Recap of March 30, 2021 Meeting

Club Past President Jane Purcell welcomed everyone to our online meeting. 
Our speaker this week was OU Law School Professor Lindsay G Robertson--an expert in Indian law.
Check out a portion of his presentation posted on the club YouTube channel at this link: March 30, 2021 Meeting
Recap of March 30, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-04-01 05:00:00Z 0

Our satellite club is official!

We have 14 founding members and will meet at least twice a month.
The meetings can be a regular meeting, social, community service project, an event, or a meeting with the main club.
Our first meeting is 4:30 pm on Thursday, April 8 at Food and Shelter. 
Here's a link to our bylaws
Our satellite club is official! Sandra Longcrier 2021-04-01 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of March 23, 2021 Meeting


Club Past President Jane Purcell welcomed everyone to our online meeting. 
Our speaker this week was Oklahoma’s State Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready.
Check out the recorded meeting posted on the club YouTube channel at this link: March 23, 2021 Meeting
Recap of March 23, 2021 Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2021-03-29 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of March 2, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting--we sang, we gave Happy Dollars, we shared announcements including members with March birthdays: Polly Christian, Nate Strong, Katie Kimberling ($25 gift certificate winner), Joan Barker (100 RI Foundation points winner), and Sandra Longcrier.   
Our speaker this week was Phil Moss Rotary Foundation Chair for District 5770. Two of the most recent recognitions are for Cliff Thomas who is now a Paul Harris Fellow+3 (PHF+3) and Jack Beller with a PHF+5.
Check out the recorded meeting posted on the club YouTube channel at this link: March 16, 2021 Club Meeting
Recap of March 2, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-03-27 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of March 16, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting--we sang, we gave Happy Dollars, we shared announcements!  
Our speaker this week was Lynn Christopherson who shared a presentation titled “Parole in Oklahoma: A Personal Journey." 
Check out the recorded meeting posted on the club YouTube channel at this link: March 16, 2021 Club Meeting
Recap of March 16, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-03-27 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of March 9, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting.
Our speaker was Dr. Archie Buendia, seen here receiving his Paul Harris+5 pin from Joe Gill. 
You can read more about the program and see some screen shots by clicking on the gold Recap headline above.
The meeting recording is posted on the club YouTube channel at this link: Sooner Club Secretary
Recap of March 9, 2021 Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2021-03-09 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of February 23, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting.
Our speaker was KatieBeth Gardner, counsel for The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. 
You can read more about the program and see some screen shots by clicking on the gold Recap headline above.
The meeting was accidentally not recorded but other club meetings are posted on the club YouTube channel at this link: Sooner Club Secretary
Recap of February 23, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-03-03 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of February 9, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting.
Our program this week featured Paul Tryggestad and Linda Mace, dedicated educators serving students at The Dimensions Academy in Norman. 
You can watch the meeting and program by clicking on this link to our club YouTube account: February 9, 2021
Recap of February 9, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-02-19 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of February 16, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting on a bitterly cold morning.
Richie Splitt, CEO Norman Regional Health System, provided an update on the Inspire Health plan.  
You can read more about our meeting and see some screen shots by clicking on the gold Recap headline above.
You can watch the entire meeting and program by clicking on this link to our club YouTube account: February 16, 2021
Recap of February 16, 2021 Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2021-02-17 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of February 2, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to our online meeting.
Andy Rieger, former executive editor of The Transcript newspaper, realtor, OU journalism instructor and Norman native and historian, talked about the top 10 seminal events in Norman's growth and development.
You can read a little about our meeting by clicking on the gold Recap headline above.
You can watch the entire meeting and program by clicking on this link to our club YouTube account: February 2, 2021
Click this link to view Andy's PowerPoint presentation.
Recap of February 2, 2021 Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2021-02-03 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of January 26, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck called to order our online meeting. We sang, saluted the flag and recited the 4-Way Test.
Sara King from the county health department provided helpful info about the COVID-19 vaccination distribution process. 
You can read the list of key takeaways by clicking on the gold Recap headline above.
You can watch the recorded meeting by clicking on this link to our club YouTube account: January 26, 2021 Meeting
Recap of January 26, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-01-28 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of January 12, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck called to order the "historic" online meeting and welcomed guests. 
After singing, sharing the flag salute and 4-Way Test, we had announcements and Happy Dollars. 
We followed that with participants divided into virtual breakout "rooms" and played the Rotary Family Feud game--enjoying the fellowship and conversation within our smaller groups.
Special thanks to Jennifer Jenkins and Katie Kimberling for the hours they spent preparing to execute and facilitate the breakout sessions on Zoom.  
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link to our YouTube account: Sooner Club Secretary 
Recap of January 12, 2021 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2021-01-20 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of January 5, 2021 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck called the meeting to order and welcomed our guests. 
Our guest speaker was Nikki Cricklin, artist and photographer. 
To watch the recorded meeting and see some of Nikki's beautiful images, click on this link to our YouTube account: January 5, 2021
Recap of January 5, 2021 Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2021-01-20 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of December 8, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck called the meeting to order and welcomed our guests. 
Our guest speaker was club member Dr. Jack Beller who provided some great history about "The Night Before Christmas" and Santa Claus! 
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-color Recap link above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link to our YouTube account: December 8, 2020
Recap of December 8, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-12-11 06:00:00Z 0
Recap of November 17, 2020 Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2020-12-04 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of December 1, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck called the meeting to order at 7:09 a.m. We had 44 participants, including guests!  
Our guest speakers were Sigrid Solomon and Jenny Stotts, two Ohio Rotarians sharing ideas about membership diversity and inclusion. 
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-color Recap link above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link to our YouTube account: Sooner Club Secretary
Recap of December 1, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-12-01 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of November 24, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck called the meeting to order at 7:06 a.m. We had 41 participants, including guests!  
Our guest speaker was Angela Jiménez-Calhoun, founder and CEO of Pantry Partners. 
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-color Recap link above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link to our YouTube account: Sooner Club Secretary
Recap of November 24, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-11-24 06:00:00Z 0
Prez Message Sandra Longcrier 2020-11-23 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of November 3, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed everyone to the weekly club meeting on election day.  
Donald Pyeatt, executive director of Full Circle Adult Day Center provided a very informative program.    
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-color "Recap" link above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link: November 3, 2020

Recap of November 3, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-11-21 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of November 10, 2020 Meeting

Club Past President Jane Purcell filled in for Club President Jonna Buck to run this week's meeting. Safe travels Jonna!
We welcomed 40 participants to who hear our speaker Justin Davis, executive director of The Christmas Store of Cleveland County.  
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-color Recap link above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link: November 10, 2020 

Recap of November 10, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-11-10 06:00:00Z 0
Prez Message Sandra Longcrier 2020-11-02 06:00:00Z 0

Recap of October 27, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed participants to our online meeting on a cold and icy morning.
Our speaker this week was our own Mary Sallee who is the District 5770 Polio Plus Chairperson. 
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-colored Recap link above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link: October 27, 2020 Meeting
Recap of October 27, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-10-30 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of October 20, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed participants and Cliff's wife Janet as a guest to our meeting!
Our speaker this week was Nancy Koplowitz, a polio survivor. 
To read more about the meeting and presentation, click on the gold-colored Recap word above.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link: October 20, 2020 Meeting
Recap of October 20, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-10-27 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of October 13 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed participants and guests to our meeting!
Our speaker this week was Brittany Martin, who is president and co-founder of The Jaxon Kade Foundation, an organization whose mission is to benefit families facing miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. She was joined by best friend and foundation secretary and board member, Alicia Strawn.
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link: October 13, 2020 Club Meeting
Recap of October 13 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-10-18 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of October 6, 2020 Meeting

Club President Jonna Buck welcomed participants and guests to our meeting!

District Governor Dr. Timothy Eaton visited to share all the news about District 5770. He is a member of the Moore Rotary Club.  
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link: October 6, 2020 Club Meeting
Recap of October 6, 2020 Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-10-10 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of September 29 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-09-29 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of September 22 Online Meeting

At this week's online meeting we welcomed speakers Erin Barnhart (left) and Dr. Shari Jones (right).  
The two shared information about breast cancer prevention and the Norman Regional Foundation's Paint the Town Pink campaign. Click on the gold Recap headline link above to find links to order cancer-related items and support prevention initiatives. 
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this link:
Recap of September 22 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-09-28 05:00:00Z 0
Prez Message Sandra Longcrier 2020-09-21 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of September 15 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-09-15 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of September 8 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-09-10 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of September 1 Online Meeting

At this week's online meeting we had 41 participants, including our speaker Carlee Wright the District 5770 Rotary Scholar just moved to Italy for her masters work at John Hopkins in Bologna.
To read more about the meeting, click on the gold Recap headline link above.
To watch the entire recorded meeting, click on this link: September 1, 2020 Club Meeting at the Sooner Club Secretary account on YouTube.
Recap of September 1 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-09-01 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of August 25 Online Meeting

At this week's online meeting we had 42 participants, including guests Janet Thomas (Cliff's better half!) and Dre'Onna Adkins from Arvest Bank a potential new member! 
Our speaker this week was Gregg Fort, the regional director of chapter operations at the Epilepsy Foundation.  
To read more about the meeting, click on the gold Recap headline link above.
To watch the entire recorded meeting, click on this link: August 25, 2020 Club Meeting at the Sooner Club Secretary account on YouTube.
Recap of August 25 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-08-25 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of August 18 Online Meeting

At this week's online meeting we had 46 participants, including guests Janet Thomas (Cliff's better half!) and Dre'Onna Adkins from Arvest Bank who is looking into club membership!
Our speakers were Lisa Burkhart and Jennifer Cook who shared about the Norman Assistance League's Operation School Bell program.  
To read more about the meeting, click on the gold Recap headline link above.
To watch the entire recorded meeting, click on this link: August 18, 2020 Club Meeting at the Sooner Club Secretary account on YouTube.
Recap of August 18 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-08-18 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of August 11 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-08-11 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of August 4 Online Meeting

At this week's online meeting we reconnected with our 2019-2020 Rotary Youth Exchange Student Aida Yuste. 
To read more about the meeting, click on the gold Recap headline link above.
To watch the entire recorded meeting, click on this link: July 4, 2020 Club Meeting at the Sooner Club Secretary account on YouTube.
Recap of August 4 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-08-08 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of July 21 Online Meeting

42 participants in our meeting this week!
Sgt. Cory Sutton of the OU Police Department talked about the training he and his wife have created to help Oklahoma law enforcement officers interact more effectively with persons on the autism spectrum. 
To read more about the meeting and see lots of photos, click on the gold Recap headline link above.
To watch the entire recorded meeting, click on the Sooner Club Secretary account on YouTube.
Recap of July 21 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-07-21 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of July 14 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-07-17 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of July 7 Online Meeting

Keith Busking announced this year's Nancy Chess Award winner!  
Our speaker Kyla Lewis provided plenty of food for thought about diversity and implicit bias.
Click on the headline above for more club meeting details and photos. 
To watch the recorded meeting, click on this YouTube link: July 7, 2020 Club Meeting
Recap of July 7 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-07-09 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of June 30 Installation Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-06-30 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of June 23 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-06-23 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of June 9 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-06-09 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of June 2 Online Meeting  Sandra Longcrier 2020-06-04 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of May 26 Online Meeting

Great program this meeting from Dr. Kalenda Eaton, Assoc. Prof at OU, historian, about the Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration. 
Click on the headline above for more details and many photos!
To watch the entire meeting, click on this YouTube link: Sooner Club Secretary
Recap of May 26 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-05-26 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of May 19 Club Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-05-19 05:00:00Z 0
Recap of May 12 online meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-05-12 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of May 5 Online Meeting

Lots of Happy Dollars at this meeting!
Fun presentation by Mike Hearnes--a native of Wales who shares stories via podcast about people in his adopted home of Oklahoma!
Click on the headline above for more details and many photos!
Meeting recordings are posted on YouTube. Search: Sooner Club Secretary. 
You can also click on this link to view the recording: Sooner Rotary club meeting May 5, 2020
Recap of May 5 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-05-05 05:00:00Z 0
Prez Message Sandra Longcrier 2020-05-01 05:00:00Z 0

Recap of April 28 Online Meeting

We had our highest total to date for an online meeting--47 participants!
Great presentation by JT Johnson who joined us from the Netherlands where he now lives and works. 
Click on the headline above for more details and many photos!
Meeting recordings are posted on YouTube. Search: Sooner Club Secretary (or, click on this link for last week's April 28 Virtual Meeting)
Recap of April 28 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-04-29 05:00:00Z 0

Recap April 21 Online Meeting

42 participants in this week's online meeting!
Great presentation by club member April Heiple of Food and Shelter!
Click on the headline above for more details.
Meeting recordings on YouTube. Search: Sooner Club Secretary (or, click on this link: April 21 Virtual Meeting
Recap April 21 Online Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-04-21 05:00:00Z 0

Recap April 14 Online Club Meeting

Sooner Rotary met live online on April 14, 2020.
Here's a Link to the program recording on YouTube. 
Dick Pryor gave our program.
Click on the headline above for more details.
Join us weekly for live online meetings. 
Recap April 14 Online Club Meeting Sandra Longcrier 2020-04-18 05:00:00Z 0

March 10 Meeting Recap

At our March 10 meeting, we learned about a student/teacher initiative to bring solar energy to the Irving Middle School campus.  Click on the Meeting Recap link above to see more.  
March 10 Meeting Recap Sandra Longcrier 2020-03-13 05:00:00Z 0

March 3 Meeting Recap

At our March 3 meeting, (right to left) Judy Simpkins asked dentists Fred Benenati (retired), Susan Whiteneck (retired), and Jennifer Jenkins to share some advice for oral care since March 6 is National Dentist Day! Fred noted after his, "That's the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth."  Then the four led us in the Beaver Song, a video of which is on our club Facebook page!  
To see more about meeting, click on the Meeting Recap link above. 
March 3 Meeting Recap  Sandra Longcrier 2020-03-06 06:00:00Z 0

Feb 11 Meeting Recap

Last Tuesday, February 11, two high school students, Mya Cobb and Cary Crawford made their 4-Way Speech presentations to the club.
Click the Title (above) to view photos and a link to Mya's presentation video.  We also had a Rotary Foundation drawing. Check out the winners! 
Feb 11 Meeting Recap C.E. Jones Jr. 2020-02-11 06:00:00Z 0
Dec 17 2019 Meeting Recap Sandra Longcrier 2019-12-20 06:00:00Z 0

December 10 Christmas Program

Posted by CE Jones on Dec 10, 2019
Our Christmas program started with Katie Kimberling leading us in singing Feliz Navidad.
Next, President Jane presented J.T. Johnson with his Paul Harris Plus 2 pin. She said she's been bringing it every week hoping she would be able to present it to him.
December 10 Christmas Program CE Jones 2019-12-10 06:00:00Z 0
Sooner Rotary Tours new Norman Library 2019-11-26 06:00:00Z 0
The Latest from Sooner Rotary Sandra Longcrier 2019-11-21 06:00:00Z 0

Club Meeting News

Posted on Nov 19, 2019
Bob and Ellen Usry share their stories how they become involved in the Secret Santa Program.
Club Meeting News 2019-11-19 06:00:00Z 0
Upcoming Elections Information J.T. Johnson 2018-10-09 05:00:00Z 0
Donate to the Rotary Foundation CE Jones 2018-08-18 05:00:00Z 0

University North Park/TIF Arena

Posted by Sandra Longcrier

Our meeting this week started with a rousing rendition of "Singing in the Rain."

President and CEO of the OU Foundation Guy Patton shared details about the proposed University North Park Development. The new entertainment district would be located on a large parcel of undeveloped land the foundation owns just north of Rock Creek Road in Norman.

University North Park/TIF Arena Sandra Longcrier 2018-02-20 06:00:00Z 0
Mark Sandifer Receives his Blue Badge 2018-02-20 06:00:00Z 0
National Heart Month by Dr. Kyle Toal CE Jones 2018-02-13 06:00:00Z 0

Kristin M. Stewart

Posted by Sandra Longcrier on Nov 07, 2017

This week we heard from Kristin M. Stewart, a Foreign Service Officer and recruiter currently based in Norman with her family.
Kristin M. Stewart Sandra Longcrier 2017-11-07 06:00:00Z 0
Sooner Theater - 55 teenagers from the cast of Oklahoma 2017-07-30 05:00:00Z 0
Joe Sianos 40 years of Public Education 2017-07-23 05:00:00Z 0
New Paul Harris Awards 2017-07-23 05:00:00Z 0
Happy July Birthdays 2017-07-23 05:00:00Z 0

2017 Le Tour de Vin check

Linda Holt presented President David Imy a check for $18,500. This was a part of the proceeds from this year's Le Tour de Vin fundraiser.
2017 Le Tour de Vin check 2017-07-23 05:00:00Z 0

Food & Shelter Volunteers

Posted by Jack O'Hare
Story by Jack O'Hare
A big thank you to these fine Sooner Rotarians who assist Food and Shelter each week with their time and energy. Joan Barker (not pictured); Jack O’Hare, Linda Holt, Judy Simpkins, and David Imy pick up excess and expiring food at two Norman Starbucks coffee locations and bring it to the kitchen at Food & Shelter. This provides food to those without and helps Starbucks to avoid waste! If you want to help, see anyone of these Rotarians and they will show you the ropes!
Food & Shelter Volunteers Jack O'Hare 2017-02-28 06:00:00Z 0

Strengthening Schools and Communities

Dean of the OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Gregg Garn spoke about "Strengthening Schools and Communities" to Sooner Rotary at our breakfast meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2017. The Iowa native focused on how local leaders need to connect to schools to the benefit of the entire community. He noted that starting teachers are offered $50,000 salaries in Plano, Texas, while the top salary is $46,000 for teachers with doctorates in the Oklahoma state schedule.  He reminded us that teaching is a profession, not a service; and that communities are going to have to supplement state funding to keep teachers, must like local towns did a hundred years ago with one-room schoolhouses. Several options are proving successful elsewhere. Often the solutions are tied to keeping teachers in a community for a certain period of time so they are established and less likely to leave, Garn said.  
  • One option is to set up a program to cover the education loans of teachers who teach a defined amount of years in the local school district. (Learn more at OU Debt-Free Teachers Program.)  
  • Another is merit pay for teachers who invest in additional training and education. Several years ago Oklahoma agreed to pay teachers who achieved National Board Certification a $5,000 a year bonus, a promise it no longer keeps.
  • Garn said one of the major problems facing teachers and schools is the basic needs of students are not being met when they arrive at school, so they are unable to learn from even the best teachers. He talked about a Tulsa study that shows "community schools" bring professionals to students and their families to close this gap to learning and benefit the community as a whole. He recommends a community start at the elementary level in lower income areas, and then once they gain traction, move to middle or high schools.
  • Another option is a program Garn said he is coordinating with Norman's Republic Bank so that teachers receive a down payment match to be able to afford a house in the community where they teach.  This builds roots and wealth for full-time teachers, some of whom receive such low pay that they cannot afford to buy a house and their families participate in government assistance programs to make ends meet. 
According to Garn about 100 schools in Oklahoma have gone to a four-day school week which doesn't bode well for preparing our youth for work, post-secondary education and citizenship. He noted that South Dakota and Mississippi are behind Oklahoma on total compensation for teachers, but that Oklahoma ranks last in the nation for teacher salaries.  He's particularly worried about smaller communities in the state that don't have the community leadership and resources like Norman to implement programs to retain teachers and strengthen education in their schools. He left the club with a strong statement that zip codes shouldn't determine destiny.
Strengthening Schools and Communities 2017-02-09 06:00:00Z 0

4-Way Speech

Rachel Maddy and Yannick Davidson presented their version of the 4-Way Speech on Tuesday.
After serious deliberations by our judges, Yannick was declared the winner. Congratulations Yannick!
4-Way Speech 2017-01-25 06:00:00Z 0

Norman's high school principals--A Dynamic Duo

Sooner Rotarians were “schooled” today about positive changes in Norman’s High Schools. Principals Dr. Scott Beck and Dr.Peter Liesenfeld shared what Norman schools are doing to maximize the education experience for Norman students and the community at large.
The pair said it is not just about test scores. Under the direction of Dr. Siano, the they looked at a variety of factors including how kids feel when they come to school.  They look at trust factors and they look at school process and community outreach. These and other non-tangible skills determine how students will flourish beyond school. They are teaching delayed gratification, tenacity, perseverance and grit. These are the skills students need when they go to college or join the workforce.
Dr. Beck explained how when more space was needed, school leaders seized the opportunity to do more than just add classroom space.  Two of the most publicized areas have been Freshman Academies and College and Career Centers which should be complete by next year’s term.
Dr. Beck said that Norman’s high schools are unique.  They share a remarkable unity and yet each school can still maintain a unique identity. Each school designed their new spaces to fit the needs and personality of their school. At Norman High, they took what was formerly the library and made it into a space called the Learning Commons, which provided more of a collaborative space than before. This is a world class facility where students and teachers can come from all over campus and engage in collaborative work.
Dr. Liesenfeld said Norman North’s College and Career Center offers a new media wing as well as lot of area for independent learning and growth, much like what students may experience after high school. He said the intent is not just to focus on those going to college, but also the business world.  He added that both high schools are working on a mentorship program to connect students to specific individuals in the community.
The Freshman Academies extend the middle school philosophy and feel into the first year of high school.  He said the purpose of the academy is to insulate 9th graders while still exposing them to all the offerings of high school. Dr. Liesenfeld said Norman’s high schools have a lot of offerings not often available in other communities.
Dr. Beck said the one-size-fits all instructional and supportive approach just doesn’t work. Their goal is tailor the instructional needs to each individual student. That is what they each love about their district and what is being done in Norman schools.
Norman's high school principals--A Dynamic Duo 2017-01-24 06:00:00Z 0
Christi Moore and Sandy Tedder Receive their Paul Harris Plus Two Pins 2017-01-17 06:00:00Z 0

Oklahoma Sports Report


Diane Murphree introduced this week’s speaker as a “local treasure, an award-winning sports writer and just a good person.”  Berry Tramel, entertained Sooner Rotarians during the January 17th meeting answering questions and sharing his comments on Oklahoma’s sports programs, individual players and the fans that follow them.

