of the history of the city of Denison and the Rotary Club of Denison are coterminous. Established by community leaders, the Club has led the community in a wide variety of ventures from industrial and economic development, through improvements to hospitals, libraries, and parks, to promoting quality education.
By 1926, the Denison Rotary Club was awarding scholarships to outstanding students. At that time gifts of $50.00 were made. Currently, scholarships in excess of $4,000 are awarded annually to outstanding high school students. Thelma Braun, our pianist for seventy years, knowing the good works of the Denison Rotary, bequeathed the club $15,000 that was used to establish “The Thelma Braun Rotary Scholarship Fund” at Grayson College.
The Denison Rotary Club’s commitment to youth has led our club to sponsor scholarships yearly to RYLA “Rotary Youth Leadership Awards”. We presently send four young leaders to camp each year. Each student tells us it is a once in a lifetime experience. Also, the club sends young school children to Camp Goddard for a week of unforgettable experience. Last year we sponsored twenty four students.
Our commitment to youth and our belief in “service before self” led to establishing a new club at Denison High School. The Interact, (International Action) sponsored by the Denison Rotary Club, is a club, chartered in 2001, under the direction of Mike Haskins.
The Denison Rotary Club created the “Denison Organ Transplant Foundation” for the purpose of helping patients with organ transplant expenses. Wayne Cabaniss organized community and Rotary contributions to establish the Foundation in 1991. To date the Denison Rotary Club has aided three transplant patients.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the 42 years of service by Joe Dusek in the capacity of treasurer/secretary. Joe, today, is our only living honorary member and has seen the Denison Rotary Club grow to its highest membership to date: 116 members-all business and community leaders who volunteer their time and money to support the goals of mankind. Our present Rotary International President, Richard King, reminds us of the words spoken by Scrooge in the timeless story by Charles Dickens “mankind is our business”
The Rotary Club of Desoto
Chartered February 1, 1965
Plans for organization of a new Rotary Club in Southwest Dallas County were formulated in March 1964. Direction for this action came from Jack F. Gibson, Governor of Rotary District 581, to officials of the Oak Cliff Rotary Club. The South Dallas Rotary Club charter was approved by Rotary International effective February 1, 1965. Over the 37 year life span of what is now the DeSoto Rotary Club there were changes in meeting places as well as of club names. The first name change for the club occurred September 28, 1971, when Rotary International approved the renaming of the South Dallas Rotary Club to Dallas Red Bird Rotary Club. Over a ten year period the club’s membership changed to predominately DeSoto businessmen and organization of a new Rotary Club in Duncanville in 1983 formed the basis for another name change and subsequent relocation. Effective January 28, 1984, Rotary International approved the new name of the Rotary Club of DeSoto.
The club’s membership has generally ranged from 30 to 40 members and current membership includes 40 Rotarians whose professions and businesses represent much of the diversity in the business community. An all male club until 1989, the DeSoto Rotary Club inducted Janet Stanton, Attorney, as its first lady Rotarian.
Since its beginning, the DeSoto Rotary Club has been active in service to the community, especially through contributions to our “Youth of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow”. This is still the theme of the annual Golf Tournament held each year since May, 1988. The DeSoto club has contributed to this effort through 4-H Club and Future Farmer of America projects, Community Easter Egg Hunt, Scholarships to graduating high school seniors, as a Lead Donor for the beginning of DeSoto Education Foundation. The club has also participated in RYLA and Rotary International’s foreign exchange student program, development of the McMillan Award and an Interact Club, Ace in the Hole program, eye glasses to children in San Pedro Sula and a Hearing Aid Program.
In addition to the above mentioned, below is a summary of some of the programs that the DeSoto Rotary Club has developed and contributed through over the last 37 years.
1987 – First Rotary International exchange student
1988-present – First Annual Benefit Golf Tournament
1988-present – Santa Calling to Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade
1989 – 1991 Thanksgiving Community Outreach Feast for the Homeless
1987 – 1991 DeSoto Rotary Haunted House, benefiting youth organizations
1991-present – Sponsoring 2 students to Camp RYLA
1994 – International Service matching grant with our sister club Kaputzil in Honduras. We obtained a Rotary Foundation grant of $12,000 for L’A Tigra Nations Rain Forest by installing walking paths and preservation of the forest. Tegucigalpa received 40% of the drinking water from the forest. We also provided medical equipment.
1995 – Changed from noon club to a breakfast club to successfully increase membership.
1996 – Creation of McMillan Award Scholarship in Memory of Rotarian Col. McMillan
1997-present – Established an on-going support of Interact
1998-present – Club Medisend-medical supplies shipped to Third-world countries. Send-a-Book – books sent to Philippines for School children
1998-present – Ace in the Hole – school supplies for students with Flag Program – Subscription to put flags out on five holidays a year.
1999 – Eyeglasses to San Pedro Sula children
2000 – Hearing Aid Program, to assist those who will not have the needed hearing aid otherwise.
Additional projects include annually helping the DeSoto Outreach Center around Thanksgiving and Christmas, participation in DeSoto’s Heritage Festival with a Pancake Breakfast and/or Funnel cakes.
Building upon its first 37 years of service to Rotary and the community, the DeSoto Rotary Club is committed to an active role in spreading international goodwill and helping to make DeSoto a better place in which to live.
The Rotary Club of Duncanville
Chartered August 4, 1983
The Rotary Club of Duncanville had its start while Rotarian Cliff Boyd was serving as mayor of Duncanville. Cliff saw the need for a Rotary club in Duncanville and took the steps to bring a club to our city. Cliff was a member of the Redbird Rotary club (now DeSoto) and was serving as President-Elect of that club. Believing that Duncanville needed a club “. . . to serve the community in which its members were most active in business and social life.” He asked the Red Bird club for their endorsement, which they freely gave, and also agreed to serve as the sponsoring club.
District Governor Bill Aston appointed PDG Doyle McKinney to serve as the Governor’s special representative in forming the club. The Rotary club of Duncanville was chartered on August 4, 1983, becoming the 40th club in District 5810. The charter banquet was held on September 27, 1983 at the Holiday Inn in Duncanville. Cliff Boyd was inducted as the charter president, John Davis as club treasurer and Jiten Shah as an original board member.
These three charter members, along with charter member Dr. Jim Tilger, remain active in the club, as is PDG Doyle McKinney, as an honorary member. The installing official was DG Bill Aston with participation by PDGs Austin Watson, Frank Monroe and Doyle McKinney.
The club has always enjoyed strong, positive leadership, from the founding president to the present time. Two District Governors have emerged from its ranks. PDG Herb Kamm served as governor during the year 1997-98 and Jim Tow has served as District Governor during 2001-2002. The club was among the first to induct a female member into the club, with Patsy Ross becoming a member in 1987-88 under the leadership of President Dr. Jim Tilger. Mary Fae Kamm became the first female president during the Rotary year of 1999-2000.
During its history, members of the club have been prominent in the leadership of the city. Members have served as mayor, city-council members, city commission members, county commission members, Duncanville ISD superintendent, and as school board trustees. As this history is written, the Mayor, three of five city council members, the city manager, School District Superintendent and several other school officials are members of the club.
A club project proudly displays the Rotary emblem in a city park which bears the name “Rotary Park.” The club, through its president in 1986, petitioned the city to have the park designated in this manner in exchange for club assistance in equipping and maintaining the facility. The city approved and this park has become part of the Duncanville tour circuit. The park was renovated in 2001 as a cooperative effort between the club and the city.
New signage with the Rotary emblem at its center was constructed and commemorative plaques memorializing Paul Harris and the clubs first deceased president, Bill Godwin and honoring PDG Herb Kamm were included as part of the Rotary display.
Club fund raising projects have been popular city events also. The first fund raiser, which continues to this day was a fish fry. This event is so popular with the citizens that many of them come early and remain until late. The original Dixie Chicks have been featured as entertainers. During Rotary year 1997-98, the club initiated the community flag program. At the present time, the club displays nearly 500 flags for Duncanville residents on five major holidays, with plans to continue expanding into additional neighborhoods. These fundraisers have provided funding for myriad community youth projects, scholarship programs, Camp RYLA scholarships, outstanding vocational service projects and other community based activities. Probably the most impressive single-event fundraiser was the raffle of a 2002 Chrysler PT cruiser which produced $18,000 toward the expansion of the city Hopkins Senior Citizen Center.
Internationally, the club has been involved in many interesting projects. We have hosted Rotary Youth Exchange students from Germany and Argentina; sent Youth Exchange students to Australia and France; hosted GSE team members from the Philippines, India, Korea, Chile, Germany, and New Zealand; team members of a group of Russian entrepreneurs in cooperation with the Center for Citizen’s Initiatives Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP); and members of a Russian youth internship with business program in cooperation with the University of Maryland and Irkutsk University in Siberia. The club has consistently been among the district leaders in contributions to the Rotary Foundation programs.
The Rotary club of Duncanville members have always practiced Rotary’s principal motto of “Service Above Self.” We proudly recite the Four Way Test at the conclusion of each meeting. It represents a philosophical statement of each member’s personal belief of the manner in which Rotarians should live their lives in all relationships, business and personal.
The Rotary Club of East Dallas
Chartered August 11, 1947
Founder: PDG Briggs Todd (now a member of Rotary Club of Dallas and former District Governor in District 579 during 1961-1962 and District 581 during 1978-1979).
Accomplishments and Community Activities: East Dallas Rotary Club has sponsored two Ambassadorial Scholars and has been very active in sponsoring RYLA camp students each year. Club projects have included Christmas fruit sales, Angel Tree workers, Salvation Army Bell Ringers, installing fire/smoke detectors in homes, building handicapped ramps for people, sponsoring 4-Way Test contestants, working with the MediSend program, collecting books for shut-ins and nursing homes, working on White Rock marathons, providing Christmas gifts for children and families through the East Dallas YMCA, working on District Projects in Pottsboro and Mexico. The official club bulletin is “THE SPOKE ” and was first published in the 1948-1949 year as “THE SPOKE SPEAKS”. The club has from time to time sponsored District Assemblies, District Institutes, hosted GSE Teams, and were very active on the Texas Breakfast for the 1982 RI Convention in Dallas.
Several club members have served as District Committee Chairmen or District Governors’ Representatives, including PDG Frank Meier, PDG Bill Frew, Gilbert Brown, Michael van Breda, and Charles Groves.
We have been privileged to be the home club of the Hon. Pete Sessions, U.S. Representative, and the Hon. Nancy Foster, Texas State Grey Haired Legislator.
District Governors from East Dallas Rotary Club:
PDG Briggs Todd 1961-1962 in D579 & 1978-1979 in D581
PDG Frank L. Meier 1981-1982
PDG William M. “Bill” Frew 1998-1999
Gilbert Smith Awardees:
PDG Frank L. Meier
PP Tipton Housewright
PDG William Frew
The Rotary Club of Ennis
Chartered June 17, 1972
The Rotary Club of Ennis was chartered on June 17, 1972 as the 40th club in District 581(0), in a precedent-setting ceremony. It was precedent-setting because the charter was issued by Rotary International President Roy Hickman of Birmingham, Alabama, with two international directors present. The directors were Ben F. Hormel, of McCook, Nebraska, and Cornelius Myerink of The Netherlands. There were a great many Rotarians from all over the world in attendance. R.I. had just concluded the International Convention in Houston, and Hickman promised Pete Brewster, a personal friend of his and the first president of the Ennis Club, that if he would form the club, they would come to make the presentation. It was also a homecoming of sorts to Hickman, because his wife, Dorothy Dunkerley, was reared in Ennis.The Greater Dallas Rotary Chorus provided the entertainment to the many dignitaries gathered at the SPJST Hall for the ceremony.
Other officers of the new Ennis Club were E. D. Behne, vice-president; Charles Holubar, secretary-treasurer; and Harold Jones, sergeant-at-arms.
Other Ennis Club members on charter night were Gordon Crigger, Don Essary, George Garrard, Forrest Green, Claude Geriffin, Don Briffith, Don Heine, Wayne Hackney, George Hines, Wesley Honza, J. K. Jacobs, Jake Lawhon, Dennis Little, Guy Martin, Jim McCann, Ken McCrady, Duane Potter, Dwayne Rhea, Bill Rider, Ted Wagner, Fred White, Haves White and James Wilhoite.
Sponsoring club was the Waxahachie Rotary Club and the program was emceed by Waxahachie Club president, Dr. Allan Dutton.
The Rotary Club of Ennis still boasts about 25 active members who support the programs of R.I., District 5810 and the local community. The annual Polka Festival 10k run is the largest fund raiser and provides support to many local charities and projects, such as the Boys and Girls Club, A-Cross, D-FY-IT, Paul Harris Awards, Helping Hands of Ennis, Golden Circle, Scholarships, Boy Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Angel Tree, Ennis Christmas Lights, Camp RYLA and others. One of the projects that Rotarians are most proud of is the flag program. For a small fee, the Rotary Club will display the U.S. flag for individuals or businesses on “flag” days. There are literally hundreds of subscribers to this program in the city of Ennis.
The Rotary Club of Fair Park
Chartered Feb. 19, 1950
The Rotary Club of Fair Park began as a provisional club under the direction of the Dallas Rotary Club in 1949. The club was chartered as the Rotary Club of South Dallas on Feb.13, 1950. In 1954, the club moved their meeting place to the grounds of Fair Park and changed the name to the Rotary Club of Fair Park, chartered as such on July 10, 1955. In 1989, the club moved to the Lakewood Country Club, where it meets each Thursday at noon.
The membership of this club has a great history. PDG Austin Watson, who joined in 1951, has the longest membership. Several of the current members have perfect attendance for over 30 years. Today, the club averages about 35 members with approximately 80% of members who carry perfect attendance. Fair Park Rotary has the great distinction of having five of its members serve as Governor of District 5810. These include: Austin Watson (1968-69), Dr. Wallace Bailey (1974-75) , Dick Cobb (1982-83), Vactor Stanford (1988-90) and Milton Kessel (1990-91).
Rotary Foundation giving has kept this club at or near the top of the district in per capita giving for many years. During the 2000-2001 Rotary year, the per capita giving ($196.00) was second among the district’s 58 clubs. During the administration of Paul Wilson (1998-99), it became the first in the world to achieve 100% Paul Harris Fellows and 100% Rotary Foundation Benefactors.
The well known “Rotanews” was started by PDG Austin Watson in 1953, and he and his son, PP Tony Watson still publish it weekly. It is mailed to Rotarians and friends all over the world.
Fair Park Rotary has been instrumental in starting other Rotary clubs. In 1960, under the leadership of PP Gene McDaniel, our club ceded part of its territory to organize the White Rock Club, and in 1979, Gene also led the organizational team for the Pleasant Grove Club.
Internationally, the Fair Park Rotary Club has been very involved. PP Paul Rosamond was chair of the International Chess Fellowship from 1977-1989. PDG Vac Stanford was chair of the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians (IFFR) in 1982-84. While International President, Vac led a group of five Flying Rotarians across the Atlantic, in private planes, to the International Convention in Birmingham, England. At the 2002 International Convention in Barcelona, PP Tony Watson will be installed as International President of IFFR for a two-year term (2002-04). PP June Weber and PP Sandy Landers started a partnership with the Rotary Clubs in Haiti, and in 2001, PP Paul Wilson organized a Rotary Matching Grant ($25,000) to buy an ambulance to service a hospital in Haiti. In 2001, Dr. Paul Mathai also received a matching grant for a project in India where our clubs’ funds would provide equipment for a vocational training center. The club has also provided clothes for needy children in the Philippines and safety equipment for a vocational school in the Dominican Republic.
