Club Information
Wylie East Fork

Service Above Self and Have Fun!

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Landon Winery Event Center
103 N. Ballard Avenue
Wylie, TX 75098
United States of America
Join us for a catered lunch at noon every Thursday at Landon Winery in Wylie 103 N. Ballard Ave. Check the Speakers page for upcoming events and service projects.
Speakers
Shannon Dion
Jul 25, 2024
Secure Our Seniors Safety
Secure Our Seniors Safety
Eric Hogue
Aug 01, 2024 12:00 PM
Collin County Historical Commission
No meeting
Aug 08, 2024 12:00 PM
Brian Kelly, Director of WISD Security
Aug 15, 2024 12:00 PM
WISD Security
Sam Lawrence
Aug 29, 2024 12:00 PM
CEO Habitat For Humanity
Club Officers
Club President
President Elect
Club Treasurer
Secretary
Program Director
Immediate Past President
Public Relations
Sergeant-at-Arms
Welcome to Wylie Rotary East Fork
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. We normally meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM at Landon Winery, 103 N. Ballard Avenue, Wylie, TX 75098.  Please join us for lunch! 
Home Page Stories
Rotary Club of Wylie East Fork proudly sponsored the Wylie Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week. The theme was Why Leaders Matter. Our esteemed president, Ofilia Barrera, spoke about why she joined Rotary, and invited the attendees to our weekly meetings.
 

Hello, everyone. I am Ofilia Barrera, the President of Rotary Club Wylie East Fork this year. You may also know me as your friendly, local librarian, as I am also the Director of the Smith Public Library. Today, I thought I’d talk about leadership and why I joined Rotary.

You may all be familiar with Rotary and its international goals, such as eradicating polio or providing clean water to populations worldwide. Those are certainly important and worthy causes that we support at a local level, but that’s not why I joined Rotary. I joined Rotary to make a difference in our local community.

Our small Rotary Club, made up of 24 active members, provides and installs American flags for City Hall, downtown Wylie, and some local neighborhoods for the five major patriotic holidays. We also fundraise for scholarships for Wylie students to go to college. Every year, we send six students, all expenses paid, to RYLA, a youth leadership camp, where these kids learn lessons that they can use throughout their lifetime. I recently met several camp counselors who attended the camp as kids and kept volunteering there because it changed their lives so profoundly.

This past year, we partnered with other local service organizations to build Little Free Libraries for our community. I know what you’re thinking. I’m using my position as President to push libraries on everyone, but that one wasn’t even my idea! I swear! I wholeheartedly supported it, but I did not bring that one to the table.

In my opinion, our biggest accomplishment over the past year is the grant we were awarded to help Hartman Elementary build its Dream Space. This sensory-inclusive room now gives overstimulated students a place to calm down. It can also double as an additional classroom space whenever needed. 

How do these things get done? Where does the money come from? Who organizes the projects, oversees them, and makes sure they are completed? We do. Rotary is all about leadership. You don’t have to be a CEO or manager to be a leader. You can be a leader wherever you are when you decide to make a difference by joining a local service organization and finding a project that excites you. Leaders find a way to help others, improve their community, and make things better for everyone no matter what their station in life is. To me, leadership is connection plus action. 

At our weekly meetings, Thursdays at noon at Landon Winery - consider this your formal invitation - we often have speakers who inspire us with their stories about what they do to make the world a better place. This year's theme for all Rotary Clubs is: Create Hope in the World. Everyone has different ideas on what makes a great leader. Rotary has taught me that creating hope is possibly the most powerful skill in a leader's arsenal. If you can create hope, make those connections, and work towards a common goal - you become unstoppable.

And that’s why I joined Rotary. 

 

 

In a heartwarming display of community collaboration, the Rotary Club of Wylie East Fork, Delta Kappa Gamma Society, and Wylie Evening Lions Club, joined forces to inaugurate a brand new Little Free Library in the serene ambiance of the Library Garden. The initiative, aimed at promoting literacy and fostering a love for reading among community members, culminated in a joyous ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by esteemed guests and enthusiastic supporters.