Tramel told Rotarians that the winning Oklahoma teams have experienced is not normal. He suggested fans have become spoiled by so much success. He said fans shouldn’t gripe when things don’t go our way but rather simply enjoy it when it does. He said the sports industry was created to entertain and enjoy and not to drag us down.

Next Tramel answered questions from the audience in an insightful and candid manner.  He was asked about personalities, Big 12 politics and even performance enhancing drugs.

When asked about Russell Westbrook, Tramel called him “the greatest show on earth,” and when asked if he thinks he would leave OKC, he quipped that maybe more people should tell Westbrook to leave, because he usually does the opposite of what people tell him to do.

When quizzed about Brent Venables’ head coach prospects, Tramel said some people wait for the right thing to come along and sometimes it never does.  He also emphasized that sometimes “you don’t mess with happy.”  He said too many people sacrifice happiness by chasing money or fame. He suggested maybe Venables is in a comfortable place right now.

When asked, he gave his take on the problems faced by the Texas football program as well as his thoughts on the likeliness of attracting other great ball players to the Thunder.  He told the group he didn’t think performance enhancing drugs were as prevalent in the NBA because the season is too demanding. He brought laughter as he qualified the statement saying he couldn’t make the same claim about marijuana.  

Finally, when asked about his opinion on whether OU or OSU would win the conference championship next year, he said he thinks OU will win.  He said they usually play well against OSU; He laughed and said “there’s no point spitting in the wind.” 

Tramel wrapped things up telling the group that he attributes his love of writing and sports to his father who subscribed to four newspapers while he was growing up. He said he developed an aptitude for reading and writing early in life.  “I literally have the best job in the state—and that is something I don’t take lightly”. He said “I love what I do, I’m good at what I do and I think I was born to do what I do.”

Oklahoma Sports Report 2017-01-17 06:00:00Z 0

Stacy Bruce - New Bridges Director

Thank you Jonna Buck for writing this article for our website!
Stacy Bruce, the new Executive Director of Bridges was our guest speaker Tuesday, January 10th.  Stacy left her position at the Cleveland County YMCA after almost 20 years to pursue a new goal, to serve the students at Bridges. Stacy loved everything about her job at the YMCA, but after the retirement of Debra Krittenbrink, Stacy felt a new calling. 
She began researching the Bridges program and after much soul searching, she decided to leave the security of her career for the opportunity to help fulfill the Bridges’ mission…..”Empowering high school students in family crisis to pursue education without obstacles.”
Stacy told us about reflecting on her school years and thinking she never had the challenges these students face.  There are many scenarios that leave these students homeless through no fault of their own. One of the most common challenges they see is having no identification or birth certificate… things most teens take for granted. Bridges helps obtain these things and so much more, helping them live, continue school and learn to function as an adult. 
Bridges students pay their own electric bills and pay rent on a sliding scale.  They are required to have a job of up to 20 hours per week, because students must attend school and maintain passing grades.  Students meet weekly for life skills classes that help them succeed living on their own.  They also receive mentoring from adults in the community.  Stacy said even though these kids come from a lot of sadness, there is a lot of laughter and happiness at Bridges.
Stacy thanked Sooner Rotary for all their support through the years and challenged us to “Rise Up” with her to provide continued support from the community.  She reminded us there are many opportunities to help through donations, volunteering and financial contributions.    She asked us to consider attending one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, the Bridges Prom February 11th.
Stacy brings a lot of passion to the Bridges program and helps provide love and compassion to students often overlooked by others.   To learn more about the Bridges program and ways you can help, please visit their website at
Stacy Bruce - New Bridges Director 2017-01-11 06:00:00Z 0

New Paul Harris Pins

Tuesday morning, Ellen Usry and Fred Benenati received a new Paul Harris Pin. Ellen received a +2 pin and Fred received a +3 pin. Good job ya'll!
New Paul Harris Pins 2017-01-11 06:00:00Z 0
Welcome our newest Sooner Rotarian - Gale Hobson 2017-01-10 06:00:00Z 0

Brother Joe Grizzle's Annual Presentation

The Rev. Joe Grizzle, retired pastor of CrossPointe Church in Norman and former member of Sooner Rotary, presented his annual Christmas message to the club on Tuesday, Dec. 20, reminding the full house of members, former members and guests that life is not about how many hamburgers we sell, but about love. 
He encouraged everyone in attendance to remember to "Fix It" when they hurt someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
One of the best ways to do that is to let others know how "Valuable" they are and to give them your "Time."  
Finally he described the power of "Prayer" with others to keep relationships strong.
A recording of his 30-minute presentation can be viewed at this link on YouTube:  
Brother Joe Grizzle's Annual Presentation 2016-12-22 06:00:00Z 0
Lucinda Receives her Paul Harris pin 2016-11-30 06:00:00Z 0

End Polio Now

PDG Phil Moss presented the End Polio Now.
We sang an End Polio Now song that Mary wrote. That was fun.
Phil tested us on several dates and acronyms. We knew a few of them and guessed a few.
End Polio Now 2016-11-29 06:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Visits Sooner Rotary

Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, was the guest speaker at the meeting Tuesday morning.  The speaker (who bears a striking resemblance to Steve Kaplan) told of his growing-up years and how the development of Rotary began with the wish to make friends in the business community in Chicago in 1900. 


Harris told the Rotarians of the first meetings and how the organization spread throughout the US and beyond.  He also talked about the development of the Rotary Foundation.


Two Sooner Rotary members were honored as Paul Harris Fellows.  Past District Governor, Bob Dill, recognized Jack O'Hare as a PHF plus one, and  Mary Sallee, PHF plus eight.


Paul Harris Visits Sooner Rotary 2016-11-23 06:00:00Z 0
Shoe The World C.E. Jones 2016-11-15 06:00:00Z 0
Sooner Rotary Crossing Guard M Hohlier 2016-08-19 05:00:00Z 0

Sooner Rotary Completes the REAL Program in Two Norman Elementary Schools

Posted by Michelle Hohlier

The Norman Sooner Rotary club worked with two Norman Public Schools this year to boost reading interest and proficiency for local 3rd graders. Thirty students at Adams Elementary and another thirty students at Reagan Elementary participated.

Volunteers from Sooner Rotary provided their time and reading materials, while the Reading Specialists at each school identified students that could benefit from the program. The books were purchased using a generous grant from Rotary District #5770.  The grant provided each student participant with seven “forever” books. These books were read at school with the volunteers, and then given to the students for them to take home and share with family and friends.


Sooner Rotary purchased reading materials through Scholastic Corporation.  Scholastic has a literary initiative designed for young readers. The third grade program is a mentoring partnership to urge young students to Read, Excel, Achieve, Lead (REAL). Volunteers from the Sooner Rotary conducted the program twice per month from October 2015 - March 2016.


Gretchen Slate the Reading Specialist at Adams spoke of the project’s impact. “The third graders have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Rotary Book Club.  The enthusiasm that the students gained and showed for reading was amazing.  The students couldn't wait until our next book club meeting to see what new book they were going to receive.  So many students don't have a home library to enjoy so this was a wonderful experience for students to be able to start that essential tool.  Students loved having Mr. O'Hare and the other Rotary volunteers visit and discuss literature with them.  It is always nice to see community members in our school.  It reminds not only the teachers, but the students as well, that people care about them and want to see them achieve.  I can only hope that this is a new tradition for Adams All-Stars!”


The Sooner Rotary volunteers for this program were: Polly Christian, Denise Kueny, Fred Benenati, Dave Mason, Ryan Veirs, Lucinda Francis, Jeanine Baker, Glenda Thomas, Harry Smith, Marles Bradley,  Mary Sallee, Michelle Hohlier, Sandra Longcrier, and Jack & Sue O’Hare.

Sooner Rotary Completes the REAL Program in Two Norman Elementary Schools Michelle Hohlier 2016-03-24 05:00:00Z 0

Loveworks Leadership

Posted on Feb 09, 2016
This morning, our club had a hands on opportunity to learn about the Loveworks Leadership program.  Daniel Smith and Carolyn Le of Loveworks kicked off our meeting with a ten minute challenge - Build the tallest structure we can out of spaghetti sticks, yarn, tape and a marshmallow, the kicker was that the marshmallow had to be at the top.  We worked in small groups of five and communicated how to build the structure!  It was fun, and collaborative and only a few tables were successful in their build.  
Later in the discussion, we learned that Loveworks is an organization that helps people discover their potential and live into their dreams.  They offer an afterschool program, leadership training, community initiatives and summer camps - their goal is to transform lives. To learn more about their initiatives, click here.
To close the discussion today, two students from the Leadership program, demonstrated their salsa making skills - turns out they sell their salsa at the Norman Farmer's Market and it flies off the shelves!  If you haven't yet tried it, do yourself a favor and go get some! 
See you next week for a chat about Texting and Literacy, with Dr. Eodice.  
Loveworks Leadership 2016-02-09 06:00:00Z 0

January 12th Meet Up

Our first meeting at The Trails was great!  We had to improvise our program a little, but it worked out well as we got to learn about our newest members!  A special thanks to Mirza Lubna, Pamela Wilson, Andrea Nazem, Jonathon Winders and Ryan Veirs for the impromptu introductions and sharing a little about yourselves!  
Please be sure and join us again next week at 7:00 am at The Trails Golf Club as the OU Engineering Department teaches us about the Ethiopian Water Project! 
January 12th Meet Up 2016-01-14 06:00:00Z 0

Late August - Mid September Update

Posted by Michelle Hohlier on Sep 11, 2015
August 25th: 
Sooner Rotary ended the end of August with a bang!  Camilla Milton, Carlee Wright and David Postic, with OU Rotaract-Rotary Club Partner, as our guest speakers.  Milton, Wright and Postic shared all they have experienced and learned through OU Rotaract, with the Club. They even shared some funny stereotypes of Rotary and the club had a great laugh! 
Ryan and Andrea were both presented with their blue badges!  Congratulations to you both!  
September 1st:
We really kicked of September right as we had a field trip to the Trails Golf Club!  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast learned all about the golf club and it's history and enjoyed great fellowship in a beautiful setting!
September 8th:
The Club had the distinct pleasure of hearing from Robert Greenstreet, District Governor Elect.  Greenstreet spoke to us about the District 4-Way Speech Contest.  Our club will sponsor a contestant in the annual District 5770 4-Way Test Speech Contest this year.  There is no better way to encourage high schoolers to learn about Rotary and our code of ethincs, than the by the 4-Way Test.  To learn more about the contest, please go here.  
Late August - Mid September Update Michelle Hohlier 2015-09-11 05:00:00Z 0

Mid August Update

So much has happened this August with our Sooner Rotary Club, here is a quick wrap of all the fun!
August 4th: Our club welcomed a new member in the first part of August, please be sure and welcome Andrea Nazem to the Sooner Rotary Club!
August 11th: We had the privilege and honor of having the District Governor Marilyn Kaplan speak to our club.  
Dorris Wedge and David Lee were recognized with the next level Paul Harris. 
August 18th: Joe Gill presented the Sooner Rotary Club with a $20,000 check from Le Tour De Vin.
Perfect attendance was also announced, recognizing Christi Moore 14 years, and Bill Osborn with 26 years!
Norman Sooner Rotary has also updated the Membership Milestone recognition.  The purpose is to recognize members on month of anniversary of joining Sooner Rotary.  Starting in July 2015 to June 2016 - Once a month we will recognize each member with 5 years or more years of membership.
After first year of recognition, we will recognize only each 5 years of membership such as 5, 10, 15, etc.  These folks will be awarded 100 points toward their Paul Harris Fellow, for each 5 years of membership.  
In July, Don Sherman with 11 years and Conni Eckstein with 6 years were recognized.
In August, Pat Hall with 20 years, Lucinda Francis with 9 years and Anne Masters with 14 years were recognized.  
Mid August Update Michelle Hohlier 2015-08-21 05:00:00Z 0

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Posted by Michelle Hohlier on Jul 28, 2015
Sooner Theatre graced our club with their presence this morning as the cast from the upcoming musical, In the Heights performed a few of their songs!  It was a wonderful performance and if you missed it this morning, you can catch the Tony-Winning Best Musical this weekend from July 30-August 2; tickets may be purchased for $10 per person
We also had the pleasure of hearing Rick Nagel of the Boys and Girls Club of Norman speak, as he shared interesting facts of what the Boys and Girls Club is doing for today's youth and how the clubs are changing and saving lives across our country and in our community.  To learn more about the Boys and Girls Club of Norman, click here.
Last week was a big week for three new Rotarians as Nancy Osborn, Jonathan Winders and Ryan Veirs were all inducted into the Sooner Rotary Club.  If you haven't yet, please welcome our new members and get to know them at our next meeting, Tuesday, August 4th as we hear from Jennifer Newell with the Oklahoma School Security Institute.  
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Michelle Hohlier 2015-07-28 05:00:00Z 0

Norman Forward Update July 7, 2015

The Sooner Rotarians did not let the rain dampen their moods this morning; District Governor Bob Dill and Glenda Thomas recognized Polly Christian, as a Plus One Paul Harris Fellow, Anne Masters and Grover Ozmun as a Plus Two Paul Harris Fellow.  Thank you Polly, Anne and Grover for your generous contributions to The Rotary Foundation and your commitment to Sooner Rotary.
We had the pleasure of hearing John Woods, CEO and President of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, give an update on Norman Forward. Norman Forward’s vision is to create a vibrant quality of life in Norman with first class cultural, recreational, athletic venues, and improved outdoor park space. John shared all of the projects that are included in the Norman Forward package and explained how important it is to invest in our community so that Norman does not fall behind.  The proposed Norman Forward project could go to vote as soon as October, 2015; although an official date has not been set. To learn more about the Norman Forward vision and to see all that is included in the project, visit HERE.  John encouraged residence of Norman to reach out to their city council person and Mayor and express your support of the project.  For contact information for the Norman City Council members, and to see which ward your live in, please visit HERE.
Please be sure to join us next week, Tuesday July 14, 2015 at 7:00 am as we hear from Jackie Farley regarding the Multi-Generational Diversity in the Workplace.  
Norman Forward Update July 7, 2015 Michelle Hohlier 2015-07-07 05:00:00Z 0

Changing of the Guard June 30, 2015

Posted by Michelle Hohlier on Jul 01, 2015
Tuesday morning was a great meeting as former President, Kevin Murphree, addressed the Sooner Rotary Club and expressed his deep appreciation for all of his friends of the Sooner Rotary Club.  Kevin lead the the 2014-2015 club and board with heart and passion, and appreciated the opportunity to serve as the Sooner Rotary Club President.  Kevin shared some of the major projects and fundraisers that the club contributed to over the year with an impressive list.  He emphasized the importance of our club and the impact that the members have on this community.  He also recognized the outgoing board of 2014-2015 and thanked them for their service.
Glenda Thomas had the privilege of introducing and swearing in the 2015-2016 Sooner Rotary President, Christi Moore.  Christi proudly exclaimed that she was honored to serve as the 2015-2016 President and that she looks forward to continuing the success of our club.  Christi was pinned as the incoming President and given the Charter by Kevin.  
Christi recognized the incoming Board Members and exclaimed her excitement for the enthusiasm the 2015-2016 Board Members have for the year.  She also presented Kevin with a plaque and pinned him with the presidents pin.  
Please be sure and join us, next Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 7:00 am to hear John Woods provide the club with an update on Norman Forward.
Changing of the Guard June 30, 2015 Michelle Hohlier 2015-07-01 05:00:00Z 0

Robert Andrew - Diplomat in Residnence - June 23, 2015

Posted by Michelle Hohlier
Another great morning was had at our Sooner Rotary Club meeting!  The meeting started off right, by presenting Deborah Krittenbrink, Executive Director at Bridges, with a $7,500 check to benefit the students at Bridges of Norman.  
The following Rotarians were recognized for having perfect attendance: Liz Barfield (3 years), Mary Sallee (18 years), Dave Mason (1 year), Jack O'Hare (1 year), Phillip Wong (8 years) and Ellen Usry (20 years).  Thank you, for your dedication to Rotary!
Robert Andrew spoke to the club, by sharing his work in recruiting and promoting career opportunities with the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. He shared the mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service, is to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.  If you or someone you know is passionate about public service and want to represent the U.S. around the world, please visit here to learn more about challenging and rewarding career opportunities.
We also had the pleasure of hearing from Major General, Kevin McNeely, as he thanked Robert for all he and other Foreign Service Officers do for our nation, and emphasized how important this role is to our country. 
Please be sure to join us next week, June 30, 2015, as we recognize the Changing of the Board and welcome Christi Moore as the incoming President.
Robert Andrew - Diplomat in Residnence - June 23, 2015 Michelle Hohlier 2015-06-23 05:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Four Sapphires

Tuesday morning, marked a huge milestone in our fellow Rotarian, Conni Eckstein's, Rotary journey.  Connie was recognized as she has received her Paul Harris four sapphires, meaning she has generously donated $5,000 to the foundation.  Thank you Conni, for your generous contributions and your commitment to Rotary and making a difference in our world.  
Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given in appreciation to anyone who contributes, outright or cumulatively (or in whose name is contributed), a gift of $1,000 or more to the Annual Programs Fund, PolioPlus Fund, or the World Fund, or as a sponsor portion of a Foundation grant. The recognition consists of a certificate and pin. 
Paul Harris Four Sapphires Michelle Hohlier 2015-06-18 05:00:00Z 0

Jazz in June (June 16, 2015)

We had the pleasure of hearing all about Jazz in June, when John Hammon spoke to us on Tuesday morning.  Jazz in June takes place this weekend June 18-20 in Norman at various venues.  Tonight will kick off the event with the ever popular Kalo for Blues Under the Stars at Brookhaven Village.  Grab a friend and an umbrella and head out for some soulful tunes this weekend, you won't be disappointed!  
For more information about artists, times and locations be sure to look at their website at  
Jazz in June (June 16, 2015) Michelle Hohlier 2015-06-18 05:00:00Z 0

Fleske Guest Speaker

Posted by Doris Wedgde on Jun 10, 2015
Eric Fleske, commercial realtor and principal in Equity Realty, gave a Norman real estate update for Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  A former Sooner Rotarian now affiliated with the Legacy Rotary Club, Fleske spoke about the demographics that drive development in Norman's retail and office spaces.  He spoke of  specific growth areas in Norman and spoke of growth in Yukon, Midwest City and Moore.
Fleske Guest Speaker Doris Wedgde 2015-06-10 05:00:00Z 0


Judy Simpkins, chair of the sponsorship committee for the annual Le Tour de Vin, used fellow Rotarians to help announce the record-setting amount raised through sponsorships.  The $73,950 pledged by sponsors tops the $67,000 goal set for this year, and topped last year's sponsorship income by $7,000.
Le Tour de Vin is an annual wine-tasting event sponsored by three Norman Rotary clubs, Sooner, Cross Timbers and Norman Rotary. The events of Le Tour de Vin will be held June 4-6 with proceeds going to benefit the Center for Children and Families. 
LE TOUR DE VIN SPONSORSHIPS APPLAUDED Doris Wedge 2015-05-27 05:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge on May 26, 2015
Darrell Weaver, head ot the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, addressed Sooner Rotary, highlighting the work of the bureau dealing with human trafficking.  Weaver leads a team of officers who seek to identify the kingpins working in the trade, rescuing the females (and occasionally a male) who have been lured into the sex trade and prosecuting the perpetrators.  The reward, Weaver said, is hearing from someone who has turned her life around after being rescued.  His agency faces the same budget woes of all state-funded agencies, and says if they have another budget cut he will be forced to reduce his work force doing this important work in riding Oklahoma of drug and sex trade predators. 
HUMAN TRAFFICKING Doris Wedge 2015-05-26 05:00:00Z 0

Nancy Chess Award Presentation

Congratulations to David Imy- Norman Sooner Rotary Club's 2014-2015 Nancy Chess Award recipient! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to our club and our community. You are a huge asset to our club and thank you for all you do to put service above self.
Nancy Chess Award Presentation Liz Barfield 2015-05-14 05:00:00Z 0

Bob Barry Jr. Speaks to Our Club

At Tuesday's meeting, we had a very special guest- Bob Barry Jr., KFOR's Sports Director! if you missed the meeting he told us how he got four fouls during a high school basketball game without even 1 second coming off the clock! Bob also told us about his passion for motorcycles until he wrecked a scooter in 2012 and spent 7 days at OU Medicine.  He shared several funny stories from his experiences in radio and TV.  Bob also spoke about the Thunder's new coach and his outlook for this upcoming football season!
Bob Barry Jr. Speaks to Our Club Liz Barfield 2015-05-14 05:00:00Z 0

Discover OK

We were honored to have Barbara Merckx, the producer of Discover OK, to have come and present to us. She focused on one branch of the OK Tourism Department- Discover OK, a locally produced TV show that airs all over the state and into surrounding states. Through Discover OK, she is able to spread the word of Oklahoma Tourism opportunities such as visiting one of 34 state parks, and all the nooks and crannies in between. She also shared that due to the tourism in our state we have over 80,000 people working in the industry. It was great to hear what all Oklahoma has to offer.
Discover OK Liz Barfield 2015-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

Congrats to Linda Holt

Linda Holt received her Paul Harris +4 on Tuesday! Thank you for all you do for our club, our district and to help end polio!
Congrats to Linda Holt Liz Barfield 2015-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

District Conference was a HUGE Success!