In the community, Fair Park Rotarians have honored police officers and teachers monthly under the direction of PP JJ Lowe and Rev. Brian McPherson. The club often participates in the White Rock Lake Clean Up, Soup Kitchens, Salvation Army bell ringing, the Angel Tree, the Lakewood Street Dance, the Train Exhibit benefiting the Ronald McDonald house and the butterfly exhibit during the State Fair.
The club’s fund- raisers include pancake breakfasts, garage sales, chili cook-offs and remodeling houses. This money has gone to worthy causes like Teen Challenge (through PP Paul Ecker), Challenge Air (through member Theron Wright), college scholarships and underwriting a children’s activity book for the SPCA, which was written by member Kim Conover.
In 1991, PDG Milton Kessel initiated the District’s very successful RYLA camp, where Fair Park Rotary sponsors several students each year. The club also has hosted Group Study Exchange participants and has sponsored Ambassadorial Scholars. Fair Park has provided several college scholarships and has supported foreign students who have studied in the USA. PP Paul Rosamond organizes the Four Way Speech Contest for the club each year. Furthermore, several members have also participated in the District’s Rotary Chorus, where PP Tom Brown is still a member.
Fair Park Rotary is a highly successful and dedicated group. It strives to contribute both funds and manpower to all avenues of service and continues to be recognized by receiving the Presidential Citation from the District for the past number of years. We’re alive and well….thank you!
The Rotary Club of Farmers Branch
The Farmers Branch Rotary Club was chartered in 1986 with 27 members. The club was founded by the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Club. We currently have 39 members.
One of our first community projects was to sponsor a golf tournament for charity. This past year was our 16th annual event. The golf tournament benefactors have been North Dallas Shared Ministry and the Metrocrest Social Service Center. Both agencies support citizens in North Dallas, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Addison and Coppell with assistance for food, electric bills, clothes, rental assistance, school supplies and a medical clinic. The club is proud that we have much community support for these efforts.
The club also gives scholarships to graduating seniors each year as part of our on-going support of local high schools. Our club is very active in the community and sponsors scholarships for needy kids so they can participate in city recreational sports leagues.
The club is also active in the Meals-on-Wheels program to assist senior adults. A new program has been the annual Christmas Lights in the Park where Rotarians dress as Santa while citizens tour the City of Farmers Branch Christmas lights.
We are proud of our club and the significant community service projects it has undertaken in the past 16 years.
The Rotary Club of Farmersville
Chartered April 18, 1939
The Farmersville Rotary Club received its charter from Governor Hubert Johnson of the 128th District on April 18, 1939, in a ceremony held at the First Methodist Church of Farmersville. Sponsored by the Greenville Rotary Club, the new organization had nineteen members. B.C. (Dutch) Fielder was its first president and served as its secretary for many years afterward.
Other charter members included Lee Atkins, Oscar Carlisle, Clifford Carpenter, Raymond Cornes, F.M. Dyer, Jess Evans, Milburn Honaker, Pat Honaker, Gus Hooks, Charles Hooper, Edgar Hull, Curran Lewis, E.E. Marshall, Lee Miller, Eldridge Pendleton, Maxwell Perkins, Noah Wright, and Will Wright. All are now deceased.
The club met for several years in the basement of the First Methodist Church and later moved meetings to a local restaurant. At some point, the American Legion Building in the city park was designated as the official meeting place and remained so until the mid 1970’s when the club moved to The Grapevine, where meals were served in a boarding house type setting. Meetings have been held on Tuesdays at noon at the O.E. Carlisle Civic Center, named for one of the original members, since the early eighties.
Farmersville Rotary Club has always been known for its good food and camaraderie. The late Bay Sellers, who served as sergeant-at-arms for a long period, used to stand near the serving line and offer visitors a spoonful or two of his mother-in-law’s sweet relish. No one dared to not accept it, and all who sampled it found it to be three alarm hot. Bay patrolled the tables and fined any unwary visitor who did not eat his sweet relish and brag about how good it was. Some repeat visitors cheerfully paid their fines in advance rather than scorch their tonsils again. The club has always maintained an informal atmosphere in keeping with the prevailing attitude of the community.
The local club sponsored the Wylie Rotary Club in 1989 and held a joint dinner at which the Wylie club received its charter and the Farmersville club celebrated its 50th anniversary. Charter members O.E. Carlisle and Clifford Carpenter, both Paul Harris Fellows, still belonged to the Farmersville Rotary Club after 50 years and remained active until ill health and advancing years forced them to resign.
The club has always joined in community events and has taken the lead in many of them. Semi-annual blood drives have been sponsored for over twenty years, and the club awards a scholarship to a high school graduate annually.
Farmersville Rotary Club is a long time sponsor of the local Boy Scout troop and also contributes regularly to the Girl Scouts. Several Rotary exchange students from foreign countries have been hosted by the club and have lived with members’ families during the school year, and local students have been funded as exchange students to other countries.
Sharon Box, our first female member, served as president in 1997-1998. During that year, we had a 40% increase in our membership. She organized the first “Angel Tree” program in Farmerville in the early 90’s, and has been responsible for its success these many years. The “Tree” provides gifts at Christmas time for over 125 needy, young boys and girls of Farmerville.
A yearly golf tournament honoring the late Bob Tedford, a former club president, is held as a fund raising event and provides for a number of donations the club makes regularly for numerous worthwhile local causes.
For the past several years, Farmersville Rotary Club has funded a Paul Harris Fellowship for members based on years of service to the club. Currently, Mont Hendricks, James Highsmith, Wayne May, Joe Simpson, and Charlie Whitaker hold fellowships. Fourteen of the 35 current members of the club are past presidents. Years of service to Rotary of the entire membership total 383.
Farmersville Rotary Club takes pride in its 63 years of membership in Rotary International and in its long record of service to its community.
The Rotary Club of Frisco
Chartered January 3, 1986
The Frisco Rotary Club received its charter from Governor C. C. Collie on January 3, 1986. The new club was sponsored by the Richardson Rotary Club and started with 24 charter members. Jim Daniel, the first president, continues to be an active member today. Of the original 24 members, six remain active today. They are as follows: John Anselmi, Tony Brazeal, David Buck, Ed Burke, Jim Daniel, and Gary Wade.
The Frisco Rotary Club, known for its camaraderie and friendliness, has 60 members today and is sponsoring a second club in Frisco. The new club will be chartered during 2002.
The club is involved in several community service projects. The Frisco Rotary Club provides a four year scholarship for a Frisco High School graduate, plants trees in the various parks as part of the “Plant A Memory” with the Frisco Heritage Association, helps provide hot meals to senior citizens with the Collin County Meals on Wheels program, participates in the Christmas in April event to repair the home of an elderly citizen in Frisco, sponsors students at Camp RYLA each year and acknowledges two high school students each month during the school year for academic excellence.
The project that the Frisco Rotary Club is most proud of is the 4 Way Test Program that has been presented to every second-grader in the Frisco ISD since 1999. Members of the Frisco Rotary Club go to each elementary school in Frisco and show the children what the 4 Way Test is and how it applies to them. With the assistance of skits, audiotapes, and coloring books, the Rotary members relate the 4 Way Test to the students. At the completion of the program, the students have a good understanding of the 4 Way Test …(1) Is it the truth? (2) Is it fair to all concerned? (3) Will it build good will and better friendships? and (4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned? This program has already exposed over 2,200 students to “the Test” and a small glimpse of what Rotary is all about.
The Frisco Rotary Club takes pride in its membership in Rotary International and continues to grow and look forward to serving the community.
The Rotary Club of Garland
Chartered May 23, 1937
Through the help of the Dallas Rotary Club, the Garland Rotary Club, on May 23, 1927, was chartered as a new club with one of the city of Garland’s finest citizens as its founding member, Hack Roach. Only a few years later, on September 14, 1938, the Garland Rotary Club went on to be the founding club for the Richardson Club with Hack Roach once again being instrumental in the creation of a new club.
We have seen our club membership blossom to over 60 members back in 1983. Current membership is 30. Garland is proudhave had two Past District Governors: William Bradfield 1943-1944 (deceased) and Jack Curtis 1977-1978. Other notable positions in the district included Sandy Forster as ADG and District Secretary and Roger Jahnel as Director of Interact, Director of Community Service, District Planning Team, Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee, Membership Committee, 2002-2003 Chairman Awards and Literacy Committees. Our club also brags of two Ambassadorial Scholars: Beverly Diane Miller in 1988 and Audrey Easley in 1999. Both were music majors sent to study in England.
Other accomplishments of our club include a matching grant our club was able to secure with a club in the Philippines back in 1995. Both clubs donated $4,000 along with RI’s match which brought the total to $16,000. Because of this matching grant, the Garland Rotary Club was able to help build a much needed dam to control flooding.
Dr. Grace Smart joined in 1989 as our club’s first female member. Now an honorary member, she donated a $343,000 parcel of land to The Achievement Center, a non-profit day care center for special needs children in Garland. The Garland Rotary Club also supports this organization annually.
Sandy Forster served as the Club’s first female president in 1995-1996. She later went on to serve as an ADG in the district.
Nancy Moore will be our president in 2002-2003.
Our club has 14 Paul Harris Fellows, one sustaining member and two benefactors. All time giving to the Foundation is $72,768.
Other programs worth mentioning include our annual Christmas party for underprivileged students from seven area elementary schools. Our club has hosted this party for over 15 years. Our club has also given scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are about to go to college. Our scholarships have ranged anywhere from $750 to $1,500 with scholarships being awarded to one student from each school within the Garland Independent School District. Other charities, which our club is involved with includes the New Beginnings Center which is a shelter for battered women, along with the YMCA and Boy Scouts of America.
One last program our club is involved in that began this year is the literacy program. What began as a humble beginning with a class of less than five students has now grown to over three locations and over 100 students. Thanks to the vision of Roger Jahnel, our club now boasts over one third of our membership as ESL tutors.
The Garland Rotary Club meets at the Oakridge Country Club in North Garland at noon on Tuesdays.
The Rotary Club of Garland Lakeside
Chartered March 10, 1972
The Garland Lakeside Rotary Club was chartered in March 1972. Our club meets at Eastern Hills Country Club in Garland on Wednesday at noon.
Our club initiated our main service project in 1976. We strive to provide some holiday happiness for some needy children in our community. Originally, we presented some Christmas stockings filled with fruit and candy for several special education students in the Garland Independent School District. The district administrators have always been helpful in selecting the children and families needing assistance.
Today, we jointly work with the Garland Noon Exchange Club in having an annual Christmas party for over 70 elementary students. The students are selected from several elementary schools based on their needs. The students and their teachers are invited to join us for a special Holiday luncheon program.
The Shriners allow us to use their facilities at the Hella Temple in Garland. In the past years their clowns have helped entertain the students. Cake, ice cream, and drinks are served during the party. Local high school choirs and jazz bands present the main entertainment for the students.
Of course Santa visits and hands each student a bag full of presents chosen especially for him or her. Each student is totally surprised and full of excitement for each and every gift they receive. The teachers help us by providing a list of the things each student needs and their sizes. They appreciate everything they receive. Coats, jeans, shirts, blouses, socks, shoes, sweaters, school supplies, toothbrushes, and at least one or two toys are given to them.
This project usually receives 100% participation from our club and involves lots of organization. Several gatherings are needed for shopping, sorting and wrapping. Our club chairperson for the party is quickly selected at the beginning of the year so everything is planned early. Our club’s main fundraiser provides the funds for this service project.
Garland Lakeside is proud to be the home club of PDG Ray Kneggs, who served the district as governor in 1984-85. 1985 was the year that “kicked off” Rotary International’s PolioPlus program, with the objective to raise $120,000,000 to inoculate children against Polio in the 3rd World countries. Ray was very active in the International program and traveled to Delhi, India in 1998 to participate in the inoculation program. Ray has served as President’s personal representative to 15 District Conference in the United States and other countries, and has served as an Aide to International Presidents during 5 International Conventions.
The Christmas party for the children will always be important to our club. It brings so much joy to the children and all of our members. It impacts the whole community.
The Rotary Club of Grand Prairie
Chartered March 11, 1940
March 11, 1940, was the birthday for the Grand Prairie Rotary club. The club was chartered with 20 members and Dewey Millar as its charter president. The city was a bustling community with a growing aviation industry and a small, but growing military presence.
Hitler was active in Western Europe and the Axis was making the western world very uneasy. President Roosevelt was leading the country as it continued its slow recovery from the Great Depression of 1929. Unemployment stood at 27 percent across the United States.
Grand Prairie needed a service club and Rotary looked like just the ticket. The club moved around looking for a home and found several over the years. The Veteran’s Memorial Center, where the club meets today, became the club’s permanent home in the 1960’s.
The club has not had a District officer in its history although many have served the District in various capacities over the years. More than 100 of our members have become Paul Harris Fellows over the years, contributing nearly $110,000 in support of the Rotary foundation and its worldwide projects.
During the 1970’s the club began programs in support of youth. These efforts lead to the establishment of two scholarships for the boys of the month, one from each of Grand Prairie’s two high schools. Those scholarships continue to the present and have grown to $1,000 each, annually.
In the 1980’s, the Grand Prairie Rotary Club began expanding its horizons; first, by sponsoring the Tuesday Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club. The club was formed with 24 members and Clyde DeLoach, one of our former members, as the charter president. The second expansive activity for our club was our initiation into the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.
Our involvement in this area has brought us exchange students from Italy, Germany, France, South Africa, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Japan and Argentina. In addition, we have hosted several GSE teams and sent many U.S. students to study abroad.
Through the years, our club has been noted in the international student area as a host club for Texas State Fair weekends. This was accomplished by working with members of a number of district clubs to maximize this opportunity for the students.
In 1996, our club was instrumental in getting a $40,000 grant to place a medical unit in the territories outside of a major city in South Africa. This grant purchased the vehicle, provided for its staff and delivered polio vaccine and other medicines for the treatment of peoples in rural areas of South Africa.
Also during the late 1990’s, the Grand Prairie Rotary was able to fund the establishment of an in-school dental education and treatment program for some 600 youngsters who would not have otherwise been treated. This program has since been expanded to include a portable dental chair, a seal coat program for fourth graders as well as the contribution of needed dental services by a host of local dentists. The program was conceived and is executed by a woman Rotarian who is also a dentist. This program is now funded annually by a very successful golf tournament that also honors a local citizen.
Our members continue to demonstrate service above self through their involvement in every worthwhile program in this community.
The Rotary Club of Grand Prairie Metro
The Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club was chartered in 1985 through the vision of a small group of like-minded individuals who felt that there was a need for a second club in Grand Prairie. With 30 charter members, two of whom are still members, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club hit the ground running in more ways than one.
While the club was diligent in assisting with various charitable events and Rotary programs such as PolioPlus, food drives, water projects and others, the leadership of the club hit on the idea of holding a 10K race.
Over the past 15 years, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club has set itself apart by hosting the annual Lake Joe Pool 10K, 5K Run & 5K Walk, Fun Run & Pumpkin Fest (or simply, the “Pumpkin Run”). In an age where road races experience relatively short lives, the Pumpkin Run has grown and become a staple in the community.