Nestled amidst the verdant greenery of the Library Garden, the Little Free Library stands as a testament to the power of collective action and shared vision. Its vibrant colors and inviting bench beckon passersby to explore its contents and embark on literary adventures. Stocked with an array of books spanning various genres and age groups, the library promises to cater to the diverse tastes and interests of readers young and old.

The collaboration between the Rotary Club of Wylie East Fork, Delta Kappa Gamma Society, and Wylie Evening Lions Club exemplifies the spirit of cooperation and goodwill that defines our community. Through their combined efforts, they have not only enriched the cultural landscape of the neighborhood but also provided a valuable resource for lifelong learning and enrichment.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, held amidst applause and jubilation, symbolized the official commencement of this inspiring initiative. Distinguished members of both clubs, along with local dignitaries and representatives from the Library Garden committee, gathered to celebrate this milestone moment. With a collective sense of pride and anticipation, they eagerly awaited the opportunity to unlock the doors of the Little Free Library and embark on a literary journey together.

In her address to the attendees, Lori Villareal, a shining member of both the Rotary Club and Delta Kappa Gamma Society, expressed her gratitude to all those involved in making the project a reality. "Today marks a significant milestone in our efforts to promote literacy and community engagement," she remarked. "Through the power of partnership and shared purpose, we have created a space where knowledge knows no boundaries and imagination knows no limits."

As the ribbon was ceremoniously cut, cheers erupted from the crowd, signaling the beginning of a new chapter in the story of the Library Garden. Visitors eagerly queued up to explore the treasures housed within the Little Free Library, each book representing a gateway to discovery and enlightenment.

As the sun rose on the horizon, casting a golden glow over the tranquil surroundings, it served as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of community and the boundless possibilities that await within the pages of a book. In the heart of the Library Garden, a beacon of literacy now stands as a testament to the collective efforts of those who believe in the transformative power of education and the timeless joy of reading.

 
Rotary Club of Wylie East Fork enjoyed a visit from District Governor John Curtis, his lovely wife Janie, and District Governor Elect Mary Bedosky at our weekly luncheon in December. Everyone had fun with our group's silly antics during "fine" time, and commented what a relaxed, friendly, and close group we have. It just so happened to be the DG's birthday and we were lucky to celebrate the day with him. After lunch, we organized a service project for the Hartman Elementary teachers by fulfilling a list of necessary school supplies they tend to run short of at the end of the first term. We packed up pens, pencils, post-its, tissue, crayons, glue, and every school supply you can imagine! John and Janie helped build the "School Supply Cake" seen in the photos. We love helping our adopted school and hopefully brightened the beginning of the Hartman Cool Cats year!
   
 
Rotarians of Wylie East Fork spent their regular weekly lunch in October filling shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and personal care items for children in need around the world. We call it "Boxing Day!" These special boxes are joyfully received by boys and girls from 2-14 years old, often as their first gift ever! Whether sending or receiving, those touched by Operation Christmas Child testify to the power of a gift-filled shoebox. We love signing up to bring soccer balls, colorful string, decks of cards, toothbrushes, pens & pencils, notebooks, and other fun gifts for these children each year
 
Wylie East Fork Rotarians enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning volunteering to set up for Hope's Gate's Hope Under the Stars event in Wylie's Olde City Park. We unpacked and set up tables and chairs, added tablecloths and table decor, put out way finding signs, and unboxed several hundred plates and bowls. We love working with Kendra on anything, but wow, did she do a great job on this event!
Hope’s Gate was born with a mission to bring hope to orphans, victims of human trafficking, and the world’s most vulnerable. Each person working in their project receives a fair wage for the items they make. The products are then sold in the USA and the profits are given back to the shelters, safe houses, and toward the education of their artisans. In 2018, seventeen students were sent to college with full scholarships.
We are proud to work with Hope's Gate, and proud of the goodness our friend brings to the Wylie community. Go to https://donorbox.org/hope-s-gate if you would like to donate to Hope's Gate.
 