The Rotary District Conference was a huge success! We had some great speakers who presented at the event. Some Young Professionals were able to attend and they had an amazing time. Our booth in the Connections room was great thanks to Tracy Curtis. Thank you to everyone who helped host the event and for our club’s participation!
District Conference was a HUGE Success! Liz Barfield 2015-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

Le Tour De Vin Looking for 2016 Beneficiary

It's time for the Norman Rotary clubs to select the next Le Tour De Vin beneficiary. A link to the application packet is located on our web page, lower right. If you know of a deserving charity with a capital project in the works who could benefit from Le Tour De Vin's fundraising, please download the file and forward to that charity. 
Please contact JT Johnson if you have any questions on this.
Le Tour De Vin Looking for 2016 Beneficiary Conni Eckstein 2015-04-26 00:00:00Z 0

Zac Logsdon- Old Hat Creative

Zac is the owner and creator of Old Hat Creative, a sports marketing agency right here in Norman OK. You may not know about his company because they help NCAA sporting teams with their marketing and branding.  They produce the hype videos for many schools as well as posters and websites among many other things. As his business grew, he felt a disconnect and therefore created a company personality test. Now his company is in sync across the many facets of their agency. He also talked about the Super Fan 5K race that he started for a way for people to dress as their favorite sports idol.  The run will take place in downtown Norman May 16th and it benefits Mary Abbott Children's House and Norman Public Schools Foundation.
Zac Logsdon- Old Hat Creative Liz Barfield 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0
David Rennie- History of the 89er's Day Parade Liz Barfield 2015-04-14 00:00:00Z 0

Kelly Nemechek becomes a Rotarian

Kelly Nemecheck, from McClain Bank, joins Sooner Rotary Club! Please introduce yourself and say hello to Kelly at our next meeting!
Kelly Nemechek becomes a Rotarian Liz Barfield 2015-04-14 00:00:00Z 0

Club Discussion on Racism

Dick Pryor moderated an open discussion on racism for our club.  We discussed how our leadership can make a difference in the community. With Norman in the national spotlight recently, the members discussed how it makes them feel and what impact it has on all of our lives.Our member Zack said, "Of course I feel welcome here (at Rotary and in the community) and if someone doesn't like him, that is their problem, not his."
Club Discussion on Racism Liz Barfield 2015-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rotaract Polio Plus Benefit Dinner Registration

Polio Plus Benefit Dinner
Registration Form
Forms and money must be received by close of business on Friday, April 10th.
Title: _____________________________ Name: ____________________________________________________________
(first name)                           (last name)                       
Contact Number: _____________________________  E-mail: _____________________________________________
Mailing Address: _____________________________________________________________________________________
City: _____________________________        State: ___________________         Zip:___________________________
Names of guests and their titles:
Total number of plates to reserve:  ___________     x     $50/plate    =     ____________    (total cost)
Your registration will not be complete until OU Rotaract receives your registration money.
Special food requirements: (allergies, vegetarian, etc.) Please list the guest name that has these requirements.
Registration forms and money are due by April 10th, 2015.
Please make all checks payable to:
OU Rotaract Club, with “PolioPlus Banquet” in the memo line
Completed forms and money may be mailed to:
Dennis Brigham
2211 Westpark Dr.
Norman, OK 73069
The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. For accommodations on the basis of disability, or if you have any further questions about the event, please contact or call (405) 315- 6709.
Rotaract Polio Plus Benefit Dinner Registration Liz Barfield 2015-04-06 00:00:00Z 0

Macy McKown- Miss OK State Fair Outstanding Teen

Macy is a 15 year old that just got her learner's permit but she is also the reigning Miss OK State Fair Outstanding Teen. Her platform is childhood obesity awareness and she talked to our group about how healthy eating habits have changed her life.  She recently was considered obese although she was very active in dance. Macy knew that she needed a balanced exercise and diet plan to reach new goals with her dancing. She now talks to schools and civic clubs around the state about how she overcame this problem and how others can do it too!
Macy McKown- Miss OK State Fair Outstanding Teen Liz Barfield 2015-03-31 00:00:00Z 0


Sooner Rotarians toured the new facilities for the Center for Children and Families (CCFI).  Through sponsorship of the annual Le Tour de Vin wine-tasting event, Norman Rotarians are helping with funding of the remodeling of a former church facility to provide room for the myriad of services provided by CCFI.  CCFI administrator Katie Fitzgerald led the group on a tour of the faciity for the Tuesday morning meeting this week.
ROTARIANS TOUR CCFI 2015-03-24 00:00:00Z 0


Sooner Rotary was well represented at the Rotary Foundation Banquet held in Norman March 21.  Pictured are (from left) Past District 5770 Governor Glenda Thomas, Anne Masters, Bill Osborn, Conni Eckstein, Sooner President Kevin Murphree, Past District 5770 Governor David Shirley, Linda Holt, District 5770 Governor Bob Dill, Michele Holier, Christi Moore, and Jennifer Tregarthen.


Posted by Liz Barfield on Mar 19, 2015
Bree Montoya, with the Norman Music Festival, shared the history and significance of this annual Main Street event in Norman at the March 17 meeting.  Beginning in 2008, this event has rapidly become one of our town’s favorites and it has evolved to include music that appeals to a variety of listeners.  This year’s event is April 24-26 and includes music of a variety of genres. The complete schedule is available at
NORMAN MUSIC FESTIVAL Liz Barfield 2015-03-20 00:00:00Z 0


Sooner Rotary recognized several members at recent meetings for their Paul Harris Fellow designation.   Tuesday David Lee received the Paul Harris Fellow award, and Conni Eckstein was recognized with the PHF Plus 3.  At a previous meeting, Linda Price was recognized for PHF Plus 1, and Dick Pryor has reached the PHF Plus 2 level of giving.  It was announced that Kevin Murphree, Sooner Club President, has recognized three family members as Paul Harris Fellows.  Sooner Rotarians have contributed nearly $250,000 to the Rotary Internaitonal Foundation. 
PAUL HARRIS FELLOWS HONORED 2015-03-11 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Liz Barfield on Mar 10, 2015
New member, Brandi Coyner, spoke to Sooner Rotary about her research experiences and recent accomplishments. She started by answering the question “What is it you do exactly?” where we were introduced to behind the scenes at Sam Noble Museum. She shared how new species are discovered and how possibly endangered species are documented. Coyner even brought along some friends, stuffed rodent specimens from around the world and two of which were described as new species by Coyner and colleagues, that proved to be popular guests.
BRANDI COYNER'S RESEARCH EXPERIENCES Liz Barfield 2015-03-11 00:00:00Z 0


Kathryn Frazier addressed Sooner Rotary Tuesday relating the experiences she and Sooner Rotarian Tracy Curtis had working with a Washington Post reporter covering same sex marriages. Frazier and Curtis married in October in the Cleveland County Courthouse soon after it became legal in Oklahoma. 
They decided to have a wedding to which friends and family were invited.  To illustrate the polarization of the topic of same sex marriage, Frazier expressed the disappointment that her family members chose to not attend the ceremony while Curtis' family came from many states to attend.  The Washington Post article featuring the couple and their concerns as they planned the wedding appeared in February. Frazier, who manages a Norman hearing and air conditioning business, and Curtis have know each other for 20 years and have been partners for eight years.
Curtis,  Director of Development for Rebuilding Together OKC, did not speak at the Rotary meeting, but wrote afterwards of her feelings. "After the presentation this morning, I had a moment to reflect about my participation within this club. Today more than ever, I am extremely proud to be a Sooner Rotarian. It is one of my “foundation” activities, that I chose not because of my vocation but because of my commitment to community and service, to be part of for the remainder of my life time.
"The (Washington Post) article focused on the “fumbling of our country” to accept this unpopular position that was never voted for by the people of this country. It is a topic about which people have very strong feelings. For many, it is uncomfortable. Just as it is in our small community, it is for our nation. Thank you again for the opportunity to breathe energy into the topic with hopes that even though we may never agree, we can at least exercise civility, love, and respect. I am proud to be a Sooner Rotarian, perhaps today more than ever."


This morning, following an amazing preview by The Sooner Theater's Addams Family cast, OU's Dr. Kevin Butterfield shared an impressive, condensed account of the impact of early American "joiners" on our Republic. Keep up the strong attendance, and we'll keep the strong programming coming! — with Kevin Butterfield.


Rick Sinnett, who is making his name as an architectural muralist, including two paintings in Norman, was the guest speaker at the Sooner Rotary Club meetng Tuesday.  Sinnett iss becoming known across the country for his murals, including several along Rt. 66.  His designs include symbols that relate to the area "and as the work progresses, people become engaged wiht the process.  The mural at "Stash" garnered 44,000 "likes" in 3 hours, when first put on line, and the murals call attention to the city and help generate traffic and are an economic boost.  The huge mural on the Vista Building in downtown Norman is his latest local venture.  His work can be seen at 
MURALIST GUEST SPEAKER 2015-02-13 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
Sooner Rotarian Dr. Jack Beller was recognized Tuesday for an additional Paul Harris Fellowship milestone.  District Governor Bob Dill presented the award to Beller.
BELLER RECOGNIZED FOR DONATIONS Doris Wedge 2015-02-11 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
Patty Rogers, who attended Sooner Rotary meeting Tuesday as a guest speaker, was surprised with an award presentation. Sooner Rotarian Bob Usry, representing the OEC board, presented Rogers with the national Power and Hope Award given by the Touchstone Energy Coop in recognition of her work in the community as well as her 20 years employed at OEC. 
POWER AND HOPE AWARD PRESENT Doris Wedge 2015-01-21 00:00:00Z 0


Sooner Rotary welcomed two new members at Tuesday's meeting.  District Governor Bob Dill (left), and Sooner Rotary membership chair Christi Moore inducted Harry Smith and Brandi Coyner to membership.
NEW MEMBERS WELCOMED 2015-01-21 00:00:00Z 0


Patty Rogers and Kristen Plusquellec addressed Sooner Rotary Tuesday morning about the experiences of teen-ager Audra Plsquellec which ed to her needing a kidney transplant.  Audra was a Norman High student when she suffered a devastating illness, the details of which her mother related to the group.  After waiting a few months on the kidney transplant list, it was her mother's friend, Patty Rogers, who was a match and donated a kidney.  Boht Rogers and Audra are healthy now, and Rogers encourages people to get on a donor list, which is as easy as a checked box on one's driver's license.  Audra Plusquellec, now a college student and working as a nanny to six children, was present but did not address the group.
ORGAN DONATION TOPIC 2015-01-21 00:00:00Z 0


Amy Williams was a guest of Sooner Rotary Tuesday and brought an update on the Bushenyi Alliance for Rural Health and Development (BARHD) mission in Uganda.  Williams is the chair of the BARHD board, an Oklahoma organization which sponsors health clinics and schools in the Bushenyi region of Uganda.  Staff saw 13,000 patients  in the first 10 months of 2014, with 8,000 of them being visits to the Dr. B Clinic named in honor of Norman physician Dr. Hal Belknap.  BARHD has distributed 10,000 mosquto nets, as well as Mommy Kits, many purchased with a donation made by Sooner Rotary. 
UGANDA MISSION REVIEWED 2015-01-15 00:00:00Z 0


Performance coach Bill Moore addressed Sooner Rotarians and shared three myths about attaining high performance. Moore is widely known for his work with high performing athletes and others.
1) Great performers are supemely confident in their own abilities.
2) Focusing on mistakes and faults will lead to better performance.
3) That great performers  have established a balanced life
BILLMOORE SPEAKER 2015-01-14 00:00:00Z 0


The Rev. Joe Grizzle, retired pastor of CrossPoint church and beloved former member of Sooner Rotary, presented his annual Christmas message to Sooner Rotary Tuesday challenging members and guests with the five ways to say "I love you."
1) words - say 'I love you'
2) time - give people moments
3) serving - ask yourself what you can do for other people to serve them
4) gifts -a thoughtful gift  says "I love you"
5) touching - rub their arm rub her back, non-sexual touching.  Give hugs.  There is power in a touch.
Grizzle reminded the listeners that life is not about "stuff" but is about moments.  He challenged the group to find special moments in their lives, saying "you never know when that moment will happen but be fready for it when it is in front of you.  Life is about people, not stuff."  


An annual service project of Norman Sooner Rotary is ringing the Salvation Army bells for two days at the west entrance to Dillards.  Here Fred Benenati and Lynne Miller take their turns.
SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGERS 2014-12-11 00:00:00Z 0


Marion Paden, past president or Rotary #29 in Oklahoma City, spoke to Sooner Rotary about polio and Rotary's goal of eradicating polio throughout the world.  She shared information about the disease, which exists today in only three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In 1885 Rotary International  launched PolioPlus and with partners has invested over $1.2 billion in the effort.


Anne Masters, Sooner Rotarian and Director of the Pioneer Library System, was hostess to Sooner Rotary Tuesday in the West Library.  Rotarians enjoyed a breakfast provided by Michaelangelo's before hearing of the innovations  provided by the new library facility.  They then toured the library seeing classrooms and the state-of-the-art sorting machine.  


Gina Kelley of Balanced Body Solutions was a guest of Sooner Rotary Tuesday and offered tips on how to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen during the holiday season and year-round. In addition to maintaining a good diet, she said  "Through understanding the science of human movement we can correct, improve and maintain a more efficient you - be that for everyday living or competitive sports." 


Sooner Rotary saluted veterans at its meeitng Tuesday and heard about the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA. )  Conni Eckstein gathered photos of veterans from Rotary members and presented them in a slide show.
David Davidson spoke of the goals IAVA.  IAVA serves men and women who have served in the armed services since 9-11.  One pecent of the US population has been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since that time.  Twenty-two (22) die by suicide each day.  IAVA works at the capitol promoting legislation which will benefit veterans. Membership is free.  Davidson asked individuals interested in learning more about the organization to contact him or go to the website( or     asalute. 
VETERANS SALUTED Doris Wedge 2014-11-13 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge on Oct 22, 2014
Stephanie  Hixon, director of the Moore-Lindsey Historical House on Peters at Acres, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday. Hixon recapped the history of the house, which was built in the late 1890s.  The Victorian style house was built at a cost of $5,000 when most houses in Norman at the time were built at a cost of $300.  The house and carriage house have been restored to give visitors a glimpse of family life in early Norman.
MOORE-LINDSEY HISTORICAL HOUSE Doris Wedge 2014-10-23 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
Norman fine artist Tim Kinney was the guest speaker at Tuesday's Sooner Rotary meeting.  He spoke about his work in his earlier life, including nine years as a house painter, before turning to oil painting.  He recently completed his "50 paintings in 50 days" tour of the US. 
ARTIST TIM KINNEY SPEAKER Doris Wedge 2014-10-18 00:00:00Z 0

We Fought the Battle and We...

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Jun 01, 2013

WON!!! Stay tuned for the whole story at Tuesday's meeting. In the meantime, a few pics from last Saturday. Thanks to all who helped, sampled and supported this fun event.





We Fought the Battle and We... Conni Eckstein 2013-06-02 00:00:00Z 0

Burger Battle Update

Posted by Conni Eckstein on May 26, 2013

A team of hearty burger lovers took on the heavy task of tasting burgers and we have what we think is an awesome recipe. Below are some pics of the evening.

Congratulations, Melva Noakes for claiming May's shopping bag. Watch in June for your chance to win!





Burger Battle Update Conni Eckstein 2013-05-27 00:00:00Z 0

Le Tour De Vin Update - May 7th Meeting Notes

Posted by Conni Eckstein on May 11, 2013

Members of the Le Tour De Vin committees gave our club updates on the sponsorships garnished to date. A number of sponsors are our fellow club members so a big THANK YOU goes out to them.

Keith Busking and Judy Simpkins unveiled the sponsorship donations to date with great flourish and drum rolls...


That's right, above the goal of $60,000, LTDV is at $62,150 and more sponsors are welcome.

April Doshier, executive director of Food and Shelter, LTDV's main beneficiary of this annual fundraiser, talked about LTDV and what it means to Food and Shelter and introduced the co-chairs of this year's event.



Katherine and Dewey Selmon who spoke about their involvement with helping the homeless in Norman.

More information on Le Tour De Vin may be found at The event is scheduled for June 7 and 8 this year. Check it out and make your reservations now!

And remember...


Le Tour De Vin Update - May 7th Meeting Notes Conni Eckstein 2013-05-12 00:00:00Z 0

Membership Meeting Notes - 04/09 /13

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Apr 09, 2013

A beautiful Tuesday morning began with the club 'Singing in the Rain'. Gotta love the singing and the rain we've been blessed with lately!

Trash pick up was announced for Saturday, April 20th, 8 AM. Meet at the corner of 12th Ave SE and Robinson on the NW corner. Breakfast will follow for those whose appetite is built up after the event.

Congrats to Andy Paden, April's shopping bag winner!

Tuesday's program was a group from Mission Generation. Mission Generation is a non-profitBible based character development program used in public and private schools (K-12) to bring students, teachers and parents to salvation and train them in the practical application of the Word of God. (check them out on the web: )


And don't forget....


Membership Meeting Notes - 04/09 /13 Conni Eckstein 2013-04-10 00:00:00Z 0
Feb 2013 Club Meeting C.E. Jones Jr. 2013-02-19 00:00:00Z 0

Speaking from a New Podium About Those Bad Sports Calls

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Jan 21, 2013

Another busy Tuesday at Sooner Rotary:

A new podium was introduced to the club, thanks to Bob Usry for his assistance. The old podium was given a fair tossing out the door.


Paul Wilson from the Noon Club talked about basketball officiating. He was the director of OU intramural sports until his retirement and now teaches sports officiating and theory of coaching.


