Posted on Sep 13, 2019
Sandy and I have been on the road the past weeks visiting Rotary Clubs and seeing the wonderful towns in District 5730. We started our club visits with Canadian and were treated to a great lunch and wonderful hospitality from the club. We spent the afternoon visiting the Citadel and the fantastic art on display. We even watched a movie in the restored Art Deco movie house downtown. You have to make a stop in Canadian sometime, maybe when the fall leaves change color. A great Rotary Club doing great things in a great town.
Canadian is on Hiway 83 and the Chambers of Commerce of Canadian, Wellington, Childress, and Shamrock celebrated the summer with a weekend of activities the first Weekend of August. I encouraged the Rotary Clubs to get out and meet the crowds.
Our visit to Childress included an introduction to a girls’ softball team that was heading to state competition. The Rotary Club in Childress made a donation to help them on the way. If you stop in Childress, see the local park with Childress Rotary’s improvements visible all around.
Shamrock Rotary was another great lunch and visit. I have found that after 17 club visits, I have collected the names of 17 President-Elects for next year. I also have found that my first 16 visits were with Presidents who attended P.E.T.S. (President-Elect Training Seminar) Shamrock has a blast every St. Patrick’s Day when thousands of visitors come into town from the Mother Road. I watched them host Corn Hole contests last year and lots of people were having fun. Shamrock is a better town because of the Rotary Club and their service.
We headed South to visit Midland and Greater Big Spring and we found that our first club visits were on busy roads. Midland and Big Spring are no exception. I was honored to present a second PHF to a member of the Midland club. Greater Big Spring meets in the restored Hotel Settles and I encourage Rotarians to visit this great Hotel. Midland had just been informed that the Global Grant to send a student to England for advanced study had been approved. Our district is doing great things around the world.
Our visit with Lubbock Rotary included meeting 32 Nelson Mandela Fellows from Africa. They are in Lubbock for study, for review, and observation. This is a great program for Africans and helps about 700 Africans each year. The Lubbock club also had about 6 other guests that day and the room was full.
We headed South again and visited Odessa East, Sweetwater, Greater Odessa, and Odessa. I had been told by many PDG’s that I will be having more chicken-fried steak during my visits than anything else. So far, I am surprised that I have only had chicken-fried steak once and that was my selection on the menu. The visits in Sweetwater and Odessa lifted my spirit with such great friendships and great service in our district. There are some great projects for children including back packs, dictionaries, and scholarships. These Rotarians are keeping busy. The Greater Odessa President-Elect Bill Nyborg gave us a tour of his great machine-shop in Odessa. He is supplying the oil fields with custom made parts. We also toured the Presidential Archives and saw the home that George H. W. Bush lived in when they were in Odessa. We were also invited to install new members, new officers at a fantastic evening party in Odessa. A community leader was honored with a plaque on the Rotary Wall of Honor
We visited the Greater South West Lubbock club and heard about some great projects including work with a local optometry clinic.
We again went south and visited the Big Spring, Colorado City, and Snyder clubs. I encouraged these clubs to be more interactive since they are so close to each other. Snyder is again hosting a Thanksgiving Meal for the community. Colorado City hosts a golf tournament that provides the funds each year for scholarship and community projects. Big Spring was preparing to distribute dictionaries to all 3rd graders in Howard County. Great Clubs!
My most recent visits were with Lockney, Amarillo East, and Hereford. You should visit Lockney and have a conversation with a 98 year old Rotarian.  Claude Brown is a proud Rotarian and has had perfect attendance probably since he joined in 1929. Lucy Dean Record helps Claude get to club but she is also known as the Queen of Swing Piano. You probably have heard her if you ever listened to a country swing band in West Texas.
We attended the Multi District Training Conference in Austin and met some fine Rotarians. Our new Zone Director Johrita Solari was a featured speaker and our district officers had a private meeting with Johrita to talk Zone issues. She is a great director and is already helping our zone be more connected. I have been promoting the theme “Rotary Connects the World” at all my visits and everyone seems excited to make new connections for membership and service to our world. We will attend our Zone Institute in early September. DGE Bonnie Pendleton and DGN Brenda DeBons will both receive intensive training and Bonnie will Graduate at a formal “Great Gatsby” party. Watch for pictures to come.
What a great district to live and serve in. Rotary does indeed connect the world and I have made many new connections already this year.