WAXAHACHIE — Back in 1917 a group of 34 local business and professional men got together to charter the Rotary Club of Waxahachie because they had heard that Rotary was organized to do good works and to provide interaction among professionals. With a little more information about the concept, some of the men began to talk about it among themselves.
They found out how to make application for a club charter and, in late 1916, they sent off the application to Rotary International headquarters in Chicago.
The first application was just rejected, as Rotary International thought Waxahachie was too small to support a club. With a lot of persistence, another application was prepared, and Rotary International decided to take the risk and the charter was granted. It was the 18th club in Texas and the 285th club in the world.
However, these were trying years for the club during World War I and later the Great Depression. Even still, the club supplied shoes and lunches for many school children, were very active in a drive for books for Sims Library, held intercity meetings with clubs in the surrounding area and programs were furnished. There were also golf matches conducted with many of these same clubs and a sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop 232, which continues in 2017. In 1989 a scout cabin was built for the troop.
There was an annual dinner for the local orphans at Christmas time with a gift for each child. The club sponsored a statewide picnic every summer in the city park. Hundreds of chickens were barbecued and Rotarians came from all over the state to attend. Dallas, Ft. Worth and Waco clubs chartered special trains to the affair which had as many as 675 attendees.
The Waxahachie club has sponsored other clubs in Hillsboro, Ennis, Lancaster and Midlothian. In addition, it has sponsored Interact Clubs at Waxahachie High School and Waxahachie Global High School and a Rotaract Club at Navarro College.
Today, under president David Hill, the club continues strong with 111 members, male and female, young and old. With the support of the two fundraisers, the Cow Creek Country Classic Bike Ride and the U.S. Flag Subscriptions, over 35 local and international agencies and programs are supported. President David Hill has implemented a program so that 100 percent of the members will become Paul Harris Fellows further supporting programs to eradicate polio, provide clean drinking water and world peace.
Looking forward to the next hundred years the hope is that our club will have been found faithful in adhering to the basic tenets of our Four Way test, that, of the things we think, say or do, is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendships and will it be beneficial to all concerned.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Waxahachie where we believe in Service Above Self and doing things as a club we cannot do alone, visit the club web site at www.waxahachierotary.org . You can find American flag subscription forms there, and bike ride forms will be available closer to the event in June.