Speaking from a New Podium About Those Bad Sports Calls Conni Eckstein 2013-01-22 00:00:00Z 0

No Winner for November

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Dec 14, 2012

No one claimed the Rotary shopping bag last month, so for a December bonus, I have TWO bags to give away. Watch, read and win!!

No Winner for November Conni Eckstein 2012-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Getting Old Doesn't Have to be Work!

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Nov 24, 2012

We were treated to a presentation by Bridgette, a local physical therapy specialist. She discussed how to get fit over 50. Believe me, if I knew this stuff when I was in my 30's, things might be working differently! Kirby Owens won!

The message here is take care of yourself to extend your quality of life. Get off the couch (er, I'm sitting in a recliner as I write this, but will be on legs here in a minute!), watch what you eat, drink and look at changing some habits.

A healthy Rotarian makes a happy Rotary club!

I really want to give away a shopping bag in November. Last chance! READ AND WIN!!

Getting Old Doesn't Have to be Work! Conni Eckstein 2012-11-25 00:00:00Z 0
And September's Winner of the bag is... Conni Eckstein 2012-09-27 00:00:00Z 0

The Royal Treatment and the Royal Family Kids' Camp

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Sep 17, 2012
As usual, another busy morning at Sooner Rotary. A birthday hokey pokey, performed by Bob Usry and Andy Paden's daughter (both of whom celebrated their birthday's Tuesday), started us off on the right foot, er arm, and then the left arm...


Trudy Middleton and Joan Abbott were presented with their blue badges. Congratulations!


Newt Mitchell provided the club with information regarding the Royal Family Kids' Camp, a non-profit that sends deserving children to summer camp for support and camaraderie. Christi Moore won. (for more information, click here: Norman Royal Family Kids' Camp)


See you next Tuesday!
The Royal Treatment and the Royal Family Kids' Camp Conni Eckstein 2012-09-18 00:00:00Z 0

In Honor of Woody Guthrie

Posted by C.E. Jones Jr. on Jul 16, 2012
What other club in town has a singing club President?

Christi Moore led James Harp and Tracy Curtis playing their guitars as the rest of the club joined in singing This Land is Your Land.

In Honor of Woody Guthrie C.E. Jones Jr. 2012-07-17 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge on Jul 16, 2012
Details on the City of Norman special election on Aug. 28 were shared by Public Works Director Shawn O'Leary at the Sooner Rotary Club meeting Tuesday.  

The proposed $42,575,000 bond issue is to fund eight transportation projects over a six-year period beginning in 2013, O'Leary said.  It is anticipated that the funding will be supplemented by nearly $47,000,000 in federal dollars.  For more information on the special election project, you can go to


CITY BOND ISSUE VOTE AUGUST 28 Doris Wedge 2012-07-17 00:00:00Z 0

Club Meeting News by Doris Wedge

Posted by Doris Wedge on Jun 18, 2012

Sooner Rotary has had an unprecedented growth in membership in the recent months, and five of the new members got a chance to introduce themselves in front of the club at Tuesday’s breakfast meeting. With names drawn from among names of the newcomers, Kirby Owens, Adam Wood, Bo Jett, Bruce Ingram and Tracy Curtis were interviewed by Andy Paden

Kirby Owens is in sales and design with Tyler Advertising.A native of Claremore, he comes from a family of teachers, and his wife teaches at Little Axe.

Tracy is an Atlanta native whose work history includes singing at Disney World, Borders, and traveling with Coretta Scott King.She is coach of the Norman high school rugby team and is currently in search for a full-time job.

Bo Jett has several years in a banking career, and is now with Great Nations Bank.He and his wife and kids enjoy time at the lake.

Adam Wood is a chiropractor and has a brother currently in chiropractic school.His wife is finishing her Ph.D studies in audiology and they share love of a German Shepherd.

Bruce Ingram was youth pastor at Bethel Baptist Church before changing careers.As a family services and pre-arrangement adviser with Havenbrook Funeral Home, he takes pride in being able to encourage and comfort folks.

Paden was standing in as interviewer for Sooner Rotarian and TV newsman Dick Pryor. Paden was unusually mild-mannered with the humorously inappropriate remarks that he generously shares at the Tuesday morning club meetings.

Club Meeting News by Doris Wedge Doris Wedge 2012-06-19 00:00:00Z 0

The Sound of Music in Norman

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Feb 20, 2012

Norman Sooner Rotary once again celebrated with song and laughter as we welcomed back our roaming Rotarian, Bob Usry from his annual mission trip to Africa. Grover led the club in his original rendition of "Home, Home on the Range" with accompaniment of howling Rotarians.

Announcements included updates of Community Service projects at Food and Shelter for Friends and the Seniors Mini Book Drive. The club was reminded of the Membership Drive and the drawing for an IPAD for those who bring guests.

Opportunities to sign up for the dinner honoring the incoming Rotary International President, Ron Burton on March 3 were given. Everyone was encouraged to participate in the once in a lifetime event.  

We also had the honor and privilege of celebrating the introduction of Norman’s Philharmonic Orchestra Director, Richard Zielinski. Professor Zielinski recalled the beginnings of the orchestra and Norman’s very own song composed by Libby Larsen. He explained that Norman is a unique community where faith, education, community and family are core commitments and the perfect place for investing in the present to change the future.

The Sound of Music in Norman Lynn Droescher 2012-02-21 00:00:00Z 0

Parlez vous Francais?

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Jan 27, 2012


Ronald Reagan Elementary School is not only the newest addition to the Norman Public School system.

The school will offer 52 kindergarten students an opportunity to participate in immersion education for their successive school years.

Parlez vous Francais? Lynn Droescher 2012-01-28 00:00:00Z 0

January Catch-Up

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Jan 23, 2012

It has been a busy two weeks for Norman Sooner Rotary. Meetings on Tuesday morning have been informative regarding the many service projects being sponsored within the club. A mini- support drive for our soldiers, a book drive for our Norman Seniors and Lunch Buddies Fellowships have given members great opportunities to fellowship and provide support to those in need.  For those who have not been able to attend our Tuesday morning meetings, these activities would be a great time to “make-up”. 

January Catch-Up Lynn Droescher 2012-01-24 00:00:00Z 0

Focus: Committees Meeting

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Jan 09, 2012
       Image         Image          Image
Norman Sooner Rotary started the New Year with committees meeting to evaluate their activities to date and plan for the coming months. Here are some photos of the committee members in their groups taken by C.E.
     Image     Image      ImageConni Eckstein received her Paul Harris Award.
Focus: Committees Meeting Lynn Droescher 2012-01-10 00:00:00Z 0
It's A Wonderful Life Dick Pryor Style Lynn Droescher 2012-01-02 00:00:00Z 0

Ringing out the OLD, Bringing in the NEWS!!!

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Jan 01, 2012

Finally, I have time to catch up on the last couple of meetings. I could give excuses, but basically it boils down to not making time to get it done. 

The last two meetings of December were all time favorites of the club. Our annual "Joe Grizzell" meeting was again a thought provoker. Joe's list for Christmas reminded us of the need to give thanks in everything, even if we have to look for what is worthy of our thanks. The reminder that our expectations can limit what we see as blessings explained through Joe's life story was touching. Wonder how our lists (and our attitudes) were changed while listening? 

Once more Norman Sooner Rotary made good on reaching our goal of learning more about our fellow club members on the December 27th meeting. Everyone joined a group and related personal experiences and thoughts of Christmas' past. Exploring the hearts and minds of such an ecclectic group is surely entertaining. I am sure everyone had unique stories of one sort or another to relate. Our group most certainly did, ranging from Christmas in Australia and Jamaica to our most favorite foods that make the holiday. 

Other noteworthy news includes collections of books for Seniors and gifts for our soldiers serving overseas have been promoted these last several weeks. Connie has already mailed a couple of boxes to reach our soldiers later this month or early February, although more can be sent. Kris has been sending updates on the collection of books already received and suggestions for what can still be contributed. A great time for cleaning out those dust collectors around your house.

On a more personal note: Thank you to those who have encouraged me as I have brought the news to you from our meetings. I do enjoy the opportunity to write and my desire is that you have found the letters to be informative and entertaining. One more reason I enjoy being a member of Norman Sooner Rotary!!!


Have a blessed 2012. 


Lynn Droescher 

Ringing out the OLD, Bringing in the NEWS!!! Lynn Droescher 2012-01-02 00:00:00Z 0

Spotlight on Sooner Rotarian David Shirley

Posted by Lucinda Francis on Dec 19, 2011

David  has been a Sooner Rotarian for 22 years.  His favorite quote, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, has led him  to be successful at various Rotary positions:  Ways and Means, Membership, Fellowship, International Service, Sergeant-at-Arms, Vice President, Club President, District Governor, District  Grants Chair, District Trainer, Assistant District Governor, Zone P.E.T.S  Trainer, and Shelter Box Representative.

David  enjoys the fellowship and the members of Sooner Rotary.

David  was the Bursar at the University of Oklahoma for 33 years.  He is still working for the OU Sooner club (20 years); Chairman of the Board of the OU Federal Credit Union; and Trustee  Board of Purcell Municipal Hospital. He enjoys working with OU students and  staff.

David’s  spouse is Lynn and his children are Ashley and Chad.

One  book David enjoyed is The Bible because he is still learning from it.

His favorite childhood book is The Little Engine That Could.

Three words that David used to describe  himself are lucky, trustworthy, and dependable.

David enjoys participating in playing  cards, eating out, and watching OU sports with friends.  He enjoys yard work for an activity he enjoys  alone. In high school, David played baseball and sang in the choir.

He enjoys mystery and action comedy  when he gets a minute to watch television.

The one thing he really wants his  Rotary friends to know about him is the he’s always available to help.

When asked what he intended to do when he grows up, he responded with, “Why? Who plans to grow up?” 

David’s favorites:

Singers: Oak Ridge Boys

Candy: Snickers

Flowers: Roses

Pro-team: OKC Thunder

A recent magazine he’s read:  The Rotarian

Recent movie:  The Grown-ups. He enjoyed the comedy.

Food: Chicken fried steak.

Game: Playing cards.

Sport: Football

The most interesting places David has visited are Hong  Kong and Hanoi. They are also the farthest points he’s traveled from home.  He would love to travel to Switzerland or  Aruba.  And if he could live somewhere  else for awhile, it would be Ft. Lauderdale, FL. However, home is his very  favorite place because of family.

If he could, he would study music.  He would not study politics.  Other interests include going to his place at  the lake, singing in a gospel trio, and volunteering at OU athletic functions.  Other organizations to which David belongs    include the OU Sooner Club and Shelter Box USA.  Two things David enjoys on the weekend is church and spending time with  grandkids.

Someone David  admires is his wife, Lynn, because of her strong will and her giving nature. 

A wish David has for others is for good  health and happiness.  A daydream David  entertains is a life without stress and pain.  “Why do people do the things they do?” is a curiosity he often considers.  “I Survived It All” will be the title of his  first book.  Advice he would give himself  if he could go back two years is, “Relax.  It will all work out.”


David describes the ideal friend as  someone who is trustworthy, loyal, and forgiving.  He describes himself as the kind of friend  who will always help and listen.

Three things he does best are:

                      1._Help People


                        3._See the Big Picture

Things  to work on this year include learning to relax more and spending more time with  extended family.  He also spends time  with four dogs and his miniature burros.

Three  wishes for his family include health, happiness, and financial peace.


Spotlight on Sooner Rotarian David Shirley Lucinda Francis 2011-12-20 00:00:00Z 0

RYLA A Life Changer

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Dec 12, 2011

Bob and Ellen Usry brought counselors and students together to share the life-changing experiences that were part of RYLA 2011 with Norman Sooner Rotary. Bob related the joy and challenges that he and Ellen have shared over the last eighteen years, first as organizers and now as directors. From a trial beginning Rotary Youth Leaders Awards camp has served as an example for many other Rotary clubs to follow. Bob and Ellen believe each year has proven to be even better than the year before.  

RYLA camp provides student leaders an opportunity to develop skills and attitudes that they will be able to use in their positions as leaders on their campus and in life itself. Several students from 2011 were given the floor and related their personal observations as RYLA attendees. Life lessons for the students included treating everyone with respect and allowing others to be themselves. 

Jennifer Tregarten and Joan Johnson were asked to share what they had learned as first year student counselors. Jennifer explained her discovery that camp provided a time of testing as she focused on caring for her students and exemplifying the values of Rotary as she interacted with others. Joan commented on the changed lives she observed over the course of the week. Joan Baker was also recognized for her contributions to the success of the camp.  

RYLA A Life Changer Lynn Droescher 2011-12-13 00:00:00Z 0

OU Business College Students Partner with Bethesda, Inc

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Dec 12, 2011

Bethesda, Inc board member Beau Dean introduced two OU busines students who have provided over $16,000 to Bethesda, Inc this semester. Rachel Hill and Chase Miller, as part of OU's core business program, took a few minutes to share their experiences of taking their business from a start-up phase to production and now to closing their business.

The course curriculum allows students to develop a product that will be used to produce support for a community service organization. The first class of the semester involved establishing five businesses. Various community service organizations attended a Service Fair to explain their services and needs. Each business was responsible for choosing the service organizations they would support through their business. Over the past 16 years IBC has donated over $1 Million to charities int he Norman area. 

Rachel and Chase, along with their partners, chose to produce and sell Sooner Stickies. Their support of Bethesda, Inc. allows sexually abused children receive counseling and support. 2010-2011 over 460 children with an average stay of nine months to one year have received care at Bethesda. The monies from the project will allow Bethesda meet their obligations for the current year. Rachel and Chase were also involved in volunteer work within the Norman community providing over 700 hours of sweat equity to Middle Earth School. Their business is the first to complete the project, having sold out of their product


OU Business College Students Partner with Bethesda, Inc Lynn Droescher 2011-12-13 00:00:00Z 0
Salvation Army Sign Ups - December 1st and 2nd Conni Eckstein 2011-11-29 00:00:00Z 0

OU Pride News

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Nov 21, 2011
ImageNorman Sooner Rotary was pleased to hear from Brian Britt, Director of OU's Pride of Oklahoma. Now in his eleventh year as director, Brian shared the band's mission to represent OU in a first class manner and provide support both for the University and their fans. His goal is to train "difference makers" whether they are involved in Athletic Bands, Concert Bands, Jazz Bands or in the community service programs sponsored by student service groups. Although there are three full-time directors, the forty-five student leaders and 100 service group members are just as responsible for holding everyone accountable to their mission.

Rotarians were invited to attend practices held throughout the week, concert and drum shows prior to home games and the aftergame show in the stadium. Ranking the Big 12 programs among the best in the country, Brian promised to provide uplifting entertainment no matter the score.

OU Pride News Lynn Droescher 2011-11-22 00:00:00Z 0

Birthday Bash

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Nov 14, 2011

Image24 years ago a number of Norman’s business leaders determined that the city of Norman needed to provide opportunities for like-minded professionals and business owners to give back to their communities, their nation and the world. Today, this group, now known as Norman Sooner Rotary, along with others who have joined their ranks were celebrating their successes over the years.

Denise Kueny honored those original members before the club and gave each the microphone to share their thoughts. What makes Norman Sooner Rotary so special? Several mentioned the family atmosphere and included personal accounts of the support and encouragement that fellow members had offered during difficult times. Others mentioned the successful projects that had funded or supported life changing programs like RYLA camps, TOUR DE VIN, FOOD AND SHELTER FOR FRIENDS, and Thunderbird Clubhouse. Image

Doug Lyle recounted the club’s history. He shared how the club has continued to offer a wonderful group of people, who work well together, the opportunity to do great things around the world. Many have made friends here in the U.S., as well as, abroad by working in various international projects. Who would have thought that such a small group would have had such a phenomenal impact by providing over $100 million to Polio Plus? Always a step ahead, the club never thought twice about including women. It just seemed the natural thing to do according to Doug.

Denise recognized members Andy Paden and Grover Cleveland for their outstanding service to the club. Bob and Ellen Usry were honored for their support of RYLA and other projects that have made a significant contribution to the lives of youth in our community.

James Harp, as the incoming President of the club, announced several upcoming events to recognize the Silver Anniversary of Sooner Rotary on November 9, 2012 including a banquet. The banquet will provide a venue for historical reflections of the club’s contributions and for visions of future adventures. James also announced that the club’s banner will be updated over the course of the year.

Christi Moore led the membership in a discussion of future goals and objectives. Beginning with pointing out what our club does so well, members mentioned the inclusiveness of the group, the welcome feeling that is extended to new members, the support given to one another and continued enthusiasm.  Increasing membership, now at 105, to 150 and starting a new club were proposed as future goals. Members volunteered community service activities that could be adopted such as reading to children in the Norman’s public schools. Setting a goal of 100% sustaining membership was proposed, as was growing our international presence. A suggestion was made for members to plan to attend future International Assemblies to be held in Portugal and Australia as Ron Burton, a fellow Normanite, takes  the role as President of Rotary International.

The celebration concluded with birthday cupcakes distributed to each member as they were leaving. Thanks Denise for making this a special Birthday Bash!!

Additional announcements:

Secret Santa Party is December 2 at 6pm. Held at Crosspointe Church. Ellen Usry will be contacting members with names of children and items requested.

Salvation Army Bell Ringing December 1 and 2 at Dillard’s West entrance. Members need to sign up for 1 hour time slots.

Paul Harris Foundation supporters recognized: Doug Lyle, Bob Dill, Don Sherman, and Lynne Miller 

Birthday Bash Lynn Droescher 2011-11-15 00:00:00Z 0

Norman Community Report

Posted by Jennifer Tregarthen on Nov 07, 2011
Tuesday's meeting was filled with Happy Dollars and new Blue Badges for 4 of our members. Eric Fleske's annual community report he captivated us once again.

Norman Community Report Jennifer Tregarthen 2011-11-08 00:00:00Z 0

How's Your ENT?

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Oct 31, 2011

 ImageA very informative program was given by Dr. Jeff Buyten of Norman. As a general/pediatric otolaryngologist, or for the more common term Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, Dr. Buyten spoke to the issues of both children's and adult needs for his specialty. His practice treats patients from age 3 weeks to 97 years of age.

Many of us are familiar with the difficulties young children face with ear infections and the need for tubes to reduce the occurrence of those infections. Dr. Buyten explained the common reasons for the infections and the procedure that helps to alleviate those problems.

In addition, he discussed the likelihood of children having difficulties in sleeping due to sleep apnea and how that could be detrimental to cognitive and neurological development. Restless sleep is also associated with ADHD.  Many are aware of adults suffering from sleep apnea and how the lack of sleep can affect their lives.

Other areas of expertise include testing and treatment of allergies, cancer, and hearing. In fact, this specialty is the only one that treats the ear and hearing difficulties including replacing ear bones and fitting hearing aids.

Dr. Buyten and his wife are graduates of Norman High and OU. He also graduated from UTSW Medical Center.  Having lived in various places around the country, an offer to return to OK and family was a no-brainer. Dr. Buyten and his partners practice in Norman.

Sooner Rotary also inducted three new members, Kirby Owens, Adam Woods and Charles Foster. Kirby works as a marketing specialist at Tyler Advertising, Adam has opened his Chiropractic practice in Norman and Charles provides mortgages through Gatewood Mortgage. Denise Kueny, club president, led the three in their swearing in ceremony while sponsors gave Rotary pins to their new recruits.


How's Your ENT? Lynn Droescher 2011-11-01 00:00:00Z 0

Water for Life

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Oct 24, 2011

ImageSooner Rotary Club had the opportunity to meet those whose lives we have directly influenced with the presentation by Tom Cooper and the members of the Kumarana Valley Water Project. Many may remember that earlier this year Joan Barker made a trip to Bolivia to see firsthand where our dollars have been invested. This week we were able to travel via photos and personal accounts.

Pictures revealed the ruggedness of the terrain of the Andes Mountains and Potosi, Bolivia where most depend on the mining of silver for their livelihood. And therein lies the need for the water treatment project supported by our Rotary Club. As the minerals are mined the water used for the process is oxidized and unfit for human consumption. The water project involves securing by hand limestone from the mountains 2 ½ to 3 hours from Potosi and then placing the stones in targeted areas that allow water to filter through. This filtered water has been changed from a ph3 to a ph7, a level that deems it usable for the necessities of life itself.