Over these 15 years, the club has been able to funnel more than $60,000 back into the community for use by local charities. Most of the coordination of the race comes from volunteer help so that expenses can be kept at a minimum. Through the years, the run has taken on a festival atmosphere with music, door prizes, awards, food and the inclusion of the school challenge that encourages local schools to compete.
Held every October, the run is set against the picturesque backdrop of Joe Pool Lake and the developing community of south Grand Prairie. Averaging anywhere from 800 to 1,000 runners, the race has become one of the more anticipated races in the Metroplex.
Other significant work has come from a longtime relationship with Cam Gray and Orphans of the World. Cam has been instrumental in using his connections with Rotary clubs in Central America and Mexico to further the cause of Rotary on an international scale.
Through Orphans of the World, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club has been able to obtain matching funds that help provide food, hygiene products and educational supplies to impoverished areas of Central America. Through a joint project of OTW and an Oklahoman Rotary club, the Metro Rotary has recently shipped approximately $80,000 worth of wheelchairs and supplies to Central America.
Today, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club stands at just under 30 members. Since 1985, the club has seen a number of ups and downs including a period that almost witnessed the club’s demise. But in a testament to the strength and commitment to the vision of those individuals who began the club many years ago, the current membership has doggedly pursued those things that make the club viable and relevant in today’s society: service above self.
Even following September 11, when local charities and non-profits saw financial inflows decrease and even stop, the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club through its ongoing service to the community through the 10K run was able to distribute more than $8,500 back into local charities.
While the existence of the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club may not be long, its commitment to the community of Grand Prairie and the ideals of Rotary International are timeless.
The Rotary Club of Grayson County
Chartered June 23, 1987
The Grayson County Rotary Club was chartered on June 23, 1987 as a morning breakfast club. The club was sponsored by the Sherman Rotary Club during the tenure of District Governor L. T. White, a member of the Sherman club. Lyle Froese was the charter club president. There were 27 charter members. The club reached its peak membership of 51 in 1997 but currently maintains an average membership in the mid 40’s.
During its brief history, the Grayson Club has become active in a variety of community and international projects. The club has hosted Group Study Exchange Teams from British Columbia in 1993 and South Korea in 1998 and is scheduled to host the team from the Philippines in 2002. In 1996, the club sponsored a Rotary ambassador to Germany as part of the mini-exchange program.
In 1994, the Grayson club established the Hubbard Endowed Academic Scholarship in honor of member and retired Sherman ISD Superintendent Wendell Hubbard and his wife Marjorie. The scholarship provides a four-year stipend totaling $3000 to a local college student and is awarded every odd year. The fund maintains a balance of over $20,000. The club also awards an annual $500 academic scholarship, originally earmarked for students attending Grayson County Community College.
The club held its spirited, weekly meetings at Steak Kountry restaurant from 1991 until 2001. Currently, meetings are held at Kelly’s restaurant in Sherman. One of the special events that the club holds is an annual Valentine’s Sweetheart Banquet, first held in 1990. In addition to various awards presented to club members, a community volunteer service award is presented as well as the charitable recipients of the club’s fund raising efforts.
The Grayson Club was long known for its annual fruit sale fundraiser, which was discontinued in 2001. That same year, a new fundraiser was begun; a nighttime golf tournament, which will become an annual event. Probably the most memorable fundraising venture was the Winston Cup stock car race held at the Texas Motor Speedway in 1999. Over thirty club members worked in a concession stand for approximately 15 hours to only clear a little over $2,000.
Since its inception, the Grayson Club has earned six Presidential Citations. The club continues to play a vital role in serving the needs in Grayson County. Service to the international community will continue with the “computers in schools” project in Mongolia which is expected to be initiated in 2002.
The Rotary Club of Greater Kaufman
Chartered October 19, 1999
The newest Rotary Club in District 5810 held its Charter Banquet on October 19th at the Cedar Creek Country Club near Kemp, Texas. This club is located in Kaufman County, east of Dallas, and was sponsored by the Mesquite Club. Past District Governor Herb Kamm, of Duncanville, and Mike Slaton, of Mesquite, were instrumental in the organization of this club and have been driving to Kaufman for meetings and helping to build membership for over a year.
Both of these men, along with other Rotarians and spouses from all over the district, were in attendance at the Charter Banquet, in addition to the charter members of the Kaufman Club and their spouses. District Governor Paul Yeager presented the Club its Rotary charter.
The club meets weekly at noon at the Kaufman Family Restaurant and invites other Rotarians and guests to join them. If you know you will be attending, Charlotte Gilmore would appreciate a call by Tuesday morning (972) 932-7954. Officers of the club are Charlotte Gilmore, President; Kimberly Stevenson, president-elect; Ralph Hooks, treasurer; James Higgins, Jr., immediate past president..
The club wants to express appreciation to all those who attended the Charter Banquet and to all the clubs which sent greetings and gifts. It is a very humbling experience to be on the receiving end of gift giving. The club hopes to reciprocate by giving to their community in Kaufman and to the wider community, District 5810 and Rotary International.
The Rotary Club of Greenville
Chartered May 17, 1925
The history of the Greenville Rotary Club (established in 1925) is almost the history of Greenville and Hunt County. The first airport in our county was established on US 69 just on the Southeast corner of Greenville, across the street from Forest Park Cemetery. John D Middleton, one of our first presidents, sponsored an African-American Park on North Johnson Street, which was very successful and widely used.
In 1928, our club launched a drive for a new Court House, which stands today and is a tribute to any city. We sponsored 4-H boys in the purchase of calves; profit from the sale of these calves provided funds for several students to attend college. We sponsored a Boy Scout troop at Boles Home. During World War II, we purchased sporting equipment and established a club room at Majors Field.
One of the highlights of our activities was the district conference we held in Greenville in 1956. We had visitors from almost every club in the district. We had an array of prominent speakers. Beau Baumier, a past District Governor, was the life of the party. Senator A. M. Aiken, from Paris, Texas, one of the sponsors of the Gilmer-Aiken law, which was a great improvement in governing education in Texas. Two outstanding speakers, Ed Gossett, a district judge from Dallas and John Ben Shepherd, Attorney General of Texas added much dignity to our conference. The main speaker for our evening banquet was Ollie Oberg from Sydney Australia, vice chairman of Rotary International. It was one of the best Rotary speeches I have ever heard, and he held the audience of approximately 400 spellbound. The Rotary-Anns were entertained lavishly, with style shows, musical programs and an excellent speech by Mrs. Lamar Hunt of Dallas. Dinner music was provided by the East Texas String Ensemble. Another great District Conference was held in 1964. Our distinguished speaker was Herbert J. Taylor, the author of the 4-Way Test.
Some of the other accomplishments of our club: we assisted our Mexican neighbors at the time of their devastating earthquake; gave generously to the “Fish” effort and repaired homes for the elderly. We established the Fletcher Warren Park, honoring our local ambassador to over 15 foreign countries. He was born and reared in Wolfe City, near Greenville. We have rendered valuable assistance to the elimination of polio, world-wide, thanks to our valuable Rotarian, Ken Hart. We have hosted delegations from India and South America and have numerous flags from foreign countries. We have programs honoring our teacher of the month and the outstanding high school students.
We sponsored our neighboring club in Farmersville in 1939 as well as the Greenville Morning Club in 1992. We have sponsored a little league baseball team and sent a boy to Boys State for years. We actively participate in Clean Greenville and have been involved in winning three annual governors awards to our city. Our club has had one district governor, Ed Edmondson. He had attended 8 national conventions and was well known in Rotary International. Our club now has several Paul Harris Fellows. Ken Hart has provided 8 and it is a pleasure to see the 8 stars opposite his name. We were active in sending Bill Moyers to Edinburgh, Scotland, for his graduate degree. He became one of the most famous journalists in the world. His “Bill Moyers Journal” is read world-wide.
One of the secrets to the success of our club is the brilliant array of speakers. Some of them are: Bob Stewart, then President of the First National Bank of Dallas; Mr Ernest Baughman, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Dr Arthur Smith, Economist from SMU; T. L. Austin, Chairman of Texas Utilities and later Chairman of Brown & Root of Houston; E B Germany, President of Lone Star Gas Company and later his successor William P. McCord. We had Boone Powell, Senior Administrator of Baylor Hospital in Dallas and John Ben Shepherd, Attorney General of Texas, just after he was selected one of the 10 outstanding men in the USA. We have had J.J. Pearce, W.T. White, Nolan Estes and Linus Wright, all superintendents of the Dallas ISD. We had Charles Pister, President of the Republic National Bank of Dallas, just after he had finished his term as President of the American Bankers Association. We had Vernon Baird, President of Mrs Baird’s Bread Company. Other outstanding guests have been Ed Fjordbak, President of Communities Foundation of Texas; Dick Bartlett, Vice Chairman of Mary Kay Cosmetics and then President of the Nature Conservancy of Texas and Andy Sansom, Executive Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife. I would say that the speech by Barry Thompson, retired Chancellor of Texas A & M, College Station was the best that I have ever heard in my 58 years in Rotary.
I think we have one of the best Rotary Clubs in Texas.
“The article above” was written by Paul Mathews, 98 years old with 58 years perfect attendance and easily the most revered person in the Greenville Noon Rotary Club. It took Paul nearly 20 years to be invited for membership in 1944 because of the then rigid requirements of the classification system. Paul speaks from personal experience; he knew all of the charter members of the Greenville club in 1925.
The Rotary Club of Greenville Daybreak
Chartered October 30, 1992
The Greenville DayBreak Provisional Rotary Club held its first meeting on February 7, 1992. The Club was the vision of then District 5810 Governor Forrest W. Moore , Greenville Rotary Club President Ken Hart and Pete Smith, who was to serve as the first Club President. The Club flourished and was chartered on October 30, 1992. as Club #29022.
The Greenville DayBreak Rotary Club has two annual fundraisers which serve as the main sources of funding for its contributions to The Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club, Clean Greenville, Drug Free Greenville, Girl Scouts of America, Greenville Symphony Series, Habitat for Humanity, Hunt County Committee on Aging, Hunt County Shared Ministries, Literacy Outreach, Multisensory Learning Center, Radios for the Blind, Rotary Camp Enterprise, Rotary Camp RYLA, Salvation Army, Scholarships, Women in Need and YMCA. On the District level the club supports Send-a-Book and Medi-Send programs.
The Club honors exceptional students through its “STUDENT OF THE MONTH” program. The club participates in community programs such as “Texas Trash Off” day, American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” and “Make a Difference Day” (helping the Senior Citizens of the community paint and repair their homes), along with the Salvation Army Bell Ringing program.
The club boasts of twelve remaining charter members out of the original twenty-eight. Of these twelve members, five charter members have maintained perfect attendance for the 10 years the club has been in existence. (Houston Baker Jr., Beverly J. Loss, Ed McMeans, Barry Paris and John Reynolds.).
The Club hosted the Group Study Exchange from Brazil in 1995 and Past President Beverly Loss represented the District as Team Leader for the Group Study Exchange to Korea District #3650 in 1997.
District Awards have gone to the following Club Members: Barry Paris, awarded Ethics Rotarian, Houston Baker Sr., awarded Rotary Foundation Rotarian and Barry Robinson, awarded International Service Rotarian.
This club has had representation at all the District 5810 Annual Conferences. Members have attended Rotary International Conventions in Australia, Indianapolis, Indiana, and San Antonio, Texas.
We’re proud of our “young” club and feel that we have accomplished a great deal for our community, nationally and internationally in our short 10 years of existence!
The Rotary Club of Hurricane Creek
Chartered December 5, 1979
Hurricane Creek Rotary Club was organized in the summer and fall of 1979 and was officially chartered on December 5, 1979.
From the very beginning, the club felt it was special, and should be seen that way. Accordingly it held its charter night banquet on a special evening, February 29, 1980, on the campus of Austin College in Sherman. Principal speaker for the evening was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who was a personal friend of the Dallas Rotarian and past president George Cullum. George was the driving force behind the organizing of our club, which was formally sponsored by the Rotary Club of Dallas. The occasion drew over 500 Rotarians and non-Rotarians to welcome the newest club in our District.
“There is nothing you cannot do”, Dr. Peale told the members. “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” And Dr. Peale was right. Listed below are some of the accomplishment of the Hurricane Creek Club during the past 23 years.
Sponsored nine Rotary International Exchange Students – six inbound and three outbound.
Established a permanent education fund to provide assistance and incentive to teachers and students from the three districts in our area
Pledged $20,000 to Polio Plus over a five-year period and donated $21,000 within 3 1/2 years.
Recognized over three-score outstanding students, and presented scholarships to 18.
Established a permanent trust, now over $11,000 to benefit the Grayson County Center for Children and Adults.
Conducted successful fundraisers, including golf tournaments, golf endurance marathon (submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records), walkathon, citrus sale and others.
Delivered Meals on Wheels to the local elderly.
Housed Group Study Exchange team members.
Provided an afternoon and evening of entertainment for 80 Rotarians attending the Rotary International Convention when it was held in Dallas in 1982.
Housed Rotary Exchange students during their summer bus tour of the United States.
Our club was chartered with 25 members, reached a membership of 27 and has dipped to as low as 18. Most years we have stayed in the 20-22 range. We truly believe that these men and women represent the best in business and professional people in the community.
We are particularly proud to have 20 charter members still active in our club (one had to let his membership lapse for several years, but has since rejoined our group), including two with perfect attendance since the club’s inception.
Over and above our specific accomplishments, as important and as impressive as those may be for a club of our size, Rotarians of the Hurricane Creek Rotary Club have done something more important. We have provided leadership by example and character in many key areas of our communities.
As Paul Harris wrote: “Good works are not all there is in Rotary; good works are expressions only of something beneath. Beneath the good works of Rotary, there is an invisible power; it is the power of goodwill.”
The Rotary Club of Irving
Chartered February 16, 1937
February 16, 1937 (Charter Day), Hitler marched into Germany; Stalin ruled Russia with an Iron Fist; Roosevelt began his second term. Irving was not a “one street town”…..it actually had nine streets.
The 30’s brought depression, drought, desperadoes (Bonnie and Clyde), and dust, but not despair. Unemployment stood at a hard core 27 percent across the nation. Irving, with all its burden, would birth a struggling and sorely needed, active service organization, The Irving Rotary Club.
The Dallas Club organized The Irving Club, ceding the territory north of Dallas and West of the Trinity. Later, our club sponsored Grand Prairie Rotary on March 11, 1940 and on March 21, 1972, North Irving Rotary Club (now Las Colinas Rotary). In 1983, our last child, The Coppell Rotary Club was born.
We first met at the Methodist Church, then moved to the new WPA Civic Center, the first eleven-story Irving Bank Tower in 1966. Since 1976, we have met every Thursday noon at the Las Colinas Country Club. Our club has spawned two district governors….Leo Jackson (1965-1966) and Hubert Owens (1977-1978).
Our main thrust has always been youth; Irving Rotarian Don and Mary Oberlin hosted one of the first exchange students in our district in the late ’70s, Deiter Koontz from West Germany. We have about 15-20 scholarships each year (including technical), school partners, mentoring and all the things you can imagine.
