While most nonprofit organizations incorporate some aspect of service-oriented work, the Rotary Foundation—which has chapters in both Tomball and Magnolia—is dedicated to serving the community in whatever way possible.
"The general purpose of the rotary club can be seen in its tagline: 'Service above self," said Deborah Rose Miller, who served as president of the Magnolia Rotary Club from July 2012 to July 2013. "We find business people who are interested and focused on being involved and giving back to their communities."
The ways that rotary clubs get involved in their communities vary from city to city. Magnolia sponsors two interact clubs—leadership programs—at Magnolia High School and Magnolia West High School. It also organizes the annual Magnolia Bowl, where the two high school football teams play each other. This year's bowl will take place Oct. 11 and feature a tailgating element as well.
The Tomball Rotary Club has committees related to community service, international service and vocational service. In the past year, the Tomball club raised $6,100 for various organizations, including the Tomball Pregnancy Center, TEAM and TOMAGWA, all of which received $1,000 donations. It also raised $16,000 in scholarships for local students.
"Our big project this year was restoring the playground at Jerry Matheson Park," said Frank Willingham, who was president of the Tomball club from July 2012 to July 2013. "We take on a variety of projects. Everyone involved joins with the goal of bettering the community."
The Tomball and Magnolia clubs' main interactions with the community are through weekly meetings where speakers talk about things going on in the area, covering a variety of subjects. Meetings also sometimes involve discussion of Rotary news at the national level.
"Every week we have a different program, and the programs can range anywhere from Rotary specific topics to just community information," Miller said. "We have outside speakers for the most part, but our members speak about every quarter as well."
Meeting dates and information
Tomball Rotary Club
- Founded in 1945
- Meets every Wednesday at noon
- President: Craig Bogner
- Meets at the Tomball Community Center, 221 Market St.,Tomball
Magnolia Rotary Club
- Founded in 2002
- Meets every Tuesday at noon
- President: Stephanie Saker
- Meets at the Celeste Graves Education Support Center, 31141 Nichols Sawmill Road, Magnolia (during the school year) and at the Montgomery County Community Development Center, 31355 Friendship Drive, Magnolia (during the summer)