Tom Cooper was first introduced to the needs of the people of Potosi through the OU Water Project program in 2008. Joining forces with others from the US and Potosi a campaign was started to raise the funds necessary to secure a grant from Rotary Foundation. Supported by the Norman Rotary Clubs as well as the clubs from surrounding communities, the initial funds were provided. Impressed by the vision and the opportunity Houston Rotary added their support.


Two and a half years later, Tom and his team were able to see the fruits of their labors with the laying of the first stones. The goal is to work jointly with the current mine owners who have refined the mining process so that the water is usable when the mining is completed. Within seven years, the water surrounding Potosi will be available for use by all.

Bolivian representatives from the Potosi Rotary Club were present to give to Sooner Rotary banners from their club and a banner/map of Potosi and the surrounding region.

Other news from the club: Community Service Projects: Workday at Food and Shelter for Friends.

Fellowship Committee Chairman, Steve Clark, reminded members of the upcoming hayride for the 12th of November at 6 pm. The committee will provide the goodies for the evening. Everyone is encouraged to attend and join in for the fun.

Lunch Buddies is venturing off the beaten track to Ingrid’s German Restaurant in OKC. Hailed as one of the best eateries in the city, it is sure to provide a great opportunity for fun and fellowship. 


Water for Life Lynn Droescher 2011-10-25 00:00:00Z 0

The Power of the Shoe

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Oct 17, 2011


Power of the Shoe


Representing Buckner International and Shoes for Orphan Souls, Joey Armstrong provided a voice for those whose lives can be changed through a pair of new shoes. Joey grew up in NE Oklahoma, attended OBU and Baylor University where he developed an intense desire to be the change that produces change in our communities. Working with Buckner International, sponsored by First Baptist Church of Norman, Joey and his wife have the opportunity to unify faith based groups meeting the needs of the homeless and those in need in our community. They have been instrumental in promoting and reaching out to existing organizations that many of us at Sooner Rotary already support personally and as a club.


Joey desires to help people connect socially and civically with various programs such as food pantries, clothes closets and Sunday lunches for the homeless. Challenged by the definition of poverty, “having the perspective and feeling that you have nothing of value to offer,” Joey believes that being a source of hope can not only change the life of those in need, but brings change to the giver’s life as well. When someone is able to have a pair of shoes that have been sitting in the closet and says to their friend, “these are the coolest shoes I’ve ever had” both lives are enriched.


In an effort to mobilize and unite the community in a unique outreach “TO NORMAN WITH LOVE” was organized. Throughout the year, faith based organizations have the opportunity to serve alongside community groups and organizations. This Thursday, “TO NORMAN WITH LOVE”              will sponsor a food drive to replenish the Mission Norman food pantry. Those interested in participating were encouraged to meet at Journey Church’s East Campus at 6pm.   


Shoes for Orphan Souls is an international relief effort to provide shoes and socks for orphans around the globe. What began in 1999 now reaches out to orphans in 73 countries and has distributed over 2.2 million shoes. Many may be familiar with the Tom’s Shoes program that provides a pair of Tom’s shoes to those in need for every pair purchased. The two programs are now working together to reach even more than before.


Other Rotary Clubs have taken the challenge to heart and sponsored shoe drives and participated in delivering the life changing message that each person is valuable. Sooner Rotary was given the challenge to consider supporting a drive in the Norman area.


Those who are interested in learning more about the various projects here in Norman or with Shoes for Orphan Souls are encouraged to get in touch with Joey at First Baptist Church Norman.


Other Announcements for Sooner Rotary were made:

Habitat for Humanity is sponsoring a Bowling for Humanity on October 26th at Sooner Bowling Center and has invited Cleveland County Rotary Clubs to the event. The Bowl-A-Thon will begin at 12 noon and the $20 entry fee will include 2 games, shoes and 1 large soft drink. Proceeds from the event will go to Habitat for Humanity as they continue to provide homes to needy families. Questions, call (405) 360-7868.


Fellowship Activities: Lunch Buddies at Louie’s Westside today at 11:30; Italiano’s in OKC on Thur at 11:30; Fall Hayride November 12 at 6pm; Sooner Theatre and Dinner December 3. Check the website for more details. Attendance counts as make-ups for meeting attendance.


Community Service: Service project at Food and Shelter for Friends October 29 from 8:30 am (provide emergency food and organize the food pantry. Our next Trash Pickup is scheduled for November 12 at 8 am. Meet at Robinson St and 12th Ave NE.

The Power of the Shoe Lynn Droescher 2011-10-18 00:00:00Z 0

Love Story

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Oct 10, 2011


 It might seem odd to some, but what began as an opportunity to serve our community has become a passion for Dr.John Ott . Twelve years ago John first made a visit to Norman's animal shelter on a volunteer basis as a veterinarian and found the once state of the art facility sorely lacking for space and unsafe sanitary conditions. His desire to improve the shelter for animals housed there led to working with others to create a budget and led to a shelter addition. Under his vision and guidance, Norman's animal shelter is now one of only two state training sites for 4th year OSU veterinary students.

And now, he has become a "voice" promoting the construction of a new facility that anticipates serving the Norman community through 2025. This new shelter will not only provide better means to house and treat lost pets, but will give residents of Norman a source for spaying and neutering, pet identification for faster returns to owners and better control of strays in our community.

In addition to Dr Ott, Sooner Rotary had the privilege of hearing from Superintendent John Bowman, who is responsible for the oversight of the Norman Animal Shelter. Supt. Bowman added his support to the urgency of the need for more adequate provisions for lost pets. Providing more history and more projections for both the future needs and solutions to those needs, Supt. Bowman invited members of the community to the Animal Shelter's Open House from noon to 4pm on October 23rd. The open house will provide an opportunity to learn more about the present facility and the services currently provided through the 10 staff members, as well as, viewing the proposed plans for improvements and construction on the present site.  

Members of the club were encouraged to register their pets with the city ensuring their safe return if lost or stolen. Microchips can easily be inserted into a pet's neck area and used for easy identification.

Norman residents will have the opportunity to add their support with the passage of a bond that is up for approval in the next election, November 8.

Various announcements included upcoming service opportunities including Bingo at the Veteran's Center, workday at Food and Shelter for Friends October 29, and the collection of non-perishable and canned food items at our next meeting, Tuesday, October 18. James Harp mentioned that we have 3 applicants under review, additional new members to be recognized and encouraged current members to invite others to join our club. Thunderbird Clubhouse also received the remainder of the monies collected from Tour Le Vin. 


Love Story Lynn Droescher 2011-10-11 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor Speaks

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Oct 03, 2011
ImageLast Tuesday, our District Governor, Mike Blevins, joined Sooner Rotary to share his goals for the district this year. Mike has been a  lawyer for 39 years in Sayre, OK and was president of his club twice and in 2008, he led the GSE team to Denmark. Mike is married with two children and 5 grandchildren.

Mike attended a Governors Dinner provided by Sooner Rotary Monday night.

He praised the district in sustaining their memberships, even though some clubs lost membership, the district as a whole has maintained their numbers. He spoke about International President, Kalyan Banerjee's theme of promoting strength within the Rotary family and developing strong members.  Also look for ways to engage younger Rotarians to keep them involved.

Concerns were raised about the district keeping up its membership requirement to remain a district.  Currently we have 34 clubs and over 1350 members.  To remain a district we must keep a minimum of 32 clubs and 1200 members.

One of his goals this year is to encourage some communities without Rotary to build clubs. These communities include Lindsey, Oklahoma and other smaller cities. Mike boasted that Hobart increased their membership from 8 to 13 by asking their spouses to join the club!

Possible trends being discussed within Rotary as a whole include dismissing attendance requirements and meeting at a service project as a substitute for one of a club's weekly meetings.

Our club was complimented for its active involvement in the community and Mike discussed our upcoming grant to provide mini-libraries to poor school children in Colima, Mexico.  

As the year draws closer to April, Mike wanted to remind everyone that the District Conference will be held in Weatherford, OK. They will host a barbecue held at the Tom Stafford space museum on the Friday before the conference.  We are all encouraged to attend. Any interested Rotarians are welcome to join his committee to plan and prepare for the event.
District Governor Speaks Lynn Droescher 2011-10-04 00:00:00Z 0

Getting To Know You

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Sep 26, 2011

ImageThis year's goal of developing closer relationships within the Norman Sooner Rotary Club was once again the focus of Tuesday's meeting. Christi Moore explained the process, Denise organized the grouping procedure and club members each had an opportunity to introduce themselves, describe their vocation and share the most favorite part of their work. Each of the eight groups was responsible for choosing one member to share their "story" with the entire club. Once again, we were reminded that we are made up of very talented and gifted individuals making a difference in the lives of others.


Slice of Night a rousing success! Denise took the opportunity to recognize those members of the club who had made this fundraiser so effective. Each was given a bouquet to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication. 


Getting To Know You Lynn Droescher 2011-09-27 00:00:00Z 0

Catch Up Time

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Sep 05, 2011
This morning was catch up time for Norman's Sooner Rotary. Announcements were made from various committees to bring all the members up to date on activities scheduled over the next month.

First Terry  gave out a big THANK YOU to the club for their participation in our crossing guards project Norman's first day of school . The biggest turnout ever provided guards for all schools during the morning and all but 3 positions in the afternoon. Principals were elated to know we were able to offer protection for their students just returning from their summer holidays. 

The core of the meeting time was devoted to preparations for Slice of Night Gold Tournament. The premiere source of monies used to support projects promoted by Sooner Rotary, Slice of Night will be held at the Jimmy Austin Golf Course on September 23, 2011. Opportunities to serve include providing "Hole Sponsors", Auction items to be raffled (every committee met to determine items that could be provided by the committee), and 12 - 15 volunteers required to make the night a success. Volunteers will be used in different capacities including manning holes along the course, serving refreshments, and generally being an ambassador for our club. 
The tournament will offer an opportunity to win outstanding prizes including a "Green Hole", a Diamond from Mitchell's Jewelry, a Bass Boat, and a 55" TV from Sam's. Other items include golf lessons, computer tech time, flowers for the year, and an airplane ride with lunch at Ozzie's. Ticket sales will be limited to 200, so the odds of winning are the best ever. Every club member is asked to sell one ticket ($100 each) and those able to sell more are asked to contact Kevin Murphry for additional tickets. A band will provide dancing music (Lucinda, put on your dancing shoes).  

Jenny Chen from the Crosstimbers Rotary Club announced the upcoming Fund Raiser for tomorrow and Thursday at Outback Steak House in Norman. Tickets are $12.50 each and support from our club would be greatly appreciated.

Trash Pickup is scheduled for this coming Saturday morning, September 10, at 8 am. Volunteers are meeting at the Soccer Field parking lot on SE 12th and Robinson St. to get their vests and bags. This counts as a service project for those Red badgers working on their Blue badge requirements.
Bob and Ellen Usry are hosting the Sooner Rotary Annual Picnic at their home Saturday at 6pm. Bob and Ellen will provide burgers and the condiments and request others to provide side dishes. Requests were made for a couple of teens to help park cars. They will be compensated for their time. In addition, 5 - 6 members are asked to come set up tables in preparation for the evening. The Usry's live at 2247 NE 60th in the "White House" just north of Robinson St. Emails will be sent later today to give more details about dishes to be provided.
Alan Southerland announced an opportunity for business owners to participate in the St. Michael's Country Fair to be held on September 17. Booths are available to vendors for $40 per space and those interested can contact Alan for more details. 

The Hispanic Festival sponsored by the Norman Public Library on September 18th is fast approaching. Sooner Rotary is responsible for providing help in the children's section from 2 to 4 pm. Contact a service committee member if you would like to volunteer.

Steve Clark reminded those attending of the Lunch Buddies scheduled for next Tuesday, September 13th at Interurban in Norman. It's a great day to take advantage of their lunch Hamburger special for just $5. Meet at Interurban at 11:30. RSVPs would be welcome.

Mary Sallee announced that she had received information from Project Amigo regarding 10 students available for "adoption". $100 will sponsor one child throughout the school year and provide books, school supplies, Christmas gifts and various other items needed for these children to attend school. Pictures are available to help with choosing students to sponsor.

Grover gave out perfect attendance awards to Alan Southerland, Lucinda Francis, Kevin Murphry and Rose Wilderon. Kevin and Rose were recognized as having 19 years of perfect attendance. Glenda recognized Paul Harris recipients including Bobby Hare, Linda Holt, Leanne Bratton, and Christi Moore. Congratulations to all.

Catch Up Time Lynn Droescher 2011-09-06 00:00:00Z 0

Jail House Rocks

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Aug 29, 2011
Sooner Rotary held it's Tuesday morning meeting at the new Cleveland County Jail. Sheriff Joe Lester and County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan were on hand to lead the tours of the facility, giving Rotarians an insider's look at the nearly completed building. It was obvious that although still under construction, the new jail will provide much needed room for current inmates, privacy for meetings and security for all concerned.  Conservation of resources was a main consideration in developing a geothermal field to support 527 wells. With the reduction in costs for cooling  the jail, the county plans to recoup the expense in the first ten years of occupation.
The original jail built in 1983 was designed to provide for a maximum of 177 inmates; currently 270 are housed there. The possibility of daily fines of $10K made the need for completing this project top priority for the county.The new facility will house 542 inmates with the ability to expand on the current infrastructure giving the ability to house up to 1500.  September will be a time of transition as officers and county employees begin the process of moving in. 

Other News of Importance included announcements of upcoming fellowship events over the next several months. Lunch Buddies at Billy Sims BBQ held at noon on Tues; Our Annual Picnic at the Bob Usry home scheduled for September 10; a Fishing Tournament to be held in Oct; the annual Hayride planned for November 12; plus Trash pickup and breakfast and Slice of Night Golf Tournament all make for a well rounded calendar with plenty of opportunities to meet and greet new and old members and their guests. A request was made for additional silent auction items to be made available for the Golf Tournament and a raffle ticket was passed out to each member to be sold.
Jail House Rocks Lynn Droescher 2011-08-30 00:00:00Z 0

Library Day at Sooner Rotary

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Aug 22, 2011

Our very own Anne Masters introduced us to our Norman Public Library staff members, head librarian Leslie Tabor, and Phil Clark, business co-ordinator.  Learning the value of our library card and the opportunities awaiting us as we explore the resources availablewere highlights of the program. Phil walked us through the possibilities of various databases and applications to our businesses either through plannning or marketing not only in Norman, but throughout the world. Brown Bags and Books held every 3rd Wednesday of the month give Normanites a place to discuss commonly read books with others. Employers have access to Business Training Kits and are able to introduce concepts to their companies that will improve production and workplace environment. Training kits have a variety of visual and audio helps to encourage the discussion. 

Future plans for the library include ongoing education through seminars and cultural activities starting with the Spanish Festival on September 18, 2011. Leslie explained that her role as head librarian was to coordinate other activities hosted by the library. Growing up in Chickasha and moving out of state for college education, Leslie feels like she has come back home by taking the role as head library. 

In addition to the program, Lucinda introduced the NEXUS committee. She encouraged members to contact anyone on the committee with news regarding fellow members experiencing diffcult times. Information regarding Slice of Night raffle tickets was given and the main prizes were announced. It was explained that raffle tickets will be available next meeting and members were encouraged to sell one or two ($100) each. Prizes include a Green Hole; Golf Club Set; Flat Screen TV; Golf Lessons and a Diamond from Mitchell's Jewelry, valued between $1000 and $2000, as well as, other prizes. Only 200 tickets will be available to sell. 

Denise Kueney announced that our next meeting will be a vocational tour and we would be meeting at the new jail. Sheriff Lester reminded us to have our photo id and gave directions to the new facility (on the corner of Franklin and HWY 77). He encouraged everyone to park on the N or W side of the facility. 

As usual, our meetings were jam packed with singing (you had to be there to hear our Sooner rendition of Margaritaville), laughing, hugging, and good ole fun. If you haven't been in a while, come join us as we charge into the fall season. 


Library Day at Sooner Rotary Lynn Droescher 2011-08-23 00:00:00Z 0

Welcome Chief Humphrey to Sooner Rotary

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Aug 15, 2011
 Chief Keith Humphrey's visit to Sooner Rotary was both a lesson in the history of community policing and a glimpse of the future for Norman's police department. Chief Humphrey explained the changes that have taken place over the last 200 years in the relationships between police departments and the communities they serve. The premise of developing relationships that allow officers the opportunity to work together with members of the community is rooted in England in the late 1800's. Over the years with the introduction of technology that relationship was lost and police work evolved into a reactive approach to crime. His desire is to bring the principles of community policing to the forefront of the Norman Police Department. 

From his early childhood, Chief Humphrey has wanted to do the "right thing". Following the examples of his grandparents and parents, the chief learned to respect the police rather than fear them as he grew up. His first assignment with the Ft. Worth police department taught him to be a police officer and gave him the desire to become a police chief. Other assignments in TX further developed his core philosophy that community policing would lead to long term solutions in detering crime. 

So, "Why Norman?" According to Chief Humphey, the question is "Why wouldn't I?" Reviewing the reasons that led Chief Humphrey to Norman, he complimented the community for providing the funding necessary for improvements in the department and for the civic minded members of the community that seek to provide for the needs of others.  

With a desire to develop strong relationships within the community, Humphrey challenged the Rotarians to hold the police department accountable for their service to Norman. Not satisfied with the status quo, Chief Humphrey has already focused on educating the community on how to stay safe and will conduct the first Citizen's Police Academy in Norman in 20 years.  

 In addition to the program, new members Lori Bennett and Polly Christian were inducted by Denise Kueny and given letters of membership by their sponsors James Harp and Sandy Tedders. Both were greeted by members at the end of the meeting as well. 

Welcome Chief Humphrey to Sooner Rotary Lynn Droescher 2011-08-16 00:00:00Z 0

"There's No Place Like Home"

Posted by Lynn Droescher on Aug 08, 2011

"There's No Place Like Home"


 There's no better way to sum up Becky Seewall's year 

as a Rotary Exchange Student in Switzerland. 

With breathtaking photos and genuine Swiss chocolate, Becky brought her adventures in Switzerland to the Sooner Rotary Club meeting.  

 Arriving at her first host home speaking only English was a difficult and challenging experience, but living among those speaking only French gave her a greater appreciation for communicating with others. Participating in various activities including school, ski trips, Exchange Student outings and family adventures contributed to Becky's philosophy of saying "yes" even if she wasn't quite sure what "yes" meant.

 Living with two other families and touring 14 countries in Europe gave Becky a greater appreciation of what often is taken for granted here at "home". Her description of the educational opportunities, cultural differences and values helped to clarify the privileges we all have to be living here in the USA, oftentimes assumed to be readily available in other parts of the world. Attending the male only Rotary Club meetings in Bulle was both enlightening and a highlight of her trip and the banner brought back from the club has already been added to our collection here in Norman. 

 A great way to sum up a great meeting. Starting with an original song written and performed by our very own Andy Southerland and accompanied by James Harp (you just had to be there to fully appreciate it), the stage was set for our August 9 meeting. Announcements and Happy Dollars were intermingled and included reminders of the need for School Security Guards for August 24th with sign up rosters passed around, registration forms made available for our District Rotary Foundation Seminar to be held this coming Saturday and plans for BINGO at the Veterans Center scheduled for August 22nd (which counts for community service for Blue Badge requirements). Details of the events are available on our website and room is still available to participate.  


"There's No Place Like Home" Lynn Droescher 2011-08-09 00:00:00Z 0
"The Norman Transcript: Your Community Newspaper" Lynn Droescher 2011-08-02 00:00:00Z 0
"Speed Dating" Sooner Rotary Style!!! Lynn Droescher 2011-07-26 00:00:00Z 0

A Fond Farewell....

Posted by Lucinda Francis on Jul 23, 2011

 We bid a fond farewell to Sooner Rotarians Linda Kouri, Michael Ridgeway and Kevin McNeely. We wish you well and hope to see you again.

 These Rotarians  recently left our club for various reasons and our intent is to keep club members up to date on departing members as well as new members.

A Fond Farewell.... Lucinda Francis 2011-07-24 00:00:00Z 0

Spotlight on Sooner Rotarian, Fred Benenati

Posted by Lucinda Francis on Jul 23, 2011

      A Sooner Rotarian for 9 years, Fred Benenati enjoys the friendliness of our members and our willingness to help each other and our community.  

     Fred, a retired dentist, recently also retired from dental education.  Fred and Susie make a dashing couple and to their union was born Steven and Carol.  They also have a dog, Louis and a cat, Daisy.

