The Harker Heights Rotary Club ended 2016 with 80 members.
With the help of a consultant, members went through an exercise last year that revealed their priorities as service, patriotism and youth.
Linda Angel, president of the Heights Rotary Club, told the Herald that when she took over her leadership position last year she made a list of the projects and services provided by the club and expected the membership to say that’s too much and we need to cut back.
“Instead, this group wanted to add more!” Angel said.
In Killeen ISD schools, the club sponsors Early Act-First Knight that helps students learn important values, manners, and proper behavior.
“We started recognizing that there were kids who weren’t getting what they needed so several years ago we began providing coats for Harker Heights Elementary School,” Angel said.
Principal Carolyn Dugger now said there is a greater need for hygiene kits so the club is giving fewer coats and making available soap, deodorant, and those kinds of items for both boys and girls.
The club is best known for its creation of the Dodgeball Challenge held in October. Proceeds pay for the coats, hygiene kits, Early Act -First Knight and for more kids to attend Rotary Camp.
Dodgeball has been the key to funding most of the projects that reach the youth of the community.
Angel said, “We’ve also increased our outreach to Fort Hood despite the fact that you can no longer adopt a unit. Instead, 1/5 Cav has agreed to be our sister unit. At Christmastime, we were able to bring food to their holiday party just like any relative would and donated whatever they needed.”
The Heights Club also supports the Intrepid Center at Fort Hood that provides services to soldiers who have suffered a brain injury or deal with PTSD and other related issues.
It gives them a place to go to learn how to deal with their challenges and helps them with integration back into their jobs and lives.
The big event for 2017 is the Harker Heights Rotary Club Annual Foundation Leadership Luncheon, scheduled for Feb. 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Shilo Inn in Killeen.
The luncheon will honor first responders and feature speakers William Richard Cashion Jr., M.D., chairman of the board of trustees of Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights, Jack Collier, former Harker Heights fire chief and Mike Gentry, chief of the Harker Heights Police Department.
For information about sponsorships, contact Linda Angel, 254-681-6306, Otis Evans, 254-289-3442 or Ed Mullen, sponsor chairman, at 254-289-1670.
The Harker Heights Rotary Club meets on Thursday mornings, 7 a.m., at St. Paul Hasang Catholic Church Parish Hall. The club also supports a Satellite Club that meets the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.