    

 
 
On the list of items Principal Vanessa Hudgins from our adopted school Hartman Elementary was "Teacher Support." Our first supportive task was to raise the teachers' spirits as they entered into what they call "the doldrums of fall" when kids are just looking forward to fall break and Halloween. We spent an afternoon writing notes on spooky postcards with messages of encouragement and validation to 80 teachers for a job well done then packed fun items like silly post-its and candy into festive bags. Volunteers delivered the cheerful packages to Principal Hudgins and the Hartman teachers the week before fall break. 
 
What a great way to spend an afternoon in fellowship!
 
Wylie Rotary East Fork was so lucky to meet the new Principal of our adopted Wylie school Hartman Elementary. Vanessa Hudgins was appointed as the principal of Hartman Elementary at the beginning of the 2023 school year. Hudgins was formerly the principal of Groves Elementary, a position she has held since 2018. Before joining the Gators, Hudgins served as an assistant principal at Hartman. Ms. Hudgins had lunch with us before the school year began and spoke to us about how we will be able to help Hartman Elementary and its teachers this year. Hudgins listed their top needs as:
 
Teacher Support - Encouragement and validation for a job well done. The PTA usually provides necessities like snacks and water during events, but Rotary would be able to pick up the slack and help to fund special events for the teachers.
 
Building a Community for Students - Pride in campus begins with belonging. To create a sense of belonging, students need to feel pride when the campus is presented on social media or at community events. Rotary will help out with maintaining the garden, providing a community outreach day, and helping to build birdhouses to decorate the garden. 
 
Create a Sensory Space - Hartman's biggest need right now is renovating a storage bookroom into a Sensory Space for students who need to reset and calm down in order to learn at the highest level of expectation. Rotary will provide soothing items such as rugs, a rocking chair, low lighting, calming textured materials, and a soothing sound machine.  These sensory tools are critical for supporting the emotional needs of the students.
 
We look forward to working with Principal Hudgins and Hartman Elementary as they celebrate their 60th Year Anniversary! As the first school in Wylie, these "Cool Cats" aspire to maintain and further their legacy as the diamond of Wylie ISD.
 
 
 
  
Wylie Rotary volunteers held a "Packing Party” for District 5810 Book Brigade to help us recycle books and fight illiteracy both locally and internationally. The service project works in partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines to bring books to Merida, Mexico. Hosted by Wylie Rotary President (and Library Director!) Ofilia Barrera, several Rotarians spent a couple hours packing 12 boxes full of books to be sent to school children living in Mexico. The boxes were then weighed, labeled, and ready to be shipped to Mexico. The District goal was 25,000 books. Wylie East Fork has sent over 1,000 books!
We were pleased to have President-Elect Cliff Moriarty present the Paul Harris Fellow Award to two deserving young ladies. Cliff's granddaughters, Kathleen Rose and Mary Louise Orth, both received the prestigious award "in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world." The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of $1,000 to Rotary International. Congratulations to these lovely girls!

 
In Rotary, July is a time of new beginnings. This is a time to reassess, to envision, and it is most importantly a time to set goals and to determine how we will serve our Communities, seizing opportunities for service. Our leaders at Rotary exemplify all of the qualities that make our members extraordinary: integrity, expertise, and a commitment to service. Ofilia Barrera, Wylie Rotary's President for 2023-2024, completes all these qualities and more. Ofilia's first order of business was a list of goals that represent the 2023-24 Rotary theme "Create Hope in the World". These include applying for grants to allow us to purchase dictionaries to benefit Wylie Elementary schools; re-establish an Interact Club at one of the Wylie High Schools; add at least two new annual fundraisers to our calendar; plan social meetings with neighboring Rotary Clubs; and increase opportunities to serve more frequently. Ofilia underlined these intentions by presenting everyone with an origami crane, representing the hope Ofilia wishes our Club will create in the next year. 
 
