January 2023
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Welcome to our Club!

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
The Forum
2120 Speedway Ave
Wichita Falls, TX 76308
United States of America
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The bell was rung by President Arnold and Dave Hartman gave his usual amazing invocation. Stacie Cook lead us in the Pledge to our Flag as well as in the singing of God Bless America and R-O-T-A-R-Y.
Our sole guest was Jason Johnson with Johnson’s Furniture, brought to us by John Deason, and hopefully will become a new member of our club. Jack Browne from the Southwest Rotary Club was also a visitor.
President Arnold introduced our own Benay Ayers for an important announcement about our improvements to Rotary Park. Our Rotary benches have now been installed next to the play area on the south side of the park (which is adjacent to the Southwest Boys & Girls Club on Hughes Street). A really cool “zip line” ride is in the works to be installed, and it is NOT too late to contribute to this project.
Stacie Cook enthusiastically promoted our Brag Bucket receiving several brags and donations. Speaking of donations, Stacie informed us that this relatively new part of our meetings has already accumulated $172 (primarily from $1.00 “brags”) which will go towards our community projects.
John Deason thoughtfully introduced our Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Month, Jaden Prince. Jaden represents the Northwest Branch and is in the 8th grade at Kirby Middle School. Bright and impressive, Jaden takes on leadership roles at home, at school and at the Club and is proving to be an amazing young man! Congratulations Jaden!
Dave Hartman was called on to introduce our program on “What’s Happening at the Y” which was given by our own member, John Dearolf. John is the VP of Mission Advancement for the YMCA and moved here with his family from Florida, having grown up in Tampa. John is also in the National Guard, and his military background made him a perfect fit for his new role at the Y. The YMCA’s primary functions are youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, and John touched on each of these areas. There are currently 7,000 kids being served through the Y’s youth sports efforts, which is outstanding! The Dillard Early Learning & Youth Development Program, offered through the Bill Bartley Branch is also an amazing outreach effort. The Y offers after-school programming with a focus on academics. Under the guise of healthy living, the YMCA’s “Live Strong” program was created for supporting the needs of cancer survivors. In the area of social responsibility, the Y implemented and supports the Miracle League Baseball Program for those kids who ordinarily would not be able to participate in traditional area sports programs. This program brings together many mentally and physically challenged children with lots of volunteers for exercise, fun and inclusion in American’s National Pastime. The Y also provides opportunities for kids, through their Safety Around Water program, to learn how to swim and form long-lasting life skills regarding water safety. John is obviously passionate about his role at the Y and continues to carry out the strategic plan of strengthening long-term sustainability, expanding the reach of the YMCA and creating growth leaders.
Our speaker’s gift this week in John’s name went to City View School Library and our meeting concluded with the Rotary Four Way Test.
A large and dignified crowd coupled with a very special program brought about an early meeting start by President Arnold and a beautiful invocation by Dave Hartman. Cara Sauceda then lead us in singing Edelweiss and R-O-T-A-R-Y. Next, we had members introduce a treasure trove of special visitors and guests who were too numerous for me to name – what a great problem to have!
            A positive sunshine report was brought by our own John Deason favorably reporting on himself and his successful surgery this past Monday. So happy to see you up and around, John! No birthdays were reported for the week, but Norris Martin did introduce our newest Rotary member, Mike Eriksen. Mike and his family moved here from Austin and Mike works in the field of robotic surgical equipment. Welcome to Rotary, Mike!
            Carol Murray, Chairman of the Outstanding Citizen Committee, was then called to the podium to talk about rigorous process of researching, nominating and naming our annual Outstanding     Citizens – plural. Carol also introduced previous award winners who were in attendance: Glenn Barham, Mac Cannedy, Roby Christie, Howard Farrell and our own Jim Hughes. This year the committee had two nominees who were so deserving that they chose to recognize co-recipients as Rotary’s Outstanding Citizens of the Year for Wichita Falls.
