Rotarians Learn About Texarkana College

During our Rotary Meeting on September 24th, Rotarians heard from Robert Jones, Dean of Students at Texarkana College.  Robert spoke about changes at the college over the last two decades.  He also highlighted several of the new things the college is doing to improve graduation rates and attract students.  In addition to working for the college, Robert is also a Rotarian with the International Club in Texarkana.

Listen to Robert Jones Speak About Texarkana College

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District Governor Makes Visit to Texarkana

Every year, the new District Governor for Rotary District 5830 schedules a visit to our club.  As part of the visit, the District Governor shares with us his vision for our district during his year as Governor.  One of the things Jim Finstrom focused on during his presentation today was Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Listen to District Governor Jim Finstrom’s Presentation

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Restoring Heroes: Lancer Legacy Ranch

During our meeting today, Matt Fisk spoke to us about the work being done at Lancer Legacy Ranch.  The ranch is designed to help veterans get back on their feet.

Matt was born in De Queen, Arkansas and joined the Army in 1997. As an enlisted infantryman, he deployed in support of Operation Noble Anvil during the Kosovo War of 1999. He earned a Combat Infantryman Badge during the Iraqi Shia uprising in 2004. In 2007, Matt commissioned as an ordnance officer, eventually retiring at the rank of captain.

Matt holds a degree in Criminal Justice as well as being recognized as a Master Gardener in the Cypress Basin Master Gardener’s Club. He is a Certified Peer Counselor with the state of Texas, trained to use his recovery story to assist in the healing of other veterans.

Hear from Matt Fisk

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The Role Interact Plays in Building New Rotarians

Ever wonder what kids in our community are up to in their spare time?

As part of our presentation today, Ali Milligan and Garrett Fowler shared with us what the members of the Interact Club at Arkansas High School do throughout the year, and we couldn’t be more proud of them. What an amazing group of kids committed to Service Above Self. Ali is the President of the Interact Club and Garret is the Vice President.

Video of the Interact Club’s Annual Activities

Additionally, we heard from Rotarian Tonya Caler Dunphy, who is the Rotarian leader and backbone of the Interact Club at Arkansas High.

We also heard from new Rotarian, Tina Bell, on the role Rotarians and Rotary programs played in her life and the difference one person can make in the world as a Rotarian.

Tina Bell, Tonya, Dunphy, Ali Milligan and Garrett Fowler attend Oaklawn Rotary of Texarkana Club Meeting in front of 4 Way Test Banner

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Preview of the Big Game

Today at lunch, we had the annual “Preview of the Big Game” (Texas High vs. Arkansas High) speeches.

If you missed joining us, you may be wondering which coach won the coin toss and the right to give the first speech. Check out this short video to see for yourself who got the honor…

Below are a few key takeaways from each coach on what this season and their football programs mean for our community. Both men gave excellent presentations.

Words from Texas High Coach Gerry Stanford
Texas High School Athletic Director, Gerry Stanford’s talk didn’t focus on what the scoreboard would say or who had the better team. Rather it focused on the real end game for high school football players.

Coach Stanford shared how the goals at TISD mirror the mission of Rotary. “Our goal is to unite a bunch of people into one common goal that creates lasting change,” he said.

This year nearly 210 kids will participate in the football program at TISD. Stanford hopes that during their time in the program, his coaches make a difference and teach a work ethic that will stick with kids long after they’ve walked out of the stadium for the last time.

To learn more about the athletic program at TISD, click here.

Words from Arkansas High Coach Barry Norton
Arkansas High School Athletic Director, Barry Norton’s speech didn’t focus on who would win or which team had the best talent. Instead, it focused on something a bit more important … the difference high school football makes in our community.

“It’s like Christmastime for us. All the work you put in all year long. The band, football players, cheerleaders, everyone … nothing brings together communities like high school football,” he said.

Norton recognizes that football is more than just a game.

“We are committed to making sure our kids are the best they can be … to giving them an opportunity to win on the field and in the classroom,” he said.

He also added that spending time with kids off the field is important to not only building a program, but more importantly, to building kids.

“Our coaches have done a remarkable job spending time with our kids outside of athletics. That’s a great thing,” he said.

He noted that his kids understand their motto for this year is “WE Razorbacks”.

WE stands for “Win Everyday”.

“We have to win everyday in everything we do,” he said.

To learn more about the athletic program at Arkansas High School, click here.

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Angela Coston: “For the Sake of One”

Angela CostonOur guest speaker today was Angela Coston, Director of “For the Sake of One”. She explained the vision and mission of the “For Sake of One” nonprofit to our club and it is a wonderful cause to give to or get involved with.

Their primary goal is to assist with the reunification of families through five areas:

1. Maintaining a resource room for current foster families.

2. Adopting/Assisting/Encouraging case workers

3. Mentoring the biological parents

4. Recruiting new foster families

5. Supporting existing foster families

If you would like to get involved, please check out the official website at www.forthesakeofone.com.

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Drawdown Fundraiser Donations

Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club was proud to donate $6,000 to 10 non-profit organizations. The monies were earned during the Club’s annual Drawdown Fundraiser.

Representatives from each organization attended a meeting to receive their $600 check and to share information about their cause with the members.

Donations were given to: CASA; Domestic Violence Prevention; Hospice of Texarkana; Main Street Texarkana; Opportunities Inc.; Caddo Area Council-Boy Scouts of America; Today’s Youth Tomorrow’s Leaders-Leadership Texarkana; Texarkana Animal League; Randy Sam’s Homeless Shelter; and, Harvest Texarkana

IMG_7414

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About Rotary District 6780

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4 Way Speech Contest

Pictured are the four students who participated in this years 4 Way Speech Contest at Oaklawn Rotary Club.   Thank you for participating and bringing your students to our Rotary Club!  Your students exemplify excellence and I know they are tremendous leaders for your campus!

Thank you again and I look forward to next year’s presentations!

Jonathon Points, THS; Lucas Marchesani, PG; Fraquaezsha Arnold, LE; and DJ Huntley, AHS.

 

Jonathon Points

4 way speech contest winner Jonathon Points

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Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club Drawdown Donations

The Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club recently awarded $6,000 to help the community. Checks of $600 were presented to representatives from the following agencies: Boy Scouts of America, CASA, Domestic Violence Prevention, Harvest Texarkana, Hospice of Texarkana, Main Street Texarkana, Opportunities Inc., Randy Sams Outreach Center, Runnin’ WJ Ranch and Texarkana Friendship Center.

The Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club recently awarded $6,000 to help the community. Checks of $600 were presented to representatives from the following agencies: Boy Scouts of America, CASA, Domestic Violence Prevention, Harvest Texarkana, Hospice of Texarkana, Main Street Texarkana, Opportunities Inc., Randy Sams Outreach Center, Runnin’ WJ Ranch and Texarkana Friendship Center.

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