Oaklawn Rotary Club celebrates 50 years of service
May 3rd, 2017by Jim Williamson  
George Moore talks about the influence that Cecil Phillips had on him as a Rotarian during the Oaklawn Rotary Club's 50th anniversary celebration Tuesday in Texarkana. Moore joined the Rotary Club in 1988 and served as club president in 1990.
Photo by Evan Lewis /Texarkana Gazette.
The Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club doesn't waste time in helping the community and following the motto of "service above self."
The Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club celebrated 50 years of service at noon Tuesday by presenting a total of $1,000 to The Salvation Army and the Laces of Grace Ministry and discussed helping the Canton, Texas, community devastated by a tornado Sunday.
"We're service-minded. We try to bring people together and help the community. We bring different occupations and churches together and bounce ideas around and brain storm to come up with ideas to serve Texarkana," Shawn Davis, president of the Texarkana Oaklawn Rotary Club.
The club recently joined with Opportunities, Inc. to host a picnic for the clients and staff with a picnic of hot dogs at the Bobby Ferguson Park.
"We show that we care. It's service above self," Davis said.
The Rotary Club made two donations:
  • A donation for 50 nights of lodging to The Salvation Army ($500)
  • A donation for 50 pairs of shoes to Laces of Grace ($500) to provide tennis shoes to students.
"We are committed to 'service above self' and recite the Four-Way Test at the end of each meeting to keep us focused on strong ethical behavior before we return to our places of business," said Stefanie Brazile, a spokesperson for the Rotary and director of development & public relations for the Hospice of Texarkana Inc.
Stephen Correirra, captain for the Texarkana Salvation Army, accepted their donation and expressed appreciation for the contribution.
"The face of the homeless has changed. It use to be a man with a backpack. Now it's men, women and children. We had three newborns and their first home was The Salvation Army," he said.
The Texarkana Salvation Army provided 49,660 meals and 15,021 shelter stays, which included men, women and children.
During the discussion about service, the Rev. Bill Hedges, retired Quitman, Texas, Methodist Church pastor, suggested the Rotary Club help the Canton community recover from the Sunday tornado. He suggested providing assistance by helping to clean up debris or contributions of cash and gift cards. He served five years as a minister in Canton.
The 50th celebration ended like the Rotary Club meetings with the members reciting the Four-Way Test:
  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?