            Rod Tieken was called on to present the award co-recipient #1, Nancy Brown. Nancy has been the Executive Director of the Hands to Hands Community Fund in Wichita Falls for the past 13 years, and is responsible for fundraising and administrative efforts of this vital charitable organization. Hands to Hands fills the funding gap of over $500,000 annually for seven non-profit agencies whose funding had abruptly ended 14 years ago. Nancy, whose earlier work experience in the community support and fund-raising field, worked at the United Regional Health Care Foundation for six years. She was instrumental in establishing the Heart of a Woman annual event and assisted with Children’s Miracle Network. Nancy is a relentless community ambassador and an inspiration to us all!  
            Next up was Noel Filer who recognized Outstanding Citizen #2, Dr. Brian Hull. Dr. Hull has been a physician in our community for over 30 years after serving as Chief Family Practice Instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in the late 1980s. Brian served as a family practice physician for many years in Wichita Falls while also making a lasting impact on the citizens of Wichita Falls by encouraging and teaching countless individuals to lead healthier lives. In 2010, Dr. Hill parlayed his knowledge, experience and passion for improving the health and lives of others by partnering with United Regional Health Care System and heading up the Transition Clinic in order to serve the less fortunate in our community and advocate for them. Dr. Hull is tireless in his efforts to serve the community in a way that ALL individuals may learn the way to better health, and receive the best medical care possible.
            Our speaker’s gift book in honor of Nancy Brown and Brian Hull will be given to Christ Academy. We closed out our meeting with the Four Way Test.
The following named people have been proposed for membership in the Rotary Club of Wichita Falls and approved for balloting by the
Board of Directors.
Any comment regarding the proposed members should be given in writing or by email to the Executive Secretary no later than
Wednesday January 25, 2023.
Our meeting today began with Arnold calling the meeting to order and then Dave Hartman gave the invocation, followed by Pledge and song (Auld Lang Syne) lead by Stacie Cook.
Visitors and guests were introduced by Lisa Stephens-Musick. They included Lisa’s grandson and prospective new member, Bryson Whittaker, as well as Kenny Weeks (by John Deason), Tina Row and Melissa Walker (by Noel Filer) and Vonda Keel (by Carla Dowlen). Lisa then recognized our January birthdays which included Monica Horton (January 3rd), Josh Phillips (January 5th), and Sheldon Wang (January 6th).
Our sunshine report included special   prayer requests for John Deason as he prepares for another surgery scheduled to take place on Monday, January 9th. Our thoughts and prayers are with John for a successful procedure and rapid healing.
Stacie Cook circulated our Brag Bucket among members. Tommy Richardson proudly wore TCU’s purple today and donated in honor of their upcoming appearance in the NCAA National Championship football game against Georgia next Monday night. Josh Phillips then donated and bragged about his son who just started his new job at Price-Waterhouse.  Congrats and good luck to both! Our Member Spotlight was focused today on Jeremy Woodward (with FirstBank) who shared his story with us.
Dave Hartman introduced our extremely topical and important program today about the deadly drug, Fentanyl. We were privileged to have Wichita County District Attorney, John Gillespie, as well as Assistant District Attorney, Dobie Kosub, share their expertise about the Fentanyl crisis in Wichita County, and what they are doing to fight the Fentanyl battle.
Fentanyl, although a well-known and routinely used pain killer in daily surgical procedures throughout the world, has come onto Wichita County’s “radar screen” in just the past three years or so as a deadly, easily counterfeited and rapidly spreading drug in our community.
Fentanyl is a fast growing part of the overall opioid epidemic, cheap and easy to    produce, and is 100 times stronger than morphine! From a prosecutorial standpoint, John and Dobie are vigorously attacking the Fentanyl epidemic in Wichita County. They are finding ways to not only aggressively prosecute those who are circulating the drug in our community (and literally killing our children), but they are also making a strong effort to educate our citizens and create awareness about this truly horrific and deadly drug. John told us about an incident where one pill was split three ways. That pill almost killed two and did kill one.
