About Addison Rotary
About Addison Rotary
 

On August 29, 1984 more than thirty individuals formalized their commitment to provide service above self in Addison, Texas and the surrounding municipalities. It was on that date that Rotary International chartered the Rotary Club of Addison, Texas, USA. The Club was generously assisted in achieving charter status by the Prestonwood Rotary Cub. At first these men, and then later, men and women sought to positively impact the lives of others both locally and internationally.

During the early years, the Club’s efforts were comparatively modest and often involved providing volunteer services such as serving as marshals for the Addison Christmas Parade or repairing residences for senior citizens. The principal fundraising project during the early stages of the Club’s history was the Courteous Drive Award Program. Financed by the sponsorships of local businesses, the Addison Police Officers issued hundreds of citations to drivers during the holiday season. Those cited, who were only guilty of driving courteously, were able to redeem their citations for $25.

As the Club moved along into the later years of the 1980’s, Rotary International presented a challenge to its member clubs to set a five-year commitment for funding the Rotary International Polio-Plus Program. This RI initiative was a massive, world-wide immunization campaign targeting children, and had the aim of eliminating polio and a handful of other childhood diseases. With an enlarged membership, in part because of the inclusion of women in Rotary, the Club concluded that this was yet another way to fulfill its core commitment. The membership established an ambitious, five-year plan to fund this key RI initiative. The Club accelerated its fundraising activities with projects such as free-throw competitions at the Addison Kaboom Town events and at the Addison Octoberfest celebrations. The membership rose to the occasion, meeting and surpassing its funding goals.

Then in 1990, in a continuation of the fund raising theme, the club leadership and members launched and an even more aggressive effort aimed at increasing its charitable impact in the local area. The new event, a golf tournament, was named “The Bryan’s House Open” and the beneficiary was its namesake, Bryan’s House. The charity was an in-market, non-profit entity providing respite and some over-night care to young children impacted by HIV. The event was a success, and it has been repeated each year up through 2016, although it has transitioned to a different name and another non-profit beneficiary.

Following the initial tournament, the Club created the Addison Rotary Foundation, Inc. in an effort to facilitate the growth and subsequent maturation of the event. The decade of the 1990’s witnessed an expansion and maturation in this project that perhaps was envisioned by only a few. With the experience of the first Tournament, the advantage of the Addison Rotary Foundation, and the exceptional fund-raising ability of a small number of members and also non-members, this event absolutely blossomed during the 1990’s. By the close of the decade, the Tournament had become a two-course event fielding well more than two hundred players and included both a live and silent auction in conjunction with the after-party.

During the 2000’s the club determined that medical advances in the field of HIV and AIDS had substantially down-sized the original mission of Bryan’s House. Following a lengthy period of consideration, the Club leadership and membership selected the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas as the new non-profit beneficiary, and adopted the “Addison Rotary Open” as the successor name for the annual Tournament.

Having achieved this success, the Club did not abandon or neglect the other, mostly service-oriented programs such as the Student of the Month Program, staffing the Metrocrest Foodbank, and participating in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project. As the Club has evolved, it has noticeably expanded its service offerings separate and apart from the Tournament beneficiary. Moreover, the Foundation has administered an impressive program of grants and gifts to deserving parties. It is reasonable to say, that the Addison Rotary Club and the Addison Rotary Foundation have been true to their original goal, and have positively impacted the lives of others locally and internationally in ways not imagined and at levels not envisioned on August 29, 1984.