Jim Wilcox became chairman of the District’s Rotary Foundation committee on July 1, 1984. Until then our club had been credited with only 35 Paul Harris Fellows and had never had a Sustaining Member. Only eight of the PHFs had been donated by the individuals. All others had been given by the club to honor the member. During the following Rotary year, 25 PHFs and 30 SMs were added, resulting in a little over $32,000 being sent to the Rotary Foundation. At that time, it was an all-time record for giving to TRF by any club in District 581. Six years later we had 140 Fellows and 65 SMs, including 14 members of Jim’s family. For his diligence and dedication, he received the Rotary Foundation’s District Service Award in 1984-85 and received both the Citation for Meritorious Service and the Distinguished Service Award from the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation.
Finally, we have been a good Rotary Club. We have grown from 15 members to a pretty steady 150 (big enough to do big things, small enough to know each other). We have a huge volunteer force (boards, committees, elected officials, hospital, etc.) We are known for our award-winning weekly bulletin, The Blade (sent world-wide), and our outstanding programs and high number with perfect attendance, one with 48 years and one with 51.
The history of Irving Rotary is a thousand stories of men and women who enhanced their own lives as they spread the story of Rotary throughout the world these past sixty-five years.
The Rotary Club of Las Colinas
Chartered February 12, 1972
Las Colinas Rotary was founded under the sponsorship of the Irving Rotary Club. We owe a particular debt to Mike Donnelly, Ben Thomas, Bill Esslinger and Hubert Owens of that club. Doyle McKinney and Bill Nicol kept an eye on our early development. The charter was issued to Irving North Rotary but the name was later changed to Las Colinas.
The club has been characterized by service, good fellowship and recruiting and acceptance of members from all walks of life. In 1986, Patty Landers became our first woman Rotarian. Our Tom Roberts (38 years of perfect attendance and the District 5810 Ambassador Scholarship chairman for 15 years) has been instrumental in bringing foreign students to town and recruiting scholars to go abroad.
We view service to community as an opportunity to build fellowship and friendship within the Club. For many years the Irving Christmas Classic race brought as many as 6,000 runners to Irving in early December. There’s something about temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s that creates a bond with other club members working on cold assignments along the course.
In 1999 our club applied for foundation fund for the Reading is Fundamental program. In addition to selecting books appropriate for local schools, our members go to the school to read to students. This fits in with a mentoring program for our partner Travis Middle School that has provided our members with opportunities to help in the classroom.
Being located in the Las Colinas business community has been a mixed blessing. We are privileged to have dynamic people come to Rotary through our club. We are saddened when their careers cause them to move on, but we take satisfaction in the fact that most go on to join Rotary at their new location. Even with a high proportion of members with less than 3 years of membership, we are proud that half of our members are Paul Harris Fellows or Sustaining Members.
The Rotary Club of Irving Sunrise
Chartered December 23, 1987
The Irving Sunrise Rotary Club today has 51 members. For the last five years they have received the Presidential Citation for fulfilling the Rotary objectives. In 2001 they were awarded the Community Service Award by the District for their project “Back to School”. The United Methodist Church distributes over 3000 uniforms & supplies to disadvantaged children in the Irving School District. The members of the club volunteered time and efforts to distribute the clothes and supplies to these children. The project lasts for four weekends prior to the beginning of school in August. The children have to be screened and approved prior to obtaining their uniforms and supplies. The club also donates $2000 to this project to help with the cost of the uniforms.
Another project with the Irving School District that has been very successful is a “Graduating Seniors Clothing Drive”. The members donate gently used sports jackets, white shirts and shoes to the graduating seniors that are in need of an outfit to wear to graduation. This is done in conjunction with the school counselors. Some of the other community service projects are: reading to the children of Lively Elementary School, assisting with the Irving Senior Citizens Center with their yearly Miss Mature Irving Pageant, purchasing software for the Irving Public Library that is used in maintaining records and administrating their English as a Second Language program. Other projects in the district are Angel Tree, Irving Police Officer of the Quarter, RYLA, tree planting in the River Bottom little league ball park. Yearly we send a participant to the Four Way Speech Test Contest. We purchased bicycles for the Irving Police patrol at Austin Middle School. We also support Irving Cares with a monetary donation every Christmas for the needy. We have also participated in a $1500 donation to the Rotary Club of New York City for the 9-11-01 tragedies. We also award a Rotarian each year with the “Doyle McKinney Award” for outstanding commitment to our club and the community.
In International Service, we have supported the Group Study Exchange program by hosting the teams from India, Philippines, Italy & India. Marie Zeiler led the GSE team to India in 2001. Doyle McKinney led the GSE team to India in 1975. We have two matching grants in the works: First, with Bucharest Romania to provide the Children’s Burn Hospital with equipment. Second, with India to provide the schools in Ichalkaranji with 38 computers. We have sent a container through Medisend to Honduras for hurricane Mitch disaster relief. We sent a pallet of food to Honduras for the hurricane Mitch disaster relief. And a water treatment system was sent to the Honduras to help purify their water.
The past presidents are as follows: Doyle McKinney, Harold Brueckner, John Thompson, Larry Richter, Bill McCallister, Henry Cole, Dr. Van Parham, Dr. Van Parham, Larry Richter, James Kennedy, Richard Comstock, Scott Layne, Dr. Glen Thurow, Dr. Ken Krivacic and current President Dr. Bob Wright.
“Doyle McKinney Awardees” are as follows: Larry Richter, Harold Brueckner, Bonnie Ewing, Mary Lankford, Dr. Van Parham, James Kennedy, David Gray, Marie Zeiler and Richard Comstock.
The Rotary Club of Lancaster
Chartered April 25, 1984
In 1983, a man by the name of Dick Baggett came to Lancaster as the new hospital administrator. At that time there was no Rotary Club in the city of Lancaster. Dick changed that and on April 25, 1984, the Lancaster Rotary Club received their Charter.
The first meeting place for the club was at the hospital. The charter members of the club are the following: Hospital Administrator-Dick Baggett, School Administrators-Charlie Henderson and Larry Groppell, Druggist- F.M. Shokes and Mike Peters, College President-Floyd Elkins, Attorney-Cameron Sewell, City Manager-John Marshall, TU Electric-Larry Mims, Real Estate-Charles McGough, Home Builder-Larry Hood, Lone Star Gas-Joe Gandy.
Through the years the club has met at the following locations: Midway Park Hospital, Cedar Valley College, Country View Golf Course, Benavides Restaurant. Currently the club has a room on the second floor of the Regions Bank Building and a catering person prepares our meals.
Members of the club have been recognized several times by the Texas Senate for their contributions to the youth of Lancaster. This recognition was for the Free Enterprise Program which was presented to Juniors and Seniors at Lancaster High School. We were also recognized for our work with Best Southwest Scholars.
The club has been very supportive of the Lancaster Library and have had unanimous participation in the Toto Run to raise money for the library.
The club participates in the city-wide efforts to pick up trash from our roadways. We have recently taken a stretch of Highway 342 and will be caring for this monthly. We will have signs along the road stating we have adopted this portion of the highway.
The following members have served on the Lancaster City Council: John Marshall, Terry Stinson, Bob Borden, Paul Clayton, Rocky Strickland (Mayor Pro Tem) and Margie Waldrop (Mayor). All of these same people have also served as president of the Rotary Club along with John Piper, Jim Weaver and Dick Knopf.
Our Paul Harris Fellows are: Margie Waldrop, Joe Johnson, Terry Stinson, Rocky Strickland, Paul Clayton, John Piper, Cameron Sewell, Charlie Henderson, Dick Knopf. The current Paul Harris sustaining members are: Bill Baxter, Rex Kirkland, Vernon Beuke, and Jim Weaver.
Our club has hosted International Exchange Students and International Exchange Groups.
We are also strong supporters of the Lancaster Outreach Center. Each year we give $1,000 scholarships to deserving Lancaster High School Students. This year we will give a scholarship to a Cedar Valley College single mother and will pay for her daycare while she is attending her classes. Over the years, we have been big supporters of Camp RYLA.
We have two major fund-raisers each year. We have a golf tournament at our local golf course and we provide flags for five holidays a year to subscribers. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, we put out all of our flags free of charge to our subscribers and left them out for six weeks.
Margie Waldrop, President, 2001-02, Lancaster Rotary
The Rotary Club of McKinney
Chartered July 1, 1919
The Rotary Club of McKinney was organized May 30, 1919 with 28 members and admitted to the International Association of Rotary Clubs as club 519 on July 1, 1919. The sponsoring club was the Rotary Club of Dallas and their special representative to the McKinney Club was Walter C. Temple. The District Governor at the time was Thomas S. Reed, Jr.
From the beginning this club has encouraged students to succeed in their studies. In the 1920-21 year, the club paid the expenses for three Collin County boys to attend the annual “short course” at State A & M College. In 1932-33, the club began inviting one high school student to attend the club meeting for one month, then another student was chosen for the next month. This was to acquaint the boys with the world of the club and aims of Rotary. Still today the club recognizes two students each month, one boy and one girl, for high academic honors. In 1958-59, the club helped a student through the University of Texas with the club’s student loan fund. In the early 1990s, the club was the first endowed fund through the McKinney Education Foundation to assist McKinney students to further their education. Shortly after the club began the Letter Sweater Program to honor all sophomores, juniors and seniors who had maintained a 90 average the previous year. Now named the Academic Excellence Program, it is funded by a symphony concert each winter and major donations. Each student receives a stadium blanket the first year and chevrons in subsequent years. A $3000 scholarship is awarded annually through the Al Ruschhaupt Memorial Scholarship at this event.
In 1932-33, the club also formed illiteracy and extension committees. Today we continue with members who volunteer to teach illiterate adults to read through our city library. In 1946-47, the club sponsored a library for the public schools, selecting books to be donated. In 1952-53, the club held Career Day at the high school with panel discussions on various vocational activities. Each member donated a book to the public library on his vocation. This tradition continues in 2001-2002 by the club donating a book each week in honor of our speaker to a K-12 campus which represents a microcosm of the MISD, the ACT Academy and Library.
International work has also been a major focus for the Rotary Club of McKinney. In 1929-30 the International Service committee began bringing our first representatives from other countries. In 1939-40, the club participated in the Institute of International Understanding promoted by the International Service Committee. In 1952, the club sponsored a panel discussion each month on international affairs which was broadcast over the local radio station. In 1963-64, the club began corresponding, in Spanish, for years, with clubs in Mexico and Latin America, especially with District 417 in Mexico. The club also supported the Holy Family School, a mission preschool in McKinney. The club continues to host one international student each year and assists in sending our incoming President to the RI International Convention each year.
In 1965-66, the club initiated the Rotary Club Citizenship Award Scholarship and the Rotary Club Educational Award (Neilson Award) in the amount of $200 each. In 2001 then-President John Lovetere began the Good Samaritan Award Program in which citizens nominate any non-Rotarian for service above self. This person, selected by the Rotary Club, is featured in the newspaper, invited to the club meeting and awarded $100. This program garnered the District’s Most Innovative Project Award in 2001 and continues today.
Our distinguished member George S. Kadera has been honored by Rotary International with the prestigious “Service Above Self” Award, and served District 5810 as Governor in 1995-1996.
The Rotary Club of McKinney has the heart and soul Paul Harris must have envisioned in Chicago those many years ago. This club has a long history with a common thread weaving throughout of service to our community and to our world. Please join us Friday at noon whenever you are in McKinney!
The Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise
Chartered May 22, 1992
McKinney Sunrise was sponsored by the Rotary Club of McKinney. Tom Healy and Paul Yeager were the organizers. We began with a total of 38 members. At first the Club met at the Stonebridge Country Club on Mondays at 7:30 am. In January 1997, the meeting place was changed to Luby’s Cafeteria, and the meeting day to Wednesday. In January 2000, another move was made to Eldorado Country Club. This location was selected for member convenience, food and atmosphere. Since 1992, membership has fluctuated, at one time reaching a low of 20. Stressing membership retention, we now have 41 members.
The club has been most active in all services, participating in Foundation activities, RYLA, Camp Enterprise, Literacy, Scholarships, GSE, 4 Way Test, Community and International programs. Our main emphasis in Community Service has been on service to the children of our community. We have contributed on a regular basis to Samaritan Inn (a homeless shelter) and Habitat for Humanity. One of our major projects is the Christmas Angel Tree.
To raise funds, we have sold Passbooks, Christmas trees, art, household items and fruit. We also held a golf tournament. Our largest and most successful fund raising project has been the “Flag Program”. We were one of the first clubs in the district to have a program of this type and many other Rotary Clubs have adopted it.
In 1993, the club sponsored a youth exchange student from San Pablo, Brazil, Ricardo Bevilacqua, for a one-year program. Host families were Healys and McDonalds. In 1995, we sponsored another student, Miki Hayashi, from Japan. The host families were the Yeagers, Crenwelges and Capps.
In August 1993, Paul Yeager and Fred Bahrenburg received the first Paul Harris Fellows. To date, the total of Paul Harris Fellows is 30 with 52 Sustaining members and 7 Benefactors.
The Presidents of McKinney Sunrise, in chronological order from 1992 through 2002 are as follows: Tom Healy, Bob Flinchbaugh, Paul Yeager, Linda Terry, Pat Beaman, Frank Shushok, Chuck Koehler, Larry Offerdahl, Jeff Caserotti & Steve Mitas. In addition, the club has two Past District Governors – Nathan White, Jr. (1979-1980) and Paul Yeager (1999-2000).
The Rotary Club of Mesquite
Chartered June 30, 1959
The first thoughts for a Rotary Club in Mesquite took place at a “Home Hospitality” gathering during the 1958 Rotary International Convention in Dallas. Past District Governor Briggs Todd and Sam Scothorn, both district level officers in then Rotary District 581 set forth to make the club happen… and it did.
The Mesquite/Big Town Rotary Club met first at the cafeteria at the Big Town shopping mall. Most of the early members were store managers and tenants of Big Town. One of the most impressive speakers of early times was the founder of the J. C. Penney Stores, James Cash Penney.
One of the interesting challenges of the past (the early seventies), involved the Rotary Club of Terrell. The Mesquite Club and the Terrell Club embarked on an attendance drive. Each club showed 100% attendance for a six-month period. Terrell eventually won. John Todd, representing the Mesquite Rotary, plunged into the Holiday Inn swimming pool, fully clothed for the losing effort!
Over the years, the Mesquite Club has worked on a variety of fund raisers for its Scholarship efforts: selling chili and Frito Pies at the Rodeo Parade, cutting and selling watermelons at an Eastfield festival, parking cars during the Balloon Festivals. One unusual fundraiser was an old fashioned Turkey shoot. The club purchased ten 22 caliber rifles. Tickets were sold for a fixed number of shots. The shooters shot at targets with frozen turkeys and hams as the ultimate prizes. The most profitable fundraiser is the Annual Rotary Bike Ride which raises funds to meet the needs of various projects within Mesquite.
In years past, the Mesquite Rotary has contributed to a wide range of community needs which have included a Fire Safety House to enable the Mesquite Fire Department to demonstrate fire safety to M.I.S.D. students and many other Mesquite children. A $1,500…and growing…scholarship is provided for each of the five high schools. Annual Christmas gifts are given to a multitude of Mesquite Social Service clients. The club has also donated directly to the Mesquite Social Services with contributions, equipment purchases and food. Other recent contributions have included the Epilepsy Foundation and the New Beginning’s Center for abused women. One of the largest single contributions was given to Meadowview School, which is a special needs school. Mesquite club members participate in community service projects such as the Reading Program at Motley Elementary School in Mesquite. Motley is a Title One school in which club members share their time in reading to the students.
