By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — There wasn’t a roll call, no pledges were recited and not an agenda item was in sight. Instead, food, wine and paint were abundant at Norman’s new Rotary Club meeting Thursday.
Legacy Rotary Club celebrated its beginning at a monthly social event Thursday night at Be Wild For Art, where members were presented with their official charter from Rotary International.
Legacy Rotary Club of Norman officially received its charter this month signed by Ron Burton, Rotary International president, who is from Norman.
It is the fourth Rotary Club in Norman after Norman Rotary Club, Sooner Rotary Club and Cross Timbers Rotary Club.
Moore and Purcell also have clubs. Worldwide, there are more than 1.2 million Rotarians in 200 countries. Legacy Rotary Club already boasts 36 charter members.
“I’m excited for them. It’s a very youthful group. They’ll have a lot of new ideas,” said Terry Godfrey, Rotary district governor, who made the trip from Cyril for the presentation.
Eric Fleske, Legacy president, said the club still goes by traditional Rotary values, but its format is more flexible. The club will host two regular meetings a month, with a third meeting being a scheduled community service event.
Dawn Hallman, Legacy founding member, said she had never been involved in a civic organization until Fleske asked her to help start the new club.
Hallman said the traditional aspects of several civic organizations and big-time commitments were never appealing, so she was excited to be a part of a club that reflects a young professional lifestyle.
“I’m really looking forward to the community service projects, too,” Hallman said.
Carol Dillingham, Legacy community service chair, said the primary motivator for the new club’s members was serving the community.
Dillingham said this is why the new club has built-in community service to one meeting every month.
“Thirty-something folks don’t want to come to a meeting without a purpose. They want to do something,” Dillingham said.
The new club will focus on food security, literacy, family safety and other family and children-related community service projects.
Additionally, Legacy Rotary Club emphasizes the social aspects of the club by offering one social outing a month.
Claudia Griffith, Legacy social chair, said the club already has gone to the University of Oklahoma’s University Club, Michelangelo’s, Scratch, Blackbirds and Belmar Golf Club.
“Having our social activities at local businesses helps support the community,” Griffith said.
As club members chatted and painted pottery to commemorate the event Thursday, Fleske stood on a chair to get everyone’s attention before the charter was presented.
Phil Moss, former Rotary district governor and a member of the Norman Rotary Club, spoke before the presentation and said he already could see the uniqueness of the club as an asset.
“Through this connection of Rotary, you’ll will be able to make a local and global difference,” Moss said.
After Godfrey presented the charter and pictures were taken, Robert Greenstreet from the Sunrise Rotary Club in Ada gave Legacy Sunrise’s banner. Rotary clubs often exchange banners as a token of friendship or when a member makes a “make-up” visit.
“I like this club because we are keeping what is essential and changed to reflect a newer, flexible mindset. Yet, Rotary traditions resonate,” said John Weakley, a charter Legacy member who transferred from the Norman Rotary Club.
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.