Rotary is filled with a diverse group of people from every background but with one goal. Whether developing Rotary policy, providing financial support, or advancing Rotary’s strategic plan, each member is dedicated to helping other members connect and take action to create sustainable change. Please join us at lunch on Thursdays at noon at Landon Winery in Wylie.
Wylie Rotarians fueled hot-rodders with free hot dogs as nearly 300 2-5-year olds prepared to race in the 19th Annual Wylie 500 Pedal Car Race. Families enjoyed the spring afternoon as the kids race 500 inches through Wylie's historic downtown in pedal cars supplied by Wylie merchants. Rotarians raised an extra $300 in "tips" to add to the City's donation to the local Special Olympics.
 
 
 
 
Rotary Club of Wylie East Fork President Lynn Fagerstrom was pleased to present its Ethics Award to Wylie ISD Board President Stacie Smith at the Wylie Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Banquet.

Stacie Smith knows that education is about more than just classroom learning. It’s about being present, providing constant encouragement, connecting with the community, insisting on a strong curriculum, and so much more. Stacie can be seen at nearly every community event, seizing every opportunity to advocate for our students. Her tireless efforts do not go unnoticed by parents and students alike. She is always willing to listen and accept feedback in her quest for educational excellence and measures every decision against what is the BEST decision. She embodies the essence of community ethics. Our school district and students are reaping the benefits of her constant focus on making Wylie ISD an excellent school district that can become even better, ensuring all students have opportunities to create successful futures.

Congratulations Stacie!

Presidents-Elect Ofilia Barrera and Cliff Moriarty are shown here attending President Elect Training Seminar (P.E.T.S.) in preparation for the new Rotary year which begins July 1, 2023. Lone Star P.E.T.S. is the combined efforts of ten Rotary International Districts. They all converge on the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the DFW International Airport to jointly provide the best possible training for future Presidents of Rotary clubs. The theme for the new Rotary year will be Create Hope in the World. 

 
 
 
A big thank you to "Doc" Lawson from the Ohio Village Muffins Vintage Base Ball league for entertaining us and teaching us about Vintage Base Ball! A lot has changed since the 1800s!
 
If you missed the presentation or are interested in hearing more about Vintage Base Ball, you can catch the presentation at The Welcome Center at Brown House in downtown Wylie on Saturday, March 11. Wylie resident and base ball historian Robert "Doc" Lawson, describes the evolution of the game from town ball and rounders to early base ball, which rose to popularity during the Civil War. Learn about the changing rules, uniforms, and equipment, as well as the national association of teams that play ball the old-fashioned way. The vintage base ball exhibit will be on display through March - conveniently timed for the opening pitches of the 2023 season. Play Ball!
If you weren't aware, Matthew Porter - Mayor of Wylie had a busy morning before he met us for lunch yesterday! Can you find him amongst all the 2nd graders? Kids, parents and teachers toured the Wylie Municipal Complex on Thursday, beginning with an introduction to the City Council Chambers. The Mayor fielded questions and explained the difference between the President and a Mayor, why he wanted to be a Mayor, and who decides what businesses are built.
 
Next, he presented his bi-weekly Facebook Live with an update on the City Council agenda. Then he met us for lunch and filled us in on all the multiple upcoming road constructions. We're happy he could squeeze us into his busy schedule and are always glad when he joins us with other city staff.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Wylie Mayor Matthew Porter, on behalf of the Wylie City Council and Citizens of Wylie, presented a proclamation honoring World Rotary Day on February 23, which celebrates 118 years of Rotary International.