The club continues to grow with a great attitude and fun spirit. It is always a joy and delight to attend and participate in the Mesquite Rotary Club. The Mesquite Rotary moved from time to time for different reasons. In years past, the club has met at the old Holiday Inn on Highway 80 near Town East Boulevard. From there it moved to Eastfield College and met in the faculty lounge, thanks to Jerry Hanson from the Registrars Office at the college. From there, the club moved to its current facility, the Dallas Athletic Club.
The Rotary Club of Midlothian
Chartered November 15, 1992
Here’s a short story which shows how a Rotary Club can “make a difference” in an individual…..yes, one person at a time!
“It was in June, 1983, when I received a call from the president of the Midlothian Rotary Club, who told me that there was a young girl in Midlothian High School who had heard about Rotary International’s Youth Exchange program and would like to know more about it.
I was serving as District Youth Exchange Officer at the time; I called and invited the student, Loretta Rogers, to be my guest at the Rotary meeting the following Tuesday. I met a very shy young lady, 16 years of age, and told her about the program. Loretta was the only child of a single mother, who was very concerned about “sending” her daughter to a foreign country to be hosted by a man’s organization. Loretta had never been out of the state of Texas.
I, too, was concerned about accepting a person, immature for her age, to go on a program that involved so many uncertainties. However, I also knew that we had an established program in our District to prepare a person for that year abroad, and that the receiving district was prepared, as well, to take care of all but the most unusual situations.
Loretta was placed in Norway, left in August of that year; as with the others, I kept in contact with her during the year. Shortly after she returned, she attended our “de-briefing” session, and I was literally amazed to find a “different” person, actually talkative and even fluent in a foreign language.
That fall, the Duncanville Rotary Club called to ask me to give a program on Youth Exchange at their Rotary meeting and suggessted that I bring a student. I do remember getting up at 4 A.M. one cold December morning, driving to Midlothian to pick up Loretta and making the 7 A.M. meeting on time. (Breakfast club meetings have never been a favorite!)
Loretta actually gave the entire program; her presentation was very well received. (She even spoke a little Norwegian, to prove she could!)
Yes, Rotary International, through its Youth Exchange program, has been responsible for influencing the lives of over 75,000 young people since the program was started in 1965.
Milton Kessel (Fair Park)
District Y. E. O. (1979-1985)
The Rotary Club of Oak Cliff
Chartered July 12, 1945
The primary reason for the formation of the Oak Cliff Rotary Club was to foster the ideals of Rotary and bring their benefits to the Oak Cliff Community. Another strong motivation was that the members of the Dallas Rotary Club needed a convenient club for make-ups and had urged its formation. Thus on July 12, 1945 the Oak Cliff Rotary Club was chartered with 27 members. The first president was Starr Armstrong followed by Roy Hill, Leven Deputy, Frank Delaney and William Durrett. Twenty five years after being chartered, four original members were still active in Oak Cliff Rotary. They were William ( Bill) Durrett, Dr. Bob Lorenz, William ( Bill) Roberts and William R. Roberts. William R. Roberts is the only remaining charter member, he has been a member for 56 years.
The club meetings were at the Cliff Towers, followed by Wedgewood Towers for a few years before moving to the Torch Restaurant for about 13 years. In 1981, the club moved to Weiss Auditorium at Methodist Hospital, and in 1998 moved to the “Top of the Cliff” in the Bank of America-Oak Cliff Tower.
The club has had several members with almost 50 years perfect attendance before their passing – William Durrett and Clifton Rogers. Presently Dr. William R. (Bob) Durrett is approaching 26 years perfect attendance. Dr. Kent Pollard and Richard C. (Dick) Pierce are approaching 25 years perfect attendance. Currently, and over the years, the members have supported the Rotary Foundation with annual giving, Paul Harris Fellowships, and Benefactors.
Besides the years of perfect attendance, William Durrett served as President then Secretary-Treasurer of the club for over 30 years. He was principal of Kimball High School until his retirement. He was a dedicated Rotarian who set an example for all of Rotarians to follow.
Another Rotarian whom we are proud to have had as long-term member was Clifton (Cliff) Rogers who passed away in 2001. Besides his 50 years of perfect attendance, he was known throughout the district for his work with the Rotary Foundation and inspirational speaking throughout the state.
Like all other Rotary clubs Oak Cliff Rotary has rendered too many community projects to name them all. Among the more significant ones are scholarships for Oak Cliff students, sending students to RYLA, and supporting “Oasis Housing” which provides housing as a first step after getting out of shelters or other transitional housing programs. We also honor the “Senior Citizens of Oak Cliff” recognition to a leader who has made a significant contribution to making Oak Cliff a better community.
The award has been given to Judge Fite, Charles Fugua, Joe Denton, Don Hicks, Dr. Charles Tandy, Clifton Rogers, Alan Griswald, William H. Roberts and Bill Durrett. The club also has given recognition to outstanding high school students, police officers and firemen. Like all Rotary Clubs every year is filled with service projects such as these.
Oak Cliff Rotary has a history of supporting education. For years, the club has given annual scholarships to deserving college students. The club has had numerous students as guests, including our RYLA participants, and annually has a “Four Way Test” contest. For years we had a mentoring program for high school students to learn more about possible careers. The club has had numerous school principals and college presidents as members. Many prominent leaders in the Dallas education system have been members of Oak Cliff Rotary. School principals such as William (Bill) Durrett, Harold Filgo, Bob Durrett, Karen Eggers and College Presidents such as Cliff Harris (Dallas Baptist Univ.) Bill Jordan (Mountainview Univ.) and Gary Cook (Dallas Baptist Univ.) have been members of our club while serving in these positions.
Club membership has ranged from 70 + members to 22 members. During the early years it was easy to acquire new members and grow to over 70 members. Throughout most of its history the club has had thirty to fifty members. Like many service clubs, the club has struggled to keep up the number of members in recent years, due to the changes in the Oak Cliff community.
The Rotary Club of Park Cities
Chartered May 21, 1948
Over the years, the Rotary Club of Park Cities has engaged in a wide variety of service projects. Among those projects, however, there has been a decided emphasis on education in all four of its avenues of service-club, community, vocational, and international. This report will focus on some of those educational programs.
In the area of Community Service, for example, the Literacy Committee was formed in 1991 to raise funds through the sale of citrus fruit during the Christmas season. The first benefactor of the $1,042.84 profit from citrus sales was the Dallas County Adult Literacy Committee which coordinated the efforts of organizations actively engaged in teaching reading and writing. Other beneficiaries are Literary Instruction for Texas (LIFT) and North Dallas Shared Ministries. In eleven years more than $16,000 has been contributed to literacy organizations in Dallas County. This committee also facilitates the work of a large cadre of regular tutors at Stephen C. Foster Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). Finally, we have a program called Diploma Plus in which we subsidize 10 or 12 students per year at $50 per month as long as they maintain satisfactory grades, attendance, and citizenship, as determined by the school. In the four years of the program’s existence, we are batting 1,000, i.e., every student in the program has graduated at the end of his or her senior year.
In the area of Vocational Service, Woodrow Wilson High School (DISD) was selected by the Adopt-a-School Committee to help 100 at-risk 9th grade students achieve the level of grades and attendance of the rest of their classmates. In 2001-2002, the Rotary Club of Park Cities provided five motivational speakers each six weeks for Award Assemblies, recognition lunches at our Club meetings for the A & B Honor Role Students, a Career Day in November and a Job Shadow Day in February.
In the area of Club Service, our Public Relations Committee sponsored a contest in the art department of the Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School in which students were asked to design a holiday card. On the back of each card was the Rotary logo and this year’s Rotary theme, Mankind Is Our Business. Prizes were awarded to the top two winners and the cards were printed for sale. The project was so well received, student participation was so high, and sales went so well that District 5810 is seriously considering adopting it for district-wide participation. Although we do not consider this project a fund raiser, a check for more than $2,000 profit from the sale of the cards and artwork was presented to the school’s principal by the Mayor of Dallas at our February 15, 2002 club meeting.
In the area of International Service, we have sponsored an International Youth Exchange student from France this year. He attended Highland Park High School and made a monthly report to the club on his activities and progress. We also provided the funds to allow him to participate in a culminating trip around the Southwest with the rest of his foreign student friends. We are currently working on the sponsorship of an Ambassadorial Scholar for this year, as we have done in years past.
The Rotary Club of Park Cities Frank Monroe Foundation has made substantial monetary grants for educational programs over the past few years to the following educational organizations: The Winston School, Sudie L. Williams Elementary School (DISD), Woodrow Wilson High School (DISD), Open Door Multilingual School, Books 1-2-3 and Earning By Learning and Basic English.
George Echerd, Historian
The Rotary Club of Plano
Chartered May 21, 1945
The Plano Rotary Club was chartered on May 21, 1945. Sponsored by the Richardson Rotary Club, a group of business and professional men came together and established a unit of the worldwide service organization in Plano and the Plano Rotary Club began. Twenty one business leaders were present at the Charter Presentation Banquet that was held on June 21, 1945. Among the occupations represented by these members were a furniture store owner, funeral director, hardware store owner, service station owner, insurance agent, cleaning and pressing, grocery store, farm implement dealer, attorney, newspaper publisher, minister, superintendent of schools, automobile dealer, and family doctor. This was a real cross section of the business and professional interests and activities in the community at the time and the Plano Rotary Club has endeavored to maintain this representation through the years. The first president of the club was the funeral director, J. O. “Jack” Harrington. The first club meetings were held in the Methodist Church. Various community rooms, the community house, a local restaurant and now the Harvey Hotel have been home for the luncheon meetings each Thursday.
The club has grown steadily over the years to a membership of 135 in 2002 and has provided major leadership for the city. Many mayors, city council members, school superintendents, school trustees and many other key executives have been members of the club. The club is also proud of its two district governors; they are Nathan White (1979-1980) and Herb Hoxie (1996-1997). A strong emphasis of the club has always been perfect attendance. We have prided ourselves on being known as the 100 percent club and stress the importance of making up a missed meeting to all new members.
Charitable donations, service projects and fellowship have always been part of the club’s activities. In the late 1940’s and 1950’s, an annual Halloween Carnival was held in downtown Plano to entertain the kids and keep them out of mischief. Another annual event was the Chili Supper, held on a Friday night before the Plano Wildcats football game. Members served home cooked chili that had simmered all day long. Then the annual Rotary Fish Fry raised funds for nonprofit organizations in our community and most recently the Plano Rotary Roundup has emerged as a most successful fundraiser. All of these events have fostered fellowship and friendships as members worked together for the good of the community. In 1945, the new Rotary Club of Plano had the same general objective as all other Rotary Clubs throughout the world – to encourage and foster the Ideal of Service. This is still true and today you can see this exemplified in the Plano Children’s Medical Clinic.
In 1991, the club donated $10,000 to help start the Plano Children’s Medical Clinic, a clinic for under privileged children in need of medical care. Ten years later, when a fire destroyed the home of the clinic, the Plano Rotary Club provided the leadership and raised over $100,000 for the clinic’s new home. Additionally, members donated services and supplies to make the new clinic a reality. The other Rotary clubs in Plano came together for the first time in a joint effort to support the new clinic. Today, a large Rotary wheel is seen on the front of the clinic. This is a sign of the impact the Plano Rotary Club has had in the Plano community for almost 57 years.
Herb Hoxie, one of our most active and participating members, served as District 5810 Governor in 1996-1997.
The Rotary Club of Plano Metro
Chartered December 12, 1984
Gleneagles Country Club is the current home of Plano Metro Rotary. The first six months of our existence, club meetings were held at Tino’s Mexican Restaurant in Collin Creek Mall. The restaurant’s owner and one of our founding sponsors, Tino Trujillo, made his restaurant available to the club for those first meetings. Two interim moves were made. The first move was to Jamani’s Restaurant for about one year. Following Jamani’s, the club met at Willow Bend Polo & Hunt Club for less than six months. The club has been at Gleneagles ever since.
Members that have served the club as President include: Ray Wheless, Bob Swepston, J.C. Posey, Ken Chitwood, Ed Jones, Jerry Fleming, Bill Langley, Robert Jansson, Milt Driver, Lewis Brooks, Jeff Chase, Mano Mahadeva, Linda Denton, Geoffrey Glidden, Dan Cheek, Chris Jones and Steve Young (current President). Plano Metro Rotary Club was the first club in Plano to have a woman Rotarian on the roster.
The club’s primary fundraiser has been a Las Vegas style casino event. It was an event that was inherited from Plano West Rotary. Several locations were tested for the fundraiser. St. Elizabeth Seton’s was home to the first two or three, followed by one at Larry Lang Jaguar. South Fork Ranch was the next location. The casual and spacious atmosphere created at South Fork Ranch proved to be a favorite among patrons and the event remained there for many years. However, as overhead escalated at South Fork, the club sought another location. It seemed a perfect fit that Gleneagles Country Club should be the home for our major fundraiser. By 2002, the necessary adjustments were made to revamp the event to better fit the Gleneagles environment. Through the hard work and effort of club volunteers, their spouses and generous business leaders, the event is an enormous success.
Plano Metro Rotarians have historically had a bias toward supporting programs that serve youth both locally and internationally. Some of the recipients of our club’s contributions have included: PISD Help the Kids Program, Camp RYLA, the Hendrick Foundation, Student Venture, Polio Plus, Boy and Girls Club of Collin County, the YMCA, Samaritan Inn, Mary Crowley Academic and Vocational Scholarship Program and the Tahuichi Soccer organization for Bolivian children. However, other groups have benefited from the club’s generosity including: the Wylie Tornado Relief Fund, Mission Honduras, Phoenix Ministry, Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Food Pantry and P.U.S.H., to name a few.
“Service Above Self” has been demonstrated time and again. Members have volunteered for neighborhood house painting projects, lawn clean-up and painting at CITY House, the Citizen of the Month program at Hedgecoxe Elementary, delivering Meals on Wheels to local senior citizens, and assisting Plano Rotary Club with Rotary Round-up to benefit the Children’s Medical Clinic. We have sponsored a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar and opened our homes to International Exchange Students and member’s of RI’s Group Study Exchange.
The Rotary Club of Plano Sunrise
Chartered February 23, 2000
In November 1999, four former Plano Rotarians (Gary Basham, Terry Dobbins, John Findley, and T.L. Morgan) and one current Plano Rotarian Tino Trujillo, began talking informally about starting a fourth Rotary Club in Plano
The first organizational meeting was held at 11:30 am, December 1, 1999, at Tino’s in Collin Creek Mall followed by another such meeting on December 17, 1999. The Plano Rotary Club agreed to sponsor the new club; Tino Trujillo was appointed Governor’s Rep and approval was sought from the other two clubs in town. Communication would be by email. The Bulletins would be published on the web and not printed and mailed. Club Service projects would be done with “Sweat Equity” and not by fund raising. Emphasis will be placed on attendance with the target to be 100% every week. There will be no head table.
The first meeting of the provisional Plano Rotary Club was held on January 7, 2000 at Tino’s in the Mall at 7:00 am. During January the name was changed from Plano Early to Plano Sunrise and the time was fixed at 7:00 AM; the location moved to Tino’s Too on the East Side and charter application was made with 32 members, 11 who were former Plano Rotarians and 5 who were members of the parent club. The club received its charter February 23, 2000.
