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Midland West

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 11:45 AM
Rotary Community Room
June & Frank Cowden Jr. Dining Hall
Midland College, 3600 N. Garfield
Midland, TX 79705
United States of America
Home Page Stories
Dr. Stephanie Caples was inducted into the Midland West Rotary Club on September 19, 2023. Dr. Caples is a psychologist who is assisting in the development of mental health specialist programs at Midland College, UTPB, and Odessa College. She is also the Clinical Programing Consultant for the new Permian Basin Behavioral Health Center. Welcome to Rotary, Dr. Caples!
Ken Olson was inducted into the Midland West Rotary Club on September 5, 2023. Ken serves as the Director of the Midland County Horseshoe. He's originally from Minnesota and has been in Midland for two years. Welcome to Rotary, Ken!
Mark Nicholas and Michael Canon were recognized at our August 29th meeting for their contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Mark received his first Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) pin for his support of the Foundation. Like his father “Nick” Nicholas, Mark believes in the humanitarian and educational programs carried out by the Rotary Foundation on a global scale. Michael Canon, Jr. received his PHF+2 pin for his contributions to the Foundation. Michael has been a regular contributor to the Foundation since joining Rotary. Michael’s father, Mike, is also a Paul Harris Fellow and member of the Midland West Rotary Club. For both men, giving to the Foundation has become a family affair.
Summer Mummers is a Midland tradition 75 years in the making. Each summer, the Midland Community Theatre puts on a melodramatic production with the end goal of funding their many programs. For the attendees, it’s an opportunity to let loose and throw bags of popcorn at friends and strangers alike. This summer’s production “Rascality on the Rig” features Rotarian Gary Fulton as villain Lester Leasehold. 18 Rotarians and guests gathered together to take part in the revelry.
The Rotary Club of Midland West presented a check in the amount of $3,000 to Christmas In Action. The organization was started in 1972 by Rotarian Bobby Trimble to repair homes of low-income elderly and disabled homeowners. Since its inception, Christmas in Action has repaired over 11,000 Midland homes with the help of volunteers. Christmas In Action has become an annual service project Midland West Rotary Club led by Jim Morris. Each April, Rotarians join forces with other volunteer groups to rehabilitate the home needing more significant repairs. The houses we take on are weeklong projects that often involve replacing shingles, siding, and windows. We are proud to support and continue the mission started as a simple way to help our neighbors.
Harold Howard was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow for his support of the Rotary Foundation and was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow +4 pin by President Tom Jones. The “plus 4” designation signifies that Howard has received this recognition five times. Named after Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, the Paul Harris Fellow recognition is bestowed upon individuals for having done something significant for others through either monetary or humanitarian actions. Howard currently serves as Midland West Rotary Club’s Co-Director of Service Projects. He is a firm believer in the work done by the Rotary Foundation and makes regular monetary contributions to support the Foundation’s mission. If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute to the Rotary Foundation, please contact our Foundation Director Ed Anderson.
Paul Harris founded Rotary in 1905 as a networking group with the goal of meeting other business professionals and developing lifelong friendships. Rotary’s service missions didn’t begin until years later. Over the last century, Rotary has grown in size to over 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries and geographic areas. So how do Rotarians stay connected? Aside from networking at the club level, Rotary developed an enhanced membership experience through Rotary Fellowships. Rotary Fellowships are groups of Rotarians that share a common hobby, profession, or passion. Whether you’re an avid table tennis fan, have an interest in estate planning, or want to network with French speaking Rotarians, there is probably a Fellowship out there for you. Check out the Rotary Fellowships page to learn more!
Strengthening education is one of Rotary’s areas of focus. Midland West Rotarians teamed up with the Midland ISD Family Support Center during their Back to School Bash to distribute free school supplies for the upcoming year. Our club contributed 250 packs of paper and several members helped distribute supplies. Even the Midland High Bulldog and Cheer team showed up! It was a great event to kick off the new school year.
Rotary International’s focus for August is Membership & New Club Development. With the strength of 1.4 million members, there is nothing that Rotary can’t do. Rotarians all around the globe are working together to solve some of the world’s biggest problems – fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; growing local economies; protecting the environment; and promoting peace. Members can join Rotary Action Groups that tackle problems on a larger scale than what local clubs are capable of. Not only do Rotarians improve the community – they improve themselves. Rotary offers a network for members to enhance their own skills and interests through Rotary Fellowships and the Rotary Learning Center. With Rotary, you can find your passion and do what you can’t.
Midland West Rotarians are helping with the Disciple Food Pantry at First Christian Church in Midland.
The Disciple Food Pantry serves over 159 families and more than 650 individuals and is an Outreach for First Christian Church in Midland.  Midland West Rotary has agreed to help preparing for people to receive food.
Roughly one in 1,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though the diagnosis rate is significantly higher for women, Pink the Basin Executive Director Carolina Keith advises that everyone - men and women - regularly conduct self-exams to check for irregularities. Keith was the featured guest speaker at Midland West Rotary's July 11th meeting. She passed out Pink the Basin "shower cards" that detail how to properly perform breast exams. Early detection offers the best chance of survival. For those that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, Keith wants them to know they are not alone. Pink the Basin has support groups for current cancer patients and survivors. They also provide financial assistance for some diagnostic and treatment procedures. Pink the Basin works directly with local hospitals and clinics to reach patients in need.
