Harker Heights Rotarians are early risers.

Every Thursday morning, members of the civic organizations meet for breakfast at 7 a.m.

The largest service club in the city, the Rotary Club now boasts 54 members since receiving its charter in February 2010.

In 2013, the club achieved a No. 1 recognition per capita in donations to the foundation and No. 2 overall in giving to the Rotary foundation in it district.

The club’s membership is made up of all Paul Harris Fellows, which means over a period of time each member donated $1,000 to the foundation.

Representing Rotary District 5870, the Heights club gave Alexander Smith, an Ellison High School and Killeen ISD Career Center graduate, a $5,000 vocational scholarship.

The club also sponsored three major fundraisers in 2013. Texas Heritage Days at the Bell County Expo Center coincided with the Army Marathon in April.

“This was the first fundraiser of its kind for the Heights Rotary Club and emphasized the multicultural melting pot that defines Bell County,” said Rotary President Jennifer McCann.

The club sponsored a foundation luncheon and fundraiser at Central Texas College’s Anderson Student Center. The theme was “Quality in Education” featuring Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp as the guest speaker.

A third fundraiser is an ongoing Coats for Kids campaign that benefits hundreds of students at Harker Heights Elementary School.

Goals for 2014 include continuing support for programs that benefit the youth of the community. Several programs are underway, including the First Act First Knight program, Rotaract at the college level, and Interact at the high school level.

The Early Act First Knight Club and Knights of the Guild models positive character traits using a medieval approach and has been promoted by the Heights Rotarians throughout five elementary schools and two middle schools.

The first Rotary Interact Service Club was established for students ages 12 to 18 at Harker Heights High School.

“The Heights club is now one of only two in the district who sponsor Interact clubs in their communities,” said Rich Kaye, governor of Rotary International District 5870. The other is in Georgetown.

Members of the Rotoract Club of Texas A&M University-Central Texas recently received a bell and banner from the Heights club. Rotaract is a service club for men and women ages 18 to 30.

“This gave them the official elements to begin and end their meetings in much the same way we do,” said Bobby Whitson, past president.

Heights Rotary also wants to expand its outreach by sponsoring a Rotary Youth Leadership Award for students.

The Heights club officers are Jennifer McCann, president; Eloise Lundgren, president-elect; Evan Hodson, vice-president; Tom Creek, treasurer; and Don Nicholas, secretary.

The directors are Travis Knight, sergeant-at-arms; Linda Dillard, club administration; and Otis Evans, service projects.

Committee chairmen are Linda Angel, Rotary Foundation; Bryan Ratliff, public relations; Kyle Jeter, membership; and Diana Miller, new generation.

The Harker Heights Rotary Club meets at 7 a.m. Thursdays at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church Parish Hall, 1000 E. Farm-to-Market 2410, Harker Heights. Go to www.clubrunner.ca/Portal/Home.aspx?cid=7601 for more information.

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