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Welcome to Cross Timbers Rotary Club!

Cross Timbers

Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 8:00 AM
Bridlewood Golf Club
4000 W. Windsor Dr.
Flower Mound, TX  75028
United States
Our District
Venue Map

Welcome to Cross Timbers Rotary Club!

Cross Timbers

Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 8:00 AM
Bridlewood Golf Club
4000 W. Windsor Dr.
Flower Mound, TX  75028
United States
Our District
Venue Map
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Past President
Leadership Council Chair
Legal Counsel
Club Administration Chair
Community Service Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
International Service Chair
Membership Chair
Public Relations Chair
Youth Service Chair
March 2018
Welcome to the Rotary Club of Cross Timbers
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group who share your drive to give back. If this sounds like the place for you, please contact us!
Club Stories
May 2015, a half-dozen civic leaders met in Flower Mound, Texas, a short drive (or long kickoff) from Dallas. Five were already Rotarians, but while they enjoyed their weekly meetings, they were itching to try some ideas of their own. “Meeting time, for one thing,” recalls Andy Eads, a Denton County commissioner whose energy level could power several suburbs. “Thursday at lunch wasn’t working for us.” 
The six founders wanted to get a jump on the workday, not stop in the middle for a lunch meeting. They discussed founding a club that would meet at 7 a.m. or even 6:30, but bank President Julie Meyer and a couple of other parents in the group said no. “We have to get breakfast on the table and kids off to school before we start serving humanity.” In the end, they settled on 8 a.m. Fridays – a breakfast meeting to start the day.
Next question: Who else should be in the club?

“Let’s all pull out our phones,” Eads told them. “Scroll down your contacts. We’re looking for people who would enjoy Rotary. People who’ve got the three T’s: talent, time, and treasure.”

Next, they invited more than a dozen candidates to several more planning sessions. “We used a flip chart to brainstorm how our club should operate,” remembers club President Lori Fickling. “What should our focus be? Who could help us? Sort of like crowdsourcing – that group input really helped us be intentional in building a new club.” 

Finally, the founders drew up a list of potential members and discussed every name. They drew up a second list as well, a roster of former Rotarians who lived nearby and might have the three T’s. “Then we fanned out to make ‘the ask.’” 

They knew that organizing a new Rotary club requires at least 20 members, but the Denton half-dozen had bigger ambitions. “We really wanted to charter with 50,” says Eads. In August 2015, they chartered with 62. They’ve grown every month since then.     

The result is the hard-charging Rotary Club of Cross Timbers, Texas, named for a wide swath of woodland that runs south from Kansas and Oklahoma. During pioneer days, this terrain was practically impassible; Washington Irving described wagon trains moving through as if they were “struggling through forests of cast iron.” 

Today the Cross Timbers Rotarians motor through a handsome suburb to Friday morning meetings at Bridlewood Golf Club, where they marvel at the progress of one of the fastest-growing clubs in recent Rotary history. And they still like eating breakfast together. 

There are many reasons for Cross Timbers’ growth, from the club’s prosperous environs to its founders’ Texas-size ambitions, but two factors stand out: energy and innovation.  

From the start, the founders settled on a step-by-step plan to realize their ambitions. Rather than name the club for any particular town, they chose the more general name in hopes of representing more of the 1,000-square-mile Denton County, with its population of nearly 700,000. They chose Bridlewood for its well-appointed clubhouse, with conference rooms that can accommodate a crowd. 

They emphasized making Rotary more central to members’ lives than a mere networking opportunity. 

According to Eads, “People tend to compartmentalize. They see Rotary as part of the workweek, and I think that holds a lot of clubs back. Members think, ‘I’ve got Rotary today,’ like it’s a business meeting. We wanted our club to be much more than one of our business duties. We saw it as a big part of our lives, almost a family thing.”    

One result is a club almost evenly split between women and men. Four of the core six were female. Two – Andy and Ginger Eads – were married to each other. Other charter members joined with their spouses. 

