Today we recognize the birth of the Norman Sooner Rotary Club and celebrate 25 years of growth.  An overview of the progress of this Club could be analogized to the maturing of a tree.  Seeds were planted and the club has grown and matured into   providing community benefit, much like a sturdy, solid oak tree.  Fewer things illustrate the true meaning of solidarity like tree planting.  Synonyms of “solidarity” include:  cooperation, fellowship, harmony, unity, firmness, reliability, soundness, and stability. These are definitely characteristics of Sooner Rotary.  Tree planting represents hope for the future, digging into fertile soil, inserting a living thing with potential for growth, that if nurtured and cared for has the potential to benefit future generations.

          Our club was established in November, 1987.  The seed that sprouted into Norman Sooner Rotary was planted by a few who visualized service to the community through a second Rotary Club in Norman.  The new life, developed and strengthened as it was nurtured by the charter members, grew new branches as members were added until today we have “a unity and fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests”, our solidarity.

          Norman Sooner Rotary Club will outlive you and me because of the careful planting of a few, the care and commitment of many, and, last but not least, the principles of Rotary.

          It is then fitting that our first gift to the community this evening on our 25th anniversary be trees to be planted as groves at Rotary Park and Andrews Park, purchased by us the members, a gift to our community and the environment, and symbolizing the unity and growth of this Club.


Similar to Sooner Rotary’s first gift to the community, trees that, once planted, will continue to mature, develop, and provide long lasting community benefit, Sooner Rotary has been approached with another opportunity to plant seeds.  These are seeds of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and skills that will also have the effect of growing into long lasting community benefit.  Norman Public Schools is seeking to launch a pilot program to provide free school readiness parenting classes to families of children enrolled in Pre-K.  This program is called “Early Birds”.  The Early Birds program is designed to equip parents with the information and resources they need to support their child’s healthy development and to build a strong foundation from which future school and life success can grow.  Equipped parents will then have additional tools to ensure their child succeeds by becoming the child’s first and most influential teacher.

The Community Service Committee and the Sooner Rotary Board has authorized the partnering in this project with Norman Public Schools in two ways:  funding and volunteerism.  The funding provided by Sooner Rotary will help launch the pilot program this month at Adams Elementary and Kennedy Elementary.  In addition to funding, there will be service opportunities for club members to volunteer during the classes by assisting with greeting, directing parents, and working with children.

            Similar to planting trees that will then mature and provide long lasting community benefit, Sooner Rotary is proud to partner with the Norman Public Schools in the Early Birds Program that we believe will plant seeds of knowledge and understanding to assist our pre-K students when beginning their life long educational process, a process that will provide long lasting community benefit.


 You can view the Festival 25 photos by clicking on this link: Festival 25 Photos