Charter Officers were Terry Dobbins, President; Mike Booher, President-Elect; Secretary, Sharon Lewis; Treasurer, Doug Ray, and Sgt.-at-Arms, Michael Dobbins. The Charter Officers agreed to serve the rest of the year plus the full Rotary year of 2001-2002.
Sweat Equity Projects have included: scraping and painting a house, helping Plano Habitat for Humanity build a house, adopting a neighborhood in East Plano and helping clean it up by weed eating alleys, picking up trash, painting house numbers on curbs and in alleys, providing manpower to Plano Rotary for the Rotary Roundup fund raiser for Plano Children’s Medical Center, mentoring elementary students in reading and numerous small bits.
Membership continues to grow from the original 32 and on our second birthday stood at 47. In our first two years, only ONE person has missed and failed to make-up. He has custody of a pot-bellied pig named Penelope and will pass it on to the next person who misses and doesn’t make up.
The Rotary Club of Plano West
Chartered January 29, 1980
Plano West Rotary was the second Rotary club established in Plano, Texas. We have a diverse membership of business owners, community leaders, and business executives in our club. Plano West Rotary has been committed to the ideals of “Service Above Self”. We have tried numerous fundraisers over the years, looking for one with the best overall success. Most of our fundraisers have been very successful. However, there was one fundraiser that almost caused our club to close. That was a fundraiser called “Rock On”, it was an outdoor concert held at Clark Stadium in Plano. There were several big name bands that played at the event. Many factors contributed to the concert losing money, lots of money! However, our club members rallied around each other and we managed to survive. Currently our main fundraisers are:
Plano Balloon Festival- We sell Funnel cakes and soft drinks. Proceeds go to general fund for distribution.
Pecans-We sell 1 lb. bags of pecans starting in mid October through Thanksgiving. Funds generated are used for scholarships to the 3 Plano high schools.
Glow Necklaces-We sell glow necklaces at the July 4th event held in Plano. We split profits between Boy Scout Troop 25 and Plano west Rotary. Proceeds are used for Vocational Scholarships at Plano high schools.
We became involved in a very worthy International Project in 2001 called “The Lost Boys of Sudan”. These young men were displaced from their homes in the area of Sudan in Africa due to “ethnic cleansing” between rival tribes. Most of these young men’s parents and entire families were killed and they had no place to go. They were eventually re-located into a temporary camp. Through the United States government a program was established to help these young men relocate to America. Many of these young men reside in the Dallas area. Plano West Rotary has donated numerous amounts of time and essential living items to help them adjust to living in America.
Plano West Rotary has supported numerous charity and non-profit organizations over the years including a $25,000 donation to help rebuild the Plano Children’s Medical Clinic; all Rotary clubs in Plano, plus the Richardson Central club supported this project. We have supported many International and District 5810 projects. We have also supported the following programs locally: Meal On Wheels, Plano Senior Citizens Center, Boy Scout Troop 25, Boy Scouts Circle 10 Council, Plano Food Pantry and Habitat For Humanity.
We are proud of the Presidents who have served our club since its inception. They are: Tom Posey (1980-81); Chuck Richardson (1981-82); Charles Greer (1982-83); Pat Amos (1983-84); Pete Kerutis (1984-85); Bud McBrayer (1985-86); Benny Morgan (1986-87); Ron Harris (1987-88); Bill Olson (1988-89); Vince Walsh (1989-90); Wes Moore (1990-91); Doug Cargo (1991-92); Steve Krusemark (1992-93); Ed Boyce (1993-94); Fred Bemenderfer (1994-95); Fritz Wisdom (1995-1996); Ann Jones (1996-97); Gene Losey (1997-98); Bob Champney (1998-99); Luke Laman (1999-2000); Marilyn Brooks (2000-01); Steve Lauten (2001-2002).
Chartered November 9, 1979
The Pleasant Grove Club was presented its charter by then District Governor Frank Monroe on November 9, 1979, at the Dallas Athletic Country Club. George Grogan was installed as its first president.
Sponsoring Rotary Club was Fair Park. One of its founders and past presidents, Eugene McDaniel, and PDG Governor Milton Kessel, were instrumental in getting the club organized.
Past presidents of the Club are: Terry Carpenter, Loyd Davis, Charles Deffie, John Evans, Harold Filgo, Weldon Griffith, Jody Hallmark, William Hallmark, Dudley Hargrove, Anne Harper, Mark Healy, Al Madden, Raymond Morrow, Fred Newmann, Jeff Pruitt, Marshall Sutherland, Gary Williams and its current president, Don Vickery.
Existing charter members are Terry Carpenter and Jeff Pruitt.
From the beginning, the Pleasant Grove club has subscribed to the highest tenets of Rotary International and has dedicated its support to District 5810, to the community and to its membership. Although it is one of the smallest clubs in the district, it maintains one of the most active programs of community service and actively pursues the motto, “Service Above Self”
Significant programs and achievements throughout our history are:
(1) Year to year participation in the RYLA program, (2) Involved in the District’s 4-Way Speech Contest, (3) Provides support to the Southeast Dallas Food Bank (4) donations to Skyline Library’s ESL program, which provides a second language for local students, (5) provides college scholarship, (6) collaborates with a local elementary school and local bank to promote an understand of banking and good banking practices, (7) participates in Medi-Send by providing medical supplies and equipment for Sri Lanka, (8) delivers Meals on Wheels, (9) participates in the “bell ringer” and “Angel Tree” of the Salvation Army at Christmas-time, (10) joined with the Falfurrias, Texas Rotary Club in an international project to provide computer equipment for a small Christian School in Mexico, (11) actively involved in reading program at local school to promote literacy, (12) participates with other Rotary Clubs in the “Vet” to “Vet” programs at the Veteran’s Hospital in Dallas, (13) provides an authentic Santa Claus at Christmas time in the “meals on wheels” program.
The Rotary Club of Pleasant Grove and Skyline Library have partnered with the Southeast Medical Center to provide books for younger patients when they visit their doctor, as part of Parkland’s Reach Out and Read program in the Southeast Clinic. This provides funding and selection of various books and videos in English and Spanish, which the children are permitted to keep.
The John Evans Award, presented annually, is the “medal of honor” award of our club. Named after John Evans, who has served our community, the City of Dallas as City Councilman and our nation (John was assigned to the USS Arizona). His life is devoted to serving his fellow man. The recipient must have demonstrated his exemplary service to his community and to mankind.
The Pleasant Grove Rotary Club will continue to carry out the tenets of Rotary International as it serves its community, the nation and the world.
The Rotary Club of Preston Center
The Preston Center Rotary Club (PCRC) was chartered on December 31, 1985, with 28 members. From its inception our club has focused on the needs of children. RI had just committed to Polio Plus and requested that each Rotarian contribute $100 to meet its goal of eradicating polio. Knowing we had to meet this goal before moving on to other projects, PCRC raised the funds, and was recognized at the 1986 District Conference in San Antonio as one of the top five contributing clubs in the 25 to 30 member class.
Our next two projects included “Adopt-a-School,” which involved mentoring students from North Dallas High School and “I Have a Dream ” which involved mentoring 6th graders to stay in school with the incentive that there would be monies available to them for college. In this last program we made a six-year commitment to mentor fifty kids from two elementary school classes and to contribute $36,000 in scholarship dollars for these students. We were assisted by the Larry Lightner Foundation, which partnered with us and contributed another $14,000 to cover the total commitment of $50,000.
At the time our commitment to “I Have a Dream” was winding down we met with Kathy Dudley, founder of Voice of Hope, a student-centered non-profit agency established in West Dallas, one of the metroplex’s poorest communities. The heart of the program was to focus on kids early in their lives by providing academic and emotional support, a sense of balance and belonging, to insure that these at-risk children were not lost to other environmental pressures. Partnering with parents, good habits and learning skills were established. One of the first community-wide projects was called “West Dallas Clean” where approximately 250 volunteers met to walk the neighborhood and pick up trash in West Dallas. The idea was to do something that would give the residents pride and get the city’s attention.
Our involvement with Voice of Hope led to a fun annual fundraiser known as the “Rotary Grand Prix” go-cart race where competition is encouraged among children, parents, Rotarians and businesses. Each team consists of five members so teamwork is essential. The Grand Prize is the Governor’s Cup, which can be displayed and then returned for the next year’s race. The proceeds of this unique event (which started at $5,000 and now in its 10th year approach $150,000) support the Voice of Hope’s summer camp. PCRC has worked with this organization for sixteen years and we have seen it grow from a soccer ball and a Bible to an organization that has its own building, a full time staff and now impacts the entire family. Our greatest satisfaction comes from the fact that some of the children we have worked with have now come back as adults taking active roles in its leadership.
Moving to the far northeast portion of the metroplex, we find Equest, the benefactor of our second annual charity fundraiser. Equest promotes therapeutic horseback riding as part of a total neuromuscular program to help children who have injuries or disabilities too difficult for conventional therapies to treat.. Surprisingly, physical and motivational benefits are common in this program. Physical therapists come from as far away as Europe to train at Equest, which now trains instructors for the expansion of these techniques across the country as well as throughout the world. Our Westapher golf tournament has been the major fundraising event that enables PCRC to successfully support this organization.
Our involvement with children extends beyond our own borders. For example, PCRC has sponsored Rotary Exchange Students from Japan, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil over the last ten consecutive years. In addition, with our Sister Club The Juarez Rotary Club in Cuernavaca, Mexico, we participated in a Matching Grant designed to assist that local club in helping their disadvantaged youth.
Out of this experience, we successfully completed an unusual reverse matching grant. It is unusual for several reasons. First, it appeared to have three dimensions, as it bridged Community Service with International Service and then took on a Club Service aspect. The community aspect is that Mi Escuelita’s goal is literacy, one of Rotary International’s mandates. We took a constructive action to help a vital community project grow. Secondly, the international aspect is that our sister club in Cuernavaca, Mexico took the initiative to apply for a matching grant, which provided resource libraries for Mi Escuelita’s five locations. We matched their funds, applied to District 5810 for a contribution, and then Rotary International matched the total. It is considered reverse from the fact that money came back to the USA. Thirdly, Club Service was brought into play by raising the awareness of our membership to the literacy deficiency and needs of our community. Mi Escuelita is located to the north of, and adjacent to, downtown Dallas and targets pre-school children by teaching them to read and speak in English. These children are in the lowest 10 percent of reading readiness and come from homes where English is rarely spoken. Originally established for the Hispanic population, it has since expanded to include Asians. They now teach 330 students annually and its success can be measured from the 80+% high school graduation rate.
Rotarians of our club are encouraged to actively participate in the organizations we support. Volunteering as mentors, readers, teachers and board members, we as members of PCRC are further able to invest in the needs of our community. Writing a check does not generate the satisfaction that getting involved in the operations does. Seeing the joy on someone’s face for an effort made far outweighs any recognition or reward that can be received.
Our activities and opportunity’s can be viewed on our web site prestoncenterrotary.com. Please come visit us Wednesdays at 7:15 a.m. at the Park City Club or online. We would appreciate your comments.
The Rotary Club of Prestonwood
Chartered May 25, 1977
Our Club was chartered in May, 1977, with a membership of 25. Prestonwood entered its 25th year in 2002 with a membership of 58. Originally known as the Addison-Prestonwood Rotary Club, its territory, given to it by its sponsor, the Park Cities Rotary Club, included South to Forest Lane, North to the Collin County line, West to Inwood Road, and East to Coit Road. In 1984, the Club determined that a second Rotary Club was needed in the territory; this second club was designated the Addison Rotary Club and at that time, Addison-Prestonwood officially became the Prestonwood Rotary Club.
The Club originally met at the Spring Valley Country Club. Subsequently, Prestonwood moved to the Marriott Quorum, and later to the Prestonwood Country Club, where it currently meets on Wednesday from noon to 1:15 PM. Excellent location, an outstanding buffet, a wide variety of programs, under the guidance of Past President Mike Kelly. Genuine friendship and fellowship have resulted in Prestonwood’s recognition as one of the best clubs in District 5810.
In documenting our history, special mention must be made of Max Wells, PDG Austin Watson and PDG Doyle McKinney and his wife, Faye. Wells, a former member of the Dallas City Council, was instrumental in establishing the infrastructure of the Club. PDGs Watson and McKinney have been invaluable as friends and mentors of Prestonwood since its inception.
Prestonwood has a history of outstanding officers and directors and was the first club in the District to appoint a Parliamentarian. Past President Bud Wahl, now an honorary member living in Arizona, was the first to hold that position.
We have always embraced Rotary’s Four Avenues of Service:
Prestonwood has maintained a 90% or better monthly attendance rate for the past 22 years. The Club established a Past Presidents’ Committee, which serves at the pleasure of the President. These members chair attendance, membership development, new member orientation, and the Rotary Foundation, as well as mentoring for new members.
Prestonwood participates in a broad spectrum of vocational service programs. These include Camp RYLA, The 4-Way Test Speech Contest, off-site meetings and vocational service talks. Prestonwood’s unique contribution is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD) and honors several unsung officers of the Dallas Police Department annually.
We are actively involved in four significant community service projects:
Challenge Air For Kids and Friends, begun in 1993 by a late member of our club, Rick Amber, has the goal of showing physically challenged children that they can “Reach for the Sky” and be successful. Over 11,000 youngsters have been flown here and throughout the United States.
Gilda’s Club provides a non-residential, homelike meeting place where people with cancer, their families and friends, can join with others to build emotional and social support. Prestonwood began its involvement in 2001 with a golf tournament. Second annual event is scheduled for June, 2002.
Share the Blessing, an annual project that involves donating food, toys and financial aid to less fortunate persons in the community is now in its 4th year.
Amelia Earhart Learning Center, an inner-city school in West Dallas, benefits from Prestonwood’s active involvement for more than two decades. The Club provides students with supplies, materials, Weekly Reader and Scholastic magazines, and funds to insure that the 6th graders take their annual flight to NASA in Houston.
Prestonwood also sponsors an annual Community Service Awards Day, where worthy citizens ae recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Metroplex.
Prestonwood is highly committed to International Service by its involvement in Youth Exchange, Mini-Exchange, Group Study Exchange, and Ambassadorial Scholarships. We have acquired matching grants that have assisted us with Sister Clubs in South Africa, Siberia and Australia
The Rotary Foundation: Because of the guidance of Past President Harry Sebel, the Prestonwood Club has 100% participation of its members – either as Paul Harris Fellows or Sustaining members. Over $100,000 has been contributed in our 25 years.
Prestonwood Rotary will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2002. The theme of this event is “SILVER yesterdays will become GOLDEN tomorrows.” When people ask what Prestonwood Rotary is all about, the Club responds, ” We are a Rotary family and we do good things.”
The Rotary Club of Richardson
Chartered September 14, 1938
The Richardson Rotary Club has a proud history dating back to 1938. That is when its first President, Clifford Huffman was installed by the Garland Rotary Club.
One of the priority areas of service for the club has been the field of education. Over the years, the Superintendents of Education for the Richardson Independent School District have been members of the club, including J. J. Pearce, among others. This dedication to educating young people resulted in the formation of the Richardson Rotary Club Foundation. The Foundation provides four-year college scholarships to deserving graduates of Richardson schools. Fund raising efforts over the years have included raffles and the sale of holiday items as well as donations by members. The Foundation now has endowments for two new scholarships each year. The Club continues to build on this legacy.