We thank John and Dobie for their   commitment and focus on the Fentanyl epidemic, and we will muster all the support we can as a community to fight it.
Our speaker’s gift book in honor of John and Dobie will be given to Barwise Middle School. We closed out our meeting as always with the Four Way Test.       
Jerry was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
When being asked how he could be a positive, up person all the time, Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘Jerry you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”
“Life is all about choice,” said Jerry. “When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good or bad mood. The bottom line is: it’s your choice how you live life.”
Several years ago, Jerry left the back door of the restaurant open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the hospital. “As I lay on the floor,” Jerry said, “I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”
At the hospital, the paramedics kept telling Jerry he was going to be fine. But when they wheeled him into the emergency room and he saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, he got really scared. In their eyes, he read, “He’s a dead man.”
A big, burly nurse asked Jerry if he was allergic to anything. “Yes,” Jerry answered. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for his reply. Jerry took a deep breath and yelled, “Bullets!” Over their laughter, Jerry told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital. Every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
Feel Positive Word Press
Her Spirits Were Lifted by a Teen Who Did the Right Thing
She felt she had more problems than blessings, until a young neighbor changed her mind.
You know how when big things in your life aren’t going well, the little things bother you more? That happened to me last year. Like many people during the pandemic, my husband, Paul, had been laid off. I was still working, but my job was only part-time and would likely be ending soon too. I was worried about money, Covid, our future. That’s when our mailboxes really started getting to me.
Our property had two houses on it—the one Paul and I lived in and another that we rented out. I’d never liked our mailboxes much. They stood at the end of our long driveway, far enough away from our house, fortu­nately, that I didn’t see them often.
The mailboxes, relics from the previ­ous homeowners, had already been in rough shape when we moved in. The past 10 years hadn’t been kind to them. The paint was faded and chipped. The metal pole holding up the boxes was rusted.
At some point, someone had driven into the pole. It was now bent slight­ly, making the mailboxes cockeyed, pointing in different directions. Still, because the boxes could hold the mail and the mail carrier wasn’t complain­ing, there really was no need to replace them. But every time I saw them lately, they reminded me of all the problems in my life.
Lord, I wish we had better mailboxes, I found myself thinking as I pulled out of the driveway one day while on my way to work. It wasn’t really a prayer, more of a passing thought. I probably would have forgotten all about it if not for the news we got the next morning.
“Shihiem just texted,” Paul said. Shihiem was a neighbor and a good friend. His sister rented the other house on our property. “A girl drove her car right into the mailboxes. Com­pletely mowed them down.”
“Is she okay?” I asked.
“The driver wasn’t hurt, but she was really upset. Shihiem saw it happen. He said she’s just a teenager. He gave her our number and information.”
That certainly wasn’t in the budget, I thought. As much as I wanted new mailboxes, getting them would be expensive. With our income slashed since Paul’s layoff, this was an expense we didn’t need.
I sighed. I guess it’s true what they say: Be careful what you wish for.
I got ready for the day and happened to glance out the window. There was an unfamiliar car at the end of the driveway. It was too far away to see what the driver was doing. “Should we go check it out?” Paul asked.
“I need to run some errands any­way,” I said. “I’ll let you know what’s going on.”
By the time I was ready to leave, the strange car was gone. I got in my own car and drove down.
Whoa! Where our battered, rust­ed mailboxes had once stood was a sturdy, white post. It had two arms branching off from the center. A new, shiny mailbox perched on each arm—one black, one white. Each one had large, neat numbers on the sides, the white mailbox with black numbers and the black one with white num­bers. Just beautiful.
I sat there in my car at the end of the driveway, stunned. All this work had been completed before the mail even arrived! Staring at the mailboxes some more, I realized the post wasn’t just a post. It looked like a large white cross.
I called Paul when I reached the store. “Have you seen the mailboxes yet?” I asked. “If not, you have a sur­prise waiting for you!”