Most important of all, perhaps, the founders were determined to make their club as positive as could be. Their unofficial theme was No drama, meaning no sniping at fellow Rotarians for anything short of major felonies. 

“We don’t shame or tease people for missing meetings,” Andy Eads says. “We stress perfect engagement over perfect attendance.” 

Eads sees mandatory weekly meetings as a drawback when it comes to recruiting new members. How many modern businesspeople can spare an hour a week? The Cross Timbers approach de-emphasizes attendance in favor of a more free-form involvement. 

When members gather for a camping trip, golf outing, cookout, Gulf of Mexico cruise, or just about anything short of a chance meeting at the supermarket, somebody asks, “Does this count as a makeup?” The answer is always yes. 

Still, they preserve the core ideal of Service Above Self. They haven’t gone “rogue,” says Fickling. “We wanted to innovate, but we’re all about Rotary tradition, too.” 

Each Cross Timbers member posts on the club’s Facebook page.  

“We’ve got 100 percent participation online,” says Fickling. You would be hard-pressed to find a highlight that isn’t recorded on the club’s Facebook page. 

A wine lovers group run by bubbly Tracee Elrod is typical. Each month, when 25 to 30 Rotarians and spouses gather at a host’s home for sips and appetizers – lamb stew to go with a New Zealand wine, or tapas to complement a Spanish Rioja – someone posts a photo or video on the Cross Timbers Facebook page. When the Fantasy Football group gathers, trash talk ensues on- and off-line. When the club’s Rotary Readers or Rotary Chefs groups get together to discuss a new novel or sizzle up some barbecue, they smile for selfies that pop up a minute later on social media. Ditto for another half-dozen groups, each with its own logo and fired-up members. 

“In an average week, we reach about 500 people through shared posts on our page,” says Teresa Grawe, a charter member who wrangles the club’s social media presence. “When we post videos or special events, we reach thousands more.” 

Cross Timbers members also reach others the old-fashioned way, one good deed at a time. 

Fickling’s husband, Mike, a retired firefighter and paramedic, brought his own sort of engagement when he joined the club.  He told other members about answering 911 calls. 

“One day we saved a little girl who got her foot trapped in a storm drain. The rain was pouring down and she was scared, but we got her loose by cutting off her shoe. Pop – her foot was free. And her mother stared crying, speaking Spanish. We thought she was happy, but no. She was crying because those were the only shoes her daughter had.” 

The firefighters bought the girl another pair, and after Mike Fickling joined the Cross Timbers club he helped organize a group called the Rotary Responders. 

“Anyone who needs help can call us,” he says. 

The hotline is Mike’s cellphone number. Not long ago he heard about a single mother who lost her home and possessions in a fire. The Rotary Responders, working with a local Wal-Mart, provided $500 in Wal-Mart gift cards for the woman and her family. 

In January, the Cross Timbers club gathered for one of its first meetings of 2017. By 7:45 a.m., dozens of smartly dressed Rotarians were chatting over coffee in a conference room with views of Bridlewood’s championship golf course. Soon the room was full. 

While the club stands by its no-drama motto, there was plenty of excitement. The bustle was wall-to-wall, with big hellos, hugs, and backslaps all around. President Fickling gave her blond tresses a quick pat-down and started for the podium. “Rock and roll,” she said. A second later she rang a bronze bell to start the meeting.  

Much of what happened in the next hour would be familiar to Rotarians from Keokuk to Calcutta. 

Using a wireless microphone to address the crowd, Fickling greeted guests and visiting members from other clubs. Then she introduced District Governor Mary Ann McDuff for a watershed moment: the induction of four new members, including the 100th Cross Timbers Rotarian. Eads brought golden balloons to mark the occasion, which was instantly recorded and posted on Facebook. 

Next, members tossed dollars into the club’s Happy Jar as they announced good news. Co-founder and incoming President Lori Walker – one of several consecutive female club presidents – took the mic to report an upcoming blood drive. 