Members are also actively engaged with students at Dobie Primary School. Dobie is a local school that includes only pre-kindergarten through first grade. Several members regularly serve as tutors at the school. There are a number of languages spoken in the homes of these children as their families come from all over the world. Most have very limited financial resources. Each fall, the Club purchases school supplies for the children. These are brought, in bulk, to the club meeting, where all the members and guests that day participate in preparing a bundle for each child. Last year, a local vendor donated book bags so children could more easily take items to and from school; in addition, each holiday season the Club purchases gifts for them. The school staff organizes gift packages appropriate for each child. The gifts are then distributed to their parents. Sometimes, this is the only gift a child has received at the holidays. We think it’s important that they know we care.
One of the most successful international projects involved sending medical equipment to Turkey. One of our members had visited a club in Turkey during a vacation trip. Very large earthquakes had struck there during the trip. Some of the injuries sustained by victims required kidney dialysis treatment. We were contacted by the Turkish club and asked if we could help. One of our members arranged to have 10 machines donated by a U. S. manufacturer. A local business firm donated funds to build crates for the machines. We also sought guidance from the Turkish Counsel’s office and were able to arrange free shipping on Turkish Airlines while the Turkish Red Crescent organization agreed to serve as importers and distributors of the machines to facilities in need. We also raised funds locally and obtained a matching grant in partnership with the Turkish Club through the Rotary Foundation. These funds were used to purchase supplies to operate the dialysis machines.
The Richardson Rotary Club and its members are actively engaged in helping make our community a better place in which to live, and to help improve social and economic conditions throughout the world.
The Rotary Club of Richardson Central
Chartered March 21, 1980
Discussion went on for several years at the Richardson Rotary Club about the need for a second club in Richardson to allow more community leaders the opportunity to join Rotary and also have a place locally to do “make-ups”. Thus, Richardson Central Rotary Club was started by Tom Price in 1980 with Harry Scott serving as the first President. The provisional club of 24 Charter members elected officers on February 22, and started meeting on February 29 at Wyatt’s Cafeteria.
The official Rotary International Charter (dated March 21) was presented April 11 at the District Conference banquet at the Dallas Twin Sixties Inn, with District Governor Nathan White, Jr., presiding. The official club logo designed by Jim Rogers was unanimously adopted by the board on August 26. The first annual installation banquet chaired by Wayne Mayo was held June 5, 1981 at the Canyon Creek Country Club.
The motto of Richardson’s second Rotary Club is “Service is Central” and from the beginning the members have enjoyed “hands on” service projects, from mentoring children at a low income elementary school to working security at the Richardson Holiday Parade, to hosting an annual swim party/picnic for the Boys and Girls Club of Richardson. The club has also given financial support to many organizations and projects such as Richardson YMCA; Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts; Network of Community Ministries; New York Relief; Plano Children’s Medical Center; Richardson Development Center for Children; Richardson DeMolay Chapter; Challenge Air for Kids; Richardson Fire Department; and college scholarships for vocational students. The Central club works well with the other Richardson clubs hosting the Annual Business and Industry Lunch for the Chamber of Commerce. To finance these projects for years the major fund-raiser was a dinner/silent and live auction, but for the last four years the club has sustained its charitable giving through a car raffle (2 VW Bugs, a PT Cruiser, and this year a Jeep Liberty.
Realizing the “Service above Self” potential of the female gender, Richardson Central was quick to accept women into Rotary, having had four women presidents since 1994. Other outstanding Central Rotarians include Jaye Marksbury, “Mr. Rotary”, who served District 5810 in multi-capacities simultaneously, as well as literally dedicating his life to Richardson Central Rotary and its success. Wayne Mayo, another standout, is a Charter Member, Past President, past member of District committees, and still chairs and serves on various club committees and “he ain’t even retired yet!”
In its short history, Richardson Central has been very active at the District level, with its members serving as Assistant Governors, Communication Chair, Four Way Test Speech Chair, District Treasurer, GSE Chair, Annual Giving Chair and numerous other positions and committees. At the International level the Central club has sent several Ambassadorial scholars overseas as well as participating in the Teacher Exchange program, GSE Team Leader , International Youth Exchange and Matching Grants. Each year the club finances its President’s trip to the Rotary International Convention.
Richardson Central is proud of its support of the Rotary Foundation over the years, which includes 67 Paul Harris Fellows, 33 Benefactors, 18 Paul Harris Sustaining Members and one Major Donor. Central is also proud of receiving the Rotary International Presidential Citation consistently since the beginning of the program.
On Friday, February 23, 2001, Jaye Marksbury, who at the time was serving as President of Richardson Central Rotary Club, passed away. During that day, he had presided at the club meeting. Excerpts from a memorial written by Mary Rydesky, Mesquite Rotary, follow:
“Jaye was a most articulate man and a keen observer of the human condition. Like Master’s writing in Spoon River Anthology, Jaye’s words could capture the essence of the moment – or a person – in precise and detailed discussion. His way made for a flowing, conversational story telling, for he knew when the chapter was ended, and that turned his attention to listening.
He was bright, impassioned, well-spoken and selfless. Feisty and impatient, he was as constant as the North Star when it came to his word and his devotion to Rotary. His legacy is a standard; he showed us how to look beyond the detractions as we remain focused on “Service Above Self”.
Jaye was a working Rotarian. Everything he did centered on Rotary, it seemed. He was working on fund-raising ideas, community service initiatives and plans for the next round of District communications talks. Did he ever miss a District event? Was he ever unprepared for his Club’s meetings, where he presided each week? His actions challenge us to be as constant in service and commitment”.
Mary Rydesky, ADG, (2001-2002)
The Rotary Club of Richardson East
Chartered August 22, 1985
On September 17, 1985, District Governor Collie called club President Volney Shields to congratulate him on the approved charter for the Richardson East Rotary Club. The approval of 24 charter members closed on August 22, 1985. In March 2002, five charter members are still in the club. One of the charter members, Clifford Huffhines, was also a charter member of the Richardson club, 1938, and it’s first President. The Richardson East Rotary Club also owes a debt of gratitude to Gene Parrish of the Richardson Central Rotary Club for his support in the charter process.
From the very first meeting, the club has been a very tight knit group. The size of the club has consistently ranged around 30 to 35 members. That has been considered an excellent size for all club socials and the ability to meet in various members homes. The club has a wonderful casual spirit and a balance of ages and genders.
The various avenues of service have been well served over the years. A balanced approach has been taken to see that each avenue, each year, has meaningful projects. Community Service projects that are undertaken by the club include Camp Enterprise, Camp RYLA, Leadership Richardson, Network, Santa’s Village and scholarships. International Service projects include disaster relief, group study exchange, international convention, polio plus and Paul Harris sustaining members. Vocational Service projects include Forestridge Elementary, Stults Road Elementary, Four-Way Test speech contest and teacher appreciation. Club Service projects include several socials during the year.
At the 2002 District Assembly the Richardson East club had the highest number of participants.
Looking back over the years two projects stand out reflecting what most people equate with Rotary. The first is the Leadership Grove project. The idea of this project is to provide a vehicle in the community to honor and say “thanks” to those individuals that have played a leadership role in the lives of various individuals or groups. There have been a wide range of individuals honored which range from parents, teachers and civic leaders. Trees were purchased by those wishing to honor someone and planted on the civic center grounds followed by a presentation ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor an individual, beautify the city and provide working funds for other Rotary projects. It has truly been a win-win situation for all concerned.
The second is the Casino Night project. This is the large fund raising project for the club that provides large dollars for the various benevolent endeavors of the club.
The Richardson East Rotary Club is now looking to the future by planning for bigger and more urgent community projects and invites everyone wishing to make a contribution to come join in the fun and opportunity for service.
The Rotary Club of Rockwall
Chartered March 15, 1939
The Rockwall Rotary Club is the oldest service club in Rockwall County. In March of 1939, 25 prospective members met at the Mecca Cafe in Rockwall with District Governor Hubert Johnson of Waco to organize the Rockwall Rotary Club. Forest Stephenson was elected charter President and served again as President during the club’s 25th anniversary year. Among the charter members in 1939 was former Dallas District Attorney, Henry Wade.
On December 21, 1945, the six year old, 20 member Rotary Club bought its own building in downtown Rockwall for $300.00. The building had a crumbling floor, no kitchen and no water. The building was located next door to Ben Klutts’ tractor dealership. Ben became a member of the club in the summer of 1939 and provided water to the building by connecting a water hose to a faucet and dragging the hose to Rotary Hall. After a few years, water and sewer services were extended to the building. However, it was the mid-1979’s before a rest room was added.
Boy Scout troop 319 was chartered in 1939 under the sponsorship of the club. In fact, the troop was granted its charter while the Rockwall club was still in provisional status and had not yet received its charter from Rotary International. This association represents the longest continuous sponsorship of a troop in the district.
The club outgrew Rotary Hall and had to cap its membership at 70 members. On October 18, 1988, the club approved the formation of a breakfast club. The Rockwall Breakfast Rotary Club’s charter was granted on March 15, 1989, exactly 50 years from the day the Rockwall Rotary Club was granted its charter.
Congressman Ralph Hall served as 1953-1954 President and is an honorary member of the club. On February 11, 1988, the club inducted its first female member, Jane Bounds. Jane was the owner and publisher of the town’s newspaper, The Rockwall Success, and she is still an active member of the club. July 1, 1998 Cindy Tayem became the club’s first female president. On July 1, 2002, Betty Fulmer will be installed as the second female president.
In July, 1996, the club established the Rockwall Rotary Foundation. Later that year, the Foundation purchased and renovated a 2,500 square foot building that became the new Rotary Hall. Unlike the original Rotary Hall, this building has a commercial kitchen, running water and two rest rooms. As a community service, the Foundation leases the building to individuals and organizations in the Rockwall area at below market rates. In addition to use by the community, the building is home to the Rockwall Rotary Club and Rockwall Breakfast Club.
The club’s primary fund-raising event is the Rockwall Rotary Hot Rocks Bike Ride. The ride was initiated by Rotarian Stan Lowrance and attracts approximately 1,200 riders annually. The proceeds from the ride provide funds to maintain four ongoing college scholarships awarded to high school graduates of the Rockwall Independent School District.
The club’s other annual fund-raiser is the Taste of Rockwall. It is held in conjunction with the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. The event attracts approximately 800 people to sample food from Rockwall area restaurants and visit display booths of Rockwall area businesses.
Over the years, the club has been actively involved in meeting community needs and supporting the programs of Rotary International. Due to the success of the club’s programs and its involvement in the Rockwall area, the club has grown to 100 members. Unfortunately, the club will soon have to cap its membership again because of space limitations. However, we know from experience that limited membership causes people to appreciate even more the privilege of belonging to the Rockwall Rotary Club.
The Rotary Club of Rockwall Breakfast
Chartered March 15, 1989
Formation of the Rockwall Rotary Breakfast Club was accomplished following many months of extensive research, study, discussion and deliberation, beginning during the 1988 presidency of Kent Smith. Initial contact with the Rotary District 581 Extension Committee was made at that time.
When the 50th Anniversary Committee was established in March 1988, formation of a breakfast club as part of the 60th celebration was discussed. From the first meeting on October 17, 1988, the committee unanimously approved a breakfast club as a 50th Anniversary project. On the following day, in a special meeting the Rockwall Rotary Club Board of Directors unanimously approved the creation of a Rockwall Rotary Breakfast Club, subject to approval by the existing Club’s membership and the District Governor.
District Governor Vactor Stanford gave his enthusiastic approval, appointing Gerald Burgemy as his representative to the provisional club.
Jack Horn was appointed Rockwall Rotary Club’s representative to the group. President Gary Johnson, President-Elect Larry Parks and 50th Anniversary Chairman Don Stodghill, all of the Rockwall Club, worked closely with the group during the formation of the new club
Our most successful fund-raisers have been auto raffles of a Beetle Bug and a PT Crusier. These successful fund raisers have enabled us to fund our Teacher Appreciation Awards; College Scholarships for Rockwall graduates; Mike Barringer’s used shoes for children in South America; Matching Grant funds for an orphanage, La Casita, in Cancun, Mexico; eye glasses for students in need in Rockwall, The Rainbow Room and financial aid to other local and national and charity organizations.
We are very proud of the work that Larry Dobbs has done with The RYLA Program and the development of an Interact Club in Rockwall High School.
Rockwall Breakfast has been one of the most active and participating clubs in our Rotary District. As a result, we know that the Rockwall community and the world of Rotary has benefitted….and we’ve had fun doing it!
The Rotary Club of Sherman
Chartered March 2, 1923
The Rotary Club of Sherman, Texas began with a meeting at The Miller Boarding House in Sherman on February 17, 1923. The original charter members totaled 20 local businessmen. The sponsoring club for Sherman was the Rotary Club of Bonham, Texas. On the day of the first official meeting the official club charter failed to arrive, but the meeting was held anyway. As it turned out loss of the charter was not a first since it was lost once again later. The re-issued charter now hangs in the current president’s office. Early projects of Sherman Rotary included mosquito eradication, creation of a local Boy Scout program, betterment of public roads and much, much more.
The Sherman Club has had two members serve as district governors, Euclid T. Fant (1956-1957), who mysteriously disappeared in 1958 without a trace, and L.T. White (1986-1987). L.T. remains in the club with 38 years of perfect attendance. One more comment about Euclid…he was dropped from Rotary membership on October 31, 1958 after four missed meetings, unheard of for Euclid. Detectives found his car, Rotary pen, and glasses at the Dallas train station. He was never heard from again.
Our membership has grown from the original 25 to an approximate average of 90 members. Club maximum enrollment hit approximately 112 members in 1976. Our club currently lists over 120 Paul Harris Fellows with ten Benefactors.
The Sherman Club has sponsored the Van Alstyne, now Hurricane Creek Club, and the Grayson Club. In 1986, Rotary International announced the Polio Plus Campaign and asked Sherman to pledge $25,000; however, our board increased the goal to $50,000 which became the club’s focus through 1988.
The Sherman Club has been active in group study exchange (GSE) both in nominating and having team members accepted; we have supported international youth exchange on many occasions, hosted inbound GSE teams, sponsored an Ambassadorial Scholar Laura Howe to Birmingham, England 2001-2002, and are presently nominating an Austin College student for an Ambassadorial or Rotary World Peace Scholar. We have also sponsored a club member, Jerry Middents, to serve as a RI visiting professor to India on two different occasions. Sherman Rotary has been active in providing GSE outbound team members, as well as having members selected as outbound alternate team chiefs. Other significant projects the club has been instrumental in is the creation of a local Goodwill Industries; sponsorship of a Rotaract Club at Austin College; support of a Drug Free Youth in Texas program at Sherman High School; earthquake support in Central America, and food drives to help local needy. Weekly programs have been outstanding with speakers ranging from Dan Moody, Governor of Texas; US Senators and Congressional Representatives, to include Sam Rayburn, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Ralph Hall; US Secretary of the Navy; Laura Bush; Nobel Prize winner, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica; and RI President James Lacey.
One of the success stories that our club is most proud of is that in 1939 the club loaned $100 to a lady named Mary Carter Crowley. Ms.Crowley needed the money to go to business school in Dallas. This involved considerable hardship on her part as a single mother raising two young children. After graduating she went into business for herself using the Rotary Four Way Test for her business plan. A banker agreed with her and loaned her additional money to start her business. On Sherman Rotary’s faith and $100 scholarship, Mary’s company, Home Interiors and Gifts, Inc. grew to 1,400 employees with an additional 3,700 domestic manufacturers, and an additional 17,500 manufacturers overseas. Since Sherman Rotary put $100 in Mary’s hands in 1939 her company has paid $549,391,000 in taxes through 1997.