When I got home, Paul said, “You didn’t check inside the mailboxes, did you? Because I found this.” He handed me a note.
Dear Neighbor, it read, I am so, so sorry I hit y’all’s  mailbox. I bought and replaced them with new pretty ones. Again, I am so sorry. Have a wonderful, blessed day!
The writer, Audree, had included her phone number and address, in case we needed anything else. We did—we needed to thank her! We also wanted to make sure she hadn’t been injured. Paul had found the pole from the old mailboxes lying on the ground just a few feet away. It was bent al­most in half.
When we called, her mother an­swered. “Audree’s 16 years old. She’s only been driving for a year. This is her first accident,” she said. Audree had a part-time job. She had bought the replacements with her own money. “We’re lucky it turned out the way it did,” her mother said. “No one was hurt, and this was a great learning ex­perience for Audree.”
So much good came out of this ac­cident. It taught our sweet young neighbor Audree an important lesson about responsibility. And it gave me a much-needed reminder that God knows the desires of my heart, from the big things all the way down to the little things—like better mailboxes.
by Melissa Prewitt
Our last Rotary Club meeting of the Year was gonged to “call to order” by President Oliver at 1200 high noon today.  We rose from our chairs as Dave Hartman made his way to the podium for our invocation. 
Stacie Cook, in her beautiful green dress asked us all to join in reciting the Pledge to our Flag and then she led us in singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful”.  We then sang the first verse of R O T A R Y, the only one we know, but is sounded great. 
Next our guests of Rotary was introduced and we were pleased to have several join our group today for meeting.  Our “birthday Rotarian”, Walter Coppage joined Dave Hartman at the front to select his Rotary birthday present – Happy Birthday Walter and many more in the future.
Shirley Craft then explained and discussed briefly, the idea of a Vibrant Rotary Club Program.  Our 5790 District Governor, Dan Steele, is pushing this Vibrant Club Program very much.  Shirley asks for volunteers from our club to meet with her to discuss our participation in this effort. If you search Vibrant Rotary Club, this is one of the things that can be found:
What is a vibrant Rotary Club?
A – in vibrant stands for advancement and training of club members. The best way to retain a new member is to make them understand what rotary is and how it works. A job you can give to a seasoned member is to be a mentor to a new member and assign them to a committee.
Stacie Cook brought out our Brag Bucket.  Carla Dowlen put a new twist on the Brag Bucket this week. She brought a fresh baked a pecan pie to be auctioned off and the money be donated to our Club.  The pie was auctioned off and the buyer really cleaned up by paying the top price of $50.00.  Thank you Andy! (on a side note, Andy did go out of his way to get the money to Tina Friday morning for the pie)
Steve Priester introduced Gage Wood as our December Youth of the Month.  Gage is a member of the Southwest Boys and Girls Club and is in the 8th grade at McNeil School.  He enjoys his activities at the Club, is a good student in school and enjoys helping with chores around his home.  Thank you Steve for bring Gage to our meeting today.
Today, Alan Donaldson introduced a new member to our Club.  President Oliver introduced Chris Phares with Foundation Auto Group of Wichita Falls.  Chris welcomes to our great Rotary Club, and we hope you will get involved with what we do and give back to for great community. We look forward to learning more about you, your family and your interests.
Stacie Cook introduced our program today – Cara and Dallas Sauceda who presented the entertainment for our meeting today.  Dallas played his guitar and was joined by his wife Cara in several seasonal musical songs. They started with “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, they also presented “Oh How I Need You”, “Let Us Adore”, “Come to the Alter” and finished with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.  Thank you Cara and Dallas for your wonderful program today. The traditional speaker gift was a book donated to Rider High School Library.
We adjourned today meeting at 12:55 with repeating the Rotary 4 Way Test.
A reminder this will be our last Rotary meeting in 2022. We will not meet on December 22nd or on December 29th.
I want to take this opportunity to wish all Rotarians a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you on Thursday, January 5th, 2023.