     Fred loves to fly!  Susie goes with him sometimes (probably to keep him grounded!).  He says that he wants to be a world traveler when he grows up!  There are many places he would love to visit although, he seem to have made a pretty good dent in those places.  He's visited Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Ireland, England, Alsaka, Hawaii and Europe! He thinks that if he could live somewhere else for a while it would be Australia or New Zealand.  His favorite place to be is 5,280 feet above the earth! He loves the different perspective it provides him.

Fred enjoys reading and he tells me that when he was a lad he loved reading hardy Boys mysteries.  Current reading includes James Patterson and Kay Scarpetta novels.  He also enjoys the magazines "Flying" and "Corvette".   Favorite musical groups include the Moody Blues, Journey and the Beatles.  (right on, Fred!)  Favorite teams include the Broncos and the Dodgers.  A favorite meal would include steak and lobster.

Other organizations Fred belongs to include the Oklahoma Pilots' Association and the Central Oklahoma Corvette Club.  In Sooner Rotary, he serves on the Fellowship committee and and believes that for a year to be truly successful for a Rotarian it must include lots of "Lunch Buddies" lunches! 

A person Fred admires turns out to be his wife, Susie, because of her "amazing patience and ability to love and care for others" although he does admit that the title given by his wife to a book that might be written about his life would be "I Married a Weirdo!" 

Fred daydreams about flying solo in a P-51 Mustang.

Fred believes the ideal friend  is understanding, fun loving and considerate. (I bet that's why he loves Sooner Rotary!  We're all there!)

Spotlight on Sooner Rotarian, Fred Benenati Lucinda Francis 2011-07-24 00:00:00Z 0
First Committee Meeting for 2011/2012 Year, July 19, 2012 Lynn Droescher 2011-07-19 00:00:00Z 0

Another Correction....Sorry about that!

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Jul 14, 2011

Food and Shelter for Friends may have high hopes and aspirations, but building 250 new rooms ain't one of them. Make that 25 rooms for their capital project for Le Tour de Vin consideration.

Hope that clears it up. Have a great weekend! 

Another Correction....Sorry about that! Conni Eckstein 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
All Shook Up on a Tuesday! Membership meeting 07/12/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-07-12 00:00:00Z 0

YOU Can Be the Next Newletter Editor!

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Jul 05, 2011

Due to my new duties as Community Service Chair, I need to turn over newsletter duties to someone. So...if you have aspirations to stretch your reporting, editing and writing skills, or you just want a fun outlet that takes less than an hour a week, contact Jen Tregarthen.

Thanks! Conni Eckstein 

YOU Can Be the Next Newletter Editor! Conni Eckstein 2011-07-06 00:00:00Z 0

Correction to the 07/05/11 Story

Posted by Conni Eckstein on Jul 04, 2011
Make that INTERACT stuffing the bus. Thanks Russ Davoren for pointing out Interact is our youth organization at the high school level; Rotaract is college level. 
Correction to the 07/05/11 Story Conni Eckstein 2011-07-05 00:00:00Z 0
Thanks and Stuffing - Membership Meeting 07/05/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-07-05 00:00:00Z 0
Turning Over a New Board - Membership Meeting 06/28/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-06-28 00:00:00Z 0
RYLA! RYLA! RYLA! Conni Eckstein 2011-06-17 00:00:00Z 0
Thunderbirds Bare All - Membership Meeting 06/14/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
We are Rotary! - Membership Meeting 06/07/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-06-07 00:00:00Z 0
Awards and Smiles All Around - Membership Meeting 05/31/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-05-31 00:00:00Z 0
Paul Harris, Blues Brothers and Hola! - Membership Meeting 05/17/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-05-17 00:00:00Z 0
Dr. Belknap Clinic Update - Membership Meeting 05/10/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-05-10 00:00:00Z 0
Judy Simpkins' Tribute to Nancy Chess Conni Eckstein 2011-05-03 00:00:00Z 0
Nancy Chess Winner and Paul Harris Contributors - Membership Meeting 05/03/11 Conni Eckstein 2011-05-03 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doris Wedge

Brent Swift of Brent Swift Design Build was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary.  He talked about his background and interest in preserving buldings in Norman that have archtectural significance.  Two notable projects are the retail facility at 301 S Porter and the Logan Apartments on Boyd Street.Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

BOLD Multimedia, formerly Bramlett Multimedia, was host to Sooner Rotary for the Tuesday meeting.  Following a tour of the facilities, the BOLD team presented a program.Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

Jennifer Tregarthen, marketing manager for Sam Noble Museum, was recognized at Sooner Rotary for introducing a new member, Michelle Hohlier.  Hohlier is with the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Sooner Rotary chair Christie Moore presented Tregarthen with a badge recognizing her efforts at increasing membership.







Posted by Doris Wedge

By Liz Barfield

ImageIn May of 2000, JT Johnson, Mike Eilts, Kirk Whitener, and Richard Carpenter started Weather Decision Technologies with money they had saved collectively and with the help of some friends and family.  JT, a fellow Sooner Rotarian, spoke to us on Tuesday about his company and their journey over the past 14 years.

First, JT gave us a weather related vocabulary test, and wow did we need to get schooled again.  Once we passed the test, he explained the different applications of weather studies.  There are three sections: the academic, the private, and the government.  Being a part of the private sector, they mostly work on applied research and industry specific forecasts as well as product innovations. The governmental side of the industry works with operational forecasting and the National Weather Service.

New offices opened in Houston in 2013, and by 2014 they had 85+ employees, with 40+of them having their masters and/or doctorate.

Though the main focus of Weather Decision Technologies is weather, their technology company also partners with Earth technologies, Boeing, ACCU Weather, Devon, OG&E, Chesapeake, CNN, COX, Washington Post, ABC, Bing, Microsoft, as well as energy companies and other international clients, selling them systems and aiding their businesses.

Weather Decision Technologies has created two apps: Radar Scope 2.2 and Weather Radio, which now has 7.5 million users!



Posted by Doris Wedge

Sooner Rotarians got the scoop on three of OU's  sports programs when they heard from speakers Tuesday.  Speakers were Matt Potte,r head coach of women's soccer; Jim Vanhootegem, assistant coach of track and field, and Katie Dowden, director of operations for women's volleyball.  Dr.  Nicki Moore, senior associate athletics director, introduced the coaches who talked about their student athletes and the programs they are fostering at OU.


Sooner Rotary takes 2nd Place

Posted by Doris Wedge

 Sooner Rotarians nabbed second place in the Battle of the Burger this weekend.  Connie Eckstein and Jane Purcell show the prize-winning burgers with a Bosnian influence. Assisting in the event were Fred Benenati, Linda Holt, Jack O'Hare, Sam Ott, JT Johnson, and Tanya StewartImage

Sooner Rotary takes 2nd Place Doris Wedge 0


Posted by Doris Wedge

Sooner Rotarians perform trash pick-up on 12th Avenue NE between Main Street and Robinson several times eachImage year.  Saturday morning's group included these happy Rotarians:(from left) Fred Benenati, Jonna Buck, Keith Busking, Barry Roberts, Paul Woodson and Jonathan Richardson.  Nicki  Moore was the photographer.



Posted by Doris Wedge

Past District Governor Glenda Thomas presented fellow Sooner Rotarian Lynne Miller with the Paul Harris Plus Three designation recognizing her giving to the Rotary Foundation. Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

Sky Dalrymple, who Sooner Rotary sponsored as a Rotary Exchange Student in Taiwan for the past year. was  guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday and presented President Kevin Murphree with club banners.Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

Past District Governor David Shirley addressed Sooner Rotarians on Rotary etiquette at the Tuesday morning meeting.  He encouraged members to wear their Rotary pins and to strive for perfect attendance.





Posted by Doris Wedge

The cast of the Sooner Theater Studio's staging of "Shrek" performed for Sooner Rotary Tuesday morning.  Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

Kevin Murphree has begun his year as president of Sooner Rotary following installation by immediate past president of Rotary International Ron Burton.

Officers serving with Murphree are Lucinda Francis, vice president; Christi Moore, president-elect; Jennifer Tregarthen, president elect-elect, Bill Osborn, treasurer, and Linda Holt, secretary.  Directors are Conni Eckstein, Paul Woodson, Fred Benenati, Kirby Owen, Tanya Stewart, Lewis Beckett, Amy Bass, Joan Barker, Jane Purcell, Tracy Curtis, Liz Barfield, Doris Wedge, Mark Jones, Evan Taylor,  David Imy, John Cate and Jeannine Baker,



Posted by Doris Wedge

Lucinda Francis recapped an exciting and productive year for Sooner Rotary when the club met on July 1..  Under her leadership the club accomplished much, including financial contributions to projects locally and internationally,  volunteer efforts on behalf of Rotary's focus on literacy, and so much more.  She recognized her leadership team members for their work and congratulated the in-coming president, Kevin Murphree.Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

Several Sooner Rotarians were honored for their outstanding contributions to the Rotary Foundation.  Recognized were Kevin Murphree, Paul Harris Fellow Plus Eight; Bob Usry, Paul Harris Fellow Plus Three, and Lynn Mlller, Paul Harris Fellow Plus Two.


Also recognized for their achievements were several members who have sponsored new members to the club in the past year.  They are Pat Hill, Christie Moore,  Lucinda Francis, Phillip Wong and Glenda Thomas.




Posted by Doris Wedge

Five new members of Sooner Rotary were interviewed in a "let's get to know ..." program led by member Dick Pryor.

New members include Jonna Buck, vice president of  administration at OEC,  Kim Gaddie, editor of OU journals;  Christie Hill, with Ken's Walgreen Pharmacy; Stan Ledgerwood, OEC manager of business and member services, an Dave Mason, sales consultant with Paychex.  Each responded to a variety of questions that added information and humor to the Tuesday morning meeting.



Dr. Dave Engle, Regent's professor in Oklahoma State's Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

Posted by Lucinda Francis


Dave Engle, Regents professor in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM), is one of the best range management proponents in his field, proven by his selection as the Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Society for Range Management (SRM).

“Dave’s impact on range management in the Great Plains region extends from the Dakotas to Texas.“His combined program of teaching, research and outreach has resulted in new management techniques being applied with herbicides, grazing systems and, most notably, fire.”

The Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to members for long-term contributions to the art and science of range management.

Engle has played a significant role in reintroducing fire into grasslands, and has led an innovative program into conducting, monitoring and adapting prescribed fire. His track record as a researcher speaks for itself, as he has more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has been awarded more than 50 grants, totaling more than $12 million.

Dr. Dave Engle, Regent's professor in Oklahoma State's Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management Lucinda Francis 0

Earthquakes and Frac'ing - Joe Wertz

Posted by Lucinda Francis


Joe Wertz

Digital Reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma

Joe has previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla., lives in Oklahoma City, and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Earthquakes and Frac'ing - Joe Wertz Lucinda Francis 0


Posted by Doris Wedge

Dr. Josh Landis, director of the  Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor in the College of International Studies, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  Dr. Landis  spoke about the turmoil in Syria and about US relations with the nations in the Middle East. 




Posted by Doris Wedge

ImageJim Costello, owner operator of Firehouse Subs, has been welcomed as a new member of Sooner Rotary.



Posted by Doris Wedge

Stracy Ford, Norman Public Schools Teacher of the Year, was recognized by Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  Ford, media specialist at Kennedy Elementary, spoke about the role of the media specialist/librarian as a partnerwith the classroom teachers in meeting the needs of students.Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

ImageDr. Rob Braese, clinical psychologist with the Veterans' Administration, spoke about the treatment of PTSD and combat stress.  Although it has been identified as post-traumatic stress disorder in recent years, it has always been a factor among veterans.



Posted by Doris Wedge

Sooner Rotary was host to OU Professor of Political Science Dr. Keith Gaddie at Tuesday's meeting.  Dr. Gaddie spoke about the political and social interests and attitudes of current college age students and implications this has for current an future issues.Image



Posted by Doris Wedge

Sooner Rotarian Dick Pryor, news manager for OETA, was a part of an exchange program between journalists from Oklahoma and Bangladesh and spoke at Tuesday's meeting.   The Oklahoma delegation traveled to Dakha in January where the Bangladeshi journalists who had visited in Oklahoma guided their tour of television facilities and helped them understand  how media functions in that country. Image



Le Tour de Vin

Posted by Doris Wedge
ImageImageLe Tour de Vin, a wine tasting event jointly sponsored by the Sooner, Crosstimbers and Norman Rotary clubs, has contributed more than half a million dollars to the community since its inception in the early 1970s.  J. T. Johnson, Sooner Rotary's representative to the Le Tour de Vin leadership team, spoke to the Sooner club Tuesday.  The event will be held June 6-7 and $50,000 in proceeds will benefit the Children and Family Services. Johnson shared statistics about the impact Le Tour de Vin has had on the community and encouraged members to volunteer at the event and to encourage attendance. 

Philip Wong won the prize for answering a LTDV question!

Le Tour de Vin Doris Wedge 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
Sooner Rotarian Newt Mitchell and his staff were hosts to Sooner Rotary Club Tuesday morning.  Mitchell spoke about the move to the new store, saying it had been a dream of his for some time to have a free-standing building to house his growing business.  He talked of the diamond business and answered questions before the members broke into small groups for a tour of the entire building.


Posted by Doris Wedge
ImageImageAnne Masters, director of the Pioneer Library System, addressed Sooner Rotary about the library system which now has 11 sites.  She talked about the "Big Read" project which this year is promoting the reading of "True Grit." Library employee Shalla Strider appeared as Mattie Ross, the heroine of the book, and read a short section of the book.


Posted by Doris Wedge
David Imy, who retired from the National Weather Service after 30 years, guided Sooner Rotarians through a study of determining the storm level in accordance with the Enhanced Fujita scale.  Showing slides of storm damage, he pointed out the various aspects of the damage used to rate the storm.  Then the group viewed other slides and attempted to establish the rating.  Imy, a Sooner Rotarian, held the interest of the group with his data and information, including guidance on how to survive a tornado.  He advised to seek protection in the center of your house if you don't have a storm shelter and do not get in your car. If you are in your car, do not park or seek shelter under an overpass.   

Ron Burton Accepts Proclamation from Oklahoma Legislature

Posted by Lucinda Francis
The Oklahoma legislature honored Ron Burton on March 10 in the State Capitol Senate Chambers.  Ron was there and personally accepted the proclamation and a good showing of Oklahoma Rotarians were in attendance.  The Senate sponsor was Senator Standridge of Norman.  He is a member of the Norman Rotary Club.  A reception which included Rotarians followed the presentation.  Sooner Rotarians in attendance were:  John Sparks, Pat Hall, Christie Moore, Glenda Thomas, Bob Dill, David Shirley, Bob Usry, and Kevin Murphree.  Ron Burton, President of Rotary International, is in the center of the photo.

Ron Burton Accepts Proclamation from Oklahoma Legislature Lucinda Francis 0


Posted by Doris Wedge

Norman Sooner Rotary celebrated Paul Harris Fellow achievements of two members Tuesday.  Conni Eckstein was awarded the Paul Harris Plus Three designation, and Sen. John Sparks was recognized for attaining the Paul Harris Fellow level.  Past District Governor David Shirley was recognized  as a Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation and as a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Cogratulations to these Sooner Rotarians.



Posted by Doris Wedge
Three of Norman North's best speech students participated in the Four-Way Test speech competition Tuesday with Dannye Carpenter declared the winner to represent the club in District 5770 competition.  Others presenting speeches in the theme of “How do Rotarians engage the 4-Way Test to change lives?” were Jessica Weiss and Adam Harder.  All are students of Kenneth Huddleston.


Posted by Doris Wedge

Image               Sooner Rotary has received and matched a grant by Rotary District 5770 to supply $4000 worth of books on traumatic situations for Red Oak Elementary School in Moore, Sooner Rotary President Lucinda Francis announced.

               The book topics cover such topics as grief, homelessness and other tragedies that can occur in the life of a child, plus books on tornados, Francis said.

               Red Oak will share the books with Plaza Towers and Briarwood, the elementary schools destroyed in the May tornados. The families of students will also be able to check out the books through the media center interschool loan program.  Working with Sooner Rotarians on the project were Tammy Gibbs,media specialist at Red Oak, and Linda Cowan a retired Norman Public Schools media specialist.

               Rotarians volunteered time to unpack, label and shelve the books and will work with children on developing reading skills.  "Supporting literacy in our community is at the pinnacle of community service," Francis said. 

               Assisting Francis in writing the grant proposal was Sooner Rotarian Tanya Stewart. Others who helped in the book project were Rotarians Wade Stewart and Christie Hill, and volunteer  Paul Navarro. Other Sooner Rotarians who have volunteer reading with elementary students are Paul Woodson, Fred Benenati, Glenda Thomas, David Imy, Jeannine Baker Keith Busking, and Polly Christian plus 15 members of the Rotaract Club.



Posted by Doris Wedge

ImageSooner Rotarian Dick Pryor used his best OETA interview techniques to help Sooner Rotarians get to know four of its newest members.

Put on the hot seat were Mike Charbeneau with Life Care Oklahoma; Chris Bruehl, chair of appointments to boards and commissions for Gov. Mary Fallin; Shane Vice of Havenbrook Funeral Home, and Bobby Jones with United Energy Technology. 

They responded to questions ranging from where they grew up to what living person they would like to have dinner with to their most embarrassing experience.   


Uganda Mission

Posted by Doris Wedge


Sister Ephrance, administrator of the health clinics sponsored by BARHD in Uganda was a guest of Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  Sooner Rotary has provided mosquito nets and new mother kits for the health clinics. Sister Ephrance was in Oklahoma visiting the organizations and individuals who provide support to BARHD, an Oklahoma-based charity which supports medical clinics and provides funding for secondary and university education for orphaned students.  Amy Williams of Norman is president of BARHD, the Bushenye Alliance for Rural Health and Development. Sister Ephrance spoke of the educational programs as well as health services provided in the clinics in rural Uganda areas.




Uganda Mission Doris Wedge 0
Charlotte Jones receives another Paul Harris. Lucinda Francis 0
Tiffany Eckstein and Tim Eckstein receive Paul Harris Fellow awards. Lucinda Francis 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
Dr. Charles Kimball, chair of the OU Dept. of Religious Studies, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday and shared his expertise on the commonalities of the three major world religions which share a common root heritage. Kimball is a world-recognized authority on Islam.  


Shed built for Little Axe tornado victim who lost all of his tools and his home. Lucinda Francis 0
Linda Holt is multiple Paul Harris Fellow! Lucinda Francis 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
Chemistry Department Chair Dr. George Richter-Addo was host to Sooner Rotarians in the new Stephenson Life Sciences Center.  The enthusiastic Dr. Richter-Addo spoke to the group about the design of the facility for the interactive study of the life sciences and led the Rotarians on a tour of the facilities lab and public areas.



Conni Eckstein and Linda Holt - Float Builders, Rose Parade, Tournament of Roses, 2013 Lucinda Francis 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
District Attorney Greg Mashburn was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  Administrator of the District office serving three counties he supervises the work of 27 attorneys  The Idabel native and OU graduate spoke about the divisions of criminal prosecution responsibilities.   



Secret Santa, 2013

Posted by Lucinda Francis


Magic show at Secret Santa, 2013.


Shayne and David searching through the gifts at Secret Santa, 2013.


Mary the musical elf.


Linda Price and Ellen Usry - "Yes, I have been a good girl!  Put me on that list!"