The Sherman Rotary Club Educational Fund, Inc. was chartered in 1967 to give scholarships instead of loans. The Fund has evolved to The Sherman Rotary Club Charitable and Scholarship Foundation Inc., which provides not only traditional scholarships, but also funding for other worthy projects.
The Sherman Club presently meets every Tuesday at noon at the Holiday Inn South in Sherman.
A formal 75 year history of the club was published in 1998 and is available through the club secretary.
The Rotary Club of Southeast Dallas County
Chartered June 16, 1986
The club began life in 1986 as the Rotary Club of Balch Springs. It was formed to bring the Rotary presence to the Southeast Corner of the DFW metroplex. The Balch Springs Club also filled the need for a breakfast club in this area. In 1998, we petitioned for a name and territory change. Both were granted and we have been trying to extend our influence ever since.
It has always been a small club, but one that really believes in Rotary. As one of the smallest and newest clubs, we have endeavored to have an impact that belies our size. Our club has accomplished several noteworthy items.
Our club has been very active in the programs and support of The Rotary Foundation. Southeast Dallas County has led District 5810 in per capita giving to the Rotary Foundation in 1997-1998, 1999-2000, and most recently in the 2001-2002 year with an average gift of $496.25 per member. We have sponsored three Ambassadorial Scholarship candidates. We hosted the inbound GSE team from Korea in 1998. We have participated in the Send-a-Book program and have been regular attendees to the Foundation Alumni Banquet.
We have participated in the Camp RYLA program since its inception. Buddy Cranshaw has been on staff for several years and Pete Snider was a cabin counselor in the 2000 and 2001 camps. We have sponsored at least 2 campers each year, with up to four on occasion.
We have sponsored outbound Rotary Youth Exchange students every year since 1999. Our first 3 students spent a year in Liege, Belgium, and our 2002 student will travel to Japan. We are pleased to see the positive impact that Rotary has had on the lives of these young students, and we continue to maintain contact with them.
We have had small community service projects in the past; one of them was to help finance and construct a new playground for the City of Balch Springs. This playground was, unfortunately, constructed in a park without restrooms and has been furnished with porta-potties for the use of the children. In keeping with the tradition of Rotary’s community service, in 2002 we financed and built a new permanent restroom for the park.
We are proud of our contribution to the leadership of District 5810. Our members have supported all of the District 5810 functions with vigor. Past President, Marge Prosser, was our first District officer, serving as a Governor’s representative in 1996-1997. Pete Snider continued the tradition as Governor’s representative in 1997-1998 and Assistant District Governor in 1998-2000. Pete also served the district as International Service Chair in 1999-2000 and Rotary Foundation Chair in 2000-2002.
Berry Watts has been on the District Assembly committee and has been in charge of the display tables at Assembly in 2001 and 2002. Past President, Rich McCormick is leading the 2002 GSE team to the Philippines and will do a fine job representing Southeast Dallas County, District 5810 and the USA.
Southeast Dallas Rotary is also proud to “furnish”one of its own, Pete Snider, to serve as District Governor of 5810 for the 2002-2003 Rotary year.
The Rotary Club of Terrell
Chartered December 1, 1920
The Terrell Rotary Club has completed over 80 years of service to its community. While the needs of Terrell have varied over the years, the dedication of the Rotarians to help meet those needs has not.
The club was chartered in 1920, under the guidance of the Dallas Rotary Club. That club also officiated at the charter presentation and assisted its first president, Kenneth E. Mason, in the development of its programs. Ernest Vivian King was secretary.
The club’s involvement with the schools of Terrell has been notable. In the early days of the club, each member acted as the mentor of a high school student. The club also developed a college scholarship fund for high school graduates. Through such projects as selling fruit at Christmas or placing flags on the streets of the city, worthy graduates of both the public and private schools have benefited from the work of Rotarians. They have sponsored students to go annually to Rotary’s Youth Leadership Camp (RYLA).
Each year the Terrell Club conducts a “Four Way Speech Contest”, in conjunction with the District 5810 program, by sponsoring the annual contest for the best talk by high school students, showing how the 4-Way Test can be applied to everyday life. The club has also extended recognition each year to the dedicated teachers in the Terrell public schools.
At the time of the founding of the Terrell Club, the economy of the city was heavily dependent on agriculture and ranching. It is not surprising to find club projects which supported those areas in the past, but numerous talks and donations to projects demonstrate the continued understanding of the importance of the present. The Club has also cooperated with other civic clubs in numerous projects which benefit the city. The “Toys for Tots” program and the annual program with the volunteers at the State Hospital are just two examples.
The club has also produced a club bulletin weekly for over thirty years. This bulletin has kept members informed of Rotary activities at the local, district, national and international levels, while providing members some humor to enliven the meetings.
One of the earliest members of the club, the Rev. Dan Grieder provided the guidance to the other members as a song leader. The club became known as the “Singing Rotarians”. Today, under the leadership of the talented Diana Skelton, the club continues that tradition – with special enthusiasm for well-known songs.
In summary, the Terrell Rotary Club continues as a vibrant organization, dedicated to serving the community and fulfilling the ideals of the Rotary movement.
The Rotary Club of Waxahachie
Chartered April 1, 1917
Back in the distant past, when Rotary was a comparatively young organization, and a few years before it became international in scope, a group of forward-looking Waxahachie citizens decided that Rotary would be a good thing for the city. This group, which included such leaders as Ed Dubose, H.N. Naylor, George Mizell, Sales Middleton, John Bert Graham, Cal Nall, S.P. Spalding, and others, began serious work for the organization of a club. Their big task was to convince Governor Lynn B. Milam that Waxahachie could support a Rotary Club. At that time Rotary International frowned upon the organization of a club in a city under 10,000 inhabitants. After a number of meetings in Dallas and Waxahachie, Governor Milam decided to risk it, and on February 22, 1917, an organizational meeting was held at the Rogers Hotel and plans were outlined for the formation of a club.
The membership was thrown open to the business men of Waxahachie, and when a man put his name up for membership, his classification was then closed to any other person in his line of business. The list, when finally completed, had 35 names appended to it, and was sent to Rotary International for approval. The charter was formally granted on April 1, 1917.
At the first regular election of officers in June, Ed Dubose was elected president; H.N. Naylor, secretary; and George Mizell, treasurer. In December of that year, Mr. Naylor moved to another city and John Bert Graham was elected to fill the un-expired term. At that time the attendance record of the club was in poor shape. Rotary’s prediction about a club in a small town seemed about to come true. The secretary and the president held a lengthy conference, and it was determined that the only way to build a club was to start at the bottom again. Consequently, the roll was gone over and all members that had missed four consecutive meetings were dropped from membership. Twenty members were left on the rolls, and with this nucleus the officers began building anew. The standard of excellence has not been lowered since.
Cal Nall represented the club at the first district conference held after the admission of the club into Rotary, and this meeting was held in Shreveport, Louisiana. The following year the meeting was held in Corpus Christi, Texas and R.L. Sullivan and John Bert Graham were sent as representatives. Much of the inspiration that helped revive the club was received at this meeting
The Rotary Club of White Rock
Chartered January 29, 1960
The White Rock Club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fair Park and was organized under the direction of the late Eugene R. McDaniel, then the President of that club. The organizational meeting of our club was held on October 27, 1959, at 7:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the East Dallas Bank and Trust Company. An application for Charter was made to Rotary International, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, and provisional officers and directors were elected. An official meeting day of Friday was set. There were twenty-three charter members.
Immediately after the organizational meeting, the Club began weekly luncheons at the Casa View Country Club. On January 8, 1960, the meeting place was changed to the Cabana Room of the Lido Motel, now the Lamplighter. White Rock Rotary received their charter on January 29, 1960. Over the years the meeting place has changed many times, but the service area of the club has remained the area East of White Rock Lake between Ferguson Road on the South, I-635 on the North and I-30 on the East. Most of the club’s community service projects are within the area.
The club has ranged in size from the 23 original members to as many as 60, but most years have had membership ranging from 35-50. Presently 15 of our 34 members have been in the club at least 15 years with 10 of those being members 25 years or more! We have 19 Past Presidents as members and still have our charter member, Raymond Rike in the club.
An early community project of the Club was the sponsorship of the White Rock Y.M.C.A. Swimming Relays. We provided assistance in holding the relays that drew about 200 participants annually. These swim meets were held from 1967 through 1977. An on-going community project is the Bachman Recreation Center Annual Chili Gala. This event has been held annually for the past 20 years and was renamed the Woody Bruton Bachman Chili Gala in 2001 to honor our member who initiated the project. This Rec Center provides activities for the physically and mentally challenged in Dallas. Our Gala provides lunch and musical entertainment for between 150 and 400 participants. An area high school country and western band, Lake Highland Wranglers, provides entertainment for the attendees. We see, as a key to membership retention, the active involvement of all our members in our on-going club activities programs. To that end we have a variety of programs requiring different levels of energy and time so the member can fit in service as his/her time allows. We are involved in elementary school tutoring, visitation with senior citizens in a local retirement center, maintenance of a local cemetery and planting in the medians of neighborhood streets.
E.M. Bruhns was the Club’s first Treasurer and continued in that position for about 15 years. E.M., who died in 1992 at the age of 100, established the E. M. Bruhns Foundation. Funds from the foundation are available to the club for grants to worthy and needy organizations in the White Rock area.
Contribution to the Rotary Foundation has been an emphasis of the Club since its early years. The club has produced 42 Paul Harris Fellows who have contributed in excess of $60,000. Our Club has hosted the incoming Group Study Exchange Team on two occasions and in 1998 sponsored the GSE Team Leader, White Rock Rotarian Roger Pryor, when our district exchanged with Chile. We also hosted several Rotarians who were attending the Rotary International Convention in Dallas in 1982.
White Rock Rotary has produced one district Governor, Wally Lynch, who served the District in 1993-1994. He was a Rotarian who exemplified the principles of Rotary and gave it his energy, time and intellect.
In 2001, the Club received approval for a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. The project involves the raising of chickens by about 200 families in Uganda and matches our Club and District with the Rotary Club of Bweyogerere-Namboole in Kampala, Uganda. The project activities include the purchase of 6,000 chicks, a central brooding unit and the training of the Ugandans participating. Win Evans, President-elect of our Club, has been instrumental in coordinating and managing our end of the project.
Finally, about 15 years ago White Rock Rotary established a program to recognize a Policeman of the Quarter. About the same time we started recognizing other outstanding folks in the community and honoring them with a “Nobody Does It Better” Award. In April of this year, we will honor a mentally challenged young man who has volunteered more than 5,000 hours of work in the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. We have just renamed the award to honor one of our late members, Ed Crow, who “did it” better!
White Rock Rotary is a tight-knit group of Rotarians who enjoy serving the community and putting Service Above Self. We have added six new members in the past eight months and expect to double that number by year-end, June 30th. We invite like-minded individuals to join with us to accomplish together that which individuals find difficult to achieve.
The Rotary Club of Whitesboro
Chartered October 24, 1928
A local banker and his fellow citizens chartered the Whitesboro Rotary Club in 1928. Charter President was Harry T. Cowell, the banker; Vice-President was A. E. Boyd, school superintendent; Secretary/Treasurer was Fred Suggs, city secretary; Sergeant-at-Arms was Dr. W. B. Younger, local veterinarian. There were 16 others, to make a total of 20 for the new club. Other classifications included a grocer, ice house operator, oil mill operator, lumberyard manager, Magnolia oil agent, gasoline distributor, insurance agent, dry goods merchant, Ford dealer and the owner of the Whitesboro newspaper.
The club was organized on October 8 and officially admitted by Rotary International on October 24, 1928. Charter No. is 1976, District 581, and District Governor was Walter E. Kingsbury.
74 years later you can see that things have not changed that much. We have today, as in 1928, a local banker as our President. We have city employees, current and retired school superintendent, gasoline distributor, news reporter, a grocer, car dealer, two dentists, an attorney, several business owners, public officials, chiropractor, and more bankers than you would expect!
The Rotary Club participates in several fund-raisers, but the one that had the greatest personal touch was the Rotary International Polio Plus Campaign. Several Rotarians said this really touched their hearts, and for a club our size, our members gave generously. We very actively participate in the Whitesboro Peanut Festival with a booth that raises money for scholarships (5); food drive at Thanksgiving and Christmas; Loy Lake Livestock Show with financial contributions for local participants; annual Special Olympic Track Meet, when Rotarians work in food booths; deliver Meals-on-Wheels once a month to shut-ins.
Whitesboro Rotary Club members are very visible in all community activities such as serving as Chamber of Commerce officers and directors, local employment, helping people in need through local community Thanksgiving Fund Drive. For the size club that we are, we feel that the Whitesboro Rotarians are certainly carrying out the “Spirit of Rotary” in a tremendous way!
The Rotary Club of Wylie
Chartered March 31, 1989
The Rotary Club of Wylie began as an idea in 1985. Chuck Trimble, a charter member of the Plano Metro Rotary Club worked at a CPA firm in Plano. In 1987 Chuck started a firm in Wylie and decided the drive was too long to Plano Metro Club. Asking the district for help, Trimble and a fellow Rotarian, Chuck Croissant, from the Plano Rotary Club, began the mission of starting a club in Wylie.
The Farmersville Rotary Club agreed to sponsor Wylie. Bob Tedford and Mont Hendricks, members of the Farmersville club, committed to meet with the Wylie club weekly until the official chartering on March 31, 1989. Initially the club met at a restaurant. The club has for several years met at the fellowship hall in the First Baptist Church in Wylie.
The club established college scholarships given each year to Wylie students attending Collin County Community College. These $1,000 scholarships are given to students based on financial need and to students pursuing teaching careers though not a requirement. Several recipients have said the scholarships meant the difference in their ability to continue with plans to attend college. Each year two recipients have been chosen to receive the awards.
Sponsoring local students to Camp RYLA every year has also become an important tradition. The club has been very successful in the selection of students receiving this award. Many have been asked to return the following years after they have attended their initial year. Usually two student and sometime three students have been sponsored by the club.
Painting and repairing elderly people’s homes in Wylie is a recurring project as well. The club has several people in Wylie watching for potential recipients of these projects. Usually, a widow or widower on a limited, fixed income, needs to have his house painted and small repairs made. A few weekends during the year are set aside to do the work. Most of the members join in the effort regardless of talent. Young people in the community needing to perform community service work via the justice system are assigned by the local justice of the peace to help with the fix up projects. This effort has been a good way for Rotarians to make an influence on these youth.
In 2000 the club constructed the Rotary Children’s Playground in one of the city parks with high quality playground equipment and landscaping. The club planned the entire project, raised the necessary funds, purchased the equipment, and installed it in place at the park. The playground has a sign telling the citizens that the club built the park. Children regularly play on the equipment.
Wylie participates in the exchange program as well as mini exchange and hopes to continue the practice. Students have been exchanged with districts in France and Germany. One outbound student sent to Toulouse, France, learned to speak French so well, that he was able to receive advanced placement of several college hours from Texas A&M University.
The club is probably best known for its good fellowship at the meetings, a tradition of singing, and the Wheel of Misfortune as a fun way to correct infractions of the members. The Rotary Club of Wylie has become fixture in the Wylie community with its members involved in all levels of community leadership.