He encouraged all citizens to support and recognize the Rotary Club of Wylie, East Fork, founded on March 31, 1989 and thanked them for supporting local Veteran’s causes, schools and students, and improving the human condition in local communities and around the world.

Several members of the Wylie Rotary Club were present to receive the proclamation and declare what they love best about being a Rotarian in Wylie, including stocking Little Free Libraries, planting flags around the city on American holidays, and supporting the eradication of Polio.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed Gem Munro's effective presentation at lunch on Thursday, 19 January. Several Rotarians stated that his presentation was the best and more informative they had seen in a long time. We learned a great deal and truly respect everything Gem and the Amarok Society are doing by teaching mothers who in turn, teach their children in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the poorest places. Thank you for visiting our small town and enlightening us, Gem. You're welcome back anytime! If you would like to help or learn more, please visit Amarok Society.
 
 
 
 
Our friend Charlie Waller is having an incredible adventure with Ride for Rotary in India! Rotary Mysore 3181 organized an International Motorcycle Ride / Drive event that began on January 13. The aim of the event is to promote International fellowship and the exchange of Rotary views. More than 100 participants from 15 different countries joined Charlie on this trip and will have wonderful experiences to take back home. The funds raised through this event go to The Rotary Foundation, which has contributed close to $100,000 to TRF from the last 6 editions. The ride will cover multiple Rotary Districts and many Rotary Clubs through Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Thanjavur - Madurai - Coimbatore - Ooty - Mysore - Madikeri - Mangalore. Charlie is in Coimbatore for the next couple of days. We can't wait to hear about the whole trip when he returns!
Read more about Ride for Rotary
 
 
 
We are proud to provide funding again to sponsor the American Legion Texas Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Texas Bluebonnet Girls State. These organizations send high school students to programs in Texas where they learn about the privileges of American citizenship and how state governments are organized and run by their citizens. Stateswomen and men will spend time at the Texas State Capitol, seeing both the rich history and beautiful facilities of our government. Learning leadership by participating in the political process supplements what students learn in the classroom. This is a practical opportunity for these young women and men to learn leadership skills through role play and civic exercises. The leadership skills they learn here before heading to college will last a lifetime. 
 
Thank you for providing these "Learn by Doing" leadership opportunities to these young Texans.
 
For more information or to sponsor, visit girls-state.org and texasboysstate.com 
This holiday season, give the gift that keeps giving all year long with a Patriotic Gift Package. Proceeds from the sales of the Gift Package support Wylie Police Department Youth Programs in our Community and Schools.

The $60 package contains a 2023 American Glory Calendar and a Certificate for installation of an American Flag at your home. The Wylie Rotary Club will install a flag sleeve in front of your home and deliver a 36” x 60” American Flag on a 12’ ft aluminum pole before Presidents Day on February 20, 2023.
 
To purchase this package, please fill out the form and return it to: Angelwygant@aol.com. We'll reach out to you to get your boxed gift package ready for wrapping.
 
We wrapped up Rotary Foundation Month with a visit from Bill Dendy, Rotary District 5810 - North Texas - District Foundation Co-Chair, at lunch today! What a pleasure to hear him speak about all his years with the Rotary Foundation. He encouraged us to "Get Rotarized!" and reminded us how important it is to work at the grassroots level to get things done. Every Rotarian can find something they excel at within the 7 areas of Rotary Focus, and the Foundation supports those that do.
 
 
Wylie Rotary Club displays over 800 flags throughout the Wylie community on Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, September 11th Remembrance, and Veterans Day. Club members volunteer their time and effort to deliver and pick up the flags for each holiday, and it has allowed Wylie Rotary Club to raise money to assist in many local community service projects, local grants, scholarships for graduating seniors, scholarships for summer leadership camps, habitat for humanity, and school enrichment programs.  Your support of our program impacts many! Thank you. 
 
If you would like more information about our flag program or you would like to order a flag for your business or home, please contact eastforkrotary@gmail.com.