Secret Santa, 2013 Lucinda Francis 0
Sooner Rotarian, Mike Charbeneau, wins sweater contest! Lucinda Francis 0
Sooner Rotary 1st Annual Christmas Party Lucinda Francis 0
One of the Dinners for Eight groups Lucinda Francis 0
Sooner Rotary Board of Directors and Past Presidents' Advisory Council Lucinda Francis 0
Bobby Jones inducted. Lucinda Francis 0

Remembrance of Souls

Posted by Lucinda Francis

David Shirley conducts ceremony with the help of Kevin Murphree.Image

Remembrance of Souls Lucinda Francis 0
Vocational Tour of Havenbrook Funeral Home Lucinda Francis 0
Siria, youth exchange student, presents Sooner Rotary with banner from her home club. Lucinda Francis 0


Posted by Doris Wedge
The financial impact of the production of films and music in Oklahoma was the topic of the director of the State Film and Music Office Tuesday morning.  Jill Simpson, told Sooner Rotary that the industry has a $300,000,000 impact on the state each year.  The ability to bring such movie productions such as "August: Osage County" to the state hinges on the incentives that can be offered to the productions.  It is highly competitive between states, she said, and the funding for the office is set to expire if it is not renewed. Image

Code Talkers Program Topic

Posted by Doris Wedge
ImageThe Choctaw "code talkers" of World War I and the Comanche of World War II were the topic of Oklahoma History Center director Michael Dean at Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  Dean has done extensive research on the code talkers and shared facts and misconceptions about the contributions these Oklahoma servicemen made to the US success in World Wars I and II.  While the use of the Choctaw during World War I was a solution devised on the battlefield, Comanche solders were actively recruited for communications during World War II.   Dean's research showed that during WWII there were 19 tribes represented among servicemen and women.
Code Talkers Program Topic Doris Wedge 0

"Friends for Folks" Program Topic

Posted by Doris Wedge

ImageDr. John Otto, who established the dog training program at the Lexington Correctional Facility, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  He shared the impact that the program has had on inmates and the animals. The program is being replicated at the Mabel Bassett Center for women in Oklahoma City, and is the subject of a documentary which may air at the Sundance Film Festival.

Dr. Otto is owner of University Animal Hospital and has received the humanitarian of the Year award given by Second Chance as well as other awards for his volunteer work.

"Friends for Folks" Program Topic Doris Wedge 0

Polio Threat

Posted by Lucinda Francis

Polio threat brings united effort


GENEVA — Some 21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that Pakistan is a key part of the problem, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

    The joint resolution by nations who are part of the U.N. health agency’s Eastern Mediterranean region have called on Pakistan to urgently vaccinate all of its children to prevent the virus from spreading internationally.

    Pakistan also approved the resolution, which the Geneva-based agency says includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

    The problem is particularly challenging in Pakistan, where a U.N.-backed eradication campaign has suffered from violence and mistrust directed against polio workers and people who want their children vaccinated.

    Earlier this week, WHO officials said the polio virus has now been confirmed in 13 of 22 children who became paralyzed in a northern Syrian province. The health agency said the Syria outbreak comes from a strain that originated in Pakistan, where, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, it is endemic — and has been spreading across the Middle East.

    It said the virus has been detected in Egypt, and closely related strains of Pakistani origin turned up in sewage samples in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but higher immunization rates in those places have helped keep the virus in check.

    A third of the nations in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region are conducting mass polio vaccination programs, the agency said, and more such campaigns are planned for December.

    The nations in those regions also said they are trying to improve access for health workers to reach children who have not yet been vaccinated.

    WHO said its emergency “outbreak response” to polio in Syria and the region is expected to continue at least six to eight months more.

    The Oklahoman, Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Polio Threat Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Russ Davoren, former Rotary District 5770 Governor and former Sooner Rotarian, was the guest speaker Tuesday, telling of the visit of the GSE team to  the Emilia Romagna and Tuscany regions of Italy in May and June.

    With Davoren was team member Owen Kulemeka, OU faculty member, who talked of his experiences and that of the other members who represented Oklahoma colleges. Other team members were Kurt Edwards, East Central University, and Corinne Hunter, Murray State College.  The group visited higher education institutions and businesses to learn more about how their field is studied and experienced in Italy.   



    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageNorman high school seniors who were 2013 RYLA camp participants addressed Sooner Rotary Tuesday after an introduction by RYLA Director Bob Usry. 

    Revealing their personal "take home pay" from the RYLA camp were Anna Lee Painter, Grace Rip;perger, Valerie Shaw, Ashley Burns, Cassie Duncan, Rachel Gedosh and Spencer Jones.  Former RYLA camper and 2013 RYLA Counselor and Connor Madole entertained with a skit.

    Bob and Ellen Usry had been directors of the RYLA camp for 20 years.  Bob showed appreciation for the work that Ellen Usry and Joan Barker contribute to the organization, preparation and operation of the annual camp.


    District Rotary Grants Awarded

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Sooner Rotary received and matched a Rotary district grant that will supply $4,000 worth of books for Red Oak Elementary School in Moore.  Red Oak will be sharing the books with Plaza Towers and Briarwood, the elementary schools destroyed in the May tornadoes.  Sooner Rotary will supply volunteer time to unpack and shelve books and to work with children becoming fluent readers.  Supporting literacy in our community is at theImage pinnacle of community service! Tanya and Lucinda receive the grant money from Terry Godfrey, District Governor. 

    District Rotary Grants Awarded Lucinda Francis 0

    Dinners for 8

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Dinners for 8 is sometimes Dinners for 6!  Dinners for Eight is really, really great...and you don't need a par-ti-ci-pate!  Look at those happy faces!Image

    Dinners for 8 Lucinda Francis 0
    Lunch Buddies at La Baguette - Yummy! Lucinda Francis 0

    Foundation Committee working hard!

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Foundation committee making decisions.  Co-chairs Tanya Stewart and Lewis Beckett work with members Lynne Miller and David Shirley.  What a team!

    Foundation Committee working hard! Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    District 5770 Foundation Chair Glenda Thomas, a Sooner Rotary member and former District Governor, spoke to Sooner Rotary Tuesday of the gratufication of giving to the Rotary Foundation and having an impact on lives around the world. She explained various levels of giving and announced that Sooner Rotary is now a 100 per cent Sustaining Member club. Sooner Rotary members have contributed more than $222,000 in its 25-year history. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Oklahoma musician Kyle Dillingham entertained at the Tuesday meeting of Norman Sooner Rotary.  Dillingham, an Enid native and now musical ambassador for Central State University, spoke of music as a universal language which has provided him the opportunities to perform in 38 countries.   He demonstrated his music, from fiddle to violin and from blue grass to classical.

    Sooner Rotary Annual Picnic

    Posted by Lucinda Francis
    The Sooner Rotary Annual Picnic is traditionally held at Bob and Ellen Usry's home.  This year was no exception.  This is a great fellowship activity and members get to know spouses, children and new members.  This year's picnic was catered with members bringing desserts.  The food was terrific! The set up crew did a great job!  (Thank you very much!)  The parking lot attendant was wonderful!  Bob and Ellen's hospitality was lovely! And of course, the fellowship was excellent!  Let's do it again next year!

    Sooner Rotary Annual Picnic Lucinda Francis 0
    Todd Gibson - SWAT Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    The Rev. LeoImage Patterson, former district governor of Rotary 6420 in Illinois, was a guest of Sooner Rotary Tuesday and presented a check for $1,500 to Amy Braun, assistant principal at Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School in Moore to assist with the needs of the schools destroyed in the tornado. Patterson and others from Dixon, IL, are in Oklahoma volunteering in the tornado clean-up, repair and construction.  



    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageImageDr. Samer Shehata addressed Sooner Rotary on "Egypt in Crisis" Tuesday morning.  Shehata is Associate Professor of Middle East Studies & Middle East Studies Program Coordinator in the OU Department of International and Area Studies and is a recognized authority on Egypt.

    Egypt has been under military rule for decades.  Shehata shared the history under Hosni Mubarak, his ouster, the election of his successor Mohamed Morsi, and then the return to military rule.

    Links to Dr. Shehata's books are:


    Dinner at the Museum Cafe and Wicked

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Fifteen people, Rotarians and guests, had a night out in the big city!  Dinner before the Broadway play, Wicked, was enjoyed at the Museum Cafe!  It was an exciting evening with great fellowship, excellent food, and a wonderful play!  We hope the Fellowship committee will stage another evening just like it!Image

    Dinner at the Museum Cafe and Wicked Lucinda Francis 0

    District Governor Terry Godfrey visits Sooner Rotary

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    District Governor Terry Godfrey shared information with the club this morning.  He shared a video encouraging Rotarians to come to Sydney, Australia for the 2014 Rotary International convention.  He also, shared important information regarding the Rotary Foundation and its important work in the world.  District Governor Godfrey encouraged each member to become a sustaining member by making a donation to the Foundation.  The club sang one of our favorite songs, "Home on the Range", and the District Governor howled along with the best of us!  Kevin Murphree offered a "Membership Minute".ImageImageImage

    District Governor Terry Godfrey visits Sooner Rotary Lucinda Francis 0

    Sooner Rotary Hosts District Governor Terry Godfrey

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    The board of directors hosted a dinner for District Governor Terry Godfrey at Interurban.  Strategic planning, five year goals and progress made this year were shared with DG Godfrey. Each committee chair shared information about the committee's goals and progress toward those goals. He discussed the Rotary Foundation's work and district support for the Foundation, the building of this year's Rose Bowl parade float, and the next international Rotary conference which is in Sydney, Australia.  He shared his goals for the year. Lucinda presented District Governor Godfrey with a gift from the board.


    Sooner Rotary Hosts District Governor Terry Godfrey Lucinda Francis 0

    Slice of Night - A Huge Success!

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Slice of Night is one of Sooner Rotary’s favorite activities.  The fundraiser is a night time golf tournament.  This year a twist was added and the tournament began in the daylight and ended in the dark.  The committee extraordinaire responsible for the event included chairs Christi Moore and Tonny Walden and members Liz Barfield, Susan Bash, Amy Bass, Marca Bozeman, Keith Busking, Linda Price, Rodney Young and Judy Simpkins.  The full membership of Sooner Rotary contributed in some manner with their participation as a sponsor, donor, volunteer, or a participant in the evening festivities.  Fellowship at the event included great music with guest appearances from local celebrities James Harp and John Sumida, excellent catered food and drink, and delightful opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow Rotarians and guests.  Bob Kueny’s team (pictured) took the trophy! We hope you will be watching for Slice of Night again next year!  Mark your calendars for early fall!

    Slice of Night - A Huge Success! Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageImageTwo Norman residents who have devoted their professional careers to arts education were speakers at the Sooner Rotary meeting Tuesday. Becky Clinton is long-time director of Artworks  summer art daycamp and is also administrator of the Children's Chorus of Norman. Her husband, John Clinton, is a longtime Norman Public Schools music educator who has worked on a state-wide level for the past 12 years on the staff of Central State University. 

    They talked about the impact of arts education on children and youth and the increased importance of support for arts education when many school districts, faced with budget restrictions, are choosing to cut the arts programs from their budgets.

    Artworks is the recipient of contributions by Sooner Rotarians who share their good news through the donation of "Happy Dollars" at each meeting. Those funds have been contributed to Artworks in memory of Sooner Rotarian Ken Bernier since his death in 2004.  The Artworks camp offers opportunities for children from 8 to 12 to experience art, music, acting and dance.

    LUNCH BUDDIES at JUAN del FUEGO'S Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageWhole Foods staffer Jennifer Lofland addressed Sooner Rotary Tuesday on Whole Foods approach to providing the freshest fish and seafoods available while supporting sustainability of the various species.

    Fish and seafood sold at Whole Foods is no more than 48 hours "out of the water," she said. The company has strict requirements for farm-grown fish, requiring that the fish have a vegetarian diet without hormones or other additives.

    As the Rotarians  gathered before the meeting they were entertained by musicians from the Norman North band which is raising money for a trip to Hawaii to participate in the Pearl Harbor parade.  


    Sooner Rotarian Dr. Joe Siano to chair United Way board!

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano has been selected to chair the United 
    Way of Norman’s Board of Directors for the coming year.
    A long-time volunteer and United Way Board member, Dr. Siano 
    said he was grateful for the Board’s faith and trust in him and 
    looked forward to serving the organization in the coming year.

    “The work of this organization and its partner agencies benefits the 
    same families who have children or grandchildren in the Norman 
    Public Schools,” Dr. Siano said. “The mission of the United Way is 
    the same mission of the school district and that is to serve families, 
    provide them opportunity and help ensure our community remains 
    strong and vibrant.”

    Kristin Collins, the executive director of the United Way of Norman said she has valued and 
    admired the many contributions that Dr. Siano has made to the organization during the past 14 
    years and was excited by the knowledge and passion he was bringing to the role of Chair.

    “Dr. Siano has provided years of thoughtful leadership at United Way of Norman as he has served 
    in a variety of important roles: Campaign Chair, Personnel Chair and now Board Chair,” she said. 
    “He has been a very active member of the United Way Board of Directors, and I am excited to 
    have the opportunity to work with him in this new role.”

    Sooner Rotarian Dr. Joe Siano to chair United Way board! Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageSooner Rotarians were treated to talks by directors of two of Norman's most successful social service agencies at Tuesdays meeting.  The Mary Abbott House and Center for Children and Families are vying for $100,000, proceeds  of the 2014-15 Le Tour de Vin events sponsored by the four Norman Rotary clubs.

    Clint Williams director of Mary Abbott House, spoke about the project to build out the upper level of their newest facility which will expand the ability to serve children who have experienced sexual abuse. The nationally accredited program provides forensic interviews and medical assessment of children, working closely with the Norman Police Department.

    Kate Fitzgerald spoke on behalf of CCFI on the needs of that agency to make improvements to the former Emmanual Baptist Chuch to fit the needs of CCFI. The agency provides therapeutic education  and recreational services for 2,000 children and their parents each year.  She indicated that the Rotary money would be used to develop an indoor therapeutic playground.

    Norman agencies were invited to submit proposals for capital projects for funding from Le Tour de Vin. Sooner Rotarians will add their vote with the other Norman Rotarians to select the designated recipient.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Dr. Brad Benson, director of Fine Arts for Norman Public Schools, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday talking about the outstanding fine arts education programs in Norman schools.  With activities and music appreciation beginning at the lowest grade levels, Norman students are able to learn and find expression in music, visual arts, theater, dance, orchestra, bands, drama, speech and more.  In a time when many school systems are dropping arts programs to meet budget restrictions, Norman students are fortunate to have the support of the public, the Board of Education and Imageadministration in supporting these programs. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    New banners were presented by members who attended the RI Convention in Lisbon, and by District Governor Elect Bob Dill who was recently a guest of RI President Ron and First Lady Jetta Burton at the RI headquarters in Evanston. Dill presented President Lucinda Francis with the Evanston banner. Sooner Rotarians (from right) Conni Eckstein, Glenda Thomas, Barbara Schindler and Linda Holt presented the banner with Burton's theme of "Engage Rotary Save Lives". Also representing Sooner Rotary at the RI Convention were David Shirley and Donna Davoren.  


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Sooner Rotarian Fred Benenati helped Sooner Rotarians develop an appreciation for the beauty and culture of New Zealand and Australia at the Tuesday morning meeting.  He shared slides from his three-week "dream of a lifetime".


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Kevin Murphree was recognized recently for his attaining the level of Paul Harris Fellow Plus Seven represented his on-going program of giving to the Rotary International Foundation.  Murphree, long-time member of tje Sooner Rotary Club, Murphree will serve as president in the 2014-15 club year. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Alan Monroe, with ShelterBox USA, spoke to Sooner Rotary Club about the good that ShelterBox is doing around the world.  Monroe is in the area to supervise the delivery of tents for residents of the Steelman Estates in Bethel Acres. Sooner Rotarians are helping with the erection of the tents.

    ShelterBox responds to disasters around the world with tents and other personal safety and survival tools.  Former Rotary District Governor David Shirley spearheaded the drive for the tents for the local need. Rotary Clubs around the world have been active in sponsoring ShelterBox deliveries in disaster areas for several years.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Don Hawkins, bereavement counselor for FEMA, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday. He spoke of his role in meeting with every family who has lost a loved one in the recent tornados.  A chaplain, Hawkins says "God has me on a mission".  Hawkins lives in Houston and is on call by FEMA when natural disasters occur around the country.


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Three Sooner Rotarians were honored with pins in recognition of their contributions to the Rotary International Foundation. Receiving recogition for $1,000 contributions beyond the initial $1,000 gifts were Conni Eckstein, Marles Bradley  and Fred Benenati.

    This is IT!!! The final shopping bag may be yours! Be the first to email and win yours today!



    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Neil Robinson and Tom Cooper were guests of Sooner Rotary project to bring the group up to date on the clean water project the club helped sponsor in Bolivia.  With a $25,000 grant from Rotary International a group including engineers affiliated with Engineers in Action,  OU engineering students and Rotarians traveled to Bolivia. There they installed an OU-designed water treatment process which includes building linestone channels for water running from abandoned silver mines in the Kumurana Valley high in the Andes. The limestone draws the toxins out of the water. Sooner Rotary was one of nine Rotary clubs from District 5770, the southwest quadrant of Oklahoma, plus one club from the Houston area that sponsored the project.


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Jaci Williams, founder and chair of the local Citizens Advisory Board, spoke to Sooner Rotary Tuesday telling of the work of assisting children in foster care in Cleveland County. The Citizens Advisory Board sponsors the Secret Santa program for children in foster care at Christmas time, but that is just one of the projects which includes administrating donated funds to provide other services.  Williams told of financial help to reunite siblings torn apart through being a part of the foster care system, of helping new foster parents provide beds and clothing for children, and other services which assist children in the foster care system.

    Williams was introduced by  Autumn McMahon, a member of the Cleveland County Citizens Advisory Board.

    Sooner Rotary each year sponsors a Christmas party for nearly 100 children at which each child receives a gift from Santa chosen from the child's own wish list by a Sooner Rotary member.



    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Morgane Collienne, Rotary Exchange student from Belgium, was the guest speaker at Sooner Rotary, telling the club about her homeland. She is concluding the school year in Norman and will graduate from high school next week.  She will leave Norman to return to Belgium, having made friends at high school and in the Sooner Rotary Club.

    Her host familiies have been Sooner Rotarians J. T. Johnson and his family and Jennifer Newell and her family, as well as CrossTimbers Rotarian Joe Gil and his wife, Margaret.



    Battle of the Burger Coming Soon!

    Posted by Conni Eckstein

    We are gearing up to sweep the Burger Battle this year and we need your help!

    The Battle takes place at David Stanley Chevrolet in Norman, on Saturday, June 1st.

    We have the booth and the grill (thanks, Sam Ott).

    We need ideas for condiments, breads, sauces and spices! Winner in our category is awarded $1000!!

    We need booth decorators to give us a chance for $100 additional to benefit Polio Plus.

    We'll be meeting at Liz Barfield's on May 19th to determine our burger contender. Please support us!

    Sooner Rotary has never participated in this Battle and it looks to be a great time, a chance to raise money for the OK Kids' Korral and support Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus.

    Contact Conni Eckstein for more information and to volunteer.

    Battle of the Burger Coming Soon! Conni Eckstein 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    ImageSooner Rotarians took their Tuesday morning meeting to Moore Norman Technology Center for a tour of the new Information Technology facility. Chris Kalinsky, assistant director of business and information technology, was host addressed the group on the school's programs including information technology, video production, pre-engineering and more.  He led a tour of the facility which is in its first year of use.


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Two Sooner Rotary members have received recognition of their contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Glenda Thomas, former District 5770 Governor, received a pin with four stones representing $5,000 in contributions to the Foundation.  Linda Holt, Sooner Rotary Secretary, received a pin with two stones representing $3,000 in contributions. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageAmy Williams, who is affiliated with Bushenyi Alliance for Rural Health and Development (BARHD), spoke to Sooner Rotary Tuesday about the needs for basic health care and health and nutrition education in the rural areas of Uganda.

    Williams and her husband, dentist Dr. Ron Williams, travel to Uganda on behalf of BARHD each summer to assess the operation of health clinics that BARHD sponsors, and to conduct dental clinics.  They also distribute malaria nets  which help reduce the cases of malaria which are rampant in the rural areas. 

    The need for clean water and helping provide for the drilling of water wells is also a focus of BARHD efforts, Williams told the group.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Rep. James Lankford shared insight into his work in Washington when he addressed the Sooner Rotary Club Tuesday. The gridlock in Washington reflects the variety of opinions in the nation, the Fifth District Representative said.  He spoke about the immigration issue and entitlement costs as the two major issues being faced. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Ellen Usry has been named the Nancy Chess Award Winner by the Sooner Rotary Club.  Usry, an employee of the City of Norman, was recognized for her service to the club and in the community.  She annually coordinates the club's participation in the Secret Santa program and is active in the county-wide program serving children in foster care.  She is a Paul Harris Fellow and Sustaining member.

    The award is named for Nancy Chess, a former member of the club who worked tirelessly in the club and in the community.



    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Due to inclement weather,many closings in the area, and a desire to keep Sooner Rotary members safe, there will be NO vocational tour in the morning, February 26th.  There will be NO Rotary meeting in the morning.  Vocational tour will be rescheduled.

    Stay safe and warm.  See you next week!