“It’s going to be fun,” she said. Not the first word you might think of while donating blood, but social director Walker called it happy news. Each pint of blood would save three lives. 

Walker handed the mic to the next Happy Jar contributor, a man who had two announcements. 

“First,” he said, “I’m happy to tell you my daughter just got accepted by the University of Texas.” When the applause died down, he added that he was a graduate of Texas A&M, where the Aggies are sworn rivals of the University of Texas Longhorns. “And second, I’m starting a support group for Aggies whose children go to U.T.!”

With club business done, Fickling handed the mic to Ann Pape, a member of the Rotary Club of Lewisville, Texas, and CEO of Communities in Schools of North Texas, a nonprofit devoted to helping students finish high school rather than dropping out. In some cases, that might involve tutoring or transportation. In others, it might be simpler. 

“We’ve had kids who did everything they had to academically, but they couldn’t afford to go to commencement,” she said, “until we rented them a cap and gown.” 

Festivities closed with a recital of The Four-Way Test and a chorus of “See you next week!” Pape thanked Fickling with an embrace, adding a line that might make Paul Harris blush. 

“I am so glad to be here,” she said, “because I’m as religious about Rotary as I am about church.”

The founders expect the club to keep growing at a breakneck pace thanks to its blend of Rotary tradition and Cross Timbers innovation. 

“When you think about it,” Eads says, “the best and worst things about Rotary are really the same thing – that weekly meeting. People are scared to make such a big commitment. But if you’ve got the right club with the right sort of people, it’s not a chore. It’s something you aim for. We spend the whole week looking forward to Friday morning.” 

- A movie based on Kevin Cook’s book Tommy’s Honor was released in the U.S. in April.


official charter

 The Cross Timbers Rotary Club received its official charter Friday at Bridlewood Golf Club. The first meeting was spent deciding how the club will be organized, brainstorming who they would like to see join it, and what ideals the club wanted to uphold.

“The Cross Timbers Rotary Club has been in the minds of a few of us for more than a year, as we talked about how to expand Rotary’s footprint in our district, District 5790,” said Andy Eads, club president at the ceremony. “We knew it was a desire of the leadership of this district to grow, and … we knew we could play a part in that.”

The world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, was formed in 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name “Rotary” derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices.

Rotary’s popularity spread throughout the United States, and in the decade that followed, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving the professional and social interests of club members. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization’s dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its principal motto: Service Above Self.

Rotary also later embraced a code of ethics, called The 4-Way Test. The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than 100 languages.

The message should be known and followed by all Rotarians.
The 4-Way Test of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

“We are so grateful for your support as we waded through the arduous process of starting a brand new Rotary club,” Eads said. “We persevered through the hours and hours (and hours) of work through the process.”

District goals

The Rotary’s district goal is to have a 5 percent increase in membership in the 2015-2016 year. That would put the district at roughly 3,150 members. Of the 68 clubs in our district, there are 16 large clubs with more than 50 members. There are 26 medium-size clubs with 25-49 members, and 25 clubs with less than 25 members.

Members were presented with a charter member packet, which included a new badge, a copy of the 4-Way Test, a certificate of charter membership, and a Rotary pin.

The wheel itself became the symbol of Rotary in 1906, a year after the club’s formation in Chicago. Paul Harris reasoned that the wheel symbolized “Civilization and Movement.” In 1910, cogs were added to create a working wheel, symbolizing members working together, literally interlocked with one another to achieve the organization’s objectives.

In 1923 the keyway was added to the hub design of the wheel to symbolize making the wheel “a real worker,” and this updated design was formally adopted as the official Rotary International emblem.

“We’re proud to say that today we charter as the second largest of the eight clubs in Area 11, and the 10th largest Rotary Club in all of District 5790,” Eads said. “This is due to the one-on-one invitations extended to our members, not just by the board, but by every member in this club.”

The group meets Fridays at 8 a.m. with a time for networking starting at 7:45 a.m. Meetings are held at Bridlewood Golf Club.


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