As a 20-year Rotarian I was, of course, dismayed to read of the vandalism to the Rotary flags. That was only part of the story, though. Why does the Rotary Club of Waxahachie put out flags in the first place?
This is the club’s major fundraiser each year. Club funding comes from dues and expenses charged to club members and fundraisers. All of the money raised by the fundraisers goes for programs and support projects.
Each year the club awards $20,000 to $25,000 in scholarships to Waxahachie High School, Global High and Navarro students who are continuing their education at a higher level. This includes traditional college scholarships as well as technical schools such as Texas State Technical College programs.
The club installs a number of wheelchair ramps for those who would otherwise be homebound. Support goes to a number of local nonprofit organizations such as Hope Clinic, YMCA, United Way of West Ellis County and many more. We have planted trees at a local park and have started a new program to help maintain the Fraternal Cemetery on East Jefferson Street.
Club membership has changed radically during my 20-year membership. The median age is about 50 years old with many younger people joining in the last few years. Many women are involved including the past president, current president and president-elect. The world is different than it was in 1917 when the club was started and the club is changing with it.
The other reason the club puts out flags is citizenship. They make Waxahachie a more beautiful place to live. We leave flags out for longer periods now so we can enjoy them longer and for more local events. So, I’m sorry this all happened but let’s make it an opportunity to tell the public the rest of the story.
John Hamilton is a resident of Waxahachie and frequent contributor to the Waxahachie Sun.