The Dublin, Texas Rotary Club meets at noon each Tuesday in the historic Rotary Building at the corner of Highway 6 East and North Grafton Street, across the street from the Ben Hogan Museum.
The building is available for rent by contacting Steve Hightower at 254-445-3277.
World’s Oldest Service Organization
Rotary International is the oldest and largest service organization in the world. Today, it represents 33,000 clubs around the globe and has more than 1.2 million members. With a motto of “Service Above Self,” Rotary clubs focus on service in four areas: club, community, vocational and international.
The Dublin Rotary Club was chartered in 1947 through sponsorship of the neighboring Stephenville Rotary Club. Currently, there are 24 members who meet at noon each Tuesday in the Rotary Building at the corner of E. Blackjack and N. Grafton. Current president is Pat Leatherwood and president-elect is Judy Gordon.
The first Rotary Club was formed in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris, an attorney who hoped to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name came from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices.
Rotary’s popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000 clubs and an estimated 108,000 members.
As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need.
In 1985, Rotary International adopted Polio Plus with the ambitious goal of eradicating polio around the world. Today, working with the Ben and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization, polio cases worldwide have dropped by 99%. Only four countries remain polio-endemic: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Rotarians travel throughout the world to assist in clinics which dispense the polio vaccine.
In 1999 the Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace Conflict Resolution was formed to help prepare future leaders and diplomats. This highly competitive program provides graduate level studies in six centers located around the world. Cody Griggers of Dublin, representing the Dublin club and Rotary District 5790, is currently studying in Australia.
Dublin Rotary Club’s historic building, constructed in 1909, is rented to organizations and individuals to help generate funds for its renovation. The largest rental income to date came through an agreement with ABC-TV’s popular reality show, Dancing with the Stars. When rodeo cowboy Ty Murray and his wife, Jewel, of Stephenville were announced as contestants, the TV series rented the local building for their rehearsals. Jewel was injured early on in rehearsals and had to drop out, but Murray and his partner, Chelsea Hightower, continued using the building for several weeks before heading to California for the televised kickoff of the competition. They ultimately finished in the top four teams.
The next season, Chelsea returned to the building to rehearse with partner Louie Vito, a snowboarder who won Olympic bronze. The television network rented the building by the hour, seven days a week for several weeks, which provided income for many of the renovations which now make the building such a popular and attractive rental facility which has been used for weddings, receptions, banquets, reunions, etc.
The Dublin Rotary Club sponsors the American flag program in which flags are erected at more than 200 businesses and residences on national holidays or other special occasions. Subscribers pay $25 a year for the service which helps support Rotary club projects including high school scholarships, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership), Boy Scouts, Project Graduation, Group Study Exchange of professional men and women, the Peace Scholar program, the quarterly blood drives through Carter Blood Bank, disaster relief and others. The local club has also adopted two international projects which include water filters for Honduras and food for an orphanage in Mozambique.
For more information about the Dublin Rotary Club, contact club president Pat Leatherwood at First National Bank, 445-4400 or Karen Wright at Dublin EDC, 445-1919.