President Arnold brought us to order as he gonged the bell at NOON. David Hartman gave the invocation and Cara Sauceda led us in The Pledge of Allegiance and “Jingle Bells”. Carol Murray introduced her guest Lydia McWhorter and Alan Donaldson introduced Chris Phares as his guest. No birthdays were celebrated   today.
The Brag Bucket was busy this week, as David Hartman, Shirley Craft, Jake Munholland, Greg Brownfield, and Tina Williams had things to crow about. The Member Spotlight shined on David Kelly this week.
David Hartman introduced Adele Lewis with TXDOT as our program this week. Adele has been with TXDOT for 28 years and has spoken to us several times in the past. She is also a former on air broadcaster and is deeply involved with Backdoor Theatre. Three TXDOT projects she talked about today were 1). “Things That Fall From the Sky, 2).  Southwest Parkway and Taft bridge project, and 3) The Gap Project.
Her Things That Fall from the Sky was a reference to the extensive damage done to the I-44 overhead by a 120,000# wind turbine gear box that fell off of a trailer That did over $500,000. Damage. This repair project has been completed.
The Southwest Pkwy. at Taft bridge project has been completed and has added west bound turn lanes on both sides of the road, as well as repairs to the bridge structure itself.
The Gap project will widen US 82 from Wichita Falls to the Archer County line. This project is scheduled for 2028. It will widen the road and add a continuous center turn lane. Since funds have already been appropriated, if Right of Way purchasing can be completed early, this project could start ahead of schedule.
This week our book goes to McNeil Middle School. We closed with The Four Way Test.
After a very loud gong on the Rotary Bell by President Oliver, we all rose to our feet to start the meeting. David Hartman was called on to bring us the invocation, as he has in the recent past.  Good job David for these blessings and good tidings.  In the absents of Cara Sauceda, Stacie Cook lead in “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.  Stacie did a great job leading but cannot say too much about those that were singing.  On the second song R O T A R Y we did better as we mingled together, shook hands and found our way back to our seats.
Colton Heinrich came to the podium to greet and give gifts for November Birthdays.  They honored be being another year older in November were:  Benay Ayers, Jim Hughes, David Spencer, Larry Tegtmeyer and Bob Hampton.  Colton also honored Alex Pappas and Jake Munholland with December birthdays.  Congratulations for all of those still having Birthdays – sure beats not having a Birthday. 
            There was no sunshine report given today and President Oliver had no announcements to give to us. Stacie passed the Brag Bucket around with several persons paid big bucks to brag about things that had happened in their life, their business, years in Boy Scouts and about the TCU football team, coaches and their upcoming Bowl Game.
            Stacie Cook introduced today’s  program, Sarah Cook, Choir Director of the Wichita Falls High School Choir.  More than 50 young students provided wonderful Christmas music for us today.  They started out with “Lovely Weather for a Sleigh Ride Together”. Also sang “Silver Bells”, and several others before ending their program with a song medley “Here We Come a Caroling”, “Jingle Bells”, “Deck the Halls”, “Oh Christmas Tree, and the “12 Days of Christmas” Thank you to the Wichita Falls High School Choir for this wonderful program and a great start to a wonderful Christmas season.
            President Oliver presented a card to Sara Cook that notified her that a book would be placed in the WFHS library in the Choir honor program today.  We all stood and closed today Rotary Club meeting by reciting the Rotary 4 Way Test.  Our meeting was adjourned at 12:35.
Mailing Address
PO Box 4728
Wichita Falls, TX 76308
Bill Miller
Feb 02, 2023 12:00 PM
Russia and Ukraine
James and Stacie Cook
Feb 09, 2023 12:00 PM
Love Songs
Noel Filer
Feb 16, 2023 12:00 PM
Community Outreach of the United Regional Hospital System
Dr. Sheldon Wang
Feb 23, 2023 12:00 PM
The History of Engineering at MSU Texas
Randy Cooper
Mar 02, 2023 12:00 PM
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