    NO ROTARY MEETING TODAY! Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge


    The president of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, Trey Bates, was the guest speaker for Sooner Rotary Tuesday.  Bates presented  information about the growth of sales tax collections in Norman in the past 10 years and compared it with the growth experienced by Norman's main competitors, Moore, Oklahoma City and Edmond, with Moore outpacing the other three communities in expanding their sales tax base.

    Norman needs to focus on how to be perceived as a good place to do business in order to bring businesses and customers to Norman, Bates said.

    TREY BATES SPEAKER Doris Wedge 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    OU student Ben Laptad was a guest of Sooner Rotary and talked about the OU Big Event on April 13. During the annual Big Event, several thousand OU students, facult and staff volunteer their services to do projects for non-profits, community organizations and low-income individuals.  Persons wanting to ask for help with service projects can contact the Big Event through
    OU BIG EVENT Doris Wedge 0

    S-CAP Program Detailed

    Posted by Doris Wedge


    Lisa Lewis told Sooner Rotary Club of her life before a friend introduced her to cocaine and of her subsequent fall in which she lost everything.  She views being jailed in Cleveland County as a positive thing as it is through the S-CAP program that she is rebuilding her life.

    S-CAP (Second Chance Access Pilot Navigation program) is a program operated by the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office which provides support services for women leaving incarceration.  Program Director Rock Richardson told the group that the program has dropped the recidivism level for females from 70 per cent to 10 per cent.  Eighty-five per cent of females who are incarcerated are mothers, Richardson said, and being incarcerated affects the entire family, and usually means the children go into foster care, an additional cost to the taxpayers.

    S-CAP provides 24/7 support navigating, advocating and educating which stops the negative emotional, financial and social impact on their children, the community and themselves.

    S-CAP Program Detailed Doris Wedge 0

    Congratulations Readership Winners!

    Posted by Conni Eckstein

    It didn't take long for my email and phone to start buzzing with winners for the January readership award.

    Congratulations to:

    Linda Holt

    Judy Simpkins

    Bill Osborne

    They've won a shopping bag.

    You can win too. The next giveaway is in February. Will it be YOU???

    Congratulations Readership Winners! Conni Eckstein 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Sooner Rotarians got to know new members better when they responded to questions during the Tuesday morning meeting.  Andy Paden asked questions of Liz Barfield, Trudy Middleton, Joan Abbott, Andrew Marsh, Pete Dowling, Jane Purcell, Andrew Seamans, Shayne Lester, Jim Griffith and Bob Thompson. Brandon Hopper and Zack Miller, also a new members during 2012, were absent.

    They responded to questions about their favorite Starbuck's drink, as a child what they wanted to do when they grew up, and their long-term wish for Rotary. Today is a winner.

    Members recognized for bringing new members into the club were Lucinda Francis, Bob Dill, Doris Wedge, Luke Milholland, Charlotte Jones, Judy Simpkins, Don Sherman, Eric Fleske and Donna Davoren.



    Shopping Bag Readership Contest Changes

    Posted by Conni Eckstein

    An email was sent to the club about changes to the contest. 

    There are three shopping bags to give away in January. Look for the words "Today is a winner." and contact Conni Eckstein to win. (Details in the email; it's a readership award)

    Have FUN!

    Shopping Bag Readership Contest Changes Conni Eckstein 0

    Spotlight on Melva Noakes

    Posted by Lucinda Francis
    Melva Noakes is Executive Director at the new Brookhaven Mansions which provides independent living services for senior citizens.  Her spouse is Warren Noakes and her children are Shamra and Brett.  The family has a cat, Ms. Daisy and a dog, Gracey.

    Melva describes herself with the words independent, caring, and hard working.  She is a team player, honest, and trustworthy. She enjoys Bunko, reading, and scrapbooking.  When she has time to watch television, she enjoys Good Wife, The Mentalist, and Blue Bloods.  Three things that Melva does well are talk, work with children and seniors, and create.
    A favorite quote of Melva's is "Greater he that is in me than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4
    We're happy Melva is a Sooner Rotarian!Image
    Spotlight on Melva Noakes Lucinda Francis 0

    Meetings Resume

    Posted by Doris Wedge

    Sooner Rotary resumed its Tuesday meetings after the holiday break with a lesson on personal finances by financial advisor Shayne Lester. 

    A Certified Financial Planner with United Planners Financial Services, Lester shared information on the changes in tax rates, capital gains taxes and other matters affecting personal and business finances in 2013.     


    Meetings Resume Doris Wedge 0

    Secret Santa 2013

    Posted by C.E. Jones Jr.

    Last Friday evening, Ellen and Bob Usry once again led us in providing gifts for those kids who may have gone without any. Rodney Young won!

    Over the years, I have taken the Secret Santa photos using an instant camera. Each year, I order enough film to cover the event.

    I was just looking at the history of film purchases over the past 4 years. Linda Price won! This is a good indication of how many kids we have helped:

    2008, I took 35 photos, 2009- 40 photos, 2010- 55 photos, 2011-80 photos and 2012-100 photos.

    Here are a few of the photos I took:



    Secret Santa 2013 C.E. Jones Jr. 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

         Sooner Rotarian Marles Stapleton, a deaf educator at Moore Norman Technology Center, presented the program Tuesday on deafness and hearing loss and challenged the members with facts and fallacies on hearing disabilities.

         Stapleton introduced four of her students and, with the assistance of interpretor Suzanne Graham, the students talked about their personal hearing loss and the use of hearing aids.  The students are nearing the end of their training and told of the type of jobs they are seeking.

          The program held particular relevance to the Sooner Rotary Club which recently donated hearing aids to individuals in Colima. 




    Posted by Doris Wedge
    26 Sooner Rotarians and friends attended the Saturday night performance of "White Christmas" at Sooner Theater and saw fellow member Marles Stapleton in her role on stage.  The group followed up the show by walking down the street to Abner's for fellowship.  Talk is already stirring about going to see "Hello Dolly" in April. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge

         Christy Imig, coordinator of the Early Birds program for Norman Public Schools, addressed Sooner Rotary Club Tuesday morning.  Sooner Rotary recently presented a check for $6,600 to Norman Public Schools to sponsor the Early Birds program at Kennedy and Wilson elementary schools. The gift was a part of the club's celebration of its 25th anniversary.

         The Early Birds program is family-based school readiness program for parents of pre-schoolers to help insure that the children will enter school "safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed," Imig said.


    Best Find of the Day - Sooner Trash Pick Up Lucinda Francis 0

    Trash Pick Up with Sooner Rotary

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    What a beautiful day in the Neighborhood!  It was a great day to work together.

    (At least one person thought we were working a toxic waste site!)Image

    Trash Pick Up with Sooner Rotary Lucinda Francis 0
    Jen's Heart Lucinda Francis 0

    Festival 25

    Posted by Lucinda Francis

    Festival 25 was a wonderful event!  Our thanks to Judy Simpkins for her leadership, Andy Paden for his creative ideas, and the committee for their hard work and creative ideas.  We had a wonderful time celebrating Sooner Rotary's 25 years with host Chris Tyler and special guest Ron Burton. Denise Kueny, with the help of Red Dirt Improv, enlightened us on exactly how to catch a kangaroo.  We learned the Top Ten Reasons to be a Rotarian.  And....we knew Jen has a big heart....but how many of you knew she has a PURPLE HEART, too?  It was a special moment in our history that we took the time to celebrate and we look forward to the next 25 years!  Here's to you, Sooner Rotary!Image

    Festival 25 Lucinda Francis 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

         During the 25th anniversary celebration of the chartering of Norman Sooner Rotary Club, it was announced that the club's contributions to the community have reached $542,000.  Club treasurer Bill Osborn also announced that member contributions to Rotary International exceed $220,000 in the past 25 years. KIRBY OWENS WON!

         One of the major fund-raisers that Sooner Rotary conducts is working with the other two Rotary Clubs in Norman to host Le Tour de Vin.  In addition to the $15,000 already contributed to Food and Shelter for Friends, JT Johnson announced that the club's share of the proceeds of the event are an additional $25,000 which will be used by the club for other community projects. 




    Posted by Doris Wedge


     Sooner Rotarians lifted a cupcake toast to the 25th anniversary of the club at the Tuesday morning meeting.  President James Harp led the group in the celebration which included comments from nine of the charter members who are still active in the club.  They are Keith Busking, Greg Buwick, Pete Dowling, Phil Linneman, Doug Lyle, Lynne Miller, Kevin Murphree, Grover Ozmun and Bob Usry.


          As a part of the 25th anniversary celebration, special gifts were made to the Norman community. Jud Foster of the City of Norman Parks and Recreation department was given a check for $5,000 for the purchase of ten trees for Andrews and Rotary parks to help replace those lost to a tornado last spring.


    Christy Imeg and Supt. Joe Siano of Norman Public Schools accepted a check for $6,600 for the Early Birds programs at Kennedy and Adams elementary schools.




    Posted by Doris Wedge
    President James Harp administered the oath of membership to two new members, Dr. Jim Griffith and Andrew Seamans.  Griffith operates a dental practice  and Seamans is an architect with D5 Architects. They bring the membership of Sooner Rotary to 108. 




    Posted by Doris Wedge



              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



    The Secret Santa Story

    Posted by C.E. Jones Jr.

    It's that time of the year again. SECRET SANTA.

    You will see to the left under Events that this year's Secret Santa Event is scheduled for December 7th at Cross Pointe Church. The event starts at 6:00 pm

    I e-mailed everyone a pdf file with the Secret Santa Story.

    You can also click on this link to view the story. 

    Secret Santa Story

    The Secret Santa Story C.E. Jones Jr. 0
    David Shirley receives 7th Paul Harris pin from Governor-elect Bob Dill Lucinda Francis 0

    Dean Rich Taylor Visits

    Posted by Doris Wedge

    ImageRich Taylor, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, gave Sooner Rotarians some pointers for personal and professional success when he addressed the group Tuesday morning. Kirby Owens won!

    His five-point philosophy, which he shares with OU students preparing for their careers, were 1) to have vision, 2) to see reality, 3) to be ethical, 4) to have courage, and 5) to have balance between faith, family and job.   "And,"  he added, "always have a Plan B". 

    The OU graduate was an executive in entertainment for the Disney Corporation for 27 years.  

    Dean Rich Taylor Visits Doris Wedge 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge

         Phil Moss, governor of Rotary District 5770, was a guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday morning.  He spoke about change, including the changes in line for the Rotary International Group Study Exchange (GSE) program. Kirby Owens won. District 5770 will welcome a visiting GSE delegation from Italy next spring, and will sponsor a GSE team to visit Italy in May.

         Moss is a member of the Norman Rotary Club, and has visited nearly all of the 34 Rotary clubs in the district since he was installed in early summer.  He praised Sooner Rotary for its diversity, and for is service to the community.


    Sooner Rotary also welcomed Melva Noakes and Brian Werkman to the club; they were presented with their red badges. Now get to work, you two and earn your blue badge like Brandon Hopper did. Congratulations to all!






    Posted by Doris Wedge

         The guest speaker at Sooner Rotary Tuesday was former member Michael Ridgeway, who, with his wife Judy, moved to Dubai 16 months ago.

         Michael formerly was attorney for the Oklahoma Insurance Commission and accepted a position with the Dubai Financial Services Authority in June 2011.  Polly Christian won. He shared information about the geography, the city with 23 of the world's tallest buildings, cost of living, and more.

         He modeled the scarf that the men wear, and which he sometimes wears when in Dubai, but told the group that he works in the English speaking, suit-and-tie wearing world of the Dubai International Financial Center which includes offices of all of the major banks and law firms of the world.

        Judy Ridgeway retired as an attorney in Norman and teaches English to Arabic speaking children in a public school.


    VISITOR FROM DUBAI Doris Wedge 0

    New Club Banner Selected

    Posted by C.E. Jones Jr.
    This morning during Rotary, there were 4 final club banners for us to choose from.
    Here is the winning Banner. Polly Christian won. This banner will replace our previous banner. Thanks everyone on the Banner committee for all your work.
    New Club Banner Selected C.E. Jones Jr. 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge
       Sooner Rotarians were guests of Embassy Suites for the regular meeting on Tuesday morning. President James Harp led the meeting which included songs, introductions of guests, and "happy dollars" to announce personal and business events. Members then toured the four-year-old conference center which is an Oklahoma showplace. 


    Posted by Doris Wedge
         David Whitaker, president and CEO of Norman Regional Health System, addressed Sooner Rotarians Tuesday. Whitaker spoke about the relationship between the hospital and the City of Norman, and shared statistics on the growth of services and people served since 2000. 
         The hospital served 18,000 patients in the past year, plus more than 400,000 received out-patient services.  The facility is licensed for 445 beds. 
         The hospital and the specialties that the medical community offers draws patients over south central Oklahoma and even gets patients from northern Texas.


    Lunch Buddies at Los Vaqueros Mexican Restaurant

    Posted by C.E. Jones Jr.
    Today 17 members of the Sooner Rotary club met at Los Vaqueros Mexican Restaurant to visit and enjoy a new restaurant. Bobby Hare says they just moved to Norman from Moore.

    Great food and great prices.

    Lunch Buddies at Los Vaqueros Mexican Restaurant C.E. Jones Jr. 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Sooner Rotary Membership Chair Lucinda Francis and District Governor Elect Bob Dill kicked off the club's challenge to grow new membership through the RI "Ignite Membership" program.
         The membership is divided into teams with the challenge of identifying prospective members.  The point-system was explained, and Sooner Rotary is now engaged in the quest for Premier Club designation.  Go Sooner Rotary!!



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Kari Watkins, director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, spoke about the similarities of the Oklahoma City memorial and the memorial and museum being constructed in New York City.
         Curators from Oklahoma City went to New York to help salvage pieces from the debris which would help tell the story of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Watkins said. Christi Moore won. She spoke of the spirit of working together that helped formulate the world class museum and memorial in Oklahoma City and of the role Oklahomans have played in the development of the New York City projects.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Sally Shauberger,  a member of Sooner Rotary for three years, and Sooner Rotary president James Harp have been named Paul Harris Fellows. 
         Former District 5770 Governor David Shirley recognized the members for their contribution of at least $1,000 to Rotary International Foundation which funds service programs throughout the world.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Steve Mullins, Norman resident and general counsel to Gov. Mary Fallin, was the guest speaker at Norman Sooner Rotary.  He joined Fallin's staff in February after 20 years experience as a federal prosecutor.  
         Mullins spoke of his experiences as a prosecutor, and of representing the United States in Afghanistan training judges in their legal system. 



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Jane Purcell, social studies coordinator for Norman Public Schools, was welcomed into membership in Sooner Rotary Tuesday morning.      
         President James Harp administered the oath of membership to Purcell  who is sponsored by Lucinda Francis.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Twenty Sooner Rotarians gathered for a Lunch Buddies get-together at Catering Creations.  Located at 3750 W. Main Suite C, Catering Creations has been in business for about a year, offering a lunch menu (including delivery) and catering for special events.  They recently added an adjacent event room, and that is where the Sooner Rotarians gathered for chat and to experience Catering Creations.
         Lunch Buddies is a randomly schedule event, more or less monthly, and Fellowship Chairperson Bobby Hare has announced plans to feature locally-owned eateries. 



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         President James Harp administered the oath of membership to Bob Thompson and Shane Lester at the Tuesday morning meeting.
         Thompson is owner of Midway Grocery and was sponsored for membership by Bob Dill.  Lester is a certified financial planner with United Planners and was sponsored for membership by Eric Fleske.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
         Two members of Norman Sooner Rotary received certificates in appreciation of their contributions to the successful remodel of the kitchen at Food and Shelter for Friends. 
          FSF Director April Dosher honored Bob Usry for the work done by Usry Plumbing, and Denise Kueny for the work done by Mr. Electric as key components of the remodel project to better prepare and serve meals for the homeless.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
       Officer Stacey Clement, recruiter for the Norman Police Department, was the guest speaker at the breakfast meeting of Sooner Rotary Tuesda,  speaking about the work of an officer and about the types of individuals they are seeking for new police positions.
       The Norman Police Department recently received applications from 131 individuals hoping to participate in the Academy to begin in January. It is the 50th Academy to be conducted by the Norman Police Department.
        Through the application review and written and  physical tests, the group has been narrowed to 75 applicants.  Extensive background checks will be conducted and some will be selected for an interviews with a panel of senior officers. Only 10 to 12 of those individuals will  be accepted into the Academy, she said.    


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Sooner Rotary celebrated the 19th annual RYLA camp by hearing from four of the 47 campers as well as the camp directors Bob and Ellen Usry, and camp counselor Jen Tregarthen. Norman high school RYLA campers sponsred  by Sooner Rotary are Nico Faz, Maddie Graham, Derrick Hopkins, Ryan Johnson, Sydney Paden, Frieda Rule and Jackson Storm. 

    Speaking at the meeting were Sydney Paden, Jackson Storm, Derick Hopkins and Ryan Johnson. Each spoke about the "take home pay" from the camp,  including developing new leadership skills and self-awareness.  "Never judge a book by its cover" was a  lesson Hopkins learned in the camp that he called "amazing".  Johnson spoke of getting to know youth from much different background than his own and said "I am very blessed with life." 

    The Usrys established Rotary District 5770  RYLA camp 19 years ago and have volunteered their leadership in organizing and conducting the camp every year.  Their five-day camp is regarded as one of the most successful RYLA camp programs in the nation. The students are sponsored by Rotary Clubs throughout southwest Oklahoma.  




    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Rep Tom Cole was the guest speaker Tuesday morning and spoke of the accomplishments at the national level.  "A lot has happened," he said and the big question at hand is how we are going to go forward.  He called the election "another step in the 235-year journey of this nation" and said that  no matter the outcome, "we can look expect it to be without turmoil or threats" like that experienced in other nations.

    REP TOM COLE SPEAKER Doris Wedge 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Jenny Hunter was administered the membership oath Tuesday morning by President James Harp.  Jenny is a Purcell resident and an officer of the First American Bank in Norman.  We welcome her into membership.



    Posted by Doris Wedge
       A check for $45,000 was presented to April Dosier, director of Food and Shelter for Friends, when Sooner Rotary met Tuesday morning. The check represents the proceeds from the annual Le Tour de Vin as pledged by the three Rotary Clubs in Norman.  Sooner Rotarian J. T. Johnson presented the check. 
       Food and Shelter for Friends was designated as the recipient of the proceeds from the 2012 and 2013 Le Tour de Vin events to assist in the construction of emergency housing for homeless families.  



    Posted by Doris Wedge
       A speaker for Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans (OATH) shared statistics and accounts of the problems of human trafficking in Oklahoma and beyond.  Suzi Hanson related that the Oklahoma City area, major vehicle tributaries,  is one of the most active areas in the nation in human trafficking, including the sex trade.  
        Key targets for trafficking are girls and women in the following categories: 1) low income/poverty/low education, 2) runaways/throwaways, 3) alcohol and drug environments, 4) relationship traffic, 5) undocumented families, and 6) troubled teens.
       OATH is a non-profit NGO dedicated to increasing awareness of human trafficking, to identify victims, and work collaboratively with partners to provide services to identified victims in Oklahoma. 



    Posted by Doris Wedge
    A dozen Sooner Rotarians were at the Veterans Center tonight to help about 40 veterans enjoy an evening of Bingo.  Vying for the token prizes (quarters), the men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces enjoyed the play, the food and the rousing song-fest that ended the evening.
    Sooner Rotary sponsors the service project. So watch for an announcement of next month's Bingo Night led by Kris Partin. 

    VETS SHOUT "BINGO" Doris Wedge 0

    "Crazy For You" Rocks Sooner Rotary

    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Sooner Rotarians were entertained by 30 of the community's most talented young people when the cast of "Crazy For You" entertained at the Tuesday morning meeting.

    The show features the music of George and Ira Gershwin, and Sooner Rotarian responded with applause as the teen-aged cast sang three of the show-stopper tunes.

    Tickets for the show August 2-5 are available for $10. For more information, go to

    "Crazy For You" Rocks Sooner Rotary Doris Wedge 0


    Posted by Doris Wedge
    Norman anesthesiologist Dr. Andy Greenhaw was the guest speaker at the Tuesday meeting of Sooner Rotary. He talked about the training he received preparing for his career and for the role that the anestiologist plays in patient care.  Dr. Greenhaw also talked about types of anesthetics used in surgeries and about the patient's rights in working with the anesthesiologist on the type of pain management agent to be used.