Rotary International's theme for the month of July is Maternal and Child Health. An estimated 5.2 million children under age five died mostly from preventable and treatable causes in 2019, according to the WHO. Globally, preterm birth, birth asphyxia and trauma, and congenital anomalies, as well as infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, are the leading causes of these deaths. More than 80% of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and central and southern Asia. The UN Sustainable Development Goals include specific targets for reducing the preventable deaths of newborns and children under age five by 2030. How can you take action? Develop or support programs that provide immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases for children under age five.
July 1st marks the start of a new Rotary year, and with it comes a new theme. Rotary International President Gordon R. McInally selected “Create Hope in the World” as the theme for 2023-2024. McInally calls for Rotary to create hope in the world by working for peace and mental wellbeing. He urges members to engage in tough conversations and earn the trust that’s necessary to realize these values.
Harold Howard receives the Service Above Self Award from Club President Paul Strouhal
The Midland West Rotary Club held its annual Officer Installation Banquet on June 20, 2023 at the Midland Country Club to usher in the new Board of Directors that will take office in July. Before the formal installation, Club President Paul Strouhal gave a review of the 2022-2023 Rotary year. The club ended the year 50 members strong. Club members gave a total of $61,072 to the Rotary Foundation. Many service projects were completed including the donation illustrated dictionaries to dyslexia students of Greenwood ISD, our monthly food pantry assistance at First Christian Church, trash pickup with Keep Midland Beautiful, providing cookies for the Kairos prison ministry, a community outreach effort at the city-wide Easter Egg Hunt, and a supply donation to the Midland Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy center. Additionally, the club gave out scholarships to students at Midland College and provided grant funding to the Sibley Nature Center for a new trash trailer, the Basin Dream Center for their mental health fund, and the Midland High School Black Student Union for their students to tour HBCU campuses. Lastly, the club continued its sponsorship of the Interact Clubs at Legacy High School and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
The club annually recognizes the efforts of Rotarians that have gone above and beyond in service to both Rotary and the community. Harold Howard was presented the Service Above Self award. Jackie Mellen was recognized as Paul Harris Fellow of the Year. Cindy White received the Rotarian of the Year award, in addition to being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary District 5730.
The club also commemorated three Rotarians that passed away this year: Michael Dobey, Clayton Alexander, and Dr. Gene Spires. Each left an indelible mark on our club.
Past District Governor Bonnie Pendleton of Canyon, Texas presided over the officer installation. On July 1st Tom Jones will take office as Club President, along with a new slate of officers. The new officers are President Elect Andrew Mellen, President Nominee and Vice President Steven Villela, Secretary Jack Campbell, Treasurer Cindy White, Service Project Directors Billy Futrell and Harold Howard, Public Relations Directors Jackie Mellen and Rebecca Linehan, Membership Director Bob Watkins, Rotary Foundation Director Ed Anderson, Club Administration Director Dianne Anderson, and Social Chair Steven Palma.
Rotary Rabbit
Midland West Rotary Club donated 300 books to be passed out during the Basin Book Festival hosted by the Midland Education Foundation.  "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" was given to early readers and "Because of the Rabbit" was given to more advanced readers.  The Rotary booth was manned by members the Interact Club of YWLA Midland and the still-in-formation Rotary Literacy Club - both sponsored by Midland West Rotary.  Members of our other Interact Club at Legacy High School also helped in the children's craft tent and with the set up and clean up of the event.  The Rotary Rabbit stopped by to take pictures with and read to children.  The inaugural event was attended by more than 1,000 Midlanders.
Dr Gene Spires Scholarship Recipient Eric Phillips and Bobby Trimble Scholarship Recipient Jaime Moran
The 2022 Shoot for the Future clay shoot hosted by Midland West Rotary Club on April 8, 2022 was deemed a huge success by all.  Thank you to our many sponsors and nearly 100 participants!  With the help of our community, we were able to raise over $20,000 that will be used for scholarships.  These scholarships will benefit students at Midland College that are pursuing technical degrees.  During the clay shoot, we presented two very deserving students with scholarships -- Eric Phillips and Jaime Moran.  Eric was the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Gene Spires Scholarship.  Dr. Spires is a Charter Member of the Midland West Rotary Club and has dedicated over 60 years to improving the lives of Midland residents.  Jaime was the inaugural recipient of the Bobby Trimble Scholarship.  A long time Rotarian, Bobby Trimble is the founder of Christmas In Action and has tirelessly served our community.  Many other scholarships will be awarded for the Fall 2022 semester later this summer.  Our next clay shoot will be held in September 2023.
The Midland West Rotary Club presented the Basin Dream Center a $3,000 grant to be used for mental health services.  The Basin Dream Center is a supervised independent transitional living center for young ladies and men who are homeless, at risk for homelessness, or who are aging out of foster care.  The mental health grant will benefit the Basin Dream Center residents that need mental health and counseling services that aren't covered through free resources or that would otherwise be covered through insurance.  Our goal is to help these students thrive as they make their way into adulthood.
Our Interact Club is collecting funds to support Ukrainians that are seeking refuge in Romania.  Rotary clubs in the region are assisting refugees with transportation, food, necessities, and housing.  If you would like to contribute to the collection, you can donate online at  We will be sending the donations to the Rotary Club of Oradea in Romania to assist with their refugee relief efforts.
This week we will not be having our regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting.  Instead, we will be having a combined meeting with the Midland Rotary Club on Wednesday, March 9th.  Both clubs will be meeting together at noon at the Christmas in Action warehouse (500 S. Lee St., Midland, TX 79701).  This will be a great fellowship event and kickoff for our service project in April.
Upcoming Events
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We are family: Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange offers both teens and host families the chance to grow

Rotary projects around the globe October 2023

Learn how Rotary clubs are taking action in the United States, Guatemala, Germany, Barbados, and Italy.

Rotary to amplify climate action at COP28 in Dubai

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Leading with heart: Vietnam gets a new Rotaract club

There’s a lot of female energy in the Rotaract Club of One Million Lives Saigon: The charter